being sarah

how i simplified my life in 2018

One of our culture’s most popular fads is minimalism.

The term “minimalism” is basically the freedom from the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around.

Our culture constantly tries to tell us that we need more! And to get “more,” we have to spend more money that we don’t have – creating debt. Creating bondage, stress, unhappiness, and for what!? For a luxury we were told we couldn’t live without through a 30 second commercial!?

Everyone sees the topic of minimalism differently, but this is how I incorporate it into my life.

Less stuff allows me to focus on what really matters – people. When I have less stuff, I’m less stressed about cleaning. I’m less materialistic. I have more time, more freedom, more joy, more space for the things that matter.

 

Please know that everything I’m writing about below has been a year long process and one that I am still working on. I still have messy rooms and junk boxes. It’s a journey I’m still walking through. However, my heart with this post is to remind you that stuff isn’t everything. Time and memories are far more valuable!

Here are some areas where I simplified my life this year.

 

  • Social Media Platforms

At the beginning of 2018, I had multiple social media platforms. There were many factors that played into my decision, but the result was I signed off of every social media account except for Instagram (the one I deemed my favorite).

I absolutely loved only having one platform to take in input and share my photos (in addition to my blog of course). I also went through and unfollowed over 150 people that I didn’t need to keep up with (celebrities, friends from high school that I no longer spoke to, etc.). This meant less time on my phone scrolling catching up on other people’s lives and gave me time to live my own.

A few months later I did decide to get back on Facebook, but not to browse the newsfeed, but to share my blog link and some business announcements. Otherwise, I’m not on this platform.

I also became more intentional with my time on social media. If I’m on, there is a reason. I rarely mindlessly scroll through while waiting for an elevator. Every tap on the app is on purpose – whether I’m posting something or I have set aside time to scroll through my friend’s images.

 

  • Capsule Wardrobe

Like I said above, some things take time to do, and this is definitely one of them. Having a capsule wardrobe was an idea I played around with for a while, but it wasn’t until after Emmaline was born that a fire was set under my bottom and I took the leap. I wrote a whole blog post on this that you can read, but to summarize – growing and birthing 2 different humans changed my body, and I found that my self-confidence plummeted when I was trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I decided the size of my clothes didn’t matter and I would rather feel comfortable and confident.

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I gave away multiple boxes of clothes (I had no idea I had so many by the way!) and am still finding pieces that I thought fit well but after putting it on I throw it in a giveaway box (I just had this happen to me a couple weeks ago).

I love the process and journey of creating my a new style. A great example of this is Aaron and I were thirfting and I found a coat that I absolutely loved! Aaron made a comment that it looked “dated” and I confidently replied, “that’s what I love about it!” so I bought it and I wear that thing anytime I’m outside and I rock it confidently. I probably wouldn’t have been so committed to it if I wasn’t playing around with new, simpler styles though.

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I love the capsule wardrobe because I’ve made it work for me. I don’t live on 20 items of clothing like some do, but I’ve given myself permission to be okay with getting rid of things. It also made me start paying attention to what I wear a lot and what I hardly wear at all (which  means giveaway!)

My capsule wardrobe means I LOVE (and wear on a regular basis) everything I own.

 

  • Reading

I used to say I hated to read. Then I decided I was going to make it a priority in 2018 and you know what, I love reading now!

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Audio books have been great for me and a wonderful tool to use during my commutes. I’ve learned a lot through some of the books I’ve listened to and have genuinely enjoyed the new places and viewpoints I’ve gotten to experience through the words. Books truly are Where All Things Live. 😉

I am so excited to continue to grow my reading list and I’m always open to recommendations, so if you have a good one – let me know.

 

  • Crockpot meals

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This has been such a blessing for us! I’ll prep crockpot meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer. Particularly on Sundays before I leave the house for a very full day at church, I dump a bag into the crockpot and put it on low to cook throughout the day. When we get home, it’s done and I didn’t have to do a thing. This has saved me time, stress, money (no restaurant grabs on the way home) and energy.

 

  • Scheduling a Rest Day

Towards the end of 2017, I was ending my 2nd trimester with Emmaline and my body very loudly told me that I was doing too much and needed to slow down and rest. It was a very real awakening that we needed to create the discipline of rest. So when the holidays arrived, we intentionally slowed down and decided to keep that cadence into the new year.

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At first, we had to schedule it. We agreed that Saturdays were the best for our family and I literally had to put it on our calendar to avoid planning something else. It was hard at first, but proved to be extremely beneficial in the long run. Now I don’t have to write it on my calendar at all – I know we’re not available.

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This eliminated over committing and helped us really be intentional with our calendar.

 

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Simplifying my life was not just a 2018 thing – it’s a forever thing. Culture tires to clutter our lives and when we’re cluttered, we’re distracted and distracted people are not as effective as people who are focused. I want to be a focused person. I have a very specific job to do on this earth and I don’t have time for distractions.

Looking back, is there anything you have done this past year that simplified your life?

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