Simplify Yourself…

Get realistic and honest about how you wholeheartedly desire to live your life.


How we spend our days is, of course,

how we spend our lives.

Anne Dillard

Get your Simplify Yourself guide here

Despite our modern world belief systems, we simply do not have enough time and energy to do all the things. Simplifying yourself and your life opens up space so you can a deep look at yourself and what you most want to do with your precious life. A great place to start is looking at your fantasy selves. A popular phrase coined by minimalist, author, and blogger Francine Jay, fantasy selves represent all the versions of ourselves that we think we want to to be. For most of my life and into my mid-thirties I thought I wanted to do it all, and I kept convincing myself I could do it all. I could work full time; be a mama, partner, friend, sister, daughter, student of life; organize myself, my son, my life, and my home; travel; spend time with loved ones; practice self-care; practice yoga; camp; hike; bike; read; take workshops; learn to cook; do laundry and clean my home, just to name a few.

Sometime in 2017-ish, while reading Francine’s post, Declutter Your Fantasy Self, I felt immediate resonance and relief. Oh, hell’s bells… I thought. Of course! How incredible would it feel to let go of all those fantasy versions of myself? {deep breath} As I wrote a list of my unrealized selves, and all the clutter in tow, I was able to feel how much of my life force had been blocked by things that did not provide value or joy in my life. I became willing to release them and make room for what was really true for me. As I said goodbye to these fantasy selves and the clutter connected to them, I opened up to a new way of living and being.

All too often, we hold on to stuff because it represents who we think we should be, rather than who we are. Sometimes our fantasy selves are meant to impress others; sometimes they’re relics of our past; sometimes they’re fantasies about our future. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember: acquiring stuff for your fantasy self doesn’t make it a reality. Most of the time, it only leads to a lot of nice clutter you never actually use. – Francine Jay

What fantasy selves are you holding onto that don’t match your current life? What material stuff is crowding your space, external and internal? I invite you to write a list of your own fantasy selves and all of the stuff connected to them.

Examples of fantasy selves and their potential clutter…

  • Outdoors fanatic – bicycling, hiking, camping, and ski gear; beach gear and toys, yard toys, and hammocks.
  • Crafty Betty – sewing machine, notions, lots of material; paper, paints, scissors; knitting needles and yarn.
  • Book Worm – a library full of books you have read, books you hope to read, and books from schooling.
  • Music Lover – shelves of CD’s or records, technology old and new, and instruments you might play someday.
  • Photographer – cameras, tripods, cords of every shape and size, boxes of photos, and digital photos galore.
  • World Traveler – Suitcases and travel accessories in all different types and sizes, maps, and books on travel.
  • Chef extraordinaire – pots, pans, mixing bowls, cooking utensils, and ingredients a plenty.

Wouldn’t it feel great to get clarity about how you most desire to live your life, to make conscious choices about how you spend your days, and cultivate a life that brings you joy and deep satisfaction? – Kate Fehr

 Get your Simplify Yourself guide here

Your Guides to a Simpler Life, Marla Dee & Kate Fehr

We love teaching the Clear & Simple Way© to transform your life.

Time for Slow. Time for Simple.

We could all use a little big dose of slow and simple.

Recently, I was sitting outside my son’s basketball practice reading and enjoying a new book. I overheard two parents reconnecting after being away for the summer. “How was your summer?” The woman asked politely. “It was great, but went by so fast! How was yours?” The man inquired. “Oh my gosh, so fast. I think it was the fastest summer ever and I was not ready for school to start.” She replied.

I sighed deeply in empathy for I have also experienced just how fast life goes by. On the other hand I also felt grateful for Our Simple Summer that rolled by at a sweet pace; something I know was very intentional on my part.

As I lamented over the “too fast” culture we live in, I continued to notice scenarios before me as parents zipped in and out of the parking lot, some dropping kids off and some picking kids up.

  • One mom talked aggressively on her phone as her son climbed in the car and they drove away. Been there.
  • A father was urging his son to hurry up and tie his shoes to get into practice. Been there.
  • Another woman pulled into a spot, tapped her fingers impatiently while watching the school door. After about 15 seconds she jumped out and ran into the school to retrieve her son. Been there too.

After many layers of simplifying our stuff, our time and our lives, my family’s approach looks very different than what I witnessed. We leave the house with more than enough time to get there. Our phones are put away so that we can be present with each other to talk, sing and laugh all the way. We arrive early giving us a bit more time to connect. As my son hops joyfully out of the car and saunters into the gym, I push the driver’s seat back, kick my feet out the window and dive into a book.

This particular day I was reading a fantastic book called In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed and was on chapter 8, Work: The Benefits of Working Less Hard. Over the last 6 months my soul has been begging me to bring my work life into alignment with our minimalist energy. The combination of this book, a couple of months of summer sweetness and experiencing the fast-paced madness of my fellow humans, has created a great urgency in me to make this happen right away.

Barely making it through the day over-stressed, overly disconnected, under-nourished and under-inspired is certainly NOT the kind of life I want to live. How about you?

With lots of love,
Kate

Our simple summer.

This summer was one of the greatest testimonies of how living with less gives us the opportunity to LIVE more.  Kate Fehr

Nothing calls me back to the most joyous times of being a child like summertime. Vivid memories of waking up without alarm clocks, spending days in the pool with friends, and traveling through the mountain states are always front and center come May. Since I first became a mom, my desire has been to have lots of summer adventures with my son and let work simmer on the back burner. This, of course, is easier said than done.

When our minimalist journey began over 4 years ago, I had no idea just how powerfully it would support my deep desire of keeping our summers about play and connection. During those 2 years, and 25 layers, of releasing of stuff (we moved through lots of emotion too), I had no idea how this would set us free to really experience life!

This summer was one of the greatest testimonies of how owning less and doing less gives us the opportunity to LIVE more.

  1. We spent four of the last five weekends in a row out of town, with the fifth weekend fully engaged in a 40th birthday celebration and a wedding. We were essentially not home for FIVE weekends in a row.
  2. We spent 5 days in Idaho to experience the totality of the solar eclipse. My son even missed the first 2 days of school, which he was not excited about at first, but it was one of the more moving experiences of our lives and we are most grateful to have been there.
  3. While we were away from home, whether traveling or just doing regular old things, we were able to be fully present with the people and activities we were experiencing.

 

Clear & SIMPLE

My son and me goofing around in anticipation of the eclipse.

 

Because we live simply with less stuff and all of our stuff has easily-accessible homes:

  • Packing and unpacking is quick and easy. This makes preparing for trips stress-free and getting back into the swing of things a breeze.
  • We usually don’t have vacation hangovers from the stress of vacations.
  • Upon returning home one weekend much earlier than expected, I wanted more playtime. We got home, unpacked, started laundry, put everything away, and then had plenty of time to go to Snowbird for Oktoberfest and a hike.

 

There was a time when I spent SO much time, energy and money organizing, and re-organizing closets, drawers and our garage. Once I no longer had as much stuff, I was able to spend time on what matters most to me. None of it is worth all of the beautiful memories I have as a result of letting go.

Minimalism simply is about living with the things you truly use and that truly add value to your life. It’s a very personal experience and journey, one that I invite you to try out for yourself.

All my best,
Kate

Travel Bags & More from The Container Store

Travel Goods – get’m while they’re hot!

You know that organizers can be obsessed with containers and bags.  But when it comes to travel, having the right containers makes a huge difference.  We just wanted to let you know that JUNE is the annual travel sale at The Container Store, one of our favorite places to get exactly what we need for traveling. Check out the items below and then head to www.thecontainerstore.com to see much more.

Note – Make sure to check out their short videos along with their travel tips.

1 – The Perfect Bag makes all the difference.

Check out the Eagle Creek Collection and see the video here

2 – Create your body care set and refill when you get home.

Here is a link to the page full of containers.  Kate’s favorite are the GoToobs.

3 – Check out the Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders. This is Marla’s favorite.

These cubes make it easy to set up camp wherever you are staying.

4 – And a favorite for Technology is the GIO Organizer

We hope these containers and tips help you have a fun filled summer!
Marla, Kate & Team

Transform a closet, cupboard or drawer!

How would it feel if your closet looked like this?

Quick Tip – Choose just ONE closet, cupboard and drawer for a spring make over!

How much easier would life be if all the items in your cupboards were contained?

Clear & SIMPLE, under-sink Bins

From goodhousekeeping.com

How about your bedside table? What a difference it makes when you use drawer organizers!

Clear & SIMPLE, Bedside Table Drawer Organizer

From realsimple.com

Our DO IT TIP this week:

Start with asking which cupboard, closet or drawer am I ready to tackle?  Then ask what would make it feel FABULOUS and give yourself permission to do just this ONE! 

Let us know what you choose and how it goes. Happy Spring! Marla & Kate

Watch this month as we share our TOP TEN TIPS for Spring! We’ll share the latest & greatest container ideas as well as organizing tips to clear clutter and organize these areas.

Why not try The clear & SIMPLE Way!