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!

Get our TOP TEN Organizing Tips for Spring!

Spring is just around the corner! Are you ready for freedom & fun?

Join us once again at the Spring Home & Garden Festival for new tips and inspiration

Here is one to inspire you now…

Tip #5. Choose containers that you LOVE for the areas and stuff you use the most!

One that we love is the Feathergrain Wood Bin from The Container Store. It’s pretty, sturdy and functional. Use it in deep cupboards as a make-shift drawer, or in closets to organize items from toiletries to office supplies. Since they are lightweight you can easily move them about the house, like for toys or art supplies.

Clear & SIMPLE, Container Store Feathergrain Bins

Get the rest of our top tips from Marla who will be speaking ONLY once each day, so mark your calendars!

        Friday March 6th @ 2 p.m.
        Saturday March 7th @ 10 a.m.
        Sunday March 8th @ 11 a.m.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee at Home Show

Visit our Booth #2743, near the Design Stage, for Expert Tips and to enter our drawing!

You can also Purchase Discount Tickets.

Show Information:

Friday March 6th @ 12:00 p.m. through Sunday March 8th @ 6:00 p.m.

South Towne Expo Center
9575 S. State Street
Sandy, Utah 84070

Go Here for additional information and directions.