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2018 Simplicity Challenge

February 06, 2018

 

The process of simplifying your life is a BIG one. It’s so freeing and exciting and it’s HARD WORK. Our 31 Day Simplicity Challenge features one step for each day that can be completed in 15 minutes or less. Physical clutter = mental clutter, so both of those areas are addressed throughout the challenge. At the end of the challenge, you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing that you’ve completed the process of purging, decluttering, and organizing your life to make margin for what matters! For daily encouragement and extra tips on the process of simplifying, join our Simplified Planner Community Group. To sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE printable e-book of the challenge, click here.

No. 1 of 31: Walk your home with a trash bag or five. Be ruthless. Papers. Receipts. Tags. Empty bottles. Go.

No. 2 of 31Go through your kitchen drawers. Do you have three carrot peelers? Two ice cream scoops? You only need one.

No. 3 of 31Clean out your fridge, pantry, and spice cabinet. Check expiration dates and throw things away. Make a list of restock needs as you go.

No. 4 of 31Simplify your phone. Delete old contacts and unused apps. Refresh your wallpaper and lock screen.

No. 5 of 31Organize the Notes app on your iPhone to hold lists of all kinds (books to read, hashtags you use, or other information you often need to retrieve).

No. 6 of 31Use the Reminders app on your iPhone to set alerts for routines or habits you’re trying to create (IE: take vitamins, put phone away, go for a walk).

No. 7 of 31: Consider reading as a brain break. Make a list of 10 books you’d like to read this year.

No. 8 of 31Walk your house with a donate bag. Schedule a pick-up or drop it off as soon as the bag is full.

No. 9 of 31Start the habit of throwing a small load of laundry in every morning.

No. 10 of 31Set a recurring alarm (or use the Bedtime feature on iPhones) for every weekday. If you’re letting your kids wake you, set it for one hour earlier.

No. 11 of 31Go put gas in your car today. While you’re there, clean out your car. Throw trash away.

No. 12 of 31Buy a few birthday cards (and small gift cards). Keep them on hand for birthdays that pop up that you’re not prepared for.

No. 13 of 31Put your number on the Do Not Call list. Visit donotcall.gov or call 1.888.382.1222.

No. 14 of 31Do something with all those precious photos and videos on your phone. Print. Back up. Store.

No. 15 of 31Consider the amount of INFORMATION coming at you all day. What can you turn off to quiet your mind? Turn off the television. Perhaps (gasp!) take a break from social media.

No. 16 of 31Identify “pain points” in your day (IE: kids getting shoes on in the morning). Alleviate these (IE: put a basket for shoes near the front door for easy access).

No. 17 of 31Dump out your purse. Throw away trash. Create a little bag of essentials. Make your bag work for you.

No. 18 of 31Ruthlessly clean out your closet. Goodbye clothes that “will fit one day.” Goodbye clothes that “don’t fit quite right but I paid too much for them.”

No. 19 of 31Clean out your medicine cabinet. Trash anything expired. Restock essentials.

No. 20 of 31Detox your social media feeds. Follow inspirational accounts. Unfollow anyone draining. Are there platforms you can quit?

No. 21 of 31Go through your credit card and / or bank statements. Identify any “subscriptions” you forgot you had and don’t need and turn them off.

No. 22 of 31Clean off your desk and wipe it down (and your keyboard). Ditch clutter. Keep only the essentials including your computer.

No. 23 of 31: Clear the clutter on your computer. Delete unused files and organize important ones. Empty the trash. Refresh your desktop wallpaper.

No. 24 of 31Take inventory of the mail coming to your mailbox. Visit directmail.com to remove your name from lists.

No. 25 of 31Make a list of ten go-to meals. Tape it to the fridge for simple meal planning.

No. 26 of 31Schedule a vacation or stay-cation for some time this year. 

No. 27 of 31Organize your inbox. Search the word “unsubscribe” and remove yourself from non-essential lists. Try Unroll.me.

No. 28 of 31Using a large piece of paper or poster board, make a list of all your commitments. Which ones can you say “not now” to?

No. 29 of 31Create your own weekly prep-list with tasks that make you feel prepared for the week ahead.

No. 30 of 31Make a list of household items you use frequently. Stock up on these. Pay attention to BOGO sales.

No. 31 of 31Rest. Schedule 30 minutes alone once a week. You give away what you put in. Take care of yourself.

 

 

Simplifying the Holidays with Enstrom Candies

November 29, 2017

Every year when the holidays come around, we have grand plans to accomplish #allthethings and make sure that our homes are decorated to Pinterest perfection and our traditions are as extravagant as those in a Hallmark Christmas movie. This is the year that we’re going to accomplish it all, right?

But what if this year we took a few minutes to slow down and enjoy the memories we create with our people without the visions of Pinterest dancing around in our heads. Remember, a home filled with love, joy and lots of laughter is much more fulfilling than recreating the perfect light display on Pinterest. We’ve discovered that the secret to enjoying the holidays and savoring the good stuff with our people isn’t accomplishing all the things, but rather, it’s planning ahead and simplifying wherever possible. And when you take intentional steps to simplify now, it will keep you from feeling overwhelmed once December comes along.

One of our favorite ways to simplify in preparation for a busy holiday season is to purchase items we know that we need in advance— stock up on gifts and seasonal treats now, so that you won’t be scrambling to find the perfect gift at the last minute. This year, we were introduced to Enstrom Candies, and they’ve quickly become one of our favorite treats to stock up on for last minute hostess gifts and special treats for our loved ones. We love that they’re handcrafted in small batches with quality ingredients, so it really feels like you went the extra mile to pick out something special. This year, we plan on purchasing a few gift sets in advance (we LOVE the Almond Toffee Petites!), so that we’re able to relax and enjoy the holidays with our people, instead of scrambling to find a gift for our little ones’ bus driver, or the neighbors down the street at the last minute.

What’s your favorite life-hack for the holidays? Hop on over to Instagram and leave us a comment. Let’s ditch the Pinterest perfection, simplify to make room for the good stuff, and enjoy a sweet, slow holiday season together this year.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Enstrom Candies. The opinions and text are all mine.

Team Favorite 4th of July Recipes

July 03, 2017

July 4th with forever be one of our favorite holidays. Summer is in full swing, cookouts are happening in nearly every backyard, and communities join together for celebratory fireworks at the end of a long, joy-filled day with friends and family. It doesn’t get much better than that! Today we’re sharing our favorite recipes for the long holiday weekend– just in case you’re still in need of the perfect dish to bring to your July 4th BBQ. You can’t go wrong with any of these:

  1. Cowboy Caviar: Leave out the jalapeños for little ones, and serve with tortilla chips! (from our fearless leader and Creative Director, Emily)
  2.  Chopped Italian Salad: Perfect with burgers on the 4th, or with pizza any other time of year! (from our Marketing Director, Gina) 
  3. Red, White, and Blue Tye-Dye Cupcakes: So easy, and the perfect dessert to share over fireworks! (from our Director of Sales and Operations, Brittany) 
  4. Spicy Corn Dip: Mix together 2 Cans Mexican (drained), 1/2 Can Rotel (drained), 1 Cup Mayo, 1 Cup Sour Cream, 1 Cup Finely Shredded Cheddar, and 1/2 Cup black olives (diced super small). Serve alongside tortilla chips! (from our Community Development Director, Dusty) 
  5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Lovers’ Brownies: Brownies are a staple at any BBQ, and these are simply the best! (from our Director of Content and Brand Partnerships, Hannah) 

P.S. Don’t forget to shop our Birthday Sale at EmilyLey.com and ELPlaybook.com! EVERYTHING on the site is up to 20% off! Hooray! 

copyright 2018 emily ley