1.26.2011

An Organized Life: Being Transparent

I know you have heard me say before that my word for the year is SIMPLICITY. Did I happen to mention it was also my word for last year? Although I do believe I made huge strides last year I feel as if this year I have some room for improvement on my journey to live a simple life. I am going to share weekly what I have done to get closer to my SIMPLICITY goal. This week there will be two posts instead of one because I figured you all do not want to read a novel.

{via The Polished Pebble old home- LOVE}

What I love about blogging is finding others who share the same goals. The sweet lady over on Lavender and Lilies is also going through some great ideas to simplify on her blog. I am borrowing quite a few for myself such as "only buy it if you love it". She is talking about wardrobe, but I could easily apply this to all areas of my life.

 {via here via the nest}

Emerson Made who was just featured in the nest might just be the posterchild of being organized and living simply. I love how she said "keep only what you need, and keep it in plain sight. No hidden junk". This one may be harder to obtain, but I am willing to try.

 {part of Emma's assessment}

Emma took photos of her own home and evaluated what it is she liked and what needed changing. I love how she said "I feel like I have a road map now of what to tackle next and where to direct my money and energy". I too am adopting this idea. I feel as if I seem to make the same mistakes over and over in my home. There are countless times that I have bought things and quickly regretted them. I am hoping having a well mapped plan will keep me from making unnecessary purchase.


Seleta's 2011 words for her year resonated with me too. I really could just copy her list word for word, but I guess that would be cheating. The one that spoke to me most was to be more "playful". I find myself getting too serious at times and I am afraid that robs moments with my husband and kiddos that should just be fun. I analyze everything which is odd since I am quite laid back on the outside. Oh, and by the way I completely failed at this while doing this blog post. Got frustrated with the kiddos, ugh.

 This year the Mr. and I also talked about our future and what would benefit us most as a family. Well, to make a long story short we are going to try to be even smarter with the money God has blessed us with. We already take living debt free quite seriously. Our only main debt is the house. So we are going to try to dwindle that down in a five year plan. This means my not forever house is going to become my long term house and my love of spending will HAVE to be smarter, not much extra to play with.  I know in the long term this will be quite good for our family financially, but to be honest it will be hard because you all know that I dream of a move, but we are blessed with what we have so I am going to find joy in it.

Like I said a novel...

55 comments:

Missy said...

Love this post. I am the same way, people think I am laid back but inside I'm freaking out. Which is not fun. Thanks for sharing this, it helps give me focus on my own goals too. :)

allison said...

It's a nice novel...a very good read! I think we should all live more simply and keep our family at the center of our goals.

Andrea said...

This happens to be a huge goal of mine as well this year, live simply (oh and save money too). Kind of goes hand in hand. Love this post!

Katie Baba Nielson said...

my husband and i started financial peace class last night at our church and i'm excited/nervous about making some BIG changes in our life. maybe we can help each other out with tips for succeeding in the "spending less" category. i am currently on a "shopping hiatus," and it's going well. also, i have been on the "only buy it if you love it" plan for many months now and it is so much better than the old way! good luck with your simplicity theme, Paula!

Melissa said...

I love your goals and words as something we all need to strive to do. I know I need to be more organized and buy less! I would kill for that pantry!

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

Great post and one that really resonated with me too! I have vowed to get certain areas of our home more organized and simplified this year and I agree that planning is the key to making informed & worthwhile purchases. I just finished up purging & organizing our pantry and it feels so good to live with less. Must attack the next projects with this same mindset!

Natasha said...

Lovely post Paula. We are works in progress :) I'm also trying to be more aware of the things that I need to work on and constantly trying to better myself. You have great goals and ideas!
Natasha xx

Haven and Home said...

Hi Sweet Friend,

This is inspiring me. I want simplicity too. Can we do it together? I have not bought a single thing in the month of January I didn't need (well maybe a starbucks or two) and it feels great! I want to try to continue on that path.

Living It At Home said...

You are so young and have plenty of time to move and enjoy something different! Time really starts to fly as you get on in years so....enjoy your kids mostly! They are little now but soon will be off doing their own thing! I loved this post and your honesty~ Beautifully written and love the organization ideas!

I find I spend money on non-essential items and need to focus more on what would really make our lives better...give us better quality of life! Our home is still not completed and I am trying to prioritize and keep it simple too! You are doing great!
xxjamilyn

Melissa said...

Paula, this resonates so much with me-- you brought me to tears in the Barnes and Noble Starbucks where I'm wi-fi-ing today! I recently found and devoured "A Country Farmhouse" blog, and I kept trying to figure out what I loved so much about it. Finally it occured to me that Trina seems to be an expert at living thoughtfully. Her choices are deliberate, guided by love, and devoid of unnecessary frivolity. What a lofty goal-- to cut life down to only things that make you happy-- when you put it that way, "simplicity" sounds SO much better than excess, no? I will join you on this journey!

Smitten Design said...

i like your novel. all wonderful and goals. you know what they say- write those goals down and post them where you are reminded of them. thanks for sharing.

Joslyn said...

i love this post...such a thoughtful and smart way to take on the new year. and you know i'm all about embracing the simplicity!

xoxo

Ashley said...

Amen, Paula. I too am going through similar efforts to simplify, specifically with the intention of living with less "stuff" that has no meaning or significance for me. I really appreciate you sharing your goals. As Natasha already said, all people are "in progress" while on this planet and can consciously change our daily lives with simple steps!

Joyce said...

A wondeful post!! Since my close call illness I too have been simplify things too. I feel how can I open my arms to welcome new when there are some cobwebs in the corner. smile... For example I have a small room in the basement I call my entertaining room. I only buy things for this room, if I love it, but then I have to let go of something else. Enjoy! xo

Sherri Cassara said...

I loved everything you said. I smiled when you said simplicity was your word for last year too! Living simply, living within our means, having a roadmap or master plan ... such great things. Even your 'being more playful' resonated with me. Great post - very real and very inspiring.

Fancy House Road said...

I love the first photo from The Polished Pebble. Talk about Meyer's heaven! If I had that much Meyer's in my life, I'd be one happy lady.

P.S. Emerson Made's pantry is amazing! In my next house, I want a pantry just like that.

-Camberley

Marianne - Style For Living said...

I'm with you, Paula! I too am cutting back on spending. Keep foucs of the long term goal and it makes it all worth it! By the way, Emerson's panty is pretty darn amazing.

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Such a great post! I have too much stuff and need to simplify, it's hard to get started and get rid of things sometimes. I feel inspired today.

elizabeth@themustardceiling said...

What an inspiring post. I think it would benefit most to try and live simply, get organized and try to live in the fun moments. I am working on the same goals in my life this year. Would love to read more posts on how you're doing it.

Tiffany @ Savor Home said...

You are so inspiring! My New Year's Resolutions post included some of the exact same goals. I have also missed out on a lot by being too serious and try to stay too organized. So I think there is a fine line there. I look forward to reading about how things go! And I dont mind a novel... :)

Lissa @ After Adornment said...

Great word for the year! Mine is complete...as in actually get things done! Part of that is getting organized though so simplify is a great way of looking at that project.
I also love the idea of Marion's assessment...genius! I could do this in all areas of my life.

la la Lovely said...

Love this post, Paula. Gorgeous, resourceful and encouraging. I could take the playful pledge as well. Just let go a bit and not take life too seriously. Can't wait to check out the links and looking forward to you're future posts!
ps- yes, start saving for Alt.. it was a worthwhile investment.. i'm going to do my best to find a way to go next year, even with a baby in tow. It was that worth it!
xoxo

FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

LOVE this post! I'm really trying to simplify my life too and it's a real challenge. I also fell in love with Emma's house assessment too and have been wanting to do that for my own house. Thanks for sharing this - I look forward to seeing your progress and hopefully being inspired to do the same! :)

Pink Wallpaper said...

love your novel and you inspiring me....i am so that mom that gets frustrated w/ the kiddos and i want to be that "fun" mom not the nagging one. can't wait to read the next chapter :)

Aimee@ the Functional Space said...

Thanks for writing this all down! This has very much been in the air at my house as well. The Husband and I live pretty frugally but want to try to simplify our lives even more. But I am constantly dreaming and scheming a new kitchen, a new bath, or a completely new house really! It's hard to put away all of those thoughts in favor of what we have now. (Made doubly hard by the fact that I do that for other people every day) I would really like you to continue this conversation. I'd love to hear about your strategies for letting go of the dream (of a new house)for now and finding peace and playfulness in your new simplified life.

La Maison Fou said...

That is my teenage sone favorite quote!
Yes, simple is best.
L.

Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss said...

Loved this post. Just what I needed to read today. xx. brooke

simply seleta said...

Not only do I love the aesthetic of this post, but the message is wonderful! And thanks for including me, Paula : )

xoxo

karen said...

what a lovely post! i can hardly wait to do a home assessment of my own.
we have also done financial peace & love it. thank you too for the tips on your journals to track spending.

Hana said...

if only more people have your same thought. my favorite quote for years has been "live simply, so that others may simply live." i'm with you in this goal! xo

EFT for Cancer said...

This is one inspiring post! Living life and appreciating little things can get you to great places.

YellowBirdDayBook said...

My word for this year is also "simple". I vowed, very quietly, at the beginning of the year to donate, give away, or trash one item per day. Then at the end of the year I would be 365 items lighter.

So far, so good. Some days it is more, but most days it is one-two things. I put them in the garage and then when Purple Heart calls they go on the front porch.

I can't wait to see how your new simple year turns out.

Erin from Skoots and Cuddles said...

i loved this post. thank you.

Heather said...

This all sounds like a terrific plan. Appreciating what you have seems to be a strong motto for many these days, and a nice ideal to live by. From what you've posted about your house, I think it looks just lovely, and you've done a great job with it. AND, anything you and your husband do with your photos looks amazing, so really, if you just hung them up all over your walls, you'd be living your motto! Great art...great price! Simple!

Beth said...

The Lord will bless you for being so responsible with your family's finances. You can do it!

Leslie said...

So many things in this post hitting close to home (and heart).

P.S. that grey scarf and sweater combo rocks.

shopgirl said...

This is a really good post Paula! I'm totally about living without debt, other than our mortgage. I'm sure in the long term, you'll be really happy and at peace with your decision. You can write to me anytime to get support in this.

xoxo

Michelle said...

Great photos! Love those old fashioned sinks, sigh.

Cassie said...

Brilliant post Paula. I love your goals for the year and would love to rid my home of 'hidden junk' - somehow cannot see that happening completely. Some days I think that it would take a move to seriously rid ourselves of all the things we horde.
Good luck with your tough plans for the year ahead.
xx

Wendi said...

I think your goal of being smarter with money is great! It has the added benefit of removing stress from your life which gives you more years to live!

simplesong | suann said...

great post - paula! inspiring, to say the least.

wideopenspaces said...

yeah for simplicity! yeah for transparency! yea for contentedness! preach it, girl!

Allison {Live Love Small} said...

love this post and how honest you are. i too, tend to get caught up and find myself being serious when i should really live in the moment. cute photo of you!

Anonymous said...

Really good post! Enjoyed it.

carolina postcard said...

This is such a nice post. There's a lot of things I "want" but I try and remind myself of all that I have. There are so many blessings in life, sometimes you just have to pay attention to them. Thanks for sharing!

LindsB said...

I want to buy lots and lots of those glass jars so I can have a storage space like Emerson Made, I am so obsessed with that!

LindsB said...

I want to buy lots and lots of those glass jars so I can have a storage space like Emerson Made, I am so obsessed with that!

Jackie said...

This is a great post Paula. It parallels my 2011 theme of authenticity. I wrote up a blog post similar to this detailing my plans. It feels good to have some groundwork set. Good luck with your goals.

SHERRY HART said...

Every time I clean out my closet and see the things I only wore once or twice I cringe....The trick is to not even put yourself in that situation...I have not been to the mall since early December and that helps! Beautiful post!

Birds of a feather design said...

Thanks for this Paula! It is so inspiring. Makes me want to be a better steward of His blessings:)

Jill said...

I love all that you shared, thanks for your thoughts.

LobotoME said...

Love this post Paula! We are on a 5 year pay off the mortgage plan too...its going to take ME staying way the heck away from anthropologie for the next 5 years. ow.

LAURA!!! said...

Consistently an inspiration you and your family are!

Sarah said...

It seems you and your hubs are a lot like me and mine... we are always save save save but have already slipped up this year..
I love the spread in the nest on EM. Her home is simple yet gorgeous.
I really enjoyed this post. Well said Paula.

laura said...

Hi, found you through Jenny!

I love this post as it puts into words, much better than I ever could, exactly how I feel.

Our long term plan is to pay off our mortgage early..it's hard work but will be so worth it on the end.

Good luck to you :)