Category: Exfoliating

throw out 100 things challenge

July 15th, 2014   |   ExfoliatingWardrobe

ThrowOut100ThingsChallenge I’m having an informal Chicago meet-up for dinner/drinks on Monday, July 21st @ 7:00pm — at one of my favorite spots in Lincoln Park!  If you would like to attend, please RSVP by emailing me at jess(at)with-intention.com by Sunday, July 20th.   : ) 


With the movers coming in less than two weeks(!), rather than packing, I’ve spent the last week focused on exfoliating items I don’t want to take with me to Austin. Though moving may never be a “simple affair,” having less stuff means less boxes. Less hassle. Less packing time. Less cost. Just less. So, this weekend I did what I always do: I did a Throw Out 100 110+ Things Challenge.

EmbracingMinimalismDanaShultz

The Lively Show episodes are officially in the double digits now!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support for the show.

In today’s episode I’m talking to Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker.

unnamed

art via

{Sorry for the delay! The site was down yesterday due to server issues and then after I posted this yesterday evening it disappeared… spooky!}

 

Today I’d like to discuss a simple concept that can restore balance in our lives and simultaneously reserve our self-discipline.

 

Intention-based rituals.

 

According to The Power of Full Engagement, up to 95% of our lives are based on habits.

95%!

This is pretty crazy. Almost too high to believe.

This means that most of our strengths and not-so-great aspects of our lives are likely rooted in habits that we have cultivated - consciously or not - throughout our lives.

The urge to eat the ice cream out of the carton when no one is looking and our ability to jump out of bed in the morning are both likely tied to habits we have crafted over time.

Knowing that habits have such a HUGE influence in our lives means that we can choose to shape positive rituals that reflect our deepest values and intentions for each area of our life. 

 

How to Create Intention-Based Rituals

 

I’ve got a simple exercise that can help you help tie your intentions for each area of life to new rituals.

This simple exercise can help us re-balance our lives, particularly if we are currently spending all of our time (out of “habit”) in some areas of our lives, but ignore others.

By simply taking the time to implement new rituals in the weaker areas of our life, we can refocus in areas that we normally gloss over during our daily routine.

Or, we can expand and deepen a life area that’s thriving.

By creating intention-based rituals, we can build positive momentum which eventually requires less self-control to continue.

– Which means we can save our rather limited daily discipline reserve for other aspects of our lives that may be more challenging.

Step One: Review Your Intentions

First, you will need to recall your intentions for each area of your life.

If you don’t already have them, it can be helpful to re-read this post and think deeply about your values in each area.

Step Two: Form Rituals that Embody Your Values

Next, you’ll want to pick an intention from each area of your life (possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career) and identify how you can craft a ritual to help you embody that intention in your daily life.

These rituals can be daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, or annually. It all depends on your intention and how you’d like to bring it to life in your life.

Here are four examples from each intention area in my own life:

 

POSSESSIONS

Wardrobe Intention: To have a carefully edited and stylish wardrobe.

Ritual: To do a handful of Throw Out 100 Things Challenges per year. (Another weekly ritual you could try is the End of the Week Exfoliation.)

PERSONAL HABITS

Personal Growth Intention: To expand the circle of influence in my life, and increase the distance between action and response.

Ritual: I do a daily “Private Victory” where I read a spiritual book, a non-fiction book, and exercise (the exercise happens about every other day). This practice helps me to explore and develop my mental, physical, and spiritual aspects which brings more peace and clarity.

RELATIONSHIPS

Marriage Intention: To accept, support, have patience, and be present with Mr. Lively.

Ritual: We read aloud together in the evenings a few weeknights per week. This helps us increase our presence with one another and often spurs supportive conversations.

CAREER

Secret Project #1 Intention: To deeply explore and explain how we can live balanced, integrated lives in an inspiring and affordable way.

Ritual: I have recently begun working in three 90 minute chunks (with 30 minute breaks in-between) twice a week on this project. 

 

In your own life, you may already have awesome rituals in place, and you may be struggling in other areas.

Do your best to consider the major intentions in each area of your life, and see if you can find ways to add rituals if you don’t have any currently. 

Or, if you already have a ritual in place, but it’s feeling a bit boring, consider changing things up a bit to continue to reflect your values in a new action or method.

 

My Own Struggle / New Ritual

 

One habit I’m personally struggling with is not checking social media updates in the morning before work.

Because I have my iPad in bed with me while I read during my Private Victory, I find itextremely tempting to hop onto Instagram, Twitter, and Disqus to see what’s happened overnight.

This early morning social media itch slows me down and distracts me from my morning routine with Franklin and Mr. Lively.

Plus, it tends to bleed into a habit of checking social media excessively throughout the rest of the day as well, such a distraction! 

could delete the social media apps from my iPad altogether. Or at least sign out of the sites every time I use them to make it a bit trickier to click into quickly.

However, I’d prefer to try crafting a new ritual instead.

I’d rather fill the time with something meaningful and positive than try to simply avoid checking the sites based on self-control alone. 

My New Ritual

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try doing a 5-10 minute Quigong video (I’m going to pick a free video on YouTube) as a part of the spiritual part of my Private Victory.

By getting out of bed and doing the moves right away after reading, I’m hoping that it will be easier and more natural to just go about the rest of my day without hopping online first.

We shall see how it goes!

 

Now, How About You?

 

What new intention-based ritual are you going to implement? 

Let me know by responding directly to this email (I’ll write you back!), or in the comment section on the blog when the site is back up!

 

 

PS – I made a Life with Intention “Quick Start Guide”! 

Based on overwhelmingly positive Facebook feedback, I’ve made a free guide with my top 5 posts, books, videos, blogs, and habits for living intentionally (hint: 20 of these resources cost nothing!).

2014 throw out 100 things challenge

January 21st, 2014   |   Exfoliating

ThrowOut100ThingsChallenge


ThrowOut100ThingsChallenge

To see my most recent Throw Out 100 Things Challenge, click here!


(Hint: I’ve got 7 tips at the end of the post to help you tackle your own home!)

Over the weekend I took a few hours to do another Throw Out 100 Things Challenge.

And man, does it feel good!

Going through our stuff and identifying what we don’t need, use, or love feels like I’m giving our home a facial.

Plus, these regular exfoliations control clutter and highlight what we don’t want to acquire in the future.

Though the term “throw out” is in the challenge title, I trash as little as possible. Most items are donated, recycled, and passed on to someone new.

I believe that each item as has its own “life cycle” independent of our lives. We are simply the stewards for our items as long as we need, use, or love them. After that time has passed, it is our responsibility to take the items someplace where they can be used and appreciated again.

That said, I’m also a big proponent of the ventilator test: If you suddenly died, and your loved ones had to deal with your stuff, would they toss it out?

If so, don’t keep clutter because you are sad to see it go in the trash. It will go there eventually. Don’t let it stress you out in the meantime. Simply bring more awareness to future purchases.

Another reason I love big exfoliations like this is because it makes me so happy to pass on stuff to new owners! Back in the days of Jess LC I felt giddy giving my team nice exfoliation items.

Since I don’t have a local team anymore, I stashed several new or “good-as-new” items I thought my friend might like into a little bag with a bow and a note on her doorstep.

She loved her surprise gift bag so much that I’ve now made her a second little bag of items that I was previously going to donate.

Which goes to show you never know how much joy your unwanted stuff might bring to those who could need, use, or love it.

Now, without further ado, here’s this year’s first 100 Things Challenge!

2014ThrowOut100ThingsChallenge

 

7 Throw Out 100 Things Tips

If you are thinking about doing your own 100 Things Challenge, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Set an intention. No surprise here, right? One great place to start is to create an intention for your wardrobe and home that can help guide your exfoliation choices and shape your environment according to your vision.

2. Try to “batch” items as much as possible. For example, I batched six nail polishes (#67) and seven tumblers (#12) as single items. Batching really helps you make significant progress.

3. Take photos of emotionally important items. Sometimes we keep items we don’t need, use, or love because they are tied to a memory we are afraid we might forget. Rather than save the item itself, take a photo (or make a video!) and create a memory book so the memory stays and the clutter goes.

4. Box it. If you are unsure about some items, put them in a box and mark it with a date 1-3 months out. If you haven’t thought about or needed the items in the box by the marked date, donate the unopened box.

5. Test travel size products first. When trying new products use samples or purchase mini-sizes first. I did this with some hair products (#86-88) which I ended up hating. Because I bought the little sizes first, I saved a bunch of money, product, and packaging.

6. Check your condiments. A great place to look for exfoliations is to go through your condiments and find expired items.

7. Observe trends. Once you have done one or two 100 Things Challenges, you’ll start to notice trends in the exfoliations. What brands are you consistently throwing away? Why? Let these observations educate your future purchases.

 

Exfoliations, whether they are challenges like this or smaller routines like The End of the Week Exfoliation, are a great way to control clutter, bring joy to others, and optimize the use and lifespan of the items in our lives.

If you do this challenge and blog about it, please send me a link so I can check it out!

 

IntentionNecklaces

 

clearing out the clutter

October 21st, 2013   |   Exfoliating

ClearingOutTheClutterDuring transition times, I get the urge to purge my possessions along with the other changes taking place.

And with the recent shift in my content creation, I found myself itching to tackle the guest room closet – otherwise called “the attic.”

Little did you know that lurking behind the pretty gallery wall, there is a deep, dark cave we use for extra storage.

ChangeofArtGalleryWall

Because we don’t have a garage or storage unit, this closet holds many, many things.

 

Closet

I always allowed it to be crowded because I didn’t have an external storage unit.

Yet I used to get stressed just looking at it – let alone when actually trying to get something. I hated going in there to get special occasion dresses, With Intention workbooks, luggage, bedding, and my writing pillow.

So a few weeks ago, I decided that instead of living with this homemade “storage unit,” I could exfoliate to the point where the closet could simply be a closet. Filled with useful things, but without the added frustration inducing clutter.

I thought about doing a Throw Out 100 Things challenge (exfoliate/donate/sell/throw out a total of 100 items I don’t need/use/love), but I decided instead to simply go through the closet and just exfoliate what was necessary.

Here’s what got exfoliated (excluding the brass trunk).

ExfoliatedClutterThough I don’t have an exact total, I’m guessing this exfoliation batch included about 70-100 items. But more importantly, it included all the things we really didn’t need, use, or love as much as I previously thought we did.

Once I had this mega pile, I separated out the donations, recycling, and trash. I was also able to give a batch of these items to our friends, Meg and Joe (which is always the most fulfilling part of an exfoliation).

And most importantly, what is remaining in our closet is actually manageable!

ClosetAfterCleaning

It took a bit of organizing and included the upper shelves, too.

ClosetShelves

Now, I don’t feel that anxious feeling when I open the door. I actually look forward to going in there just to admire the progress.

If anyone else has a similar “attic” in their home or apartment that is causing similar stress, I hope this little before and after can help get you pumped to exfoliate and enjoy your storage space, too!

 

organize this, part two

June 10th, 2013   |   ExfoliatingLife

OrganizeThisPartTwo

It felt really great to have a few days off this weekend. Though I was thrilled to be invited on an amazing 36-hour trip in the middle of last week (more on that later), getting back from the Austin workshops on Monday night and leaving town mid-week left me with a lot to of hurried work and unfinished to-dos.

This week my priority is to get caught up on last week’s unfinished work, complete what I have for this week, and prepare for our summer vacation(!).

On Friday, Mr. Lively and I fly out to Crystal’s Napa wedding and will stay a few extra days to explore San Fran. I also am excited to re-visit Alcatraz, for which I have an unusually strong affinity.

Today, I’d like to return back to the organize this questions and address the remaining topics.

Again, these will simply be my off-the-cuff answers and I will say that organizing anything is easier when you’ve donated/tossed/recycled/passed on anything that you no longer need, use, or love.

Quite simply: the less you have, the less you have to organize! 

Now, onto the questions:

 

Office desk please.

- Pagie G. 

Personally, I have a large farm table behind my living room couch where I do most of my work. Because it is so open to my living space, I don’t have any room to store paperwork.

So right off the bat, my office desk is usually a small pile of consulting notes, a weekly priority list, and some notes for the website I’m designing for my hotel client.

 

Space15

 

The rest of my paperwork lives in filing folders for bills, taxes, etc. or in binders for client notes. Those are all in the guest room in Ikea shelving (above you can see the white and gray filing box I got from The Container Store).

Because I have an online business, most of my paperwork is on my computer.

 

I second office desk. And email! Mine is always a mess. Also, how do you organize email addresses so that they’re all in google, even if they’re not an @gmail account? (is that even organization?)

-Jessica H.

When it comes to email, I’ve had Mr. Lively direct all of my email addresses to two gmail inboxes. I’m not sure how he managed this, but I do know that he looked up the directions online.

As far as actual inbox organization, I’ve covered how I simplified things in detail here.

 

The mountains of papers kids bring home….storing the ones you want to keep.

- Michelle F.

If I put myself in my (future) mom shoes, I think my first inclination is to hold on to a fair amount of the paperwork for a few months, if not a whole school year. I’d probably get plastic folders with the Velcro closures for each child (I use these for my yearly receipts and love them).

Then, at the end of a semester or school year, I’d go through and sort out the items I feel are going to be significant for several years to come.

The items that I keep from this sorting would go in a long-term folder or box for the child. And any artwork that I feel is truly special, I would frame and hang in a playroom or along the walls of a hallway in our home. This way we can enjoy the art on a daily basis, without feeling overwhelmed by too much volume tucked away into drawers.

The rest, I think I’d feel good about letting go of – knowing that the important items are getting their proper attention in the home.

(If you have dealt with children’s paperwork in your own home, please feel free to share your thoughts on this subject as well!)

 

Email/computer/make-up.

- Esha S. & Jen M. 

For Email, please see the answer above in Jessica H’s question.

As far as computer, this one is pretty simple. I don’t think have too much to share here other than I have folders for our family, the blog, With Intention, my hotel design project, and my residential design client home.

Within these major folders I have sub-folders for other items like website graphics, tax paperwork, etc.

 

SinkMakeup

 

When it comes to makeup, I have always had pedestal-like sinks for the past six years. This has made storing and using makeup on a flat surface problematic.

To work around the lack of space, I have used some form of tray for my makeup that gives me a flat work surface when applying the makeup and stays in the cabinet below when not in use.

 

Desk/office space (especially when it’s a part of your living room).

- Joanna P. 

I have had my office set up in my living room for the past three years in two different apartments and I love it!

The thing I’ve learned is that I cannot keep much clutter simply around because there isn’t room for it.

I use my guest room currently to house any unneeded paperwork like consulting notes and I have a drawer in my kitchen that has the few office supplies, like a stapler and three hole punch, that I need.

When I do have any paperwork on my desk, I try to limit it to one pile of just the items I need to address that day. Any other papers get tucked into a drawer in the guest room desk for later in the week.

If you need a place for items like tape and paper clips, I suggest using a pretty jewelry box (you can usually find them at Home Goods) or lacquered box to hide the functional items in a pretty way. You’ll notice the one I use in the office storage photo above.

 

My family of 5 is moving from Japan back to the US in a month. We’re blessed to have movers who will come pack us up, but I want to have the kitchen and craft closet organized before they arrive.

I am at a loss as to where to start in the kitchen and with the kids craft supplies and my scrapbooking stuff. I’d rather organize on this end than have to deal with mountains when we finally unpack as I’ll be about 8 months pregnant then!

- Laura S.

This is a tough one! To be honest, I would be really ruthless intentional about the items that I bring back. I would only bring those things that we use, or plan to use, on a very regular basis.

I would suggest using the same “hanger method” you mentioned in your comment that you used for your closets. Anything that you haven’t touched in the last six months in the crafts, scrap-booking, or kitchen I would consider up for donation.

Donating scrap-booking or craft supplies to a school or non-profit for children gives you a chance to help institutions who may not be able to afford the items in Japan. And you can always repurchase papers or paints in the US if you find you want them after you return.

 

Closet exfoliation and organizing.

- Christine L.

Please see my response to Ashley G.P. in the first post.

 

The computer! I have so many pictures/file from blogging & I don’t know what to do with them!!

- Here&Now

Over time, I’ve learned that I would personally rather save my blog images on my actual blog server than on my desktop.

Any unedited pictures from my DSLR are auto-imported into My Pictures folder on my Mac. But once they get processed and blogged, they are put in the trash because I can always reuse them directly from the blog’s media folder.

If I need to re-find a DSLR photo, I simply go back in the events in My Pictures and retrieve the one I need.

So my personal suggestion is to transition your blog image saving to the web, rather than your computer. I used to keep all my old pictures from my blog early on and found it to be a waste of space and organizational energy. Allowing things to just live on the blog has simplified things a lot.

 

I hope that these ideas may have been helpful for the ladies who asked these questions and anyone else who might be looking to simplify and organize in their own homes!

 

office photo by

organize this

June 5th, 2013   |   ExfoliatingLife

OrganizeThis

 

Yesterday I asked people on Twitter and Facebook what they would like me to share when it comes to organizing.

There was quite a response to the question, so I thought that it would be best to share each Q and A here in one big post.

I’ll also say that some questions I cannot speak to directly from personal experience because I don’t have kids and I am not moving to or from Japan. So when I cannot relate personally from my own life, I will share based on principles, what I believe I would do in each case.

My hope is that these insights, or any that are provided in the comment section, are helpful for those that face similar challenges.

Ready? Let’s begin.

 

 

I’d love to see how you organize tech (and their accessories) with their respective warranties, instructions, receipts, & boxes.

- Kathleen Ballos ‏(@snowdropandco)

I’ll say right away that my approach may not be ideal for some people. But Mr. Lively and I have honestly found that we rarely ever use the boxes or instructions for electronics. And warranties are pretty rare for us since we are apartment dwellers without appliances and don’t purchase warranty extensions on our electronics.

So for this reason, I am pretty sure that I only have the instructions for the TV and the printer (which does get used from time to time).

I may also still have the box for my MacBook Pro in the guest room closet because it is the one electronic I would be likely to eventually sell. However, I did resell my laptop back to Apple and they sent me a box to use, so even my box may not be necessary.

Instructions, I’ve learned from Mr. Lively, are often available for products online, so we no longer worry too much about those as well.

So to answer the question, I keep a few instructions in a folder  and would include warranties there too, if I had them. Boxes I’m less concerned about keeping in general unless I was sure I was going to re-sell.

 

 

Jewelry and hair accessories please! My headbands and bracelets are out of control.

- Kelsey Heinze (‏@keheinze) 

This one I’ve got to say has a lot to do with editing. I have gotten better and better over the years at editing my jewelry wardrobe down to only the items that I use on a frequent basis.

The items that I use sit on my dresser, below. Necklaces go on the tree branch, earrings go in the ikat bowl, and bracelets and watches go in the crystal bowl.

I do have about 10 more pieces than what is shown in this photo, now, but overall this is still the same set up.

 

Space11

 

I also have some heirloom jewelry which I have on display, but my bedroom only houses the regular workhorses in my wardrobe.

There also is a bag of old Jess LC designs tucked away in the guest room closet (aka “the attic”) for when I have a daughter to share them with.

When it comes to headbands, I only have one. And it is hanging with my belts on these great hooks and rods from Ikea.

 

I’m hoping to get through my house this summer…but organizing the organizing is proving to be scary (it’s a big house and it’s just me doing most of it, kids aren’t much help).

Thoughts on organizing the organizing of a big house when you work full time? Thanks!

- Marguerite S.

This one I really can’t speak to from personal experience since I don’t have kids nor a big house.

I think I would personally try to devote a few weekends to doing it since I wouldn’t want it to drag on for months and weigh on me with such a busy schedule. I would also probably enlist my children (depending on age) to be responsible for helping with their items (something The Seven Habits recommends).

If that option wasn’t available, you could consider hiring help.

In fact, I was hired as a teenager to organize and clean a busy neighbor’s overflowing playroom since she was too busy to tackle the project.

Either way, it will require time (doing it yourself on nights or weekends) or money (hiring help) to resolve. You could even “hire” your kids!

If anyone else has thoughts on how to get this done, please share as well!

 

One idea would be prioritizing. Where does a rational person start? Another would be storage of under used hand me down china and crystal you can’t get rid of for various reasons.

 - Lynda M.B.

Not knowing your exact situation, I’d start with creating a vision of what I’d like the space to look like. I’d then figure out what actions and organizing would give me the most progress towards the actualization of that vision and start there.

To me, the ability to have your space reflect your vision for it is the highest priority. It may also give you the encouragement you need to keep going and complete the smaller, less impactful changes as well to complete the overall look you are seeking.

And on the china front, I’m sorry that you have items you feel you cannot get rid of! That’s really tough.

I suppose, since I live in an apartment, I would store it in Tupperware tubs under my guest bed. But you could do the same in whatever area of your home you have extra unused space as well.

 

Planning…electronic vs. paper…personal vs. work.

- Lauren H.

Great question!

For me electronic is best since it actively syncs with my phone and computer (I use Google Calendar and TeuxDeux).

I was a paper girl before, but the idea of losing that planner used to scare me. I also enjoy that my electronic schedule will beep at me and alert me before specified appointments to remind me to get a move on!

And to keep things simple I keep work and personal all in the same place. This might be easier for those that are self-employed vs. at a corporate job, however.

As far as what to plan to do when, I’m covering that in today’s WIKW!

 

Clothes, accessories and jewelry. By color, function or outfit and if by outfit what about muting use items?

- Janice W.B.

Clothes: I have t-shirts, shorts, and sweaters folded on shelves in my closet. For the rack, I do three main sections: short-sleeve and sleeveless tops, long sleeve tops, and dresses.

Each of those main sections are then color coordinated from light to dark so I can essentially find any item I’m looking for in any section quickly and easily.

Pants and skirts are on their own rack and are by color as well.

Accessories: I have my scarves and belts hanging on rods and hooks from Ikea.

Jewelry: Check out my answer to Kelsey above.

 

Paperwork!

- Kara F.

My honest answer is: I try to get rid of as much as possible and keep everything online.

This leaves me with very little paper to deal with. I have a binder for consulting notes, a hanging folder box for bills and insurance, and a plastic folder for 2013 receipts.

Past year’s accounting items go in their own plastic folders and are stored on the upper shelf of the guest room closet.

Important items like passports, birth certificates, etc. all go here.

 

I second the clothing stuff (including editing with your organizing)- its something everyone can use, but many of us don’t have the money to hire someone to help us with this daily task! Everyone is busy and rushed in the morning – an organized closet can really help start the day right. Mine is a mess.

- Ashley G.P.

This can be tricky to do if you have a hard time letting go, but I think an intense makeunder could really help you.

They say that we wear 20% of our clothes most of the time. So chances are that you might be feeling overwhelmed by your closet due to having too many items that you no longer need, use, or love.

I would focus on creating a killer vision of what you’d like your closet to look like and how many items you’d like to have and then work your exfoliating towards achieving that vision.

You could also ask a friend who is good about clutter to spend the day with you to help you to make progress as well.

Here’s a previous makeunder I did on my wardrobe which might be helpful, as well.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be back to finish answering the questions shared on Facebook.

In the meantime, feel free to share any tips or insights you might have for these wonderful ladies as well!

 

dresser photo by

pet organization

May 30th, 2013   |   DecorExfoliatingLife

PetOrganization

 

As Franklin has accumulated more stuff, I’ve been working on finding ways to store items in a pretty way.

So far, so good. Here are a few little spots around the living room that are pup-friendly.

 

Hooks

 

Right near the front door we have this little hook, found at Zara Home.

This has been his leash, harness, and coat hook. It’s simple, cute, and easy to use each time he needs to go out.

 

Leash

 

The chest near the front door also has a drawer with his brush and 30′ leash for dog park walks.

 

Bowl

 

On the top of the chest, we have trays and bowls for both Mr. Lively and Franklin.

Franklin’s hammered bowl from Nate Berkus’ Target line houses extra baggies, treats, and clickers.

 

CookieJar

 

On the kitchen peninsula, we also have a cookie jar with his medications and other treats. This my favorite way to disguise dog items in a pretty way.

 

ToyChest

 

For dog toys, we have a wooden wine crate.

Truth be told, I have the cutest little french woven basket for his toys. But Franklin’s more fond of chewing the basket more than his toys… so I’m crossing my fingers that one day I’ll be able to use the basket instead of the wine crate.

And if you look closely, you’ll notice he’s put some marks on the edge of this bin as well.

Other than these items we have a big brass trunk in the hallway that houses extra food, shampoos, and his puppy coat.

We also have a binder that has all of his medical records which has proven to be really handy.

Hopefully some of these ideas might prove to be useful for others with pet products scattered about the house.

 

2013ThrowOut100ThingsChallengeAgain

In honor of Organization Week, I am following the makeunder process and exfoliating first.*

For this exfoliation, I decided to go big. Throw out 100 things challenge big.

Because let’s be honest: the simplest organization occurs when we have less “stuff” in the first place.

Over the last five years I’ve developed a pretty good rule of thumb for items: I need to need, use, or love them in order to keep them. Anything that doesn’t fit one of these rules is a candidate for exfoliation (which means I toss out, donate, pass on, or recycle the items – depending on their potential).

In addition, I’ve had an intention to have only really nice stuff for the last five years as well. So exfoliating has also allowed me to fulfill this intention little by little,  even when I was tight on cash.

By exfoliating the items that were not-so-nice, I managed to increase the percentage of my stuff that was nice.

So without further ado, let’s get to the items, shall we?

 

1-10

11-20

21-30

31-40

41-50

51-60

61-70

71-80

81-90

91-100

 

(Confession: totally forgot to add the 99th shirt – Mr. Lively is exfoliating another two that I didn’t include in the photo because I counted wrong. Doh.)

As with past challenges, I did my best to exfoliate things in batches, when possible. So you’ll notice that there are several pairs of earrings bunched together instead of counted separately.

This helps me to really make more substantial progress with clutter and allows me to be a better editor overall.

I gotta be honest, it feels great looking around the apartment now. Less clutter in drawers or in the closet really does feel like I have “more” nice stuff.

I have found that the more difficult things to let go of are often the things that I later appreciate exfoliating the most.

Exfoliating Tip: If anyone has trouble letting go of things, especially clothing, my suggestion is to put the items you are on the fence about in a box for three months. If you haven’t gone back to the box to retrieve any items, donate the box at the end of the three month period.

And of course, if you find yourself similarly inspired to go through your home and do your own challenge, please share your post link back here so we can all check it out!

 

* Unfamiliar with the makeunder process? You can check out the four steps here.

 

TravelBathProducts

 

Good morning!

Upon returning home from camping this weekend I had the itch to organize. Everything.

So this week I’m going to change up the posting a bit and devote the week to organization.

To kick things off, I’m sharing the most satisfying project that I’ve completed in a looong time.

Quite simply: I have “solved” my bath product travel problems.

Up to this point, I always had a hodge podge of products full-size, travel size, and otherwise to throw in a cute bag and take with me on trips.

But as this weekend’s packing proved: I never really know when I’ve included everything.

For example, I was convinced that I did not pack my toothbrush on the drive to the campgrounds, so we picked one up on the way. But later I found out that I did bring a toothbrush and bought the new one unnecessarily.

And since I have the trip to Austin for the workshops this weekend, and a trip to San Fran coming up in June, I felt the urge to make a bath bag that had everything I’d ever need.

This way I only have to “pack” my glasses and birth control.

First, I assembled the products that I use.

 

LargeProductSizes

 

Though it’s kinda crazy, the products above aren’t all that I need, they are simply the larger, bulkier items that are hard to pack.

After a quick trip to Target, I purchased a solution for these big guns.

 

TinyBottles
Bam. These little bottles that came with stick-them-yourself labels are perfection.

I grabbed two of the travel packages and ended up using every single one.

The bonus here is that I have a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that I need for my hair treatment, so now I don’t need to pack mini hotel shampoos and conditioners that hurt my hair.

And things like contact solution and Moroccan Oil that before were bulky in my suitcase are now miniaturized.

Plus, the designer in me loves that they are all visually cohesive.

 

ShowerVanityBags

 

Then, my inner-nerd got even more excited.

I divided the bottles by use: one bag for the shower, one bag for the vanity.

 

BathTote

 

To house the items, I chose this large silver tote from Z Gallerie, which formerly housed Jess LC inventory for several years.

It happened to be the perfect size with two extra pockets for extra necessities.

 

FrontPocket

 

In the front pocket I have all of the quick essentials like hair ties, bobby pins, Vaseline, aspirin, and face wipes.

 

InteriorPocket

 

Inside the interior pocket I stashed some tampons, extra contacts, and first aid items.

 

MainCompartment

 

The main compartment houses the two bottle bags, a tooth brush, face lotion, toothpaste, and my glasses. (Note: I still need to add a deodorant to complete the essentials.)

 

InteriorView

 

Which happen to fit quite nicely.

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been zipping and unzipping these compartments to peek inside and enjoy the organization quite a bit.

Makeup and my blow dryer are not included in this kit, of course, but more on that later.

Each trip, I can also remove any items that won’t be necessary. But I love that this kit will now get me through future travels without thinking, “man, I wish I had brought _____ with me.” 

 

2013 throw out 100 things challenge

January 14th, 2013   |   DecorExfoliatingLife

 

As I mentioned in December, I did my annual “What I don’t want for Christmas” exfoliation after the holidays.

While exfoliating the apartment from top to bottom before New Years, I realized that I might actually have a “Throw Out” 100 Things Challenge on my hands.

Along the way, I piled the exfoliations to be photographed for the blog challenge in the back hallway.

Which means that for the past few weeks this eyesore has been whispering, “You have to photograph me before you can donate, recycle, or throw me away…” in a really creepy and annoying voice each time I walk back to the bedroom or the back door.

However, looking at my consulting schedule, upcoming workshops, design project, and Alt Summit trip over the next two weeks, the reality is that my time is better spent focused on those endeavors. So I’m ditching the traditional 100 Things photoshoot and simply recycling, donating, or throwing away these items now.

Quite honestly, Franklin is relieved.

He was concerned about how much longer I was going to leave all these awesome “toys” just out of his reach.

This also means my January wish is that you imagine how nice the 100 Things Challenge photoshoot would have looked with these items laid out precisely and documented properly, like past challenges.

That way I can get this stuff outta my house!

 

* The awesome brass trunk is not a part of the actual exfoliation. It’s in the photo because it became a perch for the exfoliations themselves.

 

 

what i don’t want for christmas

December 17th, 2012   |   ExfoliatingLife

 

Since my Makeunder days* I have had a little tradition each Christmas season. Instead of crafting a holiday wish list of all the items I want each December, I go through my home identifying the items that I would not ask Santa for.

The idea being that if I wouldn’t ask for something this year, there is a good chance that I no longer need, use, or love the item.

By doing this tradition before the holidays arrive I not only feel lighter mentally by January 1st, but I also make room for any new treasures that I receive on December 25th.

And with a photo shoot happening in my home tomorrow, I am itching to do a complete exfoliation more than ever. I might even do another Throw Out 100 Things Challenge.**

However, my schedule lately has been filled with other important tasks like Christmas Day and the With Intention launch. Which means attempting a serious exfoliation by tomorrow, or even by Thursday (when we leave for the holidays) is simply too much to handle.

So I have decided to schedule my yearly Christmas exfoliation between December 26th and New Years Eve, when I will have time off from work to devote to the process.

But I thought I’d mention the holiday-themed exfoliation ahead of time, in case anyone else would like to try the exfoliation along with me!

 

* This blog once upon a time was called Makeunder My Life and I had a heavy focus on exfoliating items I no longer needed/used/loved.

** Despite the name, I don’t actually “throw away” 100 items, I recycle, donate, or pass on any items that I can.


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