Declutter

These are four areas that Len and I decluttered so we can live abundantly:

1. OUR PURSUITS
We identified three opportunities that genuinely light us up — that align with our values and strengths — and let go of the rest.

2. OUR RELATIONSHIPS
We took an in-depth look at relationships that we want to nurture, including boundaries we set where needed, and habits of engagement that we continue to develop (i.e., listening, appreciating, helping) — and let go of the rest.

3. OUR THOUGHTS
We realized that the person we speak with the most is ourself. With that in mind, we make a practice of listening to our internal monologue, then ask ourselves: “Is it true? Is it logical? Is it helpful?” When we come across thoughts that aren’t positive, uplifting, constructive, or healing, we pluck them out like weeds. They don’t have a place in our internal garden.

4. OUR STUFF
We eliminated things that aren’t must-haves so that we can enjoy what we truly find pleasure in. I love how Seth Godin puts it: 

“The frenzied search for more is a distraction and a place to hide, all in one. Pick the right stones and cherish them as you turn them over. That’s enough.”

Do you resonate with any of the four declutter areas listed in this post? Click To Tweet

Do you resonate with any of the four declutter areas listed in this post?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Category: Food for Thought

Medicine Cabinet

After the Capsule Wardrobe post last week, I received a dozen emails asking:

 “What does a minimalist this look like?”
“What does a minimalist that look like?”

The easiest question to answer first is, What does the inside of a minimalist medicine cabinet look like?

Some of you aren’t old enough to remember the Right Guard deodorant television commercials from when I was growing up. But I assure you, I don’t see another human being when I open my medicine cabinet door! 

I don’t know about other minimalists, but here’s what inside my medicine cabinet:

medicine cabinet watermark

TOP SHELF—LEFT TO RIGHT

  • CeraVe AM moisturizer with SPF 30
  • CeraVe PM moisturizer with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid
  • Boom! — The one and only makeup item that I use on my cheeks and lips for color
  • LaVanila, the healthy deodorant (vanilla/grapefruit)
  • LaVanila, the healthy fragrance (vanilla/grapefruit)
  • MyChelle sun protection with replenishing solar defense SPF 30 broad spectrum

BOTTOM SHELF—LEFT TO RIGHT

  • Toothpaste — Colgate Optic White stain fighter
  • Toothbrush
  • Tongue scraper
  • Honest face & body lotion
  • Hello mouthwash naturally healthy with aloe vera and coconut oil

 You might be wondering where Len keeps his stuff. It’s in one of the bathroom vanity drawers. The other drawers contain our shared items (q-tips, floss, cotton balls, band-aids, etc.).

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Capsule Wardrobe

My friend Jane B. sent me a Facebook message saying that her yoga group was curious about my minimalist’s wardrobe. I understand that it’s hard for some people to wrap their head around, so I pulled my clothes out of the closet and hung them on a bar so you can easily see that I have 29 pieces—a capsule wardrobe. I grouped the pieces into three sections:

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The LEFT side is my yoga/activewear.
You’ll count 7 hangers, but we’ll call it 9 because while taking the photo I was wearing a top and bottom from that group.

The MIDDLE section comprises my casual/everyday clothing.
You’ll count 12 hangers.

The RIGHT side is my dressier pieces.
You’ll count 7 pieces, but I purchased a dress after this photo was taken, so we’ll call it 8.

I call my wardrobe an “abalone capsule” because the pieces that aren’t black, grey, or white (my base colors) are comprised of colors found in an abalone shell: blues, greens, teals, and turquoise.

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Somewhat like Garanimals (the children’s mix-and-match clothing line), I can grab clothing from any section of my closet and know that they’ll match. The cool part? I only own and wear items that I love.

What kind of relationship do you have with your closet—enjoyment or dread? Click To Tweet

In my experience, the thing that’s vital in a successful capsule wardrobe is owning well-made pieces. If you looked at my clothing tags, you’d find Patagonia, Title Nine, Marmot, and Columbia. I own one purse (Baggallini), and my shoes are either Clarks or Keene.

The photo of my capsule wardrobe isn’t a single season of clothing, it’s all of my clothing—except for undergarments (Boody Eco Wear) and swimsuit (Speedo). On a coatrack by the front door, you’ll find my coat, vest, ear-covers, and gloves (Patagonia).

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My clothing reflects my personality and lifestyle. I’m an active, outdoorsy type of gal.

What kind of relationship do you have with your closet—enjoyment or dread?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Calm from Chaos

As a dyed in the wool minimalist, when Courtney Carver came to Boise on her Tiny Wardrobe Tour, you can be sure I was in the audience.

Famously coining her wardrobe lifestyle “Project 333,” Courtney wears 33 pieces of clothing (including shoes/accessories) for 3 months (a season), and then repeats the process for the next season, and so on.

I wear 25 pieces of clothing (including shoes/accessories) for 6 months (fall/winter) and then repeat the process for the next two seasons (spring/summer).

And while this certainly isn’t everyone’s ideal, for people who are interested, but leery because it sounds difficult, it’s not. In fact, it’s fun and oh so liberating! I had to laugh when Courtney explained it the way that I describe it to people, “It’s like Garanimals for adults.”

Is your closet a place of calm?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Lighten Up

In late September I had the pleasure of reuniting with several people I’d gone to high school with. It wasn’t a formal reunion. Rather, it was a gathering of individuals who’d attended Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California, who now reside in the Pacific Northwest.

It was an enjoyable visit. In talking with people, I learned that in addition to our age, shared school, and the fact that we live in the Pacific Northwest, we have another common denominator. Without exception, the people Len and I spoke with are contemplating, or in the process of downsizing.

Within this collective mindset, it turns out that less is more, and that “he who dies with the most toys” doesn’t win.

What was the last physical item you offloaded?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

A minimalist, not only do I live light, I pack light too. For my three-month sabbatical I brought two pairs of jeans, four 3/4-length sleeve shirts, a down vest, a down jacket, jammies, and under clothing—including woolly pulleys.

My footwear consists of snow boots, snow shoes, and slippers. Serious slippers!

Hint #8 — From in the state, and out, people travel from all over to enjoy the year-round outdoor recreational offerings in my sabbatical location. Good thing I brought snow boots, because hiking (trails are prevalent) is great for clearing the cobwebs in one’s mind before writing.

While hiking, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these types of tracks: mule deer, grizzly bear, elk, wolf, fox, coyote, and raccoon.

My boots leave tracks too, but my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

What type of tracks do you leave?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not the Splits!

You’d think that as a tree-hugging minimalist, I’d prefer an online calendar. And while I use one for back-up and electronic reminders, I love my paper calendar.

What I don’t enjoy is having my weekends split—with Sundays on the left side of the page and Saturdays on the right. I don’t live split weekends, so it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around them, even on paper.

After a bit of research, I found a paper calendar that leaves the weekends intact—Saturday and Sunday together on the right-hand side of the page—at the end of the week. Hence, weekend. I’m giddy with delight!

What’s your calendar preference?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

My Cup Runneth Over

When we saw this trailer overflowing with bicycles galore, I thought, Holy cow, that’s a lot of bicycles! I don’t know who owns them or why they have so many, but clearly their “cup runneth over.”

For the rest of the walk I wondered, what do I have a lot of? Certainly nothing tangible in that quantity. But I have a heckofa lot of intangibles to be grateful for: peace, joy, and whole health—body, mind, and spirit. In fact, my cup runneth over!

Does your cup runneth over?

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

My cup runneth over. Does yours? Click To Tweet

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not Julie Andrews List

With our recent four-day loss of internet connectivity, we came to realize just how important — vital — the internet has become in our daily lives. That “digital detox” provided me with unexpected time to enjoy a few of my favorite things and brought to mind a conversation my friend Kathryn McCullough and I had last fall on her blog, Reinventing the Event Horizon, where I shared with her (cue the music for My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music)

“As you know, I have very few material possessions. My favorites include a sarape/cape I bought in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, a wide-brimmed garden hat my husband bought me in Colorado, and what I lovingly call my Buddha Butt — a small hand-crafted meditation bench. I have a pair of mahogany chopsticks that Len got me in Yokosuka Japan that I use daily, and I have a pair of black pants — high waisted like Katharine Hepburn wore — that have served me well for many years.”

Laurie in Cape 11-2012
What are a few of
your favorite things?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

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More(+) Equals(=) Less(-)

If “less is more,” then it stands to reason that conversely, more is less. From my perspective, that extols a simple lifestyle, but don’t take my word for it!

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As a simple living enthusiast and research for a new book, I took a diverse sampling of 12 people from my client base and asked, “What does it mean to live a simple life?” Here’s what they said:

  • “Slow down and enjoy small simple pleasures.”
  • “Live more with less.”
  • “Embrace opportunities and experiences rather than material possessions.”
  • “Get back in touch with nature.”
  • “Buy quality in the first place—less consumption means less load on the environment.”
  • “Less clutter—body, mind, and spirit.”
  • “Paring down to what’s essential in my life — not deprivation, but healthy balance.”
  • “Need-based living rather than want-based living.”
  • “Create and honor empty spaces in my life—small crevices of silence and pockets of stillness.”
  • “Live up to my own expectation, not society’s.”
  • “Live within my means.”
  • “Get back to basics: engage with real people (authentic), real food (not processed), real work (contributes to society)—the meaningful real fabric of life.

Now I ask you, “What does it mean to live a simple life?”

What does it mean to live a simple life? Click To Tweet

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com