Joyful June: Happiness Highlights

*One of my 2021 goals was to keep a Happiness Highlights journal. I plan on sharing some of my happy moments each month to hold myself accountable. I hope they help you pause and recognize all the great small things that are happening in your life.*


I can’t believe that June is almost over! What a fun month it has been. We have had lots of warm weather so our days have been filled with swimming, biking, walking, pickleball, and playgrounds.

June Happiness Highlights:

  • Helping a friend with their garden and flowerbeds.
  • Visiting with an out-of-state cousin.
  • Listening to What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
  • Finding a granola bar recipe my girls enjoyed making and eating.
  • Picking raspberries.
  • Reading in my hammock.

Do you have any Happiness Highlights from your month that you would like to share? If you wrote a post about something that brought you joy, include a link!


The Dazzling Blogger Award

Thank you Michelle from Boomer Eco Crusader for nominating me for this cool award. If you aren’t familiar with Michelle’s blog, go check it out! She writes about decluttering, Eco-friendly living, and life hacks.

The Dazzling Blogger Award was designed to recognize bloggers who “excel in at least one major area of blogging: writing skills, engagement, social media marketing, and content.” The award was created by Helen from Crispy Confessions.


The Official Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for The Dazzling Blogger Award.
  2. Link back to the original blog post.
  3. Answer the seven questions that they asked in their blog post.
  4. Make up seven new questions.
  5. Nominate seven more people for The Dazzling Blogger Award, who you think exemplifies excellent blogging skills.

My Answers To Michelle’s 7 Questions

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I would have to say that I fall somewhere in the middle but align more closely to the introvert side. I prefer to spend time with my family or a small group of my close friends. I avoid being the center of attention. I work better independently in a quiet setting. 

How do you unwind after a stressful day?

After a stressful day, I like to sit outside by the fire and talk with my husband. 

What is the one thing you are most looking forward to in a post-pandemic world?

I’m most looking forward to having points of interest and attractions open back up fully. I’m looking forward to being able to travel and be able to have the full experience of where I am visiting.

What would your perfect vacation look like?

My perfect vacation simply includes being with my family and having nice weather. 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing in the world, it would be for everyone in the world to stop seeing each other as us vs them and instead have everyone see each other as fellow humans.

What is your favorite season?

For most of my life, I would have quickly answered this question with summer but lately, I have been enjoying the fall.

Do you consider yourself a morning person or night owl?

Morning person 100%. As soon as I wake up, I am motivated to start my day. At the end of the day, after I put my kids to bed, my husband and I normally just spend the next hour or two reading, talking, or watching a show together.

My Questions

  1. What is your favorite hobby and how did you get started?
  2. What is your favorite meal to cook?
  3. Do you live by any piece of advice or motto?
  4. What was the highlight of your week?
  5. What is your favorite board game?
  6. Have you read any good books lately that you would recommend?
  7. If you could pick one chore that you could snap your fingers and it would magically be done, which chore would you pick?

My Nominations

Living by Eden

Micro of the Macro

Cognition and Crochet

Anjael Francesca

On Wellness Way


Check out Boomer Eco Crusader as well as my nominations. There’s a lot of good stuff there to check out!

If you would like to answer one or more of my questions, feel free to leave a comment and share. I would love to learn more about you.


What Does It Mean To Be Happily Decluttered?

I would love to be able to provide a list of rules to follow to help others become Happily Decluttered but it doesn’t work that way because every one of us is unique. What I can provide is some insight on how I became Happily Decluttered. Hopefully, this will help spark an idea for you to make an adjustment in your life that allows you to feel happier and lighter.


If I had to describe my lifestyle in one word, I would choose simplified. I have decluttered useless material objects, limited my commitments, and eliminated unnecessary choices so that each day can be filled with joy and everyday frustrations and annoyances can be avoided.

I live in the present. This doesn’t mean that I don’t periodically think about the past or plan for the future but I do my best to be in the here and now while enjoying each moment without getting lost in thought. 

I have become more mindful of how I am feeling. When I find myself experiencing negative emotions like frustration, stress, or anger, I have learned to acknowledge those emotions and then lead myself back to happiness. With a little creative thinking, simple changes can be made to avoid some of these negative emotions altogether.


Lifestyle Choices I have Made That Have Lead Me To Be Happily Decluttered

My Self

  • I don’t wear makeup or use any products besides soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant. This keeps my morning and evening routine quick.
  • I keep a small wardrobe with a complementary color palette that makes it easy to coordinate outfits. No more stressing about what to wear.
  • I practice yoga daily. Hello calm, goodbye stress.

Related: Ways To Declutter Your Mind

My Home

  • Everything in my home has a place and things are put away promptly or during a reset time, normally at the end of the day. I feel at peace in my home.
  • The items in my home reflect who I am now. As I change and develop new interests, I pass along the things I no longer need. I don’t hold on to items just in case. No more negative emotions being stirred up by stuff for me.
  • I decorate with plants instead of knick-knacks. Plants bring happiness!

Related: 30 Reasons To Declutter

My Time

  • Spending time with the people I love is more important than what I am doing. I keep open days so I can be available to those I care about. In the end, it’s the people that matter most.
  • With few exceptions, I don’t sign my kids up for more than one thing at a time. I want them to experience a balance between structured time and free time.
  • I don’t schedule things back to back. I don’t want to rush from event to event or have to leave early or show up late for things. I only commit to things if I have time to enjoy them and not feel rushed.

Related: Is Your Calendar Overflowing? It’s Time to Declutter Your Schedule

My Shopping Habits

  • I shop using my need list and give gift ideas with things on my want list.
  • I am more intentional about what I bring into my home and life. Thinking about the space something will take up and the time that will be required to maintain it, is enough for me to avoid bringing something new into my life.
  • I don’t browse stores for fun. There are many more rewarding hobbies.

Related: Rethink Your Needs And Avoid Clutter

My Technology Use

  • My devices include my phone, my iPad, and my TV. I don’t need any more devices.
  • I don’t have cable and I only sign up for one steaming service over the winter months. Less time watching TV provides more time for hobbies. Plus, I avoid advertisements.
  • I deleted all the apps off my phone and iPad that are time wasters. There are only two apps that I use regularly.

Related: Decluttering Digital Distractions (Part 3 of 3)


Are you happily decluttered or on your way to being so? What does your happily decluttered look like?

Clutter Trap: Stagnant Items

When you start to declutter your home, some areas stand out as needing attention, like the clothes that are bulging out of your drawers or the overflowing hall closet that requires some quick maneuvering to successfully shut. However, other areas are easy to pass over as you are making your way around your home. 

These are the areas that have remained untouched and unchanged in your home. These stagnant spaces can hide clutter in plain sight since they are so easy to overlook.


Examples of stagnant areas in your home

Walls

Take time to assess the wall decor that you have in each room. People tend to add decorations to wall space but rarely take anything down. Just because something has always been there, doesn’t justify it continuing to stay on your wall. Make sure the items you are displaying make you happy and reflect who you are now in your life. 

China cabinet

Fancy dishes are often skipped during the decluttering process because they were inherited, were costly, or have become a staple display in the dining room. However, it is worth pulling everything out and going through these items piece by piece. Most of these sets contain unique items that you have never or rarely used. Don’t be afraid of breaking up a set. Having a smaller set of items that you use is much more practical than holding onto a complete set with useless items. No one is going to inventory your china cabinet or hutch. 

Display cases

Collections and knick-knacks often are displayed on shelves or cabinets with glass doors. These areas can feel like a permanent part of the room because they stay stationary. Don’t overlook these spaces when decluttering. Many times you will find so much to let go of that you can even get rid of the shelf or cabinet that was holding the objects.


If you have already had some success decluttering other areas of your home, take a second look, room by room, and make sure you didn’t miss any stagnant spaces. You may be surprised by what you find.

10 Tips For Dealing With Guilt Clutter

We all have kept something at some point out of guilt. It might have been a gift, an expensive item, or an inherited object.

Letting guilt clutter go will help you feel better, and it will free up space for things that are important to you. Items that we keep out of guilt, make us feel bad every time we see them or think about them. They fill up valuable space in our home, as well as in our minds. 

If you can’t seem to let go of items in your home that are only there due to guilt, check out the following tips.


TIPS FOR REMOVING GUILT CLUTTER FROM YOUR HOME

  • Start with items that are in your closets or storage spaces. Chances are they have not seen the light of day for some time and no one would even notice that you no longer owned them. Getting started and feeling the benefits of removing guilt clutter will give you the momentum and confidence you need to tackle more noticeable items.
  • Although it can be a little more difficult than simply donating, finding a home for items can lessen your guilt. You can give the items away for free or attempt to sell them for a reasonable price, using Facebook marketplace or another buy and sell app. Locating a charity or family in need is another way to hand something off.

When clearing out my grandparent’s house, I helped locate several families to help themselves to anything that they needed. One of the couples had recently lost their home to a fire. They were incredibly grateful for the opportunity and it made my family members happy to see my grandparent’s belongings help someone in need.

  • Forgive yourself for the money you spent and move on. Your space and happiness are more valuable.
  • Remind yourself that the item doesn’t have a place in your home but someone else will love it. “This sweater was a gift, but it isn’t my style. Someone else will love it and wear it.”
  • Visualize your space without the item. Think about how you could rearrange your living room if your grandma’s old piano (that no one plays) wasn’t there. 

Moving forward, be more mindful about what you allow in your home so you don’t create more guilt clutter.

TIPS FOR STOPPING GUILT CLUTTER FROM ENTERING YOUR HOME

  • If you receive an item as a gift that you don’t like, return it to the store as soon as possible before it settles into your home.
  • Before making any big purchases, do your research. Don’t rush into buying something just because it is the next new thing.
  • Before buying anything new, ask yourself if it fits your lifestyle and who you are right now.
  • Simply say “No thank you” when offered things from family or friends that you don’t need.
  • Remind yourself that objects don’t hold your memories.

Have you recently let go of an object that you had been keeping around due to guilt or are you currently holding onto some guilt clutter? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Embrace The Ordinary: Happiness Highlights

*One of my 2021 goals was to keep a Happiness Highlights journal. I plan on sharing some of my happy moments each month to hold myself accountable. I hope they help you pause and recognize all the great small things that are happening in your life.*


Looking back over all my May Happiness Highlights for the month, I noticed that I listed many things that others might consider a chore or boring routine. Mowing, weeding, and making a trip to the store, all made my list. Believe it or not, all of these things do bring me joy. By focusing on the positive of each task, I can turn something mundane into something I look forward to. Embracing the ordinary things makes each day great!

May Happiness Highlights:

  • Extending my garden to include more blueberry and blackberry bushes.
  • Camping to celebrate my daughter’s 4th birthday.
  • Improving my Disc Golf skills from terrible to not so terrible.
  • Quiet bike rides alone.
  • My Vinyasa Yoga class.
  • Updating my goal tracker using some fun bullet journal ideas.
  • Catching up with old friends
  • If you like nature photos, you should check Steve Gingold’s blog. Click here to see one of my favorites he posted recently.

Do you have any Happiness Highlights from your month that you would like to share? If you wrote a post about embracing ordinary things, include a link!

Best Practices To Keep Your Food Storage Spaces Decluttered

To make meal planning easier, and to ensure you aren’t wasting food, keep your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer decluttered. Start by decluttering your food supply (step one) or skip ahead to some best practices you can implement to maintain your decluttered food storage spaces (step two).


Step One: Declutter

1. Remove all the food from your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer (do one space at a time).

2. Clean out the empty space.

3. Discard any spoiled food.

4. Donate or give away any food you won’t eat.

5. Combine duplicates.

6. Return items by grouping similar items together. Be sure to separate any items that need to be used quickly and keep them front and center so you use them up.


Step Two: Implement Best Practices To Keep Your Space Decluttered

Modify recipes so you use up any specialty ingredients you wouldn’t finish otherwise.

Limit your spices to the ones you use most often. If a recipe calls for something you don’t typically use, just skip it or exchange it for something similar that you have.

Plan your meals each week by starting with what you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

Plan to have a leftover meal. I normally do this once a week. I’ll pull out all of our leftovers and my family takes turns selecting their meal for the evening. This is also a great way to finish up small portions of food.

Avoid buying things in bulk unless you use up the portion before your next trip to the store.

Stick to your list when you are grocery shopping. 

Use clear containers so you can see what you have.


Do you already follow any of these best practices? Do you plan on implementing any?

Life Lessons I Learned From Camping

I love camping! Growing up, both of my parents were teachers so we spent most of the summer months traveling as a family in our camper. All of my best memories from growing up took place on a camping trip. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but all of those camping trips provided a foundation for how I would live my life as a grown-up.


Lessons I Learned

Time Spent In Nature Is Therapeutic 

Whether you are hiking, admiring the wildlife, or taking in the scenery, spending time in nature is therapeutic. It allows you to be in the present and feel grateful. Nature has a way of grounding you and allowing you to see the insignificance of the troubles and worries that may overwhelm you at home. I try to get out in nature as much as possible, even if it is just being in my backyard.

Find Time To Just Be

While camping, there are many times you may find yourself just sitting by a fire or sitting at an overlook enjoying the views. There is no rush to be anywhere and no distractions. It is peaceful. You can incorporate this feeling into your life by limiting your commitments and setting aside time to do nothing. Every day I sit and enjoy a cup of vanilla chai without doing anything else.

Related: Is Your Calendar Overflowing? It’s Time To Declutter Your Schedule

Pack Lightly

When camping, you pack the essentials. You plan your meals. You opt for multi use equipment instead of fancy gadgets. You focus on comfort rather than style. You simplify your beauty routine. You find things that are durable and you skip packing anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. Even though at home you aren’t physically packing your belongings in and out of your home all the time, the lighter you keep your belongings the less load you will have to carry emotionally and mentally. 

Treat Everyone Like A Neighbor

You may have heard people say before that campers are the nicest people. I have to agree. I don’t remember a single camping trip where I didn’t meet happy campers. I love all the friendly “hello’s” as you’re walking through the campground, and I love how helpful everyone is.

Several years ago, on the first camping trip with our pop-up, my husband and I arrived when it was already dark. As soon as we started to unhitch, we realized that we had forgotten to bring something to place under our jacks. Before we could even begin to brainstorm about what we should do, our neighbors on either side of our site were out with their flashlights and pieces of wood to help.

I strive to treat everyone I encounter with my happy camper attitude. 

Go With The Flow

From bad weather to a less than ideal site, you never know what obstacles you might encounter while camping. Since you may only have a short trip planned, you make the best of these hiccups. This idea of going with the flow allows you to have an enjoyable trip despite these mishaps. When you apply this idea to your life, you can avoid getting caught at a roadblock when life throws you a setback, and instead, you can pivot and keep going.


Safe travels and happy camping this summer!

Spring Sunshine: Happiness Highlights

*One of my 2021 goals was to keep a Happiness Highlights journal. I plan on sharing some of my happy moments each month to hold myself accountable. I hope they help you pause and recognize all the great small things that are happening in your life.*

April flew by for me! We started the month off with snow and ended it with spring flowers and 80°F weather. I always enjoy when the seasons change because there are so many new and exciting things to do. For me, the warmer weather means more time spent outside working in my yard, going for walks or bike rides, and camping. April provided a lot of beautiful days to enjoy the sunshine and I took full advantage.

April Happiness Highlights:

  • Walking with my mom.
  • Reading in my hammock.
  • The sunshine!
  • Taking a break with an afternoon vanilla chai.
  • I celebrated my 6-month blogiversary.
  • An afternoon hanging out with my nephew to celebrate his birthday.
  • The warm breeze making its way through my open windows and into my home.
  • Lightening my load by selling outgrown clothes from my girls at a consignment sale (Plus, I made some money!)
  • A nature walk where we spotted birds, turtles, frogs, and a snake.
  • I found a new blogger that I like- Living by Eden. Here is one of her posts you might enjoy- Things I No Longer Buy

Do you have any Happiness Highlights from your month that you would like to share? If you wrote a post about enjoying the sunshine and spending time outside, include a link!

A Place For Everything

One of the most important parts of the decluttering process is establishing a place for all of your belongings. If you don’t have a set place for where your things live they will quickly find their way onto countertops, floors, or other random places. This will make your house appear cluttered, despite your efforts to remove unwanted items.

Below is a list of common items that are typically found randomly around a home, creating a cluttered look. Check out the list and see if any apply to you. You may need to create a home for some of these items or even rehome them if they never make it to where they belong.


Shoes

Keys

Bills that need to be paid

Things that need to be fixed 

The book you are reading

Reading glasses/ sunglass

Bag/purse/wallet

Umbrella

Remotes

Pet toys/ accessories 


Join the conversation. Leave a comment below sharing where you keep some of these common items.