So its 6 months into quarantine and I’m sure we’ve all done some major decluttering.
Have you sat back and scratched your head thinking "How on Earth could we have accumulated so much stuff since the last big clean out!?"
Our family has moved 4 times in the past 4 years, and I feel like I do this Every. Single. Time.
So, I’ve come up with a few "Rules" for keeping the clutter from ever making its way into my home in the first place!
- Home Decor
Ok, so this one is my kryptonite. I’m a sucker for a cute quote or Wall hanging. So, I’ve made myself this rule:
If you don’t know exactly where it is going to go in your house, Don’t leave the store with it.
It’s helped keep a lot of Hobby Lobby sale items from ending up in a linen closet with the rest of my “I don’t know where I’m gonna put this, but I just have to have it” pile.
I actually broke this bad habit last year with my 2019 resolution of not buying anything unless it was thrifted or sustainably made (Goodbye random Target finds!)
BUT, I still follow this tip to keep me from falling back into bad habits:
Don’t purchase it unless you already own all the necessary pieces to complete the outfit.
Aka: Don’t have a top that will match that cute skirt in your hands? Does buying that dress mean you’ll have to go on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes to match? Yes? Then , PUT IT BACK. Unless it’s something you NEED (like you started a new job and need to buy a full outfit for your new dresscode), ain’t nobody need to be buying pieces you can’t wear with clothing you already own.
3. Also Clothing Related
Don’t Buy Pieces if You Already Have a Go-To Outfit for That Occassion.
Let me give you an example. Back in the day, my favorite piece to purchase was a cute dressy top to go with my favorite dark wash jeans and sexy heels. Sleeveless of course. It was my go-to Girl’s Night Out outfit. I lived in NY. I could only wear it when it was over 50 degrees because I hate being cold. Guess how many opportunities I had to wear those outfits? Maybe 3-4 a YEAR. I probably owned a dozen of these “perfect” tops that I got to rotate through EVERY 3-4 YEARS.
Moral of the Story: Even if it’s Super Cute and Fits like a Glove and it’s even On SALE. . . if you’ve already got a go-to piece that fits the bill, don’t buy a new one unless you’re ready to Replace the old one.
4. Personal Care Products
Any other former Bath & Body Works die hards!? Current B&BW die hards!? Remember the dozens of lotions, body washes, and hand soaps stockpiled under bathroom sink!? Ever have so many you don’t know what to do with, that you grab some to wrap up and re-gift in a pinch!? (GUILTY!)
Ok, so let me let you in on a little secret, No one needs that many personal care products.
I know, I know, but what if their bi-annual sale suddenly disappears OR You feel the need to switch scents!?
Lucky for me, I broke this habit when we went non-toxic (Bye-Bye Bi-Annual Sale Temptation!), and when we did so, we adopted a new rule:
Keep No More than 1 “back up” personal care product on hand at a time.
So yes, we keep 1 on hand because you never know when you’ll run out, and there may not be time to run out and grab a replacement (or order one if you get a subscription box like we do).
But that’s it. No More crazy stockpiles. No more googling “does lotion go bad?” Just one basket under the sink of “backups.”
And let me tell ya, it is FREEING.
Have you ever gone through your closet and look at the giveaway pile and think, “man, I wish I could re-sell some of this, but I don’t even know where to start?” Welp, here I am! Sharing with you a few of the tips and tricks I’ve used to re-sell over a hundred items of clothing items on Mercari this past year.
Photos are Everything. Make sure you show the item on a solid background of a contrasting color (ie. a white top laid out on top of a dark colored sheet, or black pants hanging in front of a white wall).
Also, make sure to take photos in natural light if at all possible. Bonus points for photos of someone wearing the item (sometimes you can find stock photos from the brand website) and flat lays that show other items that you could potentially pair the item with (ie. if you’re selling a white top, show photos of just the white top, then include one photo of the white top next to a pair of jeans and boots).
Get Descriptive. Make sure to include all important information like the brand, color, style, size, and material. Give measurements if possible. If you’re not savvy with fashion terms, make sure to ask someone (or google) for the correct style terms. You’ll get much better results if you are trying to sell a trench coat and use the proper term of “Trench Coat” rather than “Jacket.”
USE THOSE TAGS! The tags are there to increase your audience. Use the tags to include terms someone who would like your item might type into the search bar (that are not already in your title). For example, I might post a trenchcoat for sale and use the correct term “trench coat” in the title, but add the term “jacket” as a tag. Or, I may be selling a J.Crew top, and add the term “Gap” as a tag because they are similar style brands and attract similar customers.
Mercari suggests that items that include Free Shipping are 2x more likely to sell. This means, you cover the shipping as the seller rather than the buyer paying for shipping separately. If you choose to do this, make sure to account for the cost of shipping when you price the item.
I have found the least expensive way to ship clothing items is in a poly mailer. I’ve been using these ones from Amazon and like how cute and sturdy they are. You can use a website like Pirate Ship to save extra money on shipping. All you need is a small kitchen scale at home to weight the items, and a printer to print the label at home. Shipping an item under 1lb in a poly mailer generally costs me between $3.50-$4.50 per item. Multiple items can be shipped in a small cardboard box for around $8-$9.
4. Pricing it Right
When pricing your item, you want to keep a few things in mind. First, consider how much is the lowest you are willing to take for the item. Then, factor in shipping costs if you are planning to offer “free shipping.” Next, factor in Mercari’s cut. Mercari takes a portion of the final sale (10% plus a small processing fee).
I also like to add a few dollars for “wiggle room.” Mercari gives the option to promote an item by dropping the listing cost 5%. They also give you the option to offer a sale price to people who have previously “liked” your item. If you start by posting your item for the lowest price you are willing to take (factoring in shipping and Mercari fees) you don’t give yourself any “wiggle room” to drop the price to promote or to offer a sale.
Pricing Psychology says people are more likely to feel they are getting a deal when the price ends in the number “9” or “7.” (ie. $17, $27), when possible, stick to those numbers and avoid numbers ending in “0.”
But I’ve learned to make the most of those 5 Glorious minutes by turning my shower into a SPA by dropping a few drops of essential oil on the walls.
My favorite oil to do this with is Eucalyptus. The steam of the shower mixed with the scent of the oil turns my whole shower into a Fresh-Smelling, Invigorating, Dream. It’s Amazing. And it will make the tiny bit of time you get to wash yourself so much more Luxurious feeling!
2. Drink Your Water
Drink a Full Glass first thing in the morning. Prepare it the night before and leave it on your nightstand if you have to!
Most of us don’t get our daily water intake as it is, leaving our skin looking dull, making it harder to focus, and leaving us feeling sapped of our energy.
One of the best things we can do to care for ourself is drinking adequate amounts of water, and one of the easiest ways to start our day off right is with a big ‘ol glass first thing in the morning!
3. Get Quiet
While You’re Getting Ready, When You’re In the Shower, On Your Way to Work . . .
In today’s day and age we are going Constantly. There is so much noise, it can make it impossible to think.
If you’re someone who doesn’t get a lot of peace and quiet, make it a priority to add it to your daily routine- whether that means taking a minute of silence before you turn on your phone in the morning, turning off the radio in the car, or keeping your shower time your quiet time. Prioritize a few minutes each morning to be in the quiet and hear your own thoughts.
If you liked these 3 Self Care Tips, I bet you’ll love my blog post on “Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind.” Check it out here!
Hi, My name is Alison, and I am a self proclaimed coffee addict- or at least I was until about 3 weeks ago.
Now just so you understand how deep my love of coffee runs: I have a coffee bar in my house. I own a pour over, french press, Turkish coffee set, a Nespresso, and too many mugs. I was the friend who was Always up for coffee, and I never turned a cup down. My childhood favorite ice cream was Coffee flavored, and I drank my coffee black. I LOVE coffee.
So how on earth would this self proclaimed Coffee Addict Accidentally give up coffee?
Let me Share with you my Story.
In addition to being a long time coffee lover, I am also a lifetime long anxiety struggler.
My anxiety has always been a struggle, but up until 3 weeks ago, I didn’t realize (or didn’t want to admit) that my coffee habit had anything to do with it.
Now let’s be clear, I’m not saying that Coffee was the *cause of my anxiety, but that it contributed to it.
For a while now, I had been noticing a trend: my anxiety seemed to be worse after drinking coffee. At first, I thought perhaps I didn’t have enough food in me, so I began eating with my coffee. Nothing changed.
So I tried giving up coffee for a day.
And I noticed something.
Though my anxiety was still there, I didn’t have the racing thoughts, tight chested, heart thumping out of my chest anxiety that I was used to fighting.
I wanted it to be a fluke, so I tried again.
Same Result. My anxiety was there, but it was more subtle and easier to manage.
So on Day 3, I had my usual morning cup. This time, I was a jittery, anxious mess. So I went 2 more days without drinking any.
My next cup, gave me a raging headache so quickly I couldn’t even finish it.
That had never happened to me before. It was like my body was saying “Don’t you dare go back, I like it so much better this way.”
And so here we are, 3 weeks later, and I’ve accidentally given up coffee.
I have had it once since the raging headache, hoping desperately something had changed. It hadn’t. My body is still anti-coffee. But it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I have re-discovered my love for hot tea and found a way to replace the energy I desperately sought from the caffeine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my coffee. It was like a warm blanket on a chilly Autumn afternoon. And yes, I’ve tried Decaf, but it’s just not the same.
So while I hope that someday, I can return to enjoying my hot morning cup, I can’t deny that life is much more peaceful when I don’t have my mind and body running a hundred miles a minute. And that I don’t miss a bit.
If you liked this post, Check out this post on Identifying and Eliminating Triggers to Take Back Your Peace of Mind!
I’m convinced that one of the hardest things about marriage is not allowing the “small stuff” to get to you.
A sock on the floor, a chore left undone, not being 100% present in the conversation, in the grand scheme of things, they are all pretty minor. But, when we allow them to compound, they can become a bitter root that tears up the whole foundation.
So what do we do about these small irritations??
Here’s 3 things Ryan and I have learned when it comes to sweating the small stuff:
It can be so easy to think “it’s not that big a deal” or “it’s not worth mentioning.” And while our mind may (and even rightfully) tell us it’s not that big of a deal, if it’s enough to sit like a grain of sand in an oyster and irritate us, it’s worth mentioning, because unlike an oyster, the result isn’t a pearl.
One thing I will throw in here though, is mentioning it at the right time. Mid-irritation is rarely the right time to bring things up. Another no-no is when you spouse is already irritated with something else. If at all possible, wait until both parties are relatively free of other stressors. But don’t wait too long either. Within 24hrs or before bed is generally the rule we keep.
2. Humility is Key
As human beings, we are naturally defensive creatures. Recognize that approaching your spouse with an irritation will likely trigger a defensive response. Ryan and I have learned one of the best ways to combat this is to use language like “This made me feel” rather than language that assumes your spouse’s motivation.
Sometimes your spouse will argue that their motivation or intent was not what you believed it to be. In those times, it is not our job to correct them, but to trust that they are being truthful in their intent, and it is our job to work together to assure that we are on the same page moving forward. Which brings me to Number 3 . . .
3. Recognize you share the same goal
I cannot stress this enough.
At the end of the day, both spouses have to operate from the belief that these conversations are necessary and that both parties share the the ultimate goal of a healthy and Joy-filled marriage. When you trust that your spouse is coming from a place of pure intention, it changes the way you communicate.
If you like videos and want to see Ryan and I in Action, check out this 10min unscripted video of us chatting about this very subject!