simplify

Simplify Your Routine

Simplify your routine by trying these simple things to set you up for a successful week. Tired of waking up to busy and frazzled mornings? Or just wishing your life was a little more streamlined? Sometimes all we need is to change one aspect of our very busy lives to make things easier. Try these easy and quick ways to simplify your routine and make life more manageable.

Let sunshine brighten up your day.

Even if it's a beautiful sunny morning, closed blinds or shades can make you never want to leave your bed. Get a head start on the day! Open the blinds and let natural light stream inside your home to awaken and brighten your spirits.

Find a regular, simplified beauty routine.

Creating a simplified beauty routine can make getting ready less of a hassle. Instead of having 3 lotions to choose from and a drawer full of makeup you hardly use, find your core pieces and keep those only. Your skin will thank you for the simplicity and you'll be looking and feeling your best!

For example: moisturize entire body, wash face with a gentle cleanser, apply SPF moisturizer, concealer, light foundation, blush, a dash of eyebrow color, a simple neutral base to your eyelids, eye-liner, and mascara. Finish with some deodorant and your favorite perfume, and voila!

Pack your lunch at dinnertime.

An easy way to get lunch packed and ready to go in a flash is to use dinner leftovers. As you’re cleaning up dinner the night before, pack or make your lunch. Your morning just got a little more free.

Lay out your outfit in advance.

Get rid of the whole "I don't know what to wear" dilemma and pick out what you're going to wear the night before. Pull out everything you’ll need for your outfit: tops, bottoms, undergarments, accessories, shoes and socks.You can even hang it on a special hook to hold your outfit, stylist-style. This way, you’ll be able to get dressed without having to worry about what to wear.

Plan a menu for the week.

Not only does this save you money, but it helps you use your evening time efficiently. Begin by making an ongoing list of grocery items you've run out of and need to purchase. Then sit down once a week and decide what meal to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day. Maybe saturdays are pancake days and Friday is pizza night. Great! Schedule that in. Maybe your lunches are last night's leftovers. Perfect! One less meal to make. Add any ingredients you need to your shopping list and get cooking! And don't forget dessert ;)

Give your purse a makeover.

Stop frantically searching the dark depths of your purse just to find your phone, keys, or wallet. Instead, create a system of organization that works for you.

Use bags within your bag and assign each one a category: makeup, snacks/gum, pencils/pens, receipts, chargers, etc.

Dedicate an interior pocket to just your glasses or sunglasses. That way they'll be easily accessible.

Charge electronic devices at night or at the same time each day.

Hate realizing that your phone is going dead, right when you need it? Get into the habit of charging your phone and any other electronic devices at night so that everything is charged and ready to go.

How are you going to use the above tips to simplify your routine?

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Capsule Wardrobe // The Beginning

Wondering about how to start a capsule wardrobe? Here are the answers to your questions and a look into how I'm starting my capsule wardrobe.

Many bloggers have shared their journey with a capsule wardrobe, each with their own story and style. The capsule wardrobe lifestyle is one that speaks to my heart, as I've been attempting to minimize and cut down my closet ever since I was 16. The many failed attempts and slight spending problems during my high school years has left me with a big closet of unnecessary and only once worn items. Over the past few weeks, after reading a lot about the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, I've decided to start one of my own and share the beginning process with you today.

First, I'll answer a few common questions. Then I'll share how I'm planning on implementing my capsule wardrobe. Third, I'll share my breakdown of how many pieces of each clothing item I plan to have for each season. Lastly, I'll leave you with a few tips to get you started on your very own capsule wardrobe.


Questions, Answered

What exactly is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to your closet that takes the stress out of picking outfits and lets you feel 100% confident about yourself. It's more than just getting rid of things you don’t need; it’s about crafting a wardrobe that will fit your lifestyle. Typically, it consists of only wearing 30-40 clothing items per season/3 months. There are different types of capsule wardrobes, but the one I'm doing is 40 items per 3 months. You can read more about it below.

Who is it for?

Anyone who seeks to have a simplified wardrobe that perfectly fits their body and lifestyle, anyone who wishes to cut down on their clothing spending, and anyone who desires to love each and every piece of clothing that they own. That being said, it's important to know that this type of wardrobe may not be right for everyone. Do some research and really understand what it entails before stepping into the whole journey.

How can I benefit from it?

There are a lot of benefits, and many are unique to each individual. A capsule wardrobe can help take the stress out of getting dressed, help you declutter your closet, and help you feel more confident about yourself because you'll be wearing pieces that you absolutely love.

Where do I shop for these clothes so I don't fall into the same wardrobe trap as before?

The best practice for a capsule wardrobe is to purchase high quality clothing items that will last longer than their price. When purchasing a more costly item, divide the price by how many months or years you expect it to last. The lower the result, the better the investment (as long as it holds up to that standard!). Budgeting is also a great habit to start. Every season, set a budget for items you'd like to replace and stick to it.

What is the best way to start?

Do your research. Figure out the best way to make a capsule wardrobe work for your lifestyle. Start gradually. There's no need to throw away all your clothes and buy new ones all at one time. Enjoy it! The best way to start is by being excited to start the journey to a simplified wardrobe!


How I'm starting my capsule wardrobe

Because I'm staying here in Lincoln for three weeks of summer school, I'll be going home on May 31 and returning mid-August. So essentially, I'll only be packing clothes that fit into my summer capsule wardrobe. Perfect right?! :) I'll store the rest of my clothes in storage for the summer.

Since I'm just beginning my capsule wardrobe, I have a lot of clothes that I like, but don't love. Being on a college budget, I can't afford to get rid of a bunch of items and buy new ones. So here's my plan:

1. Work through Caroline's Capsule Wardrobe Planner

Throughout this next month, I'll be filling this planner out to figure out what my true style really is and what clothing items make me feel 100% confident in my own body.

2. Adopt the in-one/out-one rule

I'll be beginning the summer capsule with clothing items I already have. As the summer progresses, I'll research and purchase items that really fit my style and body. Once I purchase that item, I'll get rid of another item that doesn't fit my new capsule style in order to create the perfect summer wardrobe!

3. Shop for my Fall Capsule Wardrobe during Labor Day Sales

I love shopping sales! Since my fall capsule wardrobe begins right around Labor Day Weekend, I'll use the opportunity to get my fall wardrobe for 50-70% off!


Capsule Wardrobe Breakdown

Below you'll find a list of how many of each clothing item I'm planning on including in my seasonal capsules based on my lifestyle. By no means is this list going to fit everyone's lifestyle, but feel free to use it as a starting point for your own capsule wardrobe.

Not Included:

  • Church clothes
  • Business clothes
  • Undergarments
  • Athletic clothes
  • Accessories such as scarves, hats, bags, glasses, etc.
  • Vacation clothing for climates different from where you live
  • Anything that can’t be worn on its own (such as a slip worn underneath a sheer piece)

Summer (June, July, August) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (3)
  • Flats (2)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Leggings (2)
  • Jeans (2)
  • Shorts (5)
  • Pants (2)
  • Blouses (5)
  • Button ups (1)
  • T-shirts (5)
  • Tank tops (5)
  • Dresses (3)
  • Skirts (3)

Fall (September, October, November) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (1)
  • Flats (2)
  • Boots (4)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets (3)
  • Vest (1)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Jeans (3)
  • Sweaters (3)
  • Cardigans (2)
  • Blouses (4)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeved (2)
  • Dresses (2)
  • Skirts (2)

Winter (December, January, February) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Boots (5)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets/Coats (5)
  • Vest (1)
  • Leggings (4)
  • Jeans (4)
  • Sweaters (5)
  • Cardigans (2)
  • Blouses (3)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeved (3)

Spring (March, April, May) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (2)
  • Flats (1)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets (2)
  • Vest (1)
  • Boots (1)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Jeans (3)
  • Shorts (3)
  • Pants (1)
  • Blouses (4)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (4)
  • Tank tops (2)
  • Long sleeved (2)
  • Dresses (3)
  • Skirts (2)

 My Three Tips for You

As you begin on your own capsule wardrobe and journey towards simplicity, you'll likely find challenges and have a lot of questions. Take it slow and move at your own pace. Here are three tips that I've found useful as I've begun my journey:

  1. Read about other people's capsule wardrobes to get ideas.
  2. When you're ready, do a deep clean of your closet (and donate as much of it as you can instead of throwing it away!)
  3. Keep a positive spirit. You'll feel better about yourself and enjoy the process a whole lot more!

What about you? Have you considered starting a capsule wardrobe?

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7 Ways to Give Back while Simplifying Your Life

What if you could live a simpler life–while giving back at the same time? I challenge you to make the best of every situation and strive to live an eco-friendly, simple lifestyle.There's a lot of talk about simplicity and living a minimalistic lifestyle. There are numerous lists on the internet of ways to simplify your life. But, what if you could live a simpler life–while giving back at the same time? I challenge you to make the best of every situation and strive to live an eco-friendly, simple lifestyle. [Tweet "What if you could live a simpler life–while giving back at the same time? Here are 7 ways to do so."]

Step away from your phone – and give clean water to children in need.

The UNICEF Tap Project encourages you to stop texting, emailing, calling, and using social media on your phone to help provide clean, safe water for children around the world. The longer you go without touching your phone, the more clean water will be given to children in need. Just think, you'll be simplifying your life by being less dependent on technology all while providing clean water for children. It's a win-win!

UNICEF Tap Project

Donate your clothes – and help kids rise up with education.

thredUp* is an online consignment shop that sells popular brands at discounts of up to 90%! Even better, they provide you with a Clean Out bag to send your gently used clothing items in exchange for cash, for FREE. They'll pay you up to 80% of the resale value, and items that aren't accepted go to charitable partners or textile recycling companies. It doesn't end there. thredUP* will also donate a portion of proceeds from every thredUP bag to support the development of high-quality teachers in schools through Teach For America.

*signing up through this referral link will give you (and me) $10 to spend on thredUp!

Get rid of junk mail (easily) – and cut down on paper waste.

PaperKarma is the easiest way to eliminate junk mail. Simply snap a photo of the piece of mail and they'll figure out what it is and instantly submit a request to stop the mailing on your behalf. By doing so, you'll be saving trees and simplifying your mailbox.

Be creative – and plant a tree.

Baron Fig has created the ultimate creative notebook. 192 acid-free pages open completely flat for effective use. The dimensions are wider than traditional notebooks, making it more useful for drawings. And, for every Confidant notebook purchased, they will donate seeds to plant a tree. Even the smallest thing can make positive change within the creative lifestyle.

Baron Fig Plants Trees

Reuse shopping bags – and reduce emissions and waste.

Did you know that more than one billion single-use plastic bags are handed to consumers each day in the U.S. and it takes a 15-year-old tree to produce just 700 paper grocery bags? Paper or plastic is no longer the question. Reusing shopping bags significantly reduces both emissions and waste. Purchase one for a few cents or up to a dollar at participating retailers (they usually donate the proceeds of the bags to charities as well).

Donate your jewelry – and help homeless pets.

Unwanted jewelry? Donate it to Indigo Rescue and receive a tax receipt and the satisfaction of knowing that your your jewelry donation is helping save homeless animals.

Learn more on how to live a purposeful life – and end sex trafficking.

One of the best publications ever, Darling Magazine's mission is to encourage us, as women, to embody virtue, wit, modesty, wisdom, and love. The articles in each issue (published every four months) show how to practically live a life of purpose and intention. Even better, Darling is partnering with International Justice Mission and will donate a portion of proceeds from magazine sales specifically for the work being done to end sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic.

What other ways can you give back while simplifying your life?

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8 Ways to Simplify Your Life

This list of 8 things to do to simplify your life today will help you begin living a happier, more balanced lifestyle.

There is joy in simplicity. It brings balance, freedom, and happiness. Simplifying your life can really make a difference in your mood, productivity, and health. I'm striving to learn to live with less. This list of 8 things to do to simplify your life today will help you begin living a happier, more balanced lifestyle.

Single-Task

In a world where multi-tasking is considered normal, even admired, people still aren't getting stuff done as efficiently as they could. Simplify your to-do list by learning to single-task. Handle one task at a time. Do it well. And when it is complete, move on to the next. Here are a few tips to help you become the master at single-tasking:

  • Focus on having only one tab open at a time so you can truly engage with what you're reading and learning. (This is hard for me. I currently have 22 tabs open...)
  • Keep your desktop clean, clear, and organized so that you aren't distracted or stressed out throughout the day.
  • Avoid distractions by turning off the TV, putting your phone away from sight, and closing the door.
  • Prioritize by focusing on what is most important first and moving to the next task as you complete them.

Evaluate Your Commitments

Take a minute to look at everything you're committed to each month and write it down. Work, family, friends, personal projects, everything. What's most important to you? Highlight those things and consider what can be dropped from that list.

Say No

This is the one tip that can help you cut out 99% of the events and tasks that clutter your life. Release yourself from time commitments. It's ok to say no. Opportunities will come and go, and there will always be more.

Spend Less Time Online

Media affects your life more than you think. It has a great impact on your attitude and outlook and can dominate your life if you let it. To truly appreciate the influence of media in today's world, you need to take a break from it. Step back and turn it off. Your mind will be refreshed and ready to take a new look at what there is to offer.

Be Mindful of What You Say

Use fewer words and keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say. Avoid gossip and anything that adds unnecessary drama to your life.

Stay Out of Debt

Debt adds stress to your life, and that stress won't be gone until the debt is gone. Start today. Do what you got to do to get out from under its weight. And once your are free from debt, be mindful of your purchases.

Nurture Real Life Relationships

Social media puts a real dent in real life correspondence. Facebook, Instagram, and texting clutter your life with surface information about others. Go meet with a friend in real life and talk with them face to face. Take a moment to slow down and cherish the relationships you have with others.

Declutter Weekly

Every week set aside some time and choose one thing to declutter in your life. Take a look at the things you own, your wardrobe, your pantry, your papers, your computer files, emails, and apps on your phone. Remove the things that are just adding instead of simplifying.

What are some of your tips for simplifing your lifestyle? 

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P.S. I made a 101 in 1001 list! Do you have one?