Back in December I gave myself the challenge to de-clutter something in my home everyday.  The transformation I experienced that month lead me to wanting more space and less clutter.  So I set my intentions for a new year, and launched the year-long challenge – Reduce Clutter; Create Space.
In six-months time, I donated big items and boxes to charity, avoided buying art supplies and used what I had – including recycled materials and old wood, remembered my cloth bags more often, found creative uses for brown paper bags when I forgot, cleared out my closets and gave away tons of clothes, repurposed sweaters and junk mail, started my first garden, cleaned out and organized my kitchen, got more creative in cooking healthy recipes, slowed way down to enjoy more quality family time, chose to stop trying to fit in so I can live my most authentic life, found time for yoga classes again, cut cable, reduced our grocery budget, interviewed these amazing reduce clutter explorers, launched three e-courses inspiring others to create the lives they love from the Inside Out, and joined the One Small Change challenge.  Whoa…it’s been quite a year so far…big breath in, big breath out….

The closets continue to get cleared and revamped – I mean how many games does one small family need?

We are finding new ways to use the things we have, rather than going out and buying more.

Our garden continues to gift us with so much abundance and I love that I don’t have to buy much produce at the grocery store this summer.  We are eating extremely well and it has been such a wonderful luxury since we made the decision to spend less on food.
All the vegetables you see here were picked just last night (along with a beautiful ripe watermelon!)

A few weekends ago our old pipes were clogged and we couldn’t use the kitchen sink for a few days.  Instead we, I mean my husband, washed all of the dishes outside.  Although it was a hassle it kind of felt like camping.  And what I learned from that weekend is it’s easier (after a while) when you live more simply.  It taught me to be much more mindful about how many dishes I use in a day.  You really start to become aware of it when you have to wash everything by hand!

So rather than reach for yet another cup, I am trying to use one drinking glass, one plate, and one bowl for the day.  I still need more practice at it, but it’s my One Small Change that I’d like to implement for August.  I continue to be reminded that using less means more time and s p a c e for the things I enjoy most – so less dishes to wash or load means more time painting, playing, knitting, being fully present…

Although my reduce clutter challenge started out on a physical level, I can see that from clearing the physical clutter, my mental and emotional clutter are releasing as well.  I am seeing greater clearing in my home (with much more to go) and I am seeing much greater clearing and BIG changes going on inside myself.
I believe that Reduce Clutter; Create Space and One Small Change go hand-in-hand.  The more we can clear and let go, the more s p a c e we create.  The more s p a c e we enjoy, the more stillness we experience.  The more stillness we have, the more aware and mindful we become to make one small change at a time.  With each small change we are giving the greatest gift back to ourselves, to our families, to our community and to our world.  
I feel completely blessed to have charted down a new path to live a greener, simpler life.  Reducing clutter and making small changes along the way have brought more health, happiness, connection and a greater sense of peace in my life (along with challenges and resistance to be sure!)  And to honor the blessings I am experiencing (like another life growing inside me) it seems like another great time to… 
celebrate with a giveaway!

Leave a comment here, by Tuesday, August 17th, and you’ll be entered to win a spot in my January e-course, Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery.
Your Personal Reflection:  What is one small change you can make this month to bring goodness into your life?
(It’s never too late to join the Reduce Clutter; Create Space or One Small Change challenges!  See the list of reduce clutter participants here.)
Want more inspiration to make change?  Read this article about a couple that gave up everything but 100 personal items.  And you have to check out the Happy Janssen’s and their amazing life on the road.

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