Finding Simplicity

Around this time last year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Well, in all honesty I read it aloud to my husband within the course of a day. I was instantly hooked as a lifelong organizer of stuff and seeker of simplicity. As a kid, I would regularly clean-out and organize my mom’s entire kitchen over a Saturday or Sunday. Seeing a space clean and organized brings me much joy and a feeling of accomplishment. We took Marie Kondo’s words to heart and started cleaning out our belongings little by little. I must admit that we did not follow the book perfectly, but we did take away the larger concepts and put them into practice. We hauled probably 30 trash bags out of our home over the course of a weekend, and we didn’t even have that much stuff to begin with! We were left feeling refreshed and energized. It was truly a wonderful feeling.

I think everyone should read the book. If for nothing else, it will make you more aware of your relationship with stuff and personal belongings. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. I see shiny new things, and I want them! And, everything around me is telling me I have to have them, too. On the other hand, I like simplicity. I like having just enough of what I need instead of filling my home with excess. I constantly find myself in this battle and, as time has passed, I am finding that simplicity is beginning to win out over new stuff again and again.

I keep a laundry basket in the back of my car. As I find things in the house no longer of use or value, I take them out to that laundry. Eventually, when the basket is full, I stop by the local Goodwill and donate those items. This past weekend was a major clean out session of our home decor items to make room for our baby, and I currently have a new stack of unused and unneeded items to drop off. I looked at the pile and thought, “Why did I even buy that? I don’t like it! It doesn’t even fit my style.” And, yet again, I remind myself to do better. To shop less. To give myself some grace while undoing the desire for new stuff.

Last night, instead of wandering around the outdoor mall while my husband played around in Guitar Center, I decided to sit in the car instead. I felt exhausted by all of the stuff for sale. All of the shiny items that I could take home in exchange for my money. I felt even more exhausted as I scrolled through Instagram. Feeling overwhelmed and struggling with some larger philosophical questions, I went and sat there and just waited for him to come out. I thought about the impact that social media has on us as consumers. I thought about how we are being urged to purchase. I thought about my own blog and intentions. I thought about other blogs I follow and the constant advertisements and beautiful pictures. I thought about integrity and honesty when it comes to the items we promote, and the seemingly lack of accountability. I thought about the difference between reality and fiction.

I don’t have answers on this topic. Just thoughts.

Simplicity. I am still trying to find the balance. I am still carrying items out of my home, decluttering my physical space, and taking the time to sift through what is most important. I think it’s just as important for me to do this with my digital life as well. Declutter, simplify, remove any pressure to be a certain person or have certain things.

I want to connect you to awesome and safe beauty products. Why? Because it’s something I believe in. If I never make a dime for this mission, that is okay. I never want to promote a product I have not tired myself, and I always want you to feel a sense of peace and simplicity when you come to Pretty + Well. I only want to direct you to companies I believe in and who are doing great work.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has definitely altered my life perspective, and I am grateful to Marie Kondo and her mission to help us simplify life. I’m still trying to find a balance. I am still trying to understand where we draw the line. And I am still trying to make sense of the blogging world and eCommerce and affiliate marketing. To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about it. To be honest, sometimes it discourages me. And, I am learning that sometimes it’s best to just sit in the car. No phone. No noise. Just alone with my heart doing some soul searching.

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