Creating a Life Free From Chaos

The Best Way to Organize Your Home

This is a guest post from Jennifer Ullrich from A Life Designed.

I sat at my desk with a pencil in hand, making a list of things that needed to get done around the house over the summer. As a teacher who works long hours during the school year, my catch up time was over the summer months when I had time off. 

A sense of dread at all the work to be done appeared as I added to-dos to my list. Most of the items on my list kept reappearing over and over again. I just couldn’t seem to make lasting change to get my home in order. I chastised myself for not being organized enough, not taking care of my stuff enough, not tidying up enough.

Organizing things over and over wasn’t working.

Maybe…just maybe…it was time to take a different approach.

I read books and consulted websites about organizing, thinking that if I could just get better at it I could solve my clutter problem. And then I read this:

“If organizing your stuff worked, you’d be organized by now.” ~Courtney Carver

This realization changed everything for me. Sure, it helps to have a place for everything and to create order at home. But things don’t stay in place for long. Over time, keeping things where they belong requires time and energy. 

I realized that the key wasn’t a need for better organization. Organizing my stuff was only a temporary solution.

The only way to spend less time taking care of my stuff was to have less stuff.

Simplifying is a Process

And so I began the process of getting rid of the excess in my home. I went one drawer at a time, one room at a time, and slowly purged the belongings we didn’t need. Clothes my kids had outgrown, toys and sporting equipment they no longer played with, and decorative items that I purchased over the years but didn’t really suit my taste anymore.

This seemed scary at first, but the more I let go, the more free I felt. I donated, sold, and gave away a lot. 

Getting rid of stuff gave me space to think, create, and dream. ~ @alifedesigned8 Click To Tweet

My life is very different now. Getting rid of stuff gave me space to think, create, and dream. I traded my high stress job for a low stress one, started writing, and now have the time that I crave with my family. I am able to enjoy my down time because I’m not overwhelmed with a home full of stuff.

How about you? Is your home a place where you can think, recharge, and strengthen your relationships? If not, is it because your home has turned into a storage container (like mine was), rather than a place to really live

“I’d rather have extra space and extra time than extra stuff.” ~Francine Jay

How much is too much?

If you’re ready to consider the idea of living with less, know that what’s just right for you may be too much for someone else. That’s ok. Consider what you’re comfortable with, and create a home that reflects your priorities.

As you begin to clear the clutter, you will feel the difference almost immediately. With every small step you take to simplify, you will create space for something more meaningful.

Here are some benefits you can experience when you get rid of the excess:

  • Less time spent dusting and cleaning
  • No more guilt about not using things you have
  • More time with your family
  • More space to recharge and connect

How could your life be better with less? I’d love to hear your ideas. Please share in the comments below!

Jen writes about creating a simple, meaningful life with less stuff on her blog, A Life Designed. Visit her there to get updates and freebies on how to create a life that’s just right for you. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook

Tips for a Simpler Cosmetics Routine

Here’s a common problem for many women: a messy drawer or basket full of cosmetics. Even ladies who don’t wear makeup tend to have a box full of half used cosmetics. The problem gets even worse if you subscribe to any kind of monthly subscription of cosmetics, like Ipsy or Birch Box, which are incredibly popular these days. It can get crazy in there real fast.

I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I was struggling with extra mascaras, ever so many lipsticks, partially used foundations and B.B. creams that just didn’t work. Clearing out my makeup drawer made mornings so much simpler and faster, since I wasn’t having to dig around for what I wanted.

It will make your mornings so much easier if you can simplify that mass of makeup into only the products you use daily. Think about creating a “5-minute face” with just the minimal products so you can be primped and out that door quickly. Store the special occasion make-up in another basket or bin, out of the way of your daily cosmetics, so it’s easy to access but not in your way everyday.

Here’s my version of the 5-minute face that greatly simplified my makeup basket.

  1. Tinted moisturizer with sunscreen — it gives a hint of color plus sun protection in one.
  2. Bronzer or blush — I always use a little bronzer or blush because otherwise I’m pasty and pale. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly.
  3. Mascara — accentuates my eyes without needing eyeliner and shadow.
  4. Finishing powder — again just a little brushed across my t-zone so I’m not so shiny.
  5. Lip color — this is what really makes me look “done.” As long as my lips are on point, I’m good. I’m not very good at reapplying though, so finding this product was a game changer for me.

When Red Gate Beauty offered me the opportunity to try out cult favorite Lipsense, I was curious. Does it really last all day like fans claim? That would simplify that whole pesky reapplication process AND let me declutter all the half used not-quite-right lippys cluttering my basket, my purse, the counter, you name it.

I chose the Napa color Lipsense with matte gloss. Application is pretty easy — three coats that you let dry before coating in the gloss. I checked my lips all day long. Color was still there, just like it was in the morning! No reapplication of color! It is smudge-proof, waterproof, and kiss proof. I love how it’s lead-free, wax-free, gluten-free, vegan, and not tested on animals.

Now I did have to reapply the gloss several times — without it my lips felt dry. But clear gloss is so much easier to apply than needing a mirror and steady hand for color reapplication! Removal was easy — I used some micellar water to wipe it off.

Red Gate Beauty is offering a 15% discount when you shop at and use the coupon code bloggymoms15. Love that!

I received a set of Lipsense color and gloss for review purposes from Red Gate Beauty. This fair and honest review contains my own opinions and do not reflect the views of any other third-party. I have received no other compensation for this review. This is disclosed in accordance with FTC guidelines.

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