I’ve spent the last year of my life immersed in this topic. Decluttering, simplifying, cleaning out the old, the extra, the necessary and making way for the good, the best, the favorite … giving it room to shine and sing in your life. I’ve written about this time and time again—even wrote a book on the topic. But I’ve also lived it. If you’re in the process of simplifying your life right now, know that I’ve lived that journey too. It’s hard. It’s life changing. Almost to the point that it’s hard to put into words what committing yourself to a simpler life will do. Let’s get a few things straight before we dive in this week.
Simple does not equal small. Simple does not equal mundane. Simple does not equal boring. Simple does not equal SETTLING.
Simple is rich and beautiful. Simple is easy. Simple is refreshing.
A simplified life has an ease about it, even when life throws curveballs. A simplified life is one lived with intention, purpose, and love. A simplified life is rooted in routine, rhythm, and tradition. A simplified life has a cadence about it that is both soothing and foundational. A simplified life provides a sturdy foundation upon which ambition, creativity, and adventure are built.
YES. Just yes.
I want that for myself and I want that for my children. Give me the calmness and comfort of a home and family built on things that are steadfast and true—on faith, on love, and on character. Why am I after a simplified life? Because the rest of this world feels really complicated. And sometimes unexplainable. And if I can control (to some extent) what happens inside the four walls of my home, then step aside. I have work to do, and I am all in. I want every room in my home, every space in my house, every cabinet, every closet, every bed and bathroom to feel lived in, welcoming, and lovely. I don’t mean lovely in the sense of “decorate with allthethings,” but lovely in the sense of colors and patterns that make me smile, photographs and artwork that evoke a memory or a feeling, and the clarity and inspiration that comes with all of that.
YES. Just yes.
So I don’t organize to make our home perfect or photo-worthy. Rather, I organize, simplify, declutter, and have committed myself to this lifestyle because it matters. It matters in eternal, important, enormous, everlasting ways. Thank you for joining me on this journey this year. A Simplified Life hit the Amazon Charts (#3 of All Books), the USA Today Bestsellers List, and the Washington Post Bestsellers List. That blew my mind, of course. But what touched my heart so much were all the notes, messages, texts, and emails I received from so many of you who worked through that book and literally changed your lives. You dug in and did the hard work and are reaping rewards left and right. Thank you for sharing those stories with me.
As we embark on this four-day adventure in simplifying our lives, I want you to know two things: 1) You are in charge. You get to decide what you say yes to and what you say no to. 2) Laugh. As 2018 is just days away, I have a feeling there will be times we just need to LAUGH. There will be good times and hard times ahead. Celebrate the good times with ice cream sundaes and dance parties. And when the hard times come, give yourself permission to watch Anchorman. Or eat a cheeseburger (with A LOT OF FRIES). Or take a nap. Like, a long nap if you want. My dad always says we can’t take life too seriously, and I totally agree. Let’s have some fun next year, okay?
Nervous about decluttering your home? Start with this: Go get some trash bags. You probably have plenty. Start with a general sweep of your home. Pick up all the trash. Napkins. Tags. Old papers. Envelopes. Junk mail. Wrappers. TRASH. Pick it up. Throw it out. Next, make a general sweep of your home and grab things to give away. BE. RUTHLESS. These two exercises will give you a boost of confidence and a taste of the fresh start to come when you really dig into your home.
YOU deserve a home that is simple, clean, organized, and lovely. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a tiny home or a big home, an apartment or a farmhouse, have six cats and twelve children or live solo. YOUR home should be a place of rest and respite—an escape from the outside world. Let’s do this.
MY 10 FAVORITE PIECES OF DECOR IN OUR HOME
in no particular order
- My Lindsay Letters canvas. I have this family rules one, this Christmas one, and this one (that is technically a Christmas one but I’m leaving it up all year). It’s big. Makes a statement and is so gorgeous and unique feeling.
- Ginger jars. I love how traditional and fresh these are. I was eyeing these expensive ones from Williams Sonoma but wasn’t about to spend that much. So, I found some at Home Goods from $9.99 to $24.99. Jackpot.
- Navy gingham pillows from Caitlin Wilson. They’re so cute and they hold up well with little messy kiddos.
- Boxwoods and topiaries. I just love them. I get most of these from Home Goods, but some of them are actually real plants. I just spray them with water every few months and they’re good.
- Wreaths from Mud Pie. I don’t have a lot of front porch decor, but I swap these out every holiday and they’re so cute and festive.
- Pineapples. Not only are they our brand’s icon, they’re the symbol for southern hospitality. That’s something I want our home to exude. Here are a few recent favorites: 1 and 2.
- Family yearbooks from Artifact Uprising. Okay, so these aren’t technically decor pieces, but they’re so special to me and they just look so pretty all lined up in a row.
- Brady’s bronzed baby shoes. Be still my heart. So meaningful and pretty. I got them done here, I believe.
- Kids artwork cork boards framed by Framebridge. I took three 24 x 36 cork boards (one for each child) and covered them in linen (adhered with spray glue). Then I sent them to Framebridge and had them framed with their Mandalay frames (without glass). They’re some of my favorite pieces in our home. We put the kiddos’ artwork, certificates, and sometimes photos up on them to display.
- This mirror from Target. I just think it’s such a good price for how gorgeous this mirror is!
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Simplifying 2018 series and lots of fun giveaways, discounts, tips and more as we head into the new year. And, if you haven’t picked up your Simplified Planner yet, now’s the time! Orders over $100 get FREE domestic shipping until January 2! Get yours before they’re gone! AND my new book, A Simplified Life, is available here! Looking for more inspiration this week? I had a blast on Jen Hatmaker’s podcast this week as well as Jesus Calling!
Also, check out our new FREE Community Group! This has been on my heart for a LONG time. The process of simplifying your life is a BIG one. It’s so freeing and exciting and it’s HARD WORK. But it’s best done in community. With friends who can cheer you on, hold you accountable, and give you ideas. Friends you can ooh and ahh over before and after pictures with! Friends who can remind you it’s worth it to keep going when the clutter seems like too much (both physically and mentally). I’m THRILLED to announce we’ve just opened a FREE Simplified Life Community Group on Facebook (I know, not everyone is on FB – but its the easiest, *simplest* place to host such a thing – so get on FB even if just to join us). I’ll be there too and just can’t wait to get to know you all better. Hop in before we start our Simplicity Challenge January 1 and introduce yourself! Join here.
Win one of 40 (!!!) prize packs, including special-edition “Joy + Simplicity” pencils and an EL notepad!
Giveaway winners will be contacted on Monday, January 2. Open to U.S. Residents only.