With boot-wearing weather just around the corner, this seasonal transition is the ideal time to take some practical steps toward simplicity and a fresh start. Even Starbucks is getting in on the action of a fall makeover, revamping their recipe and offering pumpkin-loaded Pumpkin Spice frappuccinos! Yumm!! Why wait for January 1 to create your own fresh start? Amid all the autumn activity around you is the perfect opportunity to simplify. It’s my favorite time of year for refocusing on what really matters before the holidays are underway and the unstoppable force of the New Year is upon us. Here are my 8 tips for beginning with a clean slate this fall:
1) Invest in a new planner. Lately Erin Condren has been my obsession, but really any planner will do. (Get $10 off you’re EC planner by clicking here and creating a free account!) I’ve tried using iCalendar on my phone but there is something magical about pen and paper that I miss when I go digital. And I will never get over those grace-filled blank pages.
2) Take a cue from grade school by using a pencil. I’ve become obsessed (almost an understatement) with glam-planning lately. (What is glam planning? Here’s a 7 minute commitment to finding out!) However, until I confirm an appointment and glam plan my week, I write all my future plans in pencil. Stuff changes and erasers are magical.
3) Clean up your social media. Un-follow (notice I didn’t say “un-friend”) people you don’t interact with much. Delete time-sucking Facebook and Twitter apps from your phone. I deleted them earlier this year and I don’t miss them. I did at first, but not after a few days and not since. (My one exception being Facebook’s messaging app, several people “text” me that way so I kept it.) I’m still on social media, but not with the same consistency and unconscious dedication I maintained before.
4) Clean out your closet. Donate sweaters and coats and shoes. There are people who need what you’re not using, be generous. Organizations like Dress For Success will take your gently used clothing and use it to help other women in your community. Gather a group of friends and clear out your closets together, knowing that you’re making an impactful difference in your hometown.
5) Sign up for a class. Try Zumba. Throw pottery. Rediscover the Roman empire at your local community college. This is an opportunity to add something essential to your life. Spend time and money investing in something you know you love, or in something new you might find you love. Purchasing experiences and the opportunity to grow is never wasted money.
6) Get a trim. Swimming and being outdoors all summer has wreaked havoc on my hair. I recently updated my hairstyle and had 5 inches taken off. (I’m updating my color too, although I’ll be the first to tell you that colored hair does not lend itself to a low-maintenance minimalistic lifestyle. But I like it too much to stop.) A fresh haircut will help keep your hair tangle-free and easier to style this fall.
7) Clean out your car. The summer months have a way of helping your wheels accumulate clutter. Set a 15 minute timer, grab a trash bag and some Windex wipes and go to town (on your car, not in it.) Toss those smoothie drink cups and sweep out the sand and crumbs from your back seat, hang a new air freshener and enjoy your less cluttered ride.
8) Make a list of regrets and then refuse to regret them anymore. Jot down, on paper, your failed new year’s resolutions, poor past choices, and foolish mistakes. Tally up everything you’d change if you could, chalk it all up to life and learning and the ignorance of your younger self, and then let it go. Grab the grace so freely given and don’t be weighed down by the past. This is about letting go.
I hope these ideas help you create a fresh start this fall! Have anything you’d add to the list? Share your tips and ideas in the comments below, and join me in simplifying life this autumn.