Honest Simplicity

my winding road to a simpler life

Category: challenges

Staying Grounded on the Move



We’ve been packing up and moving every couple of weeks.  This quick pace makes for exciting travel and gives us the opportunity to explore fantastic new sites, but it can become disorienting.  Honestly, I hadn’t any forethought about this potential side-effect of nomadic living.  I was gobbling up new experiences without any cognizance of needing to stay connected along the way.  Who focuses on planting roots while purposely f Read the rest of this entry »

Creating Independent Children

I just finished reading a wonderful book, Balanced and Barefoot, which challenged me to take a step further in loosening the reigns I have on my children.

20161014_105352I feel like my kids are fairly independent at home.  They play outside a lot, they use their imaginations to entertain themselves, they have been doing household chores for years ( Read the rest of this entry »

A Wandering We Shall Go


For some time now, we’ve been itching to do some traveling.  It’s not because we can’t stand our house (I love our house) or because we are feeling stuck in a rut (we’re content with our lives).  Rather, it’s about wanting to step out of our comfort zone and into the unknown.  It’s about feeling really alive and not having regrets.  It’s about making memories as a family and taking Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with 7 News Denver



I was privileged to participate in a segment on 7 News Denver about the benefits of simplifying one’s wardrobe.



Spring Cleaning Bug


The spring cleaning bug bit me this week and took hold.  I’ve vacuumed up dust bunnies and the insides of drawers, removed tiny toys hiding out under the living room furniture, tossed books and clothes unapologetically into my donation pile, and recycled other odds and ends.  It all feels very gratifying.  Admiring one tidy shelf is quite satisfying.  Emptying out an entire drawer is even better.  Just because I have (share) 6 dresser drawers doesn’t mean I must fill them all.  Don’t you love walking into a room that is free of clutter?  It is soothing to the soul.

How about you?  Have you started your spring cleaning yet?  Do you know where to start?  Identify which area of your house Read the rest of this entry »

Wardrobe Under 100!

As part of my journey of simplicity, I have been chipping away at my wardrobe…slowly but surely.   Participating in Project 333 has helped me tremendously.  Each season, I count up all of my clothing and accessory items to be sure the overall total hasn’t increased.  The tally had been hovering above 100 for months.  I kept whittling away, focusing on the goal of a simpler, tidier, more streamlined wardrobe filled with the clothes I actually love wearing.  Gone is the habit of stashing an unadored shirt or Read the rest of this entry »

Wardrobe Tally

Every now and then, I count each item in my total wardrobe.  I pull open my dresser drawers, scan the closet, and check the laundry hamper.  This tally includes clothing, shoes, scarves, outerwear, sunglasses, hats, gloves, and purses/bags, (you get the picture).  I do count underwear and socks as 1 grouped item.  I’m not aiming for some magical number, but I like to see that the overall sum isn’t increasing.  Practicing Project 333 helps and I try to follow the one in one out rule throughout the year, but I’m not meticulous about it.  My number as of today stands at 109.  I was surprised to see that I’ve actually accumulated two more items since my last count.  In that time, I realize I added a slip and a pair of shoes.  It looks like I could find two more things to clear out.  I’m glad I counted, because those purchases could go easily unchecked and add up over the months and years.  When was the last time you did a wardrobe tally?  I find that it is a helpful simplicity exercise and a good reality check.  Decide what number works for you, whether that is 50 items or 300.


clothing tally in progress next to donation box


my side of the shared dresser

Read the rest of this entry »

Project 333

Do you look into your closet and feel overwhelmed?  I used to feel that way, too.  Perhaps it is time to simplify your choices.  For the past couple of years, I have participated in Project 333, started by Courtney Carver.  Basically, every three months I pick out 33 items of my clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and jewelry to include in my wardrobe for that season.  The rest of my clothes are tucked away in my dresser drawers for the next round.  If you’re telling yourself that is great for you, but I could never do it, don’t be so quick.  If 33 items doesn’t seem like enough for you, change the number.  If you don’t want to count shoes, don’t (I didn’t count jewelry this time).  If you are serious about giving it a try, though, I suggest checking out Courtney’s starter course.  More people are growing tired of excess and desiring simplicity in their lives.  This desire to minimize one’s possessions and distractions is catching on.

The Denver Post interviewed me recently for an article about simplifying your wardrobe: http://www.denverpost.com/smart/ci_25959708/minimalist-clothing-challenge-spurs-closet-clean-outs



Challenge Yourself

I love speaking about simplifying my life and hearing how others are doing the same, so I decided to start this blog.  This is not my first blog, though.  Previously, our family started a challenge of going a week without buying plastic.  That week turned into roughly a year.  At the end of it, we kept some changes and tossed others.  For instance, we still buy Lush bar shampoo, have a small 1.3 gallon kitchen trash can, bring our own shopping bags to the store (most of the time), use less single purpose plastic disposables, buy recycled toilet paper, etc.  We also buy plastic these days, but less of it.  It was an eye-opening experience that changed us for the better.  Don’t be afraid of a challenge.  You can make your own rules and you can even break those rules.  You will learn something valuable either way.  Don’t let fear of failure stand in the way of growth.

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