The Simplify Project: Week 1
Welcome to The Simplify Project with Amy Seiffert!
I once found canned tomatoes three years expired in my pantry and a layer of unpackaged stale saltine crackers lined the third shelf in my cabinet. I kept telling myself I would get to it later. Clearly I’m the perfect guide to simplify your life.
I get it. Life is chaotic and our closets and clutter reflect it. But we don't have to live this way and I'm loving my simplified life I've embraced over the last 3 years.
Emily Ley literally wrote the book on simplifying: The Simplified Life. And her philosophy is simple. Trash bags are your best friend. Buy nothing new for your simplifying project. Remove what is not useful, beautiful, and meaningful. You can do this!
You’re reducing so your spaces can breathe. So your brain can breathe. So you can breathe.
Simplifying lowers stress, saves time, and reduces choice fatigue. Only in America do we even have a term called “choice fatigue.” But it’s a thing. Your brain gets tired by noon because of all the choices it has to make, staring into your closet, deciding your breakfast, sorting out what you need for the day. By the time you’ve made it to work, you’re already depleted.
But you don’t have to live this way. Granted, simplifying can’t SAVE you. I’ll reserve that for Jesus. But it can help you and your family live and breathe better.
We are going to have three pillars this month as we simplify.
Envision. Envision each space you are working with before you simplify. How do you want this space to feel? How do you want it to look? Calm? Cluttered? Spacious? Accessible? Open? Tidy? If you have a vision, this will help you stay focused and simplify.
End. End extra spending this month. Do not buy anything new. You are coming off of a lot of spending from the holiday season and have certainly acquired new things. Simplifying is not only an outside job, but it's an internal decision to believe you have more than enough already.
Eliminate. Ruthlessly eliminate your multiples, your extras, your clutter, your non useful, beautiful, and meaningful items. Use a trash bag as your weapon. BUT also use a big bin/tub/box for the Maybes. You may want to eliminate something but are unsure you will need it later. Put it in your Maybe Bin in your garage. If at the end of the month you have not missed, then donate it. Easy.
This Week: The Kitchen
It’s often the heart of the home, but it’s packed to the brim with dated canned goods, several of the same utensils, and half used jars of salsa. We are starting with the kitchen because we are in it so often.
You have a week to do the kitchen so you could conquer in one day or divide by sections and do one a day.
Pantry: Take every single thing out. Wipe down shelves. Sort what you use, what’s expired, and what canned goods to donate. Replace like things with like things. You did it! Good job.
Refrigerator: Take every single thing out. Wipe down all shelves. Sort what you actually use. Do you have three ketchups? Consolidate. Take stock: what are you out of? Add to your next grocery list. You did it! Yay!
Cabinets: Take every single thing out. Wipe down all shelves. Are these items useful or do you use it once a year? Do you really need it or can another utensil or item do the same thing? Can you donate? Maybe Box? Try to only keep what is most often used. Make space. Do you use that donut maker? Be ruthless. Do you have any open shelves? Choose like colored things and remember that you do not have to pack your shelves. Let them breathe. High fives! You did it!
Countertops: This is my favorite space to tackle! The countertops are often the most visually cluttered space in the house. Clear them off completely. Wipe them all down. Look at them. Breathe deeply. Enjoy the space.
Empty space is not negative, it is actually positive for the soul. What would you ideally like to be on the counter top? Think it through. YOU can decide. Lovely plants? Your wooden cutting boards and a few wooden spoons to warm it up? Have fun with making your space yours. Don't over clutter it. I have a few pretty jars of baking ingredients, my stand mixer, and a cake stand with baked goods inside. We also have olive oil and most used spices in a tray. That's it. And it's lovely. Often butcher blocks aren't needed as knives can be stored in new found drawers space. Same goes for various machines, toasters, blenders, and spices that also can be stored away in a cabinet when you're done for the day. You did it! Good job!
As you go along this month, take photos, share your journey, and tag me so I can celebrate all your progress!! Be kind, be ruthless, have fun! Feel free to ask questions too. You're doing it! GOOD JOB.
Good work and see you next week,