When you're ready to start making a lasting, impactful career change, you need to start with some steps toward self-evolution. This is extremely crucial to making the right career change, and being totally ready for the new, wonderful direction your life will take.
Today, we’re going to start with getting your home in great shape. It's the part most people cringe at - especially you mamas out there. I know this is super hard; it was difficult for me to straighten up and organize when I was a Single Lady, and now I have a small destroyer (I mean, toddler), my wonderful husband AND a dog. I love them all! But I’ve had to find a way to simplify and beautify our home so that it works for all of us and so that our surroundings reflect who we are, and who we strive to be.
So, we begin with my list of 9 WAYS TO GET YO’ HOUSE IN ORDER.
P.S. There is a free download below! Don't miss it because this is just the beginning! You'll want to stay tuned and sign up for my emails: my new program is launching very soon, and it's just for women like you who want to create serious career and self-evolution... and desire the support system to help them during their journey.
1. Simplification Cornerstone: Whatever You Bring In Must Elicit Joy
You may not know this about me, but I am a simplicity NUT. I didn’t use to be that way. I actually used to be quite the person of excess… as in excess stuff. Everywhere. I came from a mindset that shopping was a way to be happy and fulfilled (even though I always felt guilty about shopping for myself afterward), and I’m not going to totally argue with the fact that, yes, I still have some major shopping urges that get filled every once in a while. Hello! It’s almost FALL which means booties and sweaters!
The problem here is that I would go on shopping sprees, buy things I thought I loved (but really didn’t), and after a while, those things wouldn’t bring the joy that they initially had. So then I would go shopping again, and this cycle would start over. Meanwhile, I was coming home and finding that I didn’t have room for these things that I thought I loved. And they would sit in the back of my closet after a bit.
But, I digress. Now, the thing with accumulating a lot of stuff is that it can make life a little difficult, for many reasons. Having too much stuff can cause:
- Decision anxiety… I have so many options! What do I wear?! What do I cook for dinner?
- Guilt… I bought four pairs of shoes and two of them have barely been worn, and now they’re sitting there unused by anyone. What a waste!
- Anger… You spent HOW much on that Roomba when we have a perfectly great vacuum?!
- Frustration with lack of space… How are we possibly going to fit that 62” TV in our living room? Our 40” barely fits on that wall!).
And that’s just the beginning.
The Solution: Anything you purchase for yourself or your home must bring you joy. This is a cornerstone of Marie Kondo’s general philosophy. I’m sure you’ve heard all about her, but if you haven’t, watch this video. She is the guru of tidy!
This philosophy really came in handy for my family when we bought our first home in Denver. At the time, we were determined to live more simply. We bought one side of a 1900 duplex in Denver’s Historic Baker neighborhood - close enough to walk to everything around the neighborhood(train, parks, shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, library, book shops, etc), but enough space for the four of us to live happily (dog included), AND we have a backyard. WIN. However, the home is only 650 square feet and being a MUCH older home, there was ONE closet. So we did what any sane new parents would do, and we had our own Tiny House Nation/Marie Kondo-inspired purge of 2014. Which brings me to my next point…
2. The Great Purge of 2014: Get Rid Of Everything That Does NOT Bring Joy
During our purge, we evaluated every. single. thing. that we owned. This was a purge that took a lot of time for us, to be honest, and it is something that we continue to do when the seasons change. You don’t have to do it all in one weekend.
Keeping around a lot of clutter and excess stuff makes it hard to focus on what you need to focus on: improving yourself and getting that job or making that career change that you really, really desire.
When we keep excess shit around from our past, we hold back from becoming who we are. That stuff takes up room for who we’re meant to be. It takes up space and keeps us stuck. Wouldn’t you rather free up space for the new you, and the things that elicit joy?
Tip: start with things that you aren’t super attached to in the first place, and don't touch anything of your family's. They need to do the purge on their belongings on their own.
When we were faced with the reality of going from a 2000 sqft home to a 650 sqft home, we really evaluated furniture, lamps, clothing, kitchenware, old toiletries, junk drawers, linens, shoes, artwork, paper work/files… EVERYTHING. If you start with things you aren’t super attached to, it just gets easier to purge from there. By the time you get to mementos and things that have more meaning, it feels a little easier because you’re already groovin'.
Best Part: donate or sell the items you’re parting with. Someone will love them and be grateful for them, and they’ll fulfill their purpose. One of the best ways we can express gratitude is to donate what we no longer need or want to people who do have a want and a need for it.
3. Simplified Kitchen, Better Health
A major area that people neglect when they get their house in order, is to evaluate their FOOD. Food is another thing that you bring into your home (regularly!) What we eat affects our mood, body and energy. Having a ton of choices can also elicit some decision anxiety.
If you’re doing all of this wonderful work on your mental and emotional health, why wouldn’t you want to improve your physical health, too?
Purge food that’s been sitting around that does not elicit joy or won’t make you feel good. Get rid of the food that makes you feel really awful after you eat it. C’mon… you know what it is. For me, I love inhaling a bag of Ruffles in one sitting. I always, without fail, feel awful afterward. Bloated for two days, sluggish, and it always ruins my workout to get cramps or feel dehydrated, which is how chips with a ton of salt and no nutritional value will make you feel.
Here’s the fun part of this, the things that are beautiful, natural, make you feel good, the things you want visible so you’re more likely to pick them to eat, can be displayed. In fact, display them beautifully if you can, in a lovely bowl that you love on your counter or table. Get some fruits and veggies that can sit out without spoiling. Add some color to the room with them. And, bonus, every time you get a craving for something, you’ve got some SIMPLE, healthier choices that will help your mind, body and energy right in front of you.
Donate the food you’re parting with to a homeless shelter. Someone out there needs it.
4. Organize Your Life
I will admit, this isn’t my forte! It’s important, nonetheless. Now that you have more space for the things you have left, you can relish the ability to see everything you need easily with a quickly opened door or drawer. Marie Kondo has some amazing tips for folding in her book, and I also love reading tips in ApartmentTherapy.com. Here are some of my favorites:
- Use the travel fold (or roll, rather) to make clothing easier to see in your drawers
- Fold socks one inside another so there's always a pair
- Only keep and fold linens and sheets that match your decor and make you feel good. Use this amazing tip for folding your fitted sheets by Martha Stewart.
- Hang the clothing you love in your closet by color and sleeve/pant length.
- Organize your fridge so that the things you want to eat more of (healthy, whole foods) are visible.
- Color coordinate books, or organize them by series or author in different areas.
Organize things that you desire to keep that make you feel great. By the way, you can actually display some of your clothing or shoes which really comes in handy if you don't have a closet, like us. (see below!)
5. Bring the Outdoors In
This one is super simple, but it will make all the difference. You’ve purged your belongings to only include items that fill you with joy. You’ve committed to only bringing in things that will bring joy to your home. Now, commit yourself to bringing in one more thing that will be sure to elicit joy when chosen wisely.
Adopt some plants. There should be at least one beautiful, green or colorful LIVING thing in each room of your home. Select plants that make you feel alive, ones that you’d be proud to display in your home and that you’ll lovingly care for.
6. Display Your Joy-Inducing Items
This is my FAVORITE part. You’ve done the purge and committed to respecting your home enough to only keep things that bring joy. Now you can select how to display those things.
Display artwork that makes you happy. Hang jewelry on display that makes you feel beautiful or holds sentimental value. Even a blouse or favorite scarf hanging in the right spot can add some color.
Some of my joysperation is photos of my fam and mementos from our travels. Some photos are in antique frames, and other items in collages. I also love to read, and there are many of our favorite books displayed in our home in various places.
The books I didn’t love or couldn’t bring myself to read past a few chapters were donated to the Denver Library and Goodwill. Someone, somewhere will love them and find them inspiring.
7. Create a Vision Board And Hang It Up
Being in a growth mindset is so much easier if you have a Vision Board to center your focus. The purpose of a Vision Board is to bring your desires to life.
This is a FUN activity! You'll want my free guide with 10 Tips to Create Your Vision Board (which you can download and keep right by your side during the fun!)
Create your board as if it’s a piece of art that deserves a place in your home. Hang it somewhere in plain sight as a constant reminder of what you desire and who you strive to be, what you strive to accomplish. The items and visuals on this board should always bring joy and inspiration to you, and show you who you are becoming.
What will your board entail? Where will it go?
8. Create A Simple, Lovely Outdoor Space
There is something calming about being outside. My favorite time of day is super early in the morning - like 5am. Everything is quiet but the birds are waking up. There is this calm feeling in the air. Your favorite time could be any time during the day or later during sunset. It’s really up to you.
I used to love to sit on my back porch early in the morning with my coffee, but my biggest regret is not creating a space that was more inviting. My deck is in plain sunlight all morning and for most of the day, so it’s really difficult to go out there in the summer without having a heat stroke or burning your feet. If I could do it again, I would put up an umbrella, or better, built the treelike I’ve wanted to build for shade, and get the table and chairs or floor pillows.
9. Claiming Your Time (And Sanity)
One of the best things I ever did for myself was to hire someone to come and clean house for us once a week. I used Handy (GREAT App!!!) to book people who could come whenever I needed help with house cleaning, laundry, cleaning out the fridge, etc.
There was an incredibly important reason to do this: I wanted to have a successful career and to be the best person, mom and wife that I could. I felt, personally, that I couldn’t be that person if I was spending valuable time cleaning that I could have spent with my family or on my budding business.
You don’t have to break the bank. Get someone to help you get a few hours back in your day, even if it’s every once in a while. I promise, you won’t regret it… and it kind of makes you feel a little bit more successful, doesn’t it?
Did you love the tips in this post? What would you add to it?