Category: Live Simply

Simplify and Organize Your Life

Fish and Cards
(Cabinet – Room & Board, End Table – Room & Board, Jars – Crate & Barrel, Flower table arrangement vase  – LSA)

“Live simply so others may simply live.” – Mother Teresa.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”  – Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  – William Morris.

Orderly Organize Things

Earlier this year, I spent an enormous amount of time organizing my home. It was organized prior. However, I wanted to conduct a thorough “walk through” of everything I own to ensure that each item in my home is something I love, is functional or is beautiful. I decided to focus on one room at a time. Thus, I started with the closet. Before I put clothes away, I thought through where each type of clothing would live.  Each item, hence, lives in its home accordingly.

I organized my clothing by occasion. My walk-in closet contains my shirts, trousers and skirts for work. My armoires house my coats and jackets. Dresses for special occasions live in the closet in one of the other rooms. Focusing on one area at a time, I tried on every piece of clothing and made a decision to either a) keep the item, b) fix the item, c) sell the item or d) donate the item.

For clothes that are in dressers, empty the space first. Thus, I took all the dresses out of all the drawers of a dresser, tried on every single piece and sorted accordingly. For those pieces I decided to keep, I folded and placed them on an empty space where I could spread the dresses I chose to keep by color and then by material. After I finished grouping all the dresses, I put them in their home, by color and material, respectively. I did the same when organizing my sweaters, jeans, shorts, t-shirts and the rest of my closet.

I use beautiful bowls to display jewelry where I could see them as I find the panoply of earrings, necklaces and bracelets both aesthetically pretty and functionally useful. For drawers in the bathroom, I use bamboo dividers to organize beauty products. From time to time, I check their inventory, which is helpful, as I would not purchase lotions from Bath & Body or Victoria’s Secret if I still have a supply of them.

Small bookcases and clear boxes serve as excellent homes to shoes! because they will be easier to find, they will be organized and preserved neatly and they will not require lots of real estate.

It feels good! every time I finish organizing a room!

Inner Beauty

In this information age when instant gratification (and impatience) have become part of our culture, we are constantly overloaded with things to do, statuses to update, people to see, photos to upload and challenges to work through. It has become more important than ever to simplify our lives.

1. Clear your mind. Let go of any negative emotions, every single pieces of anger, frustration, bitterness, jealousy, envy and hate. Let go of any bad memories including any grudges, nightmares or horror in your mind’s eyes. Let go of any worries of the future. Take negativity out of your mind by doing the following: praying to God or your Higher Power, meditating and releasing your need to control, journaling your feelings, listening to the whisper of waves or the rhythm of rain, or hiking a lake or forrest. Afterwards, take action. Take action to resolve any conflicts that resulted in any negative emotions. Take action to learn about yourself and others so situations do not repeat. Take action to forgive and forget so the past does not paralyze you or adversely affect your future. Take action to build a healthier, more loving relationship, even if it requires you to look hard at yourself, take responsibility for your mistakes, provide yourself with tremendous self-compassion and give a sincere apology to another human being.

2. Eliminate negativity in your speech. Besides clearing your mind, watch your speech. Understand when you must speak naturally, when you must think before you speak and when you must not speak at all. When you are in stressful situations, when you are angry or when you face confrontations, you may say things that you do not mean or that you will regret later. Furthermore, gossips, criticisms and abuses will add negativity to your mind, not to mention the hurts that they cause to the target of such speech. Therefore, if you have such tendencies, admit, study and change the habit. Thrive to resolve conflicts. Be congruent in your tone of voice, message and body language. Ensure your content is positive, appropriate, accurate, necessary and prompt. And look forward to deeper, more authentic relationships!

3.  Say “No” to unnecessary tasks and commitments.  Give priority to those tasks and commitments that are urgent, add value to your life or allow you to spend quality time with those you love. Say “No” to and decline any offers that do not bring any joy or value to you. To manage all of my tasks, I consider each task’s importance, urgency and amount of effort required to complete the task.  Then, I prioritize. The highest priority goes to a task with high importance, high urgency and the least amount of effort. I use beautiful “To-do” lists to create and remind myself what I want to do for the day. When I was in college, I planned my week by the hour. To prepare for finals, I broke down a topic by subtopics and allocated an hour or two for each subtopic one or two days before a final. I’ve gotten straight A’s for semesters using this method! After making a list, finally and most importantly, I take action. Now, I could cross this off my list! Mission accomplished.

Have a beautiful day! – And let your inner beauty shine!

© 2013, Fish and Cars. All Rights Reserved.

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