Our Simple and Sweet Peach First Birthday Party

I'm not a great party planner, but as I started to plan out Gemma's first birthday party, I had a couple of things in mind. I didn't want it to stress me out. I wanted to honor the simple living/ minimalism practices we value as a family and keep it simple. No overboard, Pinterest-perfect party. And I wanted to have it in our home. Overall, I wanted a simple first birthday party, but I wanted it to be special, too.

The theme would be peach, since I called Gemma little peach since day one, and she took on that nickname from Nick and I ever since. 

Soon after I decided I didn't want to stress, as the date approached, I became stressed. I was stressed about sending out the invitations, for one. We were inviting 40+ family members and friends (because we both have big families that live near us), and oh how I HATE gathering addresses. It's the reason I barely send out Thank You cards until 6 months later after an event, or "forget" about Christmas cards.

Friends, I love snail mail when it comes to my own mailbox, but I still can't wrap my mind around adding the slow practice of addressing envelopes to my already full day. Does that make me a bad minimalist? A good one? A bad mom? A bad party planner, surely.

Either way...Nick and I talked it out, and we ended up texting the invitations. We just texted out the image that I hand lettered using my Ipad. It was his idea, and it worked perfectly! Sorry to all the snail mail lovers out there, but if party planning is overwhelming you, this is a good place to simplify.

Decorations

As the party neared, I did find myself on Pinterest for inspiration (mistake? maybe). But I didn't get roped in. Instead, here was how I kept the decor simple but till sweet and beautiful, and on the cheap:

-A few tassle garlands we had left over from my baby shower.
-This party decor kit from Amazon with a ton of pompoms (I used like 5, but my younger cousins had a blast making the rest of them)
-A "month" photo garland from Target that I found last minute. Ended up being my favorite part of the decor. I can't find a link to it online- sorry!
-Some peach table cloths for outside
-Baby's breath in mason jars we already had
-Peaches! Edible decorations that we used for lunches and snacks the rest of the week.
-A few balloons, of course.
-White plates (because anything else felt too expensive) and white and gold napkins all from Target.

I wanted simple and pretty party decor. It brings me joy to have simple but cute decorations in my home daily and for a themed party, so I simplified it as much as possible, and didn't spend much time or money on it at all.

The Outfit

Not much to say here, other than I wanted to find a sweet first birthday outfit for Gemma that went with the theme and that wasn't going to break the bank (because most that I saw were 70-100+ dollars for one day of wear). Gemma has too many clothes already for me to justify spending a bunch of money on one dress, so I found one on clearance at Target that was the perfect peachy color and super sweet.

These photos were taken by my brother before the party. I love how simple and playful they are. 

The Food/ Drinks

We also kept this super simple and didn't cook any of it ourselves! I'm all for that life. I'm not the greatest cook and I'm not cooking for 40 people. My mom did make some of it because she's wonderful. And we also had other family bring a ton of food, which we didn't expect, but it was super helpful! If you have a small budget or want to simplify even further, asking family to bring food is always a great way to do this! Here's what our food list looked like:

-Sandwich sliders from Walmart (so good!)
-Chicken from a local store that has great fried chicken!
-Buffalo Chicken Dip (made by mom)
-Meatballs (made by mom)
-Veggie tray (made by nana)
-Other food that family unexpectedly brought!
-Cute cakes from a local cake baker that is super inexpensive and delicious
-Beer! (it was Steeler's Game Day after all)
-Peach sangria recipe from Pinterest
-Water
-Peach iced tea

The Party

We tried to plan it right for Gemma's naptime, and it worked out perfectly. It also happened to coordinate perfectly with the Steeler's Game, too!

As all of our family and friends arrived, we ate and the party was mostly taken outside because of space reasons. Food and decor was set up in the house and there were plenty of tables and chairs that we borrowed from family outside. There was also a TV set out outside thanks to my brother (because the party basically consisted of the game and Gemma eating cake at halftime!)

During halftime, Gemma cake smashed and loved the cake a little too much, got her first sugar rush (and hopefully last for a while), and opened presents/ played for hours as everyone went back to the game (or watched Gemma play). 

It was such a fun time to celebrate Gemma with family and friends, and I'm so glad we made it work to host so many people in (or outside of) our small little home!

I have to say, my family did so much of the work, and my mom should probably go into professional party planning.

Either way, I think we succeeded in keeping it simple, not spending a ton of money, and not going overboard, but celebrating our sweet little girl in the sweetest way.

Here's our podcast episode where we talk a little bit about this party, Kid's Birthdays, and Gift receiving and giving as minimalists.

If you're throwing a first birthday party soon, I hope this helps! If not, share it with a friend you know who may be hosting a first birthday soon!

6 Reasons You can Stop Buying Baby Toys

When I was pregnant, one thing I told myself was that I did not want baby toys to take over my living room. I've seen it a thousand times- a nice home overrun by baby and kid toys all hours of the day, even after cleanup and bed time. My house wasn't perfectly decorated or organized, but I didn't want more stuff to take over.

But after the baby came, no sooner was my living room filled with 2 different swings, a play mat, and a couch and floor overtaken by baby toys.

As she got a bit older, the swings turned into an exersaucer and a jumperoo. And the toys all over the place? They only multiplied. Even when we found space for them, they still ended up overflowing. There seemed to be a little toy bin in every room.

I accepted it as the way of new parenthood, but then I started to observe Gemma and see her play habits. First of all, she seemed to get bored with most of her toys within 30 seconds. Mostly, she just wanted to take them all out of the toy bin and drag them around. But she seemed much happier dragging around a wipes container, a clean diaper, or some kitchen appliances like measuring cups.

Even better, she liked to play in the Tupperware drawer in the kitchen, or climb into and over top of boxes.

When we started to adopt minimalism into our life and declutter our entire home, Gemma's toys were a hard spot for me. I knew she had more than enough, but at the same time, there were only a couple small bin fulls of toys, and since our culture is one of overabundance, I questioned the thought of her having less than she did. Plus, I knew she couldn't say whether or not she wanted a toy, and I had a hard time making that decision for her.

The toys we did purge definitely didn't make a difference to her- other than maybe helping her have less toys to dig through to get to the ones she wanted. With everything else in my house, once I started purging, I just wanted to continue. With Gemma's toys, again, there is just a bit of emotional attachment to them, even though she barely plays with most of them.

After several convincing conversations with my husband and one with my nana, I've started to realize how unnecessary baby toys really are. Of course, some are good to have, but an overabundance actually can affect the quality of life of the whole family.

So if you are a new mom, or even a well seasoned one, and you feel like you are drowning in baby toys...

Here's why I think your baby (and you) will be much happier with less:

1. Your baby doesn't use them- If your baby is anything like mine (and another baby I observed earlier this week), faced with a choice between a fun-looking, noise-making baby toy and a Tupperware lid, the baby will choose the Tupperware lid. Gemma would rather crawl around and play with "real" household items than even look at most of her toys. Your baby is probably the same. Why keep around something that takes up your space and energy (everything you own does this to some extent) when it isn't even being used?

2. Your baby will most likely choose a measuring cup over the latest fancy developmental toy. The stuff I have in my kitchen cabinets, a box that comes in the mail, the wipes container....all of these things are way more exciting to Gemma than pretty much any of her toys. Why spend money and take up space with dozens of toys that your baby isn't choosing to play with if you have plenty of fun objects in your cupboard that you can re purpose as baby toys?

3. Too many toys can have a negative, overstimulating affect on your baby's brain. It's pretty common knowledge that babies are easily over stimulated (and if it isn't common knowledge, you learn it pretty quick when you become a parent). It only makes sense that toys scattered all over the floor would be overstimulating for a baby. If you're a parent, you've probably experienced the screaming baby after playing a little too long or seeing too many different faces in a short period of time. Nick and I personally started to realize that Gemma wouldn't play well for very long in our living room when her toys were spread out everywhere compared to a tidy room with more space and less toys. It just makes sense that this would be the case- adults don't thrive when things are scattered all over the floor (or just disorganized in general) so why would babies?

4. Babies thrive with more space- especially older babies. Around the same time we noticed that Gemma didn't love to be in a room that felt closed in by toy-clutter, Nick noticed that she absolutely loved a room that had basically nothing in it. At the time, she was about 7 months, and we had a room that was nearly empty as we were getting ready to move. That child would crawl around and play contentedly with a toy or two for loner periods of time than I'd ever expect a baby to entertain themselves. She was so happy with empty space and room to move. Space to move is important for older babies, and from my own observation, a baby is happier with open space and less clutter.

5. You will be a less stressed out parent. The best thing you can give to your child is your calm, positive, and happy self. I am not the perfect picture of this by any means, but having less toy clutter around the house, and less clutter in general, makes me closer to being that person. Even if you don't think its affecting you, studies show that visual/ physical clutter overstimulates our brains and causes us to be unfocused and stressed out people. Sometimes I wonder if this is why so many parents are stressed out and have negative feelings about parenthood in general. In our culture, it's normal that having babies/ kids means having so much more stuff around the house. The stuff causes clutter and the clutter causes stress. Have less toys and have less stress. It might honestly be that simple.

6. It creates good habits for a less toy-cluttered future. Right now, your baby doesn't know whether he/she has an abundance of toys or less than the average baby. When they get older, they will know the difference, and if they are used to having an excess of toys from day one, they'll continue to see that as the norm, and the habit will become extremely hard to break.

That doesn't mean parents of older kids have no hope for decluttering and having less toys in the home. You are the parent. You make the rules. You set the boundaries. Your kids will adjust. Here's a great article on why fewer toys will benefit kids for parents of older kids.

But if you only have babies right now- start good toy habits early. Have few and only what is needed or what seems beneficial to your babe. And continue to do this as your baby turns into a child.


With all of this said- it is still hard for me to purge Gemma's toys. I feel like her things still take over a bit, but I'm working on it.

I want to give my baby the best, and our culture tells us that means we should give our baby lots of things.

But babies have developed and thrived with WAY LESS before the inundated baby product culture we currently live in. And honestly, they probably developed and thrived much better than they do now when they are most likely overwhelmed with way too many toys.

I know that what is actually best for Gemma is to give her a space where she can thrive- a home that she can move in- a home that doesn't continually overstimulate and distract her while her little brain is growing so fast. And I know starting these good habits of living with less early is a way I can love her well.

Being a new mom (or a new parent) is already stressful enough. More stuff causes more stress. You shouldn't have to feel guilty for wanting less clutter in your home and more space to breathe.

If you have a house that has been overtaken by baby stuff and baby toys, please know I'm not judging you or saying you are wrong. I have a ways to go myself, and some days my house feels a little too overrun by baby stuff we've somehow re-accumulated. I'm simply offering another perspective- and hopefully giving you permission to say goodbye to the overwhelm that comes from the clutter your baby's stuff is causing.


Is clutter an issue you can't seem to figure out how to get rid of in your life? I feel ya. I always thought I was totally fine living with clutter, and even if I wanted to change it, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around how I would do that. But then I discovered minimalism, and everything changed.

Want less stress, less overwhelm, less time cleaning, and more time to spend intentionally with your family and doing the things you love?

It really is possible- and I created a guide to help you get started, using the steps that worked for my family and I. It's already helped other mamas do the same!

I need that guide, please!

How Changing my Mindset is Changing my Life (and my motherhood)

It was nearing five pm. Gemma was extra clingy and I was feeling pretty exhausted. The panic started to set in- "Where in the world is my husband? He said he was going to work out quickly and be home. Doesn't that mean he should be home by now?" The negative mindset slid in pretty quickly. I started feeling sorry for myself.

"I've had a long day, during nap time I can't even relax because I have to work, and yet I seem to have gotten nothing done. My to do list is endless. The house could use picked up. We have so much less stuff than we used to, but still there's a mess after a busy day. I'm so done with today"

(by the way...my husband is amazing and he was not taking an extra long time...I was being dramatic)

I quickly put myself in a pretty bad mood that I blamed on Gemma and my husband when it was really my fault.

The next day, after reflecting on this spiral downward that seems to happen often, I realized how unwarranted it truly was. I get to work from home and be home all day with my extra sweet baby, which is the EXACT thing I want to be doing. Yes, it's tiring, but how in the world did I get so ungrateful about the very thing I prayed for and hoped would be able to happen? Seriously?!

I didn't necessarily make this revelation on my own. I was listening to a podcast by Rachel Hollis and her words helped me along in realizing my negative mindset.

However, I did realize I was being dramatic pretty much as soon as my husband got home. I just didn't really know what to do about it. "I'm always like this," I thought. "It's just me- I get anxious, and I get tired after a long day, what am I going to do about it? This is just how motherhood is."

Wrong.

This is not "just how motherhood is."

This is how our culture has made motherhood out to be. Granted, I have one baby. I don't know what it's like to have multiple or what it's like to have a toddler or a teenager or anything more than a 7 month old. Still, I stand by my belief that motherhood is not supposed to be overwhelming and miserable. Yes, it's busy...it's incredibly hard and I know it will only get harder. But miserable and joy sucking? I don't think so.

When my mindset is in the right place, I absolutely love being a mom. It feels like the most joyful thing I could possibly do. It's hard, of course, but it's the really good kind of hard. The kind that grows you and changes you and, sure, tires you out, but all because you've got your heart walking around outside of you in the form of a tiny human. It's the best.

So why do I often find myself complaining about little, insignificant things, so much so that I end up bringing myself into a terrible mood I can't snap out of?

It's because I'm conditioned to complain about motherhood.

I'm not sure how I got here. Maybe it's because the culture around me has made me expect that motherhood should be overwhelming and a little bit miserable. The things people say to you when you're pregnant, ugh. "Get ready to never sleep again! Say goodbye to your sweet, sweet freedom! Just expect to be tired for years." Their "advice" can leave a mama-to-be wondering why in the world anyone, including herself, would have children.

We go into this motherhood thing with ominous warnings. And then, when the hard stuff comes from pretty much day one, we start to feel sorry for ourselves for the things we've said goodbye to instead of feeling grateful for the sweet little life we are now in charge of.

There really could be a million little things that go into why so many mothers are unhappy. I have found that the times when I find myself discontent instead of full of joy are pretty much all about my mindset.

What I realized is that about 99% of my discontentment and negativity has to do with me.

It's my fault when I find myself full of negativity because of the story I'm telling myself, about myself. I tell myself I'm not enough. And then I get myself thinking that I don't have enough. I tell myself that if my day wasn't filled with exhausting things like a wild, crawling baby and work, I'd be less tired and able to get more done. I tell myself these stories, and when I reflect on them, I realize they are pretty ridiculous and untrue.

I started to focus on gratefulness, instead. Since this cranky day last week and the revelation I had after it, I've been working to change my mindset.

When Gemma gets tired or fussy, instead of letting myself go into that downward spiral of anxiousness and discontentment and feeling sorry for myself, I remind myself how wonderful the miracle of motherhood is. I get myself into the present moment instead of worrying about what I have to do next. I sit with her and play with her. Or I hold her and nurse her. I listen to what she needs and I serve her the way a mother is called to, and I remind myself how grateful I am to do it. Is there really something I'd like to be doing instead? This is it. This is the ultimate thing that I am called to right now. 

As I remind myself to be grateful and present, it's amazing how the discontentment, anxiousness, and downright grumpiness disappears.

If I don't consciously remind myself to stay grateful and content with what I have, it's amazing how fast it will return.

Friend, whether you're a mama or not, I want you to know that this practice of gratefulness and presence is changing me. It's only been just over a week, but I'm so determined to keep it up. I believe it can change you, too.

Get outside of your own head.

Look at your life as an outsider, or as yourself five years ago. What are the good things you have that you couldn't have ever imagined? Be grateful for those things- they are good and perfect gifts from God. It hurts my heart how many times I find myself ungrateful when there are beautiful things filling my life.

I'm not saying circumstances and motherhood aren't hard. I know that you might be fighting really hard battles that I can't even imagine. I know that multiple kids and older kids bring challenges that I don't know about. I'm not saying you have to seize every single moment  with your babes and never feel overwhelmed or tired or grumpy.

I am saying that choosing gratefulness and contentment causes us to focus on the good instead of the hard. Doing so has made me exponentially happier. 

So, how can you change your mindset and your life if you're finding yourself unhappy, day after day?

Declutter your mind.

Pay attention to your thoughts. Are you constantly looking ahead to what you have to get done, feeling anxious or ungrateful? Catch yourself in those moments and literally count your blessings. List what you're grateful for in the moment, right then and there, and then get a notebook out each night or morning and actually write those things down. Specific things. Every day. Crowd the negative thoughts out with gratefulness. And then get yourself into the present moment, and stay there.

These are the steps I'm taking that are truly making a difference in changing my mindset.

This is the real reason I'm finding myself smiling more.

It takes daily, sometimes hourly reminders to focus on the good. Though it takes work to kick negativity out of my thoughts, it works, and it has brought so much more joy to my everyday.

I hesitated to write about this because I'm such a rookie. I still get overwhelmed which leads to anxiousness and complaining. But it happens so much less, and when it does, I try hard to catch myself and turn it around. This is a process- and I couldn't stop myself from posting about it because it is really, so life changing for me, and I believe it can be for you, too.

I believe that motherhood should be joyful. I don't want to miss the chance to live that out. I don't want to miss out on an abundant, fulfilled life because I wasted my days away forgetting to be grateful and focusing on what I don't have.


Feel like your mind is cluttered, too? I elaborate on this and more ways I'm working to change my mindset and declutter my life in my free minimalist resource, "Your Minimalist Life Startup Guide."

Get the free guide now!

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Three Easy Ways to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom

When I first became pregnant, the thought crossed my mind that I never really thought would; I think I want to be a stay at home mom. I never really thought I'd want to stay at home with a baby. As soon as my little love was growing, though, my mind completely changed. I knew I wanted to be the one to raise my baby throughout her days.

At the time, I was teaching English full time. I knew a career as a teacher would provide me time off that most other careers just don't offer, but I also knew it was really demanding work. Stressful, time consuming, life consuming work. Right away, I knew I wouldn't want to teach full time with a baby, so I looked to make a change.

Long story short, I ended up taking a part time teaching position in the same school. I'm still in this position. It has allowed me the flexibility to still earn some stable income while being home with Gemma 2 or 3 weekdays, depending on the week and my teaching schedule.

This was a hard decision to make, as I knew the income from this job wouldn't be enough. Because I wanted to be home, at least most of the time, with Gemma, I knew this was the decision I was going to make anyways.

I ended up getting to take an almost four month maternity leave, which was wonderful. Going back to work, even on such a part time schedule, was still really hard. My schedule isn't great for childcare, and childcare is expensive. Next, year, I won't be going back to this part time job at all.

I'll write more on why I'm stepping away from teaching in a future post, but for now, I want to talk about how we are "affording" to make this decision, and how I have been able to "afford" to be a part time stay at home mom in the first place.

I've often had some working mom friends tell me that they wish they could afford to do what I'm doing- so that's where the idea for this post was born.

Here's the thing- We can't afford it.

The reason I've put the word afford in quotes up until now- well, it's not a thing. Going part time was partly a step in faith, and partly a carefully calculated step. But we've struggled financially because of this decision, and still, I'm taking it even further and not going back.

Being a stay at home mom is something I want. It is part of my values and what I want for my family. It is not for everyone, but if it is something you want bad enough, I believe you can make it work.

So, no, it wasn't and isn't easy to make the decision. We can't afford it, but we have made it work. If you want to stay at home, you can do the same.

We can't afford for me to be a stay at home mom, so I'm a work at home mom.

Easier said than done, right? I have a whole post on how I get stuff done with a baby, and I know as babies get older and drop naps, it will become harder. But I actually do have to work for us to be able to afford me staying at home at all. So I make it work, I find a way, I work during naptime, after bedtime, in the mornings, on the weekends. I actually enjoy working from home, though it took a lot of adjustment.

I can't stress this enough. If you want to be a stay at home mom, I believe you can make it work.

Here are a few practical steps we have taken to make more money and spend less that might help you see staying at home as a possible reality.

1. Work from home

If you are pregnant right now- begin looking for work that you can do from home right now. It won't be as easy to figure it out once your baby is here. Get started now.

If you already have baby(ies) and want to stay at home, it might be hard to make this step work, but I know a lot of moms who do it. Find something, anything, that you can do from home, in flexible hours of course because babies schedules constantly change.

If you aren't pregnant, don't have babies, but think you might want to be a stay at home mom in the near future, start now. Find a job that you can do, flexible, from home. It was a coincidence that I already had one part time, from home job. This gave me confidence that I could find more income from home so that I actually could stay home with my baby.

2. Start a side hustle

I've only just begun with my hand lettering shop, but it has brought us a bit more income that has been helpful to pay for little things throughout the month. If you have some kind of hobby that can be turned into a business without a lot of overhead cost, why not try it out? This could be a way to make extra money so that you can stay home.

Check out my shop!

 

3. Spend less

It may seem obvious, but many people can figure out how to afford staying home just by adjusting the budget. Really think of need vs. want. We have a lot of monthly costs, so we found ones that we could cut. Here are the top things we cut from our budget:

-Cable (we do have a smart TV and use Netflix) -Going out to eat/ for drinks (you naturally won't do this as much with a baby_ -Takeout (it's tempting, but just make easy dinner meal plans for the week) -Baby things (we buy stuff used or get stuff free/ borrow from friends) -Clothing (I buy secondhand only if I need it)

These have made the biggest changes to our budget, but we've also simplified our possessions in general. Look at your budget and think of what you can cut. I know there is so much more I can cut from my budget, and I plan to continue to do so.

4. Work Part Time out of the Home

This is what I chose to do to start, and it worked well for the time being. If you can't fully be a stay at home mom, this is one way to make sure you spend more time at home with your baby, but still work as well. I ended up wanting to stay home fully, and child care was hard with this option, but it is an option- and not a bad one!

If staying at home with your baby is something you want, there are ways to make it work.

I know everyone's situation is different. For some people, it may truly not be possible. But if you're looking it up and you clicked on this post, you're trying to find a way, and for you, I do think it's possible. These are just three easy ways my family has made it work, and I'm so grateful it has.

It isn't easy, but it's worth it, like most anything that matters.

P.S. If you're a working mom, go you! If you love what you do and working is what you want to do, that's awesome. You do really hard things, and I admire you! All moms are superheros. Working mom, stay at home mom, work from home mom, whatever it is that you do- you are doing what's best for your family and your babies. I'm not trying to say one is better than the other. Just had to clear that up!

Want to declutter your entire home? Here's where to start.

We have been decluttering our entire home for over a week and seriously cleaning out everything we don't have a purpose for. It's a lot of stuff. A disgusting amount, really.

Want to declutter your entire home? Here's where to start.

But it's so satisfying to see the transformation that happens to a room when you really think of what is necessary vs. what is currently there and truly purge. It's even more satisfying how much life simplifies from the process.

I won't pretend that it isn't a lot of work to declutter your entire home. In the past, our efforts have really just created more of a mess. We've done a lot of "leveling." Leveling is when you declutter one room but just take the excess stuff from that room to another to clear out one room at a time. However necessary this might be, if you don't finish the job, it just creates more of a mess in another room.

This time, we're doing some leveling, but we are committed to finishing. Every single room in our home will be decluttered. Every closet, every storage space- everything.

We aren't finished with our decluttering, but we've completed our master bedroom, our master bathroom, our kitchen and pantry, Gemma's room, and halfway through our living room and the office/playroom. We haven't really begun the guest room, the guest room or upstairs bathroom, but we're getting there.

We've done a lot, and still there is much to go. But we're committed to finishing, and I'll update here when we do.

Starting felt a little bit overwhelming, like starting anything sometimes does. Here are some tips from our own experience of how to start if you're looking to declutter and simplify your possessions.

Start with the Master Bedroom

The master bedroom in our house was the neglected room. Even though it's a room we spend a good amount of time in- and important time (hello, much needed sleep!), it always ended up cluttered.

It stored lots of baby stuff, and let's just say my side of the closet was overrun with clothes. So were my drawers. And the floor, too.

So we decided to make this room into the relaxing place it should be instead of the cluttered storage space.

If you're looking to declutter your home and you've got a master bedroom that has turned into a storage unit, it's a pretty good place to start.

Once One Room is Finished, the Next is Easy to Start

Finishing one room completely is a satisfying feat. Once you get there, you won't want to stop at just one room. Just do everything you can to get one room finished, and you'll most likely keep up the momentum for another, and another, and so on.

Pick a room you know you'll finish. If it isn't the master bedroom, great! What room do you know you can actually complete?

Conquer Small Projects

Our master bedroom wasn't a small project, but as we were finishing it, we conquered a few small projects to help move things along. We decluttered two small bathrooms, and it made us feel accomplished and kept us going for the bigger project.

What small projects can you take on and conquer right away?

Remove Everything from your Kitchen Countertops

When I heard this idea, I didn't think it would be realistic for us. Turns out, it was...almost. I moved things around in our cupboards, got rid of things I didn't need, and found a new home for the appliances and clutter that lived on my countertops.

We did end up keeping a drying mat and our bottle drying rack on the countertop, but otherwise, they're empty.

Cooking has never been better and the kitchen has never looked so organized and clean. I highly recommend decluttering your countertops!

More than anything, just start.

It really doesn't matter how you start. These are just suggestions- but any way you start decluttering is a good way to start. It might look way different for you than for us because all of our homes and lifestyles are different.

Want more ways to get started with Minimalism? I elaborate on all of this and more in my Minimalist Life Startup Guide! Get it now- it's totally free!

Know someone who needs some decluttering inspiration? Share this post with them!


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