Getting Back on Track



So I have to be the first to admit that I have been HORRIBLE at maintaining my minimalist transition. Ever since cleaning out my closet at the beginning of the year I have done almost nothing to keep the momentum going. To be fair, my life started to spiral out of hand once the snow melted. My family, husband, and myself own a farm that operates 25 hrs a day from April to basically now. Between the farm, our “regular, bill-paying jobs” and life, we I have found it immensely difficult to stay on track. In addition to my regular job, my sister-in-law and myself started another business together with a few friends making custom brooch and succulent bouquets. Yikes! On top of all that, my husband and I have been in the middle of a suburban neighbor dispute from hell-literally! All that aside, this weekend I found myself actually HOME after plans fell through. I decided there was no better time then the present to kick start my plan again.

I started with cleaning out about 90% of my summer wardrobe, no lie! All summer I would wear the same 6-10 shirts and the rest just sat on their hangers. This made it incredibly easy to pull everything out of my closet. I went through each and every article of clothing and any that were in decent shape and met the right label standards were thrown into a “Thred-Up” bag to be shipped off for sale. The rest that were still in good shape were put into a bag for donations. Several pieces were thrown out. After I purged my summer wardrobe I held back several nice pieces that are all season that I can layer and wear to work in the winter as well as summer. I only packed away about 10 shirts that are more casual summer shirts. I unpacked all my winter clothes and even found myself pulling a few shirts out to donate/sell since I ended up not wearing them much after my winter purge and did not want to start the season off with junk in my closet. It felt amazing!

Once I finished with my wardrobe, which eventually will become a year-round “capsule wardrobe,” I moved through my shoes and threw out a  pair of nude heels and a couple pair of old sandals that have been well-loved through the years but were unacceptable to keep wearing.  The rest are staple shoes that get worn regularly (except my husband’s dress shoes which he only wears when he is forced to wear something other than jeans and a t-shirt).

From there, I managed to bring myself to clean out all my old handbags, wristlets, and wallets. Several old Coach pieces were thrown into the “Thred-Up” bag, some were tossed (well, well, WELL loved pieces) and a few were boxed back up. I now have 1 ID holder which is a staple for vacations, 2 handbags which I still need some time to decide if I will keep or not, and 1 tan cross body bag which is another vacation staple. I also have 1 “beater” purse that I have been currently using. Once I clean it out out, it too will be donated. I have to say I was proud of myself for finally being able to say farewell to many Coach items. This is a prime example of holding onto something because I thought having it made me happy. How happy was it really making me sitting in box under my bed and never getting used? It was the label that was making me happy, not the actual items.

I was also able to tackle our dreaded front bedroom, which has forever been used as a storage and “catch-all” room in our tiny, tiny home. In this room we had two dressers, a large desk, a shoe rack, a drying rack, and a ton of clothes, scarves and boxes.I pulled out all the bags and boxes. The bags mostly had sweatshirts and jackets that were either bagged up for donation, or boxed up and put in the attic. Eventually these will be moved to our Maine house (which will soon be built), so holding onto them does actually make sense in our case. I know we will need them and I couldn’t stand throwing out clothes we will need and then have to spend more money just to buy that same pieces back. I would rather keep a box or two in my attic and a couple hundred dollars in my wallet then waste all of it over the course of time. PLUS, my husband destroys clothes working outdoors, doing repairs, and just being a general guy, so I figured worst case we can always replace along the way if needed. I also managed to box up some books and pictures that will need to go into storage in the spring when we rip the house down and build a new one. Yes, that’s right-we are building a completely new house next year! *Does happy dance!* Back on topic, once I was done, we had cleaned out almost everything except the dressers, shoe and drying rack and desk. The desk will be another project, however, with files and paperwork to be sorted through. Eventually the desk will get thrown away. It was never in the best shape and frankly is far too large. Once we have the new house built, we will be using my old desk from my childhood/teenage years that my father actually made for me. It is the perfect size and will fit perfectly in a guest room or the corner of the living or dining room. I also plan on downsizing our dressers and only needing one. That, too, will be another project.

At the end of the day, after accomplishing this much, I was pretty beat and decided to call it a day. I was exhausted, but proud!

I feel like I am finally taking back my life and my journey into minimalism. To keep myself accountable, however, I knew I needed to come up with a long term game plan. I was inspired by my friend’s recent “Spending Fast” journey, not so much the actual spending fast, but that she is holding herself accountable by posting once a week to update everyone how she and her husband are doing. I decided there is no better way to stay on track than to do the same. At least once a week I will plan on updating my blog with accomplishments (or failures). Each month I will plan to follow a 30 day challenge (there are actually many out there). Even though some of these challenges have overlapping points (i.e clean out your closet), I feel as though they could be useful. It never hurts to revisit your wardrobe or cull through your bathroom or kitchen. At the beginning of each month I will post the challenge I am following and give a weekly update unless I feel the day produced a major accomplishment deserving of its own blog post.

Since there is only one week left of this month I will plan to focus more on getting my life on track. This week will consist of:

setting realistic goals

meal planning

getting organized with bill paying schedules

updating my planner

and updating our household budget.

With the upcoming construction, the budget portion is going to be top priority. I like to think of our family as one that doesn’t fall into consumerism too heavily but we definitely make unnecessary purchases. This week will have some solid downtime for us to explore our spending habits and see where we can save some money and how we can  budget ourselves to move forward. I personally would like to explore a cash only system, but we shall see what my husband thinks.

Wish me luck!

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