Hey guys! I hope you had a great Monday to start your week off yesterday and that you’re enjoying the beginning of fall. Recently I felt motivated by the change in weather and decided to do a little life clean up in a few areas and thought I’d share the journey with you guys. Because that’s what my blog is – a place to share stories (I’d love to hear more of yours in the comments; sometimes blogging is a little one-sided but I love hearing about YOUR lives, too!).
So, what prompted it? Coming off the summer, we finally got home and settled back into our apartment in Calgary and noticed that things needed to be cleaned up. It’s amazing how dusty a place can get even when you’re not living there! So Mikey and I tackled our gear room post-Survive & Thrive Expeditions’ summer of adventures. That took a while but made us feel so good, so on a day when I had only some morning clients, I decided to keep the party going. Next up? My closet.
As a personal trainer, almost all of my daily clothes are workout-related, but over the years my closet has built up like anyone else. Living in a place where the seasons require different types of clothing, I’m used to rotating my wardrobe every winter/spring, summer/fall, but the build up was still more than I needed. I’d read about capsule wardrobes online and decided just to go for it. So I dumped all my clothes from my closet and dresser on my bed and without thinking much about my emotional attachment to any piece, sorted each item into: doesn’t fit (give away!); is too old/ratty (throw away!); keep. That’s it! I also went through my workout clothes (I kept more of them because I rotate through so many for work) but went through the same procedure.
By the end of the process my dresser only had about 3 t-shirts (and 3 nicer ones hanging up), 3 long sleeve shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of pants and my workout section was nicely tided up. I gave away the above 3 bags of clothes and 1 bag of shoes and threw away one more torn or tattered bag of clothes/shoes. That.felt.amazing!
bottoms/long sleeve shirts
Is it hard for you to part with clothes?
But why stop there? I’d always wanted to tackle our pantry, which is very spacious for our apartment but wasn’t organized at all. So, I went to dumping all the extra or old spices that were dried up, crusty, and that I never used.
I also decided it was a good time to do a sugar cleanse and tossed all the foods we’d held onto “just in case” we wanted them: half-eaten boxes of cookies, items with added sugar and/or fake ingredients, and extra mason jars that were taking up space and that I never used. A good rule of thumb for me for clothes and household items is that if I haven’t used them at all over the past year (and especially if I totally forgot about them), toss them and move on!
Now my pantry looks a little something like this:
(with my reminders in little sticky notes on there!)
Lastly, I tackled the refrigerator. I wasn’t as crazy as to go too far and actually clean the thing, but I did decided to throw out the added sugar sauces and half-eaten jars. Over the summer, I was enjoying s’mores occasionally, dark chocolate nightly, and my weekly licorice treat, and it occurred to me that if I was cleaning up my home I should think about what I’m putting in my body. Sure, you can be fit and healthy and function well with a #moderation365 approach, but every now and then it’s good to not give yourself any outs or options to indulge in what doesn’t contribute to your body’s energy and recovery needs. So that’s just what I did!
Is it hard for you to keep things kept up in your kitchen?
After tossing the extras and seeing a bare fridge, I restocked with lots of fresh vegetables, no-sugar-added meats, full fat cream in place of anything low fat (where there is added sugar), and then discovered a few new products to try out.
My sister-in-law, Catherine, shared with me the benefits of “true cinnamon” versus conventional cinnamon, or the difference between ceylon and cassia. Here’s a great article that explains the differences between the cinnamons from the same family and why they aren’t that much different for your body (unless consuming huge amounts). Despite that, I’ve been out of my (beloved coffee-topper, breakfast addition, dinner sprinkler) cinnamon so when I was out at the natural foods store I picked some up:
And lastly, in an effort to clean up the rest of my life, I joined a client in making a pact and tackling our sleep together. Every night at 9 pm, we text one another to make sure our screens are off so we can begin shutting down. He told me about an app he uses, Sleep Cycle, to track how well he’s sleeping, so I immediately downloaded the Sleep Cycle App Bundle (about $3) and am finding it fascinating to track my sleep. More and more I’m learning about (or rather, finally taking to heart,) the value of sleep; Kindal just wrote a post all about it! I’m finding that I have more time on my hands when I’m not scrolling Instagram or reading blogs at night. I’m prepping earlier for my clients, feeling more prepared for each day, doing random dishes instead of letting them pile up, remembering to water the plants, and reading other books again. I’m not perfect every night but this accountability (thanks, Zach!) is welcome and I’m getting more rest with my Monday – Friday early clients.
We both also (unknowingly) picked up some of this tea:
And I have to admit, it knocks me out a bit! Not right away, but I can feel myself getting sleepy. So I’m not using it every night, but everything in it is natural so I’m not worried as long as it doesn’t become a sleep aid. I think the no-screen thing is helping prepare me for bed the best! I’m finally following my own advice and those that know that sleep is key to recovery, muscle growth and even weight loss. Sleep for better EVERYthing!
And those are the ways I’m cleaning up my life right now. You know what? It feels really good. The main thing is I just decided to go for it and stop saying, “I’ll clean up my closet next weekend” or, “I’ll take a look at my sugar consumption after that last summer s’more…” It feels good and being more minimal in my food, my life, my STUFF just feels good.
When’s the last time you had a good clean-out? Want to join me in a good fall clean-up?
Live well & be well, friends,