Do you ever feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water? Between cooking, cleaning, work, relationships, and making time to self-care, it can sometimes feel like a never ending cycle of going through the motions with no end in sight.
Phew, that’s some heavy stuff queen!
Let’s take a deep breath together though, because I got you, okay? If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years here at the Log Cabin in Brooklyn it’s that there’s always time to slow down and there are so many little tricks and practices you can implement along the way to simplify your environment, and in turn, quiet that busy, spiraling, mind of yours.
Now I’ve said it before, but I'm going to say it again: your space is a direct reflection of what’s going on in your mind. Aka, messy space, messy mind and vice-versa, messy mind=messy space. They are directly correlated because it’s straight up impossible to have a clear mind when your space is begging for you to put in work. When things are out of place, dirty and disorganized it can spark anxiety just to be sitting in those rooms doing absolutely nothing at all.
When you make the choice
Provide ground rules for yourself and form routines around keeping your space operable, organized (so you can find things when you need them), and clean, because you’ll save yourself time and headache in the long run. Trust me, this mindset and practice is the heartbeat of keeping ma'dukes and me sane here at ALCIB.
The first key here is SLOWING the heck down sis. I am so guilty of being on one 24/7 (any other enneagram 7’s out there?), but engaging in consistent practices of slowness and simplification is absolutely crucial in your ability to let go of things a little. Just wait and see how light you feel… I’m getting hype just thinking about the zen that’s about to wash over you!
To offer you a little helping hand, I wanted to cue you into 4 practices and products I swear by at ALCIB to keep things SIMPLE (so we don’t have to).
- Storage Bins. Now this might seem like an obvious suggestion or something that’s not necessarily interior design approved, but give me a sec to explain, okay? I'm not just talking utilitarian plastic bins (though if that’s your vibe, I stan queen), or throwing things into bins and never finding them again, I am talking aesthetic AND ACCESSIBLE ways to silo, categorize, and simplify your immediate living spaces. We love to use wicker baskets from HomeGoods, Amazon or anywhere else you can get them on the cheap to conceal and store things you use everyday, but don’t want just lying around.
Try designating certain bins for certain items, or categories of items. For example you can use one bin for all your remotes and tech items, all your writing and craft supplies in another, and any games in another. It might take a little learning to teach yourself to return things to their home when you’re done using them, but you’ll always know where to go to find those things later on.
- Clean Surfaces. Counter tops, table tops, your desk, nightstands, etc. can all be overwhelming to the eye when cluttered with too many things. Using the technique above, you may even consider consolidating some items into one “home”, like an enclosed basket, a dope tray, or decorative box on your surface to leave more room for the eye to rest. Note: your eyes want to have a place to rest! Giving them a blank space to stop and relax is crucial to making wise interior design choices.
- Color Coding or Color Coordinating. This one is huge for your wardrobe (stay tuned for my next blog to learn more about wardrobe simplifying hacks). If you’re a caretaker, color coding is a great way to keep everyone engaged in the organization process. It can almost feel like a fun game or puzzle to identify the appropriate color “home” for items when it’s time to clean up!
When it comes to color coordinating your wardrobe, I recommend hanging or folding items in a section of your wardrobe or drawers based off of their category (shirts, sweaters, jackets, dresses, skirts, pants, etc.) and then organizing each category by color (darks to lights, rainbow, or any other way that makes it easy for you to locate things or get dressed).
- The Kitchen. An unruly kitchen can completely take the fun out of meal time. If you can’t find what you need, are missing ingredients you thought you had, or have a pile of dishes, it can feel incredibly unmotivating. And if there’s one thing we know at ALCIB, a girl’s gotta eat! To help keep your body nourished with a smile on your face and no stress, I recommend a couple things.
- First off, invest in OXO Pantry Storage containers. Yes, they are a little pricey but when it comes to keeping things fresh, organized, and easy to find, there is no better solution. Just do it and thank us later!
- Secondly, consider subscribing to a recipe subscription box like Home Chef, or (our favorite) Daily Harvest. This is something you can do as little as 2 days a week, to give you a little break from planning and shopping, or as often as 7 days a week, depending on your needs. If you’re someone who struggles to stay motivated to cook fresh, healthy meals at home, this is a great, simple way to bring a little joy and motivation back into the kitchen.
No matter how you’re feeling about adjusting
Getting back to the normalcy that’s seemingly right around the corner, simplifying your space and getting ready to not be home as often is a fool-proof way to make sure you pass the vibe check. Implementing these practices or products into your life will really help you in taking some much needed deep breaths. Your home should be your sanctuary and a place that makes you feel proud, relaxed, and at peace. If you don’t feel that way today, now could be the time to invest a little extra work into simplifying so that you don’t have to worry about it later.
Take it from me, you don’t always get to choose when the world is going to flip things on their head. Prepare now and experience the instantaneous relief sis! Whether you’re dying to come up for air or are just cruisin, these practices are guaranteed to improve your headspace and quality of life.