The Beauty of Keeping It Simple

I was never one to look back and reflect upon how things started at the beginning of the year and compare to where I am now.  But I had made 2016 the year I was going to be more mindful of things.  In order to focus on what was important throughout my day, I had to weed out the distractions.  I did it by keeping things simple.

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How I Successfully Downsized My Planner

As I had mentioned in my Blog Break Reflection post, one of my main goals for 2016 was to evaluate not just my planning system, but my planner itself.  At the time, I had been using my Franklin Covey Polka Dot since November. After adding sections, customizing inserts and stuffing in so much that I could be stranded on a desert island and still have everything I need, I realized that I had gone overboard (no pun intended!).  I needed to toss all the irrelevant stuff and go back to basics.  To streamline the process and rid myself of the additional weight I had added to it and keep only what I absolutely, truly need.  In order for me to do that, I realized that I had not only needed to downsize the contents, but the container itself.  Heads up – lots of photos and links to past posts follow!

Downsized planner

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Blog Break Reflection

Blog Break Reflections

Well, hello to February!

So glad you’re here because January really kicked me hard in the backside and I need to hit the reset button. Between client bookkeeping deadlines for year end tax work and coming down with a chest cold that really sapped whatever energy I had left, I’m ready to say goodbye to the first month of the year as I look forward to good things I have planned for my home and myself.

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November De-Clutter Challenge – Week #4

Time to wrap this puppy up.  Fourth and final week of purging unnecessary, unused and broken stuff and junk from the house.  Completing this has been an absolute joy, especially as we head into winter here.  It’ll make spring cleaning a whole lot easier.  Then again – maybe I won’t have to!!

After getting through Week #1, Week #2 and Week #3, here’s what I tossed this final week of November:

Declutter Challenge, minimize, simplify

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November De-Clutter Challenge – Week #1

While on vacation, I brought along the book ‘Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukoup that I had purchased at Target months ago, but never got around to reading it.  I shoved it in my carry-on and pulled it out as soon as I was situated and seat-belted on my flight.  On the 2.5 hour flight from CT to FL, I furiously underlined, asterisked and noted all of the inspiring goodness of this absolutely wonderful book.  As someone who loathes clutter (and loves discovering budget-friendly and frugal ways) I really….I mean REALLY related to this book.

 

Declutter Wk #1

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How To Effectively Consign For Passive Income

Consign

I fondly remember my first experience with a consignment store.  It was in the early 90’s and a girlfriend and I (whom I was working part-time nights with at a clothing store with 40%  employee discounts!) had taken a ride to one that was being mercilessly advertised on the radio.  We destashed our closets of clothes (erm, some still with price tags on them), shoes, handbags, etc. and brought them there.  A month later, we both gasped at the check being handed to us.

Consigning still-in-good-condition clothes, accessories and home goods is a great way to find passive income. And let’s face it – no one will turn away an opportunity for that.  Part of finding balance for me is to begin getting out from under ‘stuff’ that has been suffocating my closets, shelves and drawers. Although there are other options such as Craigslist, eBay and tag sales, I much prefer consignment stores as I don’t have to worry about posting photos, check bidding wars, boxing up and shipping or haggling with someone over a price.  I make an appointment, walk in with my stuff, hand it over and walk out.

So set aside an hour or two to go through closets, drawers, basement, garage – wherever – and be prepared to let go.  Yes, let go.  If it still has a price tag on it or if you haven’t worn it since the last election and it’s in good condition, well….why are you hanging onto it?  Pare down your belongings, simplify your space and make some quick cash.  Here are some basic consigning guidelines for a successful experienceRead More »

Weed The Garden

pruning

Back in October I had to make the decision to drop a bookkeeping client.  Don’t get me wrong, they were a great client, had their work ready and on-time for me every month and always had a check for that month’s work in the package as well.  Yeah, I know – dream client!  So why the heck did I cut them loose?

They crossed my boundaries.Read More »

Un-Stuff Your Wallet

As part of my uber-plan to uber-organize and keep only what is necessary in the most efficient place possible, I decided to tackle the big bulge in my wallet.  No, not from all the money I’m saving from couponing and dealing hunting – but from the massive stack of cards.

They aren’t even credit cards (I have only one – yes, one – and I don’t even carry it with me).  I have a vast collection of ‘rewards’ cards from various supermarkets, department stores, boutiques, salons, restaurants, supply houses – even a chocolatier  (you think I was going to pass up a chance to get a free truffle from Godiva every month??)  They’re useful.  They save me money.  They get me free stuff when I’ve earned enough ‘reward’ points.  But my collection had grown out of control to where I didn’t have enough slots in my wallet to fit them all, thus having to stack them in the middle section of my wallet, resulting in an unsightly bulge when I closed my wallet shut.

What was I to do?Read More »