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Permission to Start Over

Isn’t it funny how we all turn to the New Year as a time to start over? THIS is the year I will do _______________________.

But whoever said we had to wait for the new year to start anything? I get it; there’s an entire world of people celebrating the start of something new together. That’s empowering and can be super motivating if you’re embarking on a new personal journey of some kind.

But I need you to know something: you can start today.

Is today January 1st? Nope. (Unless you happen to be reading this almost a year later ON January 1st.) But that doesn’t mean you need to wait until the next year or even the next month. Start. Right. Now.

I’m not the only one who believes this. Know how? Because I have customers from all over the world that continue to buy planners through January and even into February and March! They know that NOW is the perfect time to start, even if it’s not the “1st of anything.” It’s the first day of your journey, and that’s all that matters.

So start today. Forget what the world says and make today YOUR day to start anew.

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In Our Digital World, Get Back to Basics

In Our Digital World, Get Back to Basics

When I share that I design and sell paper planners, this statement generally evokes one of two reactions:

“That’s amazing, I LOVE my paper planner!”
“What on earth, people still use paper planners?”

By the way, person #2, the answer is yes. Oh, yes.

But I never really get to explain WHY I use a paper planner and why I’m so darn passionate about them… obsessed to the point where I made an entire business out of them.

Here’s the thing: we’re in a world today that is run by technology.

Most of us suffer from slight (or severe) anxiety if we accidentally leave our phone at home, and we’re addicted to checking in on social media for new notifications or just to enter into a mindless period of scrolling through updates in our friends’ lives. Don’t get me wrong — technology plays a large role in my day to day tasks and business operations; but if we’re not careful, this useful device we have on hand at all times can easily become a barrier to what’s really important.

To combat this, I get back to basics: enter, paper.

Pen to paper may seem ancient to some, but is shared over and over again as the number one trick for remembering details and making your dreams and goals a reality. Write. It. Down.

The Refresh Weekly Planner was designed to do just that; act as a single, beautiful, compact tool that allows you to write down everything from your schedule and to-do lists to brainstorming sessions and goal planning. It’s a place to free yourself from the screens we stare at all day long and focus on the words and thoughts you’re putting onto paper.

Next time you have a task to accomplish, goal to work toward, or even just a grocery list to compose, try getting back to basics and simply write it down.

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Getting Started with Minimalism

beginner minimalism

We’re living in somewhat of an interesting time. We’re living in a world of extreme consumerism.

For me, it didn’t really start out this way. I grew up knowing I needed to do chores around the house in order to receive an allowance, and every single thing I bought with that allowance was well thought out and planned in advance of purchasing. It was the ultimate reward to build up enough money to finally buy that thing I so badly wanted.

But then something changed along the way; I started making money of my own. Throughout high school and college, I made enough to be proud of at the time and was very protective and conservative with how I spent money. After college, things started to shift.

I worked in St. Louis and then Kansas City after college, and I was thrilled to finally have a respectable salary. Nothing to have a big ego about, but enough to sustain me and my hobbies and interests, donate where I could, and still be able to buy nice gifts for friends and family, and that was an accomplishment to me.

But somewhere in there, things got a little blurry with my consumption habits.

Fast forward to five and a half years out of college, and I realized something that didn’t sit right with me: I have a LOT of stuff.

Now don’t get me wrong; I now live with my husband and we have two guinea pigs (they take up more space and require more things than you may realize), so I had reason to have a lot of stuff around the apartment.

Or so I thought.

On Christmas Day, 2016, I sat down to watch “The Minimalists,” a new documentary on Netflix. I had always strived to work minimalism into my design style and products, so I figured I would gather a bit of inspiration from watching and be on my way.

Little did I know, this documentary would be the catalyst for a lifestyle shift I didn’t know I needed. This is where my journey to getting started with minimalism began.

After watching intently from start to finish, I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with THINGS in our apartment, and that very week, I decided enough was enough. I took every last thing out of my closet, and only kept about 50% of the items, ridding of anything I hadn’t worn in a year and a half (since we’d moved into this apartment) or knew I simply wasn’t going to wear again. I tore through the bathroom cabinets to throw out anything old, funky, or broken. I cleaned out our pantry cabinets of anything expired or questionable. (Sorry, husband.)

I filled boxes and bags with items that had to go, either for donations, recycling, or trash. And when the items were gone and I was finished with certain areas of our apartment, I felt the weight had lifted; I could breathe. There’s a pleasure that comes with knowing what you own and where your things are. And that’s exactly what happened. I kept the essentials in different compartments of my life and rid of the clutter once and for all.

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t always easy.

Although I’ve always been a tosser (whereas my husband is the keeper), there are a few things I’m sentimentally tied to that others would view as unnecessary. And what I learned from The Minimalists is that if something brings you such immense joy and adds value to your life — don’t feel pressured to toss it.

So I didn’t. I kept those few things that mean so much.

But the rest of the clutter? Gone. And I’m not finished; this is quite a process to undertake, and so I’m taking it section by section of the apartment. The one place I vowed to not touch, of course, is my husband’s man cave. His space of 90’s action figures, medical books, sports paraphernalia, and other items that DO mean so much to him fill this room. (The man needs a safe haven of some kind, am I right?)

Do I feel better after making this massive change in my lifestyle and living situation? Absolutely.

I feel as though our apartment has grown in size, and interestingly, I’ve had a much smaller desire to purchase new things. Now when I think of buying something new, I immediately think of where it’s going to live in the apartment and if I really want that thing there. That thought alone is enough to keep me from purchasing, in most cases.

If you’re considering taking this journey in your own life, I highly recommend starting with The Minimalists. The documentary on Netflix was amazing, and I’ve since tuned into their podcast, where they tackle minimalism in different aspects of ours lives. They have a truly interesting story on how their entire journey and business started, one that inspired me from that very first day.

Do you work minimalism into your own life? What are some routine practices you do or changes you’ve made to clear the clutter and start fresh in your living space?