Closet chaos challenge update

I ended up taking my closet from 350ish items down to 115 and have had it cleared out for 10 days now. Of course I couldn’t part with any of the clutter I got out just yet..had to make sure I’m totally on board with this minimalism stuff. 🤷‍♀️

I have to say that I cleared out an entire section of my closet, and was expecting to feel my heart rip out of my chest for removing these items. I also thought my closet was going to be empty, lonely, sad, depressed and scared. Turns out it had the opposite effect on me. My heart is just fine, and I’m now looking in there and thinking I still have way more than I need. What the what?!

I have also noticed it’s way easier to find something to wear. I haven’t once said to Matt “I literally have nothing to wear”, which used to be kind of a staple statement in our marriage, where I tried on all these clothes that I usually don’t wear in an attempt to make use of all the stuff. Then he rolls his eyes and I make a comment about how I need to go shopping, to which he rolls his eyes again.

Now I just have my faves. My faves consist of a lot of basics that I can actually do a lot more things with less things. Everything is meant to go with everything. I even freed several items that were trapped behind other clothes. They may have been lost forever if I didn’t declutter my closet, and it was like a free shopping trip in my own closet.

I think I can easily cut my 115 items down to 75ish, but taking baby steps. If you haven’t seen a capsule wardrobe, GTS (google that s$&@). People doing this are living with around 30ish items. 😳

If you haven’t tried the closet chaos challenge, please look back at my other 2 posts and give it a try or pass it on to a friend that could use a more basic life.

Budgeting 101

I’m curious how many of you are using a budget?  Like, you made it and actually STICK to it (for the most part) month to month?  Or are you just living paycheck to paycheck and hoping that one of those lottery tickets is finally going to make you a millionaire?

If you are like most people, you may have meant to make a budget, but are worried about what you will see.  Or you made one that one time, but you can’t follow it, because, well, Target and Chipotle and HomeGoods and (insert your other frivolous spending faves here).

I’m not going to ask you to start a strict budget right this second, but maybe you can take baby steps starting today.  Find a way to track where EVERY SINGLE PENNY of your money is going.  You should really try to do this for at least 30-60 days.  Don’t do anything differently than what you usually do, besides tracking it.  This should also be easy if you use your debit card or credit card, because they track your spending for you.  Most of them will even break it down further into categories for you so you don’t have to (some common categories are: rent/mortgage, utilities, eating out, gas, groceries, car payment, insurance, student loan, credit card, etc).  If you pay cash, then keep a pile of your receipts or go old school and grab a notebook and pen and write that s*&% down. 

I remember when I first started my budget about 10 years ago.  I found in my 30 days of spending tracking that my husband and I had spent something ridiculous like $400 eating out that month for two people.   What?!  That was like a car payment, except we were just eating the money, and then, well, you know what happens when you eat.

So just start here and trust me on this one and don’t try and cheat.  If you already have your budget, spend the next 30-60 days reviewing and seeing what areas, if any, could use some improvement.  I guarantee that you won’t regret it, and you will need this part of budgeting down before you can move on to the next one.   

My closet chaos challenge results

Who is willing to share what your totals were? I accidentally threw out my list, but I was really surprised by HOW MUCH STUFF I have accumulated over the years. I know my total number of items ended up being around 350. This included around 50 shoes, 30 scarves, 70 dresses, 40 pants and 160 shirts, sweaters and hoodies and a few random purses and hats.

You guys..I went through and trimmed it down to around 115 items on my first try 💁‍♀️. So clearly I did not NEED almost all of the crap I bought. Let’s say that each of the items in my closet cost on average $20. That’s $7,000 😳

What else could I have done with that money? More importantly, how much of my time was spent working for that money, only to so freely give it to these companies and for stuff that I didn’t even NEED?! I can just imagine myself in Target right now just throwing all the things in my cart and not even thinking twice about the random clearance items and my YOLO mentality. And even talking to the cashier about how great of a deal I was getting 🤦‍♀️

The first part of this closet challenge was really just to get you thinking about your own stuff and how much you may or may not have. Where did it all come from and what made you buy the things you bought? Were they impulse buys? Do you have to have certain brands? Are you attached to these things? When’s the last time you wore half of the stuff you have? Are you a regular purger but then find yourself quickly back in the same place with acquiring more? What else could you have done with that money or time you spent working for that money?!

I’m new to the minimalism world and trying to make my life more basic, so this was a huge eye opener for me. Look for my next post to talk about what life is like for the past week after my first purge and how this is going to hopefully help me on my semi basic life journey to living more with less. 😊

Closet chaos challenge

I’m giving you homework. That’s right..there IS going to be some work if you are wanting to see any change in your semi basic life. What’s the old saying about the definition of insanity?

But don’t worry, it will only take you 5-10 minutes. Now grab yourself some wine and go open up your closet and just take inventory on how many total items you have and of what? For example, are there 50 pairs of pants, 150 shirts, 35 shoes, 5 old purses? Add it all up..I will wait. Not really, but do this quick challenge and I will share my results soon I promise.

Feel free to share your findings if you want..bonus points for pics! And don’t forget the “chair clothes”

New Year…New..Furnace?!

I slept in gloves last night.  I wrapped up my kids into blanket burritos and hoped I would find them frostbite free this morning.  Were we camping?  Why else would I do these things you ask?  Well, the time was 8:00 p.m. on January f’ing 1st, 2019 when the alien mothership decided to land on our house.  The sounds, the coldness, the anticipation of finally getting chosen for abduction that filled our house on a blistering hot 20 degree night, the first day of the f’ing New Year.  When I noticed no aliens entering the house to take me back for probing, Matt investigated and determined it was actually the furnace.  The 20 year old furnace that nobody was “planning” to go out.  So, of course the earliest we can get our new “super affordable” furnace is tomorrow (air quotes sometimes equal sarcasm in my writing).  Fast forward to 5:07 p.m. on January f’ing 2nd, 2019 and my car decided to join in on the “fun”.  There is now a super awesome message it keeps telling me that blah blah chassis error and blah blah AWD error, so that’s gotta be good news right?

What do the two totally real life stories above make you wonder?  How is she going to pay for that after just coming off the holidays, property taxes, HOA dues, vet bills, etc. etc.?  Well..”she” is wondering the same damn thing right now (huddled next to her fake fireplace with fuzzy gloves on).  If it happened to you, would you be able to cover it?  Yes I’m getting at an emergency fund and yes I’m slightly lecturing you.  I have heard that anywhere from 40-50% of people don’t even have enough saved to cover a $1,000 emergency.  And let’s just say..that won’t even begin to cover “her” problems listed above. 

If you fall into the 40-50% statistic above (I won’t tell anyone), how would you handle life’s emergencies or unplanned expenses that have to be fixed before your burrito babies freeze?  Don’t worry, you can keep them in the burrito for about 48 hours, so you have a few days to get your funds gathered.  But if you only have a piggy bank to steal from one of your burrito babies, then maybe you should make this a focus of yours this January. 

How can you get $1,000 in an account that is liquid?! 

  1. Make it something you don’t have to do and you don’t miss by having your employer automatically put back $100 out of each paycheck into a separate savings account (If you can swing it then it will take just 5 months to get there.  Do more or less depending on your individual situation). 
  2. Sell your junk on FB or out of your garage or wherevs..the kind of junk people want to buy of course, and you would be surprised.  Go look around right now and tell me you can’t scrape together a few hundred bucks from random stuff you’re no longer using? 
  3. Save your tax return instead of “investing” in that new 60″ plasma flatscreen t.v.
  4. Cut expenses or increase income (these seem like no brainers, but could easily be covered by several posts in the future..spoiler alert)
  5. Don’t stop at $1,000!  Once you get it, make sure you celebrate and keep on going.  Most people will tell you that you should be able to cover 3-9 months of expenses with your emergency fund.  It’s your life though, so you decide what works best for you. 

Lastly, please send gloves and blankets our way 😉

Feel inspired by my ocean pics?

So..if you don’t know me personally, there are a few things you need to understand before we get started.  You should also go read the “about me” section where ever that is on here?  Know that I am NOT a professional blogger nor am I even an amateur and I have no clue what I’m doing.  I’m just a lady with a laptop and access to the internets.  I don’t know how many inspiring ocean pictures you will have to look at on my blog because they just keep coming out of the blue (get it?)..out of the blue.  Also, I apparently set up not one but two blogs and I think I deleted the other one but not sure.  Really I am just a regular person with sub par technical skills and a dreamer personality and there are surely more quirks you are either going to love or hate about me as you follow along.  But did I mention I’m funny?   

So, why am I doing this and why are you here reading this right now?  Well, hopefully this will be deemed as a great use of your time and mine and not just “another blog”.  Enough people have said I should share what I have done and currently do, and even if they were lying to me, I finally fell for it and decided to write.  My goal really is to share with you some tips and tricks I have learned, or things I wished I would have done differently when looking back and reflecting.  You see, over the past 10 years, I have been in a constant battle with “Keeping up with the Joneses” and questioning the path that society has led me down.  You know the path and may be on it now or maybe you are one of the ones considered lucky who have already arrived.  

For many, it looks like a college degree and a mound of student loans as you begin your adulting journey, a big wedding that involves a few swans hand sculpted out of ice, feeding 100 or more people fancy food that have never once bought you a meal, ordering 2,370 flowers that will die tomorrow, get back from your honeymoon to your white picket fence around a big house, start filling big house with stuff, fancy cars in that garage, nice designer clothes that go out with the season, insert random financial curve ball like a new car transmission or new a/c unit for your house, or both at once, start buying the biggest and latest electronics, keep eating out multiple times because you are too tired to prep or cook, continuing to acquire things and stuff, insert random financial curve ball like medical bills, more stuff and things, insert expensive ass children here, keep working hard to pay for said stuff and things, start paying for stuff and things for expensive ass children I inserted earlier, they can only have the finest schools and hobbies you know, replace “old” stuff with new stuff and repeat it all over again until you’re 65, not forgetting to put a little back for yourself for retirement and then you die. (not all of us look identical in our path, but I think you get my point).  I know several things mentioned above look similar to me at one point or another on my journey. 

What if I told you that there IS another way?  And anyone is capable of achieving an alternative dream?  You can even customize your dream to work for you.  But wait..there’s more!  My goal is to share a weekly short-ish post with one or two focuses and actions that you can easily take to either improve your financials or minimize your life without feeling overwhelmed. 

With all this new year, new me crap floating around today, I am sure there is more than one person making a financial resolution.  This year, I am going to stop eating out so much, or this year, I am going to pay off my credit card and stop using it, or I’m going to save up for the down payment on that house I’ve been dreaming of.  But didn’t you say that last year also?  Well, my intro has proven to be a long one, but wanted to get you introduced to the hot mess I am and get you thinking about the big picture of what I will be writing.  Please feel free to share any topics you would like covered and share any New Year Resolutions that you may have.  Look for a post from me on what I’m challenging myself with this year. 

Happy New Year and 2019 better be ready for my semi basic life 🙂    

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton