Organizing Challenge – Paperwork – Part II: A Possible Solution to Our Short-Term Paperwork Dilemma

• Photo by Anete Lusina on

Part II – Continued….

Gathering the Supplies. I have to say that after I learned more about this system, I went out and got the supplies that I thought that I would need to put a “Sunday Basket” together. I purchased the following supplies:

  • A black, Sterilite carrying case with a clip-style closure
  • Files and manilla folders
  • Highlighters – (I had these, but just gathered them up.)
  • A label maker and cartridges – (Again, I already had these supplies.)
  • Writing Supplies and White-Out – (I gathered up what I already owned as well.)

The supplies were not too much – and some were just my preference to have. Below are two photos of the Sterilite container that I am using as my “Sunday Basket”. (I purchased this Sterilite carrying case at Target, in case you are wondering.) Also, the top of the carrying case has a large area where supplies can be kept. Personally, I really like this case for what I am using it for.

• Photos by Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey •

Putting the Framework Together. Now, in regards to putting my “Sunday Basket” together, I made sections that were categorized by color. This is not something that you would necessarily have to do. Again, it is just my preference to color-code it in this way. My “Sunday Basket” is just an example of many, but I wanted to share it with you since it has been working so well for me. With that said, I would say that categorizing in this way has helped me by making it easier for me when I am filing paperwork and looking for a specific category of files or an individual folder. The first category of files that I made in the front of my “Sunday Basket” is light orange and contains files for all incoming and outgoing paperwork; the “Outbox”, “Inbox” and one folder for papers that need to be filed (“To File”). The next group or category of files are a teal-blue and all have something to do with papers that require something to be done with them. They are “To Do”, “To Pay”, “To Call”, “To Fill Out / Write To” and “To Read”. Originally, I had one large folder that I had for anything “To Do”-related, but found that it is much easier for me to break this paperwork out into these different category groupings. I love having them separated this way because if I have a short amount of time during the afternoon, I can grab the “To Call” file and make the calls that I have in this folder. When I am done with this, I just put the folder back in my “Sunday Basket” and can go on to my next activity, and so on. It makes this so efficient for me which I absolutely love!

• Photos by Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey •

The next folder category that I have is in a folder with a bright yellow tab to help capture my attention. I created this folder after being inspired by another suggestion that Dawn, The Minimal Mom, had when it came to indecisive paperwork. She had mentioned that she has a container separate from her paperwork that she refers to as the “Time Will Tell Bin”. In this bin, mail and paperwork that was questionable whether to keep or not went into it. Also, not everything that went into this folder was immediately necessary to follow-up on. The paperwork and mail can be kept in this bin until it is used or until the expiration dates for the material or activities passed and it could then just be recycled.

I created this folder to use in a similar manner to the way that it had been described, except that I wanted to keep this folder and paperwork in my “Sunday Basket” instead of separately. For me, this has worked out great because it has kept all of my currently, undecided mail and paperwork at bay and has therefore not gotten lost or mixed in with other paperwork. I also love that all of my current year’s paperwork is completely contained within my “Sunday Basket”. It’s really nice to know that I don’t have a bunch of paperwork strewn throughout my other folders that are actually organized and ready to be dealt with. So knowing how I am with loose papers when they are sitting around (usually in small piles), I felt that it would be better for me to adjust and modify the “Time Will Tell Bin” so it worked for me. (However, having it separately is an option, if this works better for you.) Since I began utilizing this folder in this way, I have been quite satisfied with how I have been able to keep these papers organized until I address them, if I choose to do so – or eventually just recycle them.

This photo shows how in this stage of getting paperwork together, you would sort your papers into various files. This stage of the process will set the paperwork of for the next stage in the Sunday Basket process.
• Photo by Anete Lusina on

The next category of files in my “Sunday Basket” have to do with other files that I would frequently use each week. These purple-tabbed files include the following folders: “My Projects”, “Budget Planning”, “Taxes for the Current Year”, “Updates for the Control Journal” (A term that the Flylady uses for what is essentially a home planner that I’ll be addressing in a future article.), “Menu Planning”, “Coupons”, Receipts” and “Stationary”. I have to say that this portion of files are so great for me because it makes budgeting, weekly menu planning and choosing coupons to help save money, work seamlessly together. In addition, having the receipts placed into a folder after these helps so much when having to check online orders and such. They are all together, right at my fingertips!

The next folder category subsequently following the others (and is a dark orange-tabbed folder) is the one for “Sentimental Papers”. I decided to put this folder in here because when looking at what paperwork I had found when I was originally gathering it from the main level of my home, sentimental papers were a large part of what I had found the most. Just like papers in the “Time Will Tell Bin”, sentimental papers are dealt with in much of the same way. For example, if you think about it, we can get several cards for a particular event in our life. One card may just have the senders’ name inside while another card or two may have a written sentiment along with their names. Placing these types of cards and letters in the “Sentimental” folder can ensure that they are being stored properly while giving time to decide whether or not to keep them.

As time goes by, I have found that sentimental paperwork will become more easily apparent in identifying which should be kept and which should not. I think that it is because as time goes by, the emotional tie to these papers becomes less the older that they get. If you think about it, cards and notes that we have gotten say six months ago are much harder to part with then ones that we got (maybe even for the same occasion) five years prior. Having a “Sentimental” folder, helps in giving us time to get more of an emotional distance and perspective; making it easier to identify which papers and cards to keep and which ones that we should not. I have made it a goal for myself to decide and clear out all of the sentimental papers from this folder by the end of each year; recycling what I do not want and properly storing the ones that I do want to keep (in a separate container from my “Sunday Basket”). Whenever you make your “Sunday Basket”, I would love to hear how you are handling the gathering of your sentimental paperwork; in your “Sunday Basket” or in a separate container that you keep elsewhere in your home?

This photo shows how in this stage of getting paperwork together, you would sort your papers into various files. This stage of the process will set the paperwork of for the next stage in the Sunday Basket process.
• Photo by Anete Lusina on

The next two sets of files are for my blog and for my faith-based paperwork. My files for my blog are pink and currently contain three folders. The first is for my “Current Blog Notes”, the next folder is for my current “Research” information that I want to store and the last folder is for my “Archived Blog Notes”. Having my paperwork within these folders, stored in this way has currently been working. (However, as time goes by, and I have more paperwork for my blog, I may end up putting all of these papers into a binder.) The next set of files are purple, and store my current, Faith-Based paperwork. It is set up very much like my Blog folders that I just mentioned. So far, this has been working well. However, just like the other set of Blog folders, I may eventually place these faith-based papers into a binder as well. It really all depends. I plan to go through my Blog and Faith-Based files about once a month to see if there is any paperwork that I do not need so that I can recycle them. But, if I find that these two sets of files are beginning to take up too much space or are not working for some reason in my “Sunday Basket”, I’ll just remove them. If you end up placing files for activities such as classes, your blog or faith-based paperwork, please let me know how it is working for you in your “Sunday Basket”.

The last set of folders in my “Sunday Basket” have bright, green-colored tabs so that they stand out among the other folders. These folders are probably some of the most important in the “Sunday Basket” for me because they help store the current year’s paperwork when I am done with them. These folders have been set up as a Tickler File; files for each month of the year. This part of my basket has really worked well in keeping my paperwork from getting out of control. You see, most of my other folders make sure that I complete work. These folders are where I store them for the rest of the year. The way that it works is that when I am done with a certain set of papers, I initially put them in my “To File” folder (if I’m short on time). Then, when I am working with my basket, I take the papers in the folder that is temporarily storing them and put the papers in the “Tickler Files”. To place them in the correct folder, I look at what month the paperwork was written by the sender and file it in that month. It has become really simple to maintain this part of the basket system. At the end of the year, I will go through each folder, month by month, and take out what I need to keep and shred and then recycle the rest of the papers. I will then take the papers that I want to keep and put them in my long-term system for archival purposes. (I will talk about this long-term system in a future article.) So, that is it! These are all of the folders that I have in my “Sunday Basket” system. You may have a lot of the same folders when you set yours up – or you may have many different ones based on your home and personal needs.

Do you have a lot of paperwork to sort through? (No judgment here, we most likely have all had our share of paperwork. 😀 ) What is the most challenging part of sorting through paperwork, do you think?

• Please feel free to tell us in the Comments’ section below. • Take care, Kyra

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey – All Rights Reserved

Making Your Simple Living or Minimalist Dreams Come to Life….

• Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

Brainy Quote

Hello, Friends!

Introduction. Remember, you are capable of accomplishing your dreams…. Whether it’s creating a Simple or Minimalist Lifestyle and other, positive dreams; you have it in you to make it happen.

What goal(s) have you been thinking about and dreaming of? Are they ones that you want to accomplish in the short-term, or are they ones that are more long-term goals?

• We would love to hear about them in the Comments’ section below. • Take care, Friends. -Kyra

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey – All Rights Reserved

Organizing Challenge – Paperwork – Part I: A Possible Solution to Our Short-Term Paperwork Dilemma

• Photo by Anete Lusina on

Introduction. Paperwork had for many years been something that I struggled with. It actually was my least favorite chore. In a manner of speaking, I would describe dealing with paperwork in the past as the “bane of my existence”! Now with all joking aside (kind of), I can tell you that dealing with paperwork and how I feel about it in general, has changed for me. “How could that happen?”, you might ask. Well, it was not a quick process for me – however, it did happen. I think that is what is important – and hopefully it will give you hope for your struggles with paperwork as well. Let me explain how dealing with paperwork and keeping it from cluttering my home slowly became a reality.

Last year, when I started working on decluttering our basement, I began occasionally finding a few containers and a tub or two of paperwork. This was a huge surprise to me because I had thought that I had gathered all of the paperwork that we had, and contained it in the main level in our house to go through. I had been working on what I thought was the remainder of our paperwork. Finding this extra paperwork was very disheartening, I can tell you. So after taking a minute to grumble to myself about finding this “new” paperwork, I began to gather up what I had found. Then, I took an extra look around the basement to see if I could find any more. When I found every bit of paperwork that I could find in the basement, I asked my son if he could take the larger amount of paperwork that I had gathered up to the main level of our home.

This photo represents the number of extra boxes of papers that I found to have to go through.
• Photo by Castorly Stock on

Reflections. Later, I slowly began working on dispersing all of this newly-found paperwork with what I was already working on previously. This is when I started to reflect on how long I had been having my struggles in keeping up with the household paperwork. I realized that it had basically been difficult to keep up with since I had gotten married, earlier in my adult life. (So believe me, I empathize with anyone that has the same struggles with paperwork and piles of papers within their home!) Realizing this was actually a huge first step for me because it led me to think about the time in my life that I was able to manage my incoming and archived paperwork well. You see, back when I had been a single person, I was able to keep my paperwork in good order. (I had almost forgotten about this wonderful time in my life when I was able to do this!) I started thinking about this time-frame and asked myself questions on what was so different back then? How was my paperwork organized so differently? What was my process in dealing with my incoming paperwork as well as the paperwork that I already had? This reflection and self-questioning of my earlier paper-processing and management success is what led me to eventually discover a way to organize, keep track and process all of my current paperwork.

So how was it that I used to maintain my paperwork? Well, years ago, I had a large, accordion-style briefcase with a handle on the top of it. It was convenient to use because I could carry it wherever I wanted to work on it. I had set up the tabs so that it could hold all of my paperwork – with the exception of my college papers which I contained in binders. Anyhow, this accordion briefcase was so big, that I had left-over tabs to spare. Back then, I foolishly dismissed how easily it was to put together. (Believe me, knowing now how difficult paperwork can be and the avalanche of papers that can grow out of that, I will never overlook being able to maintain paperwork at any time ever again!) In thinking on this style and method of storing my paperwork, I needed to really reflect and analyze why this had worked for me.

This photo shows an example of a carrying-case, accordion file system that can be used as a "Sunday Basket".
• Photo by Anete Lusina on

The Accordion-Style Briefcase. First, as I mentioned, it was a large, accordion-style briefcase. It had a huge amount of file tabs enclosed in it. If I needed to dig into a specific tab to search for some particular papers, I could pull the accordion tabs apart pretty far because they stretched fairly well and could actually house a lot of papers within each tabbed file. (Though I had to be careful when stretching these folders because they were made of a thinner paper, were attached to one another and could tear apart, if I was not careful.) Second, as I previously noted, this briefcase had room-to-grow, having a number of extra tab folders that were unused. So as I had a need for other categories of paperwork, I could quickly label the next tab and simply toss them into that new folder. It had been so easy! Whenever I had any new papers that came in, I would just add them to the back of the papers that were already in that particular tab’s file. Additionally, since it had a handle, I could use it wherever I needed to. I remember taking it with me in different areas of my home; at the table, in front of the TV and so on. I really had liked this specific convenience because it enabled me the flexibility to work on filing at times that I would not have been able to with other paper storage solutions.

After thinking about all of this, I realized that if I could find or make a storage method that utilized all of the advantages of my old system that had worked, that I could actually get my paperwork into an orderly fashion. It had worked for me before, so logically thinking, it would now. This had been the first time since I had been married that the thought of having a successful paper system was within reach! So after reflecting and thinking on these positive aspects, I began to research and look at current methods and storage products that were available now.

This is a photo that shows another method for storing files that could also be used as a "Sunday Basket". It's an open, filing system. As long as it is treated in the same way as the closed/latched, accordion, filing system, it can be used as a "Sunday Basket".
• Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on

A New Storage System. It was during this research that I found a storage system that reminded me of my previously used, old system. Now I had heard the term “Sunday Basket” once or twice before, but never really knew what it was until I began researching about it this system. It’s a filing system that was originally created and coined by Lisa Woodruff of Organize 365. In case you have not heard of the “Sunday Basket”, it is basically a container of your choosing that you can use to place your daily mail into. At the end of the week, on Sunday, (or whatever day you actually want as long as it is consistently used that day each week) you would address all of the mail by opening and reading it, paying bills, and so on. As Dawn, The Minimal Mom noted, the “Sunday Basket” can have just mail or it can have some of the supplies that you would use while working on your mail. Overall, the beauty of this system is the reliability in capturing the weekly paperwork, paired along with a consistent routine of going through it regularly. It sounds like it is so simple – because after the initial set-up, it truly is! After learning about the “Sunday Basket”, it really inspired me. I realized that this system had all of the advantages of my previous system, but could be put together and used now! I am so excited about this – both for me and for you!!!

Have you ever tried to use the Sunday Basket system before? What other paperwork, organizing systems have you tried? What worked and did not work about these other systems for you?

• Please feel free to tell us in the Comments’ section below. • Take care, Kyra

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey – All Rights Reserved

Envisioning Your Simple Living or Minimalist Lifestyle….

(Photo by Rene Asmussen on

Many times when we make goals and dreams for ourselves, we go someplace where we can go to think about them. The photo shown is an example of a place where we could do just that; a swing out in the garden.  I  Quote source:
(Brainy Quote)

Podcasts of this Article can be found on:

Introduction. Picture opening a front door and walking into a Living Room that is clean and neat with comfortable furnishings. The walls contain a few meaningful photos, and have a soft, colorful hue to it. There is a medium-sized, grey area rug in the front of the couch. It goes very well with the dark furniture in the room. In the background, there is music lightly playing. The room has a faint smell of lilac flowers permeating throughout it. Overall, the Living Room feels comfortable and certainly is one that would be very nice to spend time in.

Benefits of a Lifestyle. Next, walking through the room to the one that is adjacent to the Living Room, is the Kitchen and Breakfast Nook. The room is bright and refreshing. The sink and countertops are sparklingly clean and contain a coffee pot on one counter, and a grey container with a few wooden, cooking tools near the stove on the other. Otherwise, the countertops are clear. Looking over at the Breakfast Nook, there is a family-size table with red, table mats and tulips in a vase. At the end of the room, there is a pantry. When opening the door to it, the pantry is found fully stocked with food. The refrigerator nearby is neatly stocked as well.

When walking through the home, notice the feeling throughout. It is so calming, peaceful and relaxing. This is what living simply or becoming a minimalist can do for us. It makes a house feel like a home that has been actually catered specifically just for us and our families.

• Photo by Terry Magallanes on

Visualization. Notice what was done in the previous descriptions? The rooms that were mentioned were described in such a way that we could visualize them enough that we felt that we were right there in them. Envisioning the way that we want our spaces to feel and look is one of the best ways to make it happen. Actually, using the technique of visualization can do so much for us. If we can visualize something, we are creating, planning and focusing enough to begin the process of making our goal or dream happen.

A Quote to Ponder Over. In thinking about this, a quote by the former President, Theodore Roosevelt, comes to mind, “Believe you can and you are halfway there.” He was so right! That is where techniques like visualization can truly help. When it comes to our lives with Simple or Minimalist Living, keeping this quote in mind, can empower and motivate us.

This quote can make us believe that we can accomplish our desires to live this lifestyle and create our own dream spaces in our homes. We will be able to think about a space; categorizing items, deciding some of what we want to keep, as well as what we want to declutter ahead of time. Visualizing will help us plan our work; enabling us to focus and use our available time to declutter more efficiently.

• Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Encouragement and Drive. After initially beginning, it will be the continued visualization, the progress that we are making in our lives, and the differences that we see in our homes that will spur us to continue on. It will drive us and make us want to keep achieving our simplifying or minimalist dreams one step, one plan, one habit, and one room at a time.

Believing It Can Happen. In reflecting on my journey towards minimalism, I know that the previously mentioned steps are how it initially began, and continues to work for me. I am certain that it will encourage you in the same way as well. Remember, what you believe in with your simple or minimalist goals and challenges can happen. If you continue to envision the lifestyle and spaces that you want to create for yourself, you will be able to declutter, clean and organize your spaces the way that you want them to be. These goals are achievable and attainable for you…. We know that you can do it!

What goals are you presently working on or planning for? Have you tried the visualization technique? If so, how has it worked for you in being successful with your goals and dreams, especially with your simplifying or minimalist journeys?

• Please feel free to tell us about your goals in the Comments’ section below. We would love to hear about your experiences with visualizing your goals as well as your overall experiences in your simple living or minimalist lifestyle. Thank you – and take care. • Sincerely, Kyra

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey – All Rights Reserved

Why Simplifying is Important (in my Opinion):

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Introduction. Over the years, I have come to really value the act of decluttering. When I originally started to simplify my home, decluttering seemed a bit of a foreign activity to do. I remember when I first started to work on decluttering, the Flylady had recommended going through our homes and remove any trash that we could find. That was a great way to ease into the decluttering process. After doing this, I moved onto the next step of decluttering by determining which items in my home to keep or remove and permanently declutter. In working on decluttering my home throughout time, there were some important lessons that I have discovered about the importance of simplifying and the act of decluttering.

Favorite Items Stand Out. When I first began to declutter my home, I worked very slowly in removing items. I had not developed the skill of decluttering yet or had increased my confidence in making quick, decluttering decisions. However, like anything else that we want to get good at, the more practice that I did, the better that I started getting. By watching my own progress, as well as others who were working on decluttering their own items, I have learned firsthand that we can all develop our skills with decluttering.

This is a photo of the Dining Room after pulling out items to declutter, clean and organize from this room.   Copyright © 2021, 2022 - Kyra, Simplicity's Journey -- All Rights Reserved.
• Decluttering the Kitchen and the Kitchen Table — Photo by Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey •

I am still working on simplifying, but have found that by working consistently and taking breaks when I need them, that it has helped me to continue. Slowly but surely, I have started to see progress. The more progress that I have made, the more that I have realized that my favorite belongings have been starting to stand out more in the rooms that I have been working on; they have begun to shine. After noticing this, it has encouraged me to continue to simplify the different rooms in my home. To me, it has become an exciting process, one that I would sincerely recommend to you as well.

Increased Productivity. Another aspect to simplifying that makes it so valuable is that it helps to increase our productivity – not just in decluttering, but in other activities that you do as well. I especially noticed this in some of the rooms that I have worked in around my home. The Kitchen was one of the first rooms that I have noticed this result in.

I am not the best or quickest of cooks, however, I have begun to notice recently that I was able to find the tools, pots and pans, be able to sit and do the dishes that needed handwashed, and clean up fairly quickly while I was cooking and after dinner. It has made it so much easier and has made cooking a little less of a chore than it used to be. (Believe me, I am so happy about that!)

• Photo by Gagan Kaur on

I have also found other small areas that I have decluttered, simplified and organized easier to deal with and utilize as well. For example, I have recently been working on simplifying my office area. I am still working on this space, but have finished decluttering and organizing my cards, stationary and postage. I have placed them in a larger coupon organizer from the Dollar Tree and have found it so easy and convenient to send cards to family and friends when I want to. I am so glad that I finished this small project because it has made it so great to use this new, letter system. I have found that I send letters out more often than I used to. I am really looking forward to when I have my office completely done and can share my progress with you!

Easier to Take Care Of. In terms of taking care of my belongings after simplifying them, I have found that it has made taking care of them so much easier! In pairing things down to just my wants and necessities in certain areas of my home, I have discovered that I do not have to constantly move items around when I am looking for something in particular. When I clean a previously decluttered and organized area, it is much easier to get it done! I do not have to constantly shuffle and re-shuffle items to dust and do not have to move containers back and forth just to vacuum. It has made me appreciate these areas so much more. Also, because I can keep extra care of these simplified areas in my home, it makes me want to spend so much more time in them.

Please by no means think that I am done simplifying. I have a list about a mile-and-a-half long! Whenever I find that I am feeling discouraged by such a long, simplifying, To-Do list, I try to go into an area that I have previously simplified. This is a good reminder as to why I am doing what I am doing. I would definitely recommend that you do this as well; make a list of areas that you want to work on AND use the areas that you previously decluttered and organized as an encouragement to you when you need it. It really does help in those moments of frustration and will keep you going.

• Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Reinforcing Good Habits. I have also recently realized that while I am working on simplifying various spaces in our home, there are occasions that my son is there watching me. He is able to see me using the simplifying process to improve these different areas of our home. There are other times that I am decluttering an area, and my son will mention that he is going to work on decluttering his room or car at the same time. This makes me so happy! Not only am I simplifying, but seeing some of the results has inspired my son to work on some of his own spaces as well. To me, seeing my son learn and work to simplify his belongings makes doing all of this even more worthwhile!

I can remember when my son was little, I would work on simplifying and notice at different moments that he was watching me or would ask me a question about what I was doing. From seeing this, I can tell you that if you are working around family members (regardless of how young or old that they are), know that they may at some point surprise you and begin to simplify their spaces too. (Just know though that it may take some time for them to do so; each person and family will be different.) Plus, when they ask and want to help you while you are simplifying, and you can include them in any way, the better that it will be for them. They can learn and practice simplifying and organizing right alongside of you!

• Photo by Alex Green on

It is really amazing to realize that what you are doing will not only effect you in a positive way, but will do so in a number of ways for your family members, too. In particular, they will learn and have these positive habits reinforced so that it becomes easier for them over time – just like it will for you. I personally have seen family members that have not had much interest in simplifying when I started, but have eventually begun to have an interest in doing so. It’s like it is contagious (in a good way), and can cause such good results for you and also for the members of your family as well.

Sense of Peace. Once I have a space simplified for the time being, as decluttering and simplifying is an on-going process as you know, I have noticed a sense of peace when looking at and spending time in that room. It increases my happiness and makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. Not every space is easy to finish. Some spaces are downright difficult to simplify. I do find though, that when a space is difficult to simplify, it feels so rewarding when I actually do finish with the room.

Recently, I have been working in my kitchen. My Dining Room table seems to always get small piles here and there on it. Also, I started using my table as a staging area to put the items on that I wanted to go through. Eventually, I not only had the items on the table to go through, but also needed to use a medium-size portable table as a staging area as well. Some people do very well with pulling everything out to declutter all at once….

This was a separate table that was used to hold some of the items from the Dining Room while decluttering, cleaning and organizing.  Copyright © 2021, 2022 - Kyra, Simplicity's Journey -- All Rights Reserved.
• Using a Seperate Table to Go Through as Much as Possible — Photos by Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey •

I am not one of those people. (LOL) I don’t enjoy that process, even though I can appreciate that some friends actually do very well simplifying this way. Unfortunately, this took me a bit longer than I would have intended to finish going through and decluttering this space this way. In the meantime, my Dining Room table looked a mess, and I had an additional table that was taking up space, too.

To get this room and space finished, I worked each day for a period of time on it. Sometimes, I would work on it in the morning for a specific time and then later in the afternoon so that I could make further progress. If you look at the photos throughout my article, you will be able to see some of how it looked while I was working on it. Eventually, I was finished. I almost had to pinch myself to make sure that I was not daydreaming! LOL. Now, I have this space finished and am so pleased with the outcome.

As I said earlier, it is so much easier to cook in and do different activities in the Kitchen, not to mention eating at my Dining Room table. After having completing these areas, I am now very watchful of how the kitchen sink, countertops and Dining Room table looks after we have been using them. By checking on them both in the morning and evening and after use, these spaces have remained very useful, yet gives me a sense of peace every time that I look at them. (The photo below shows what the Dining Room table looks like now.) I know that if I can get these results, you can as well. I am looking forward to you telling me about your decluttering and simplifying projects and also about how much peacefulness these spaces are providing you.

This is the finished Dining Room after all of the decluttering, cleaning and organizing was finished.  Copyright © 2021, 2022 - Kyra, Simplicity's Journey -- All Rights Reserved.
• The Final Results of Decluttering — Photos by Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey •

Positive Role Model. During all of the time that we all simplify; declutter, clean and organize, we are being positive role models for our children and families. Our children, especially, watch what we do. So being able to simplify with them watching, gives us a chance to be able to help them learn and acquire the knowledge and skills to be able to also simplify things of their own.

If your children are small, they can still do smaller projects (as I mentioned previously) and get a similar sense of accomplishment as we do. Older children and teens can also do amazing jobs at simplifying as well. Regardless of the age, I believe that if we breakdown our simplifying projects into smaller parts, we all can be successful with making the peaceful spaces that we want to create.

If you are a friend without children, please know that you can be positive role models with your decluttering and simplifying among your family and friends. I have seen this happen! So know that what you are doing makes a difference not only to you, but those around you, too. The more progress that you make, the more noticeable the peaceful spaces that you are making will be. You will be able to really inspire those around you that are in your close circles.

• Photo by Askar Abayev on

What is Left Behind. The one thing that I believe is very important is the legacy that we leave behind one day (in the far future, I hope) for our children, family members and friends. This is something that I feel very concerned about, and I believe many of you are as well. Making certain that our loved ones are not left with lots of items to sift through, is one of the most loving acts that we can do for them.

As I previously mentioned, I do realize that simplifying work is a continuous process. However, if we can make certain that each room and project has been gone through and paired down to a very comfortable level and as best as possible, that is the best that we can do. In doing so, we can be very deliberate in what is left behind for those that we love, which will truly be a blessing and demonstration of love for them.

Closing Thoughts. There are so many reasons and benefits to simplifying, as we have been talking about; everything from how it helps us to how it can be beneficial for our loved ones. We all have been attracted to the simplifying lifestyle. If we continue to plan out our simplifying and break it down so that it is manageable, we will have success in making progress in our homes and in our lives. That continued progress is what I am looking forward to – both for myself and for you. So keep up all of your good work and know that each step is helping you towards your simplifying goals. Remember, I know that you can do it!!!

Do you have a room or space that you are currently decluttering, cleaning and organizing? What room are you working on?

• Please feel free to comment in the Comments’ section below. We would love to hear what decluttering projects that you are currently working on. •

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey – All Rights Reserved


• Photo by Bess Hamiti on

My Story On Beginning My Simple Living Journey

Introduction. Hello! My name is Kyra, and I would like to welcome you to my website / blog, Simplicity’s Journey. It is here that I will be talking about Simple Living topics such as decluttering, cleaning and organizing, for starters. Originally, I had an interest in creating a simple life for myself and my family which has led me onto my journey of Simple Living. When I first started trying to simplify our life, I mostly learned through trial and error.

However, I eventually found a happy medium to the different methods that I was trying out and using around my home and within our routines and schedules. Once I got my systems and routines the way that suited my family, I noticed that our home and life began to feel extra happy and peaceful. Was it ever perfect? No, but it certainly felt good to feel like we were finally living a way of life that worked. After seeing these results, I became a big believer and was hooked on the Simple Living Lifestyle.

Background on How I got into Simplifying my Life. Early in my adult life, I lived a fairly simple lifestyle. However, once I got married, and later, had our son, the material possessions that we had grew quickly. We had our home set up how we wanted, but as more possessions came into our home, we realized that it was becoming filled more than we would have liked. It became increasingly harder to find exact places to fit everything and still have extra spaces, like we originally were used to.

It was about the time that our son was approximately two-and-a-half to three years old that I realized that our home needed some “additional organization”. It was soon after that I found the Flylady and began implementing the system that she taught within our home. One of the things that the Flylady used to talk about was decluttering. This was a different mindset about our belongings – the idea of getting rid of things rather than just organizing everything!

Soon after, we began to work to go through our belongings in order to declutter our home. Little by little, we saw that our work was making leeway – and we could see a lot of progress. We eventually did get to the actual organizing. We loved how our life was becoming, and from that point on, we knew that we could not ever turn back!

Once we became determined to lived this lifestyle, I started learning as much as I could about decluttering, organizing and ways to simplify our life. I can say for certain that simplifying our life the way that we did helped us create the lifestyle that we wanted, gave us more time together, and was something that we could count on – regardless of work, school and extracurricular activities. Simple Living became a constant for us, changing from “decluttering and organizing” activities to a way of life; a journey that we wanted to continue going on.

Results that I’ve Seen. Over the course of time, we’ve seen amazing results which slowly transformed our home and our life. The one thing that became apparent was that the more that we decluttered our unused and unwanted material belongings, the easier it was to clean and maintain our home. One of the nicest things about all of the decluttering that we did at this time was that our home started to become a reflection of our favorite belongings. It was finally becoming a reflection of us rather than all of the clutter.

There were other results of our decluttering, cleaning and organizing as well. We were able to spend more time together as a family. Our home’s upkeep became so much easier. It was really great to have time to stop worrying about our home and what we had to do to get it to where we wanted it to be. I think that is what really helped us because we were refreshed, so when we got back to our decluttering and organizing projects, we were truly ready to work on them.

As a result of all of our decluttering and organizing, we were also able to save some extra money. Due to working through our projects throughout our home, we became much more aware of what we had and needed. Did I need that new shirt? No. What about that pretty blanket that was on sale? No. It was very satisfying to finally be able to live this way. It helped to make us very happy which made all of our work so worthwhile.

My Goals to Continue to Simplify. Years later, after some very difficult circumstances that arose, we had to stop our decluttering and maintenance efforts. A few years later after these circumstances, we also had an addition to our family. Needless to say, the belongings in our home multiplied exponentially! Recently, being back to better circumstances, the decluttering and purging of the excessive and unwanted items in our home has begun again. Fortunately, with all of the work that we did years ago, we have a solid basis to start from. I am so happy about each step of progress that I have been making. In order to continue and try to plan ahead a bit, I’ve come up with some future, simplifying goals to work on:

  • To continue decluttering each week.
  • To choose the order of projects to be done in our home so that it will make the most difference. (The other ones will definitely be done later! LOL.)
  • After each decluttering project, organize the spaces so that it makes the most sense in our home and the way that we live.
  • To continue making time each month for upkeep of and to evaluate previously finished, decluttered and organized spaces. (Basically, I just want to double-check that these spaces are staying organized and working well. At this time, I can also do a quick check to see if there is anything else that can be decluttered.)
  • I want to take time regularly each week to enjoy the progress that has been made by spending time in our decluttered, clean and organized spaces that I have worked on. I want my family to be able to enjoy these spaces and spend time together in them.

Closing. I have other goals, but this is a good start, don’t you think? I am really looking forward to getting further into our simplifying journey and sharing it with you. Also, I would love to hear about your simplifying journey as well. We can encourage one another with our progress and cheer each other on. I am really looking forward to hearing from you and am so glad that you came by my page today! Best Regards, Kyra

Are you new to simplifying or have you been on your simplifying or minimalist journey for a period of time?

How long have you been working on decluttering, organizing and simplifying? What changes have you seen in your life as a result of all of your work? ———————————————————————————————————– Please tell us all about yourself, your journey and future simplifying plans. We would love to hear all about it. Thank you for being a part of our Simplicity’s Journey Community. You all are the best!

Copyright © 2021 – 2023 – Kyra, Simplicity’s Journey – All Rights Reserved

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