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Go beyond decluttering to achieve that minimalist lifestyle

It’s about more than just “stuff.” 

Go beyond decluttering to achieve that minimalist lifestyle

Decluttering and clearing a home of excess is usually where people begin to tread the minimalist path. Living a minimalist lifestyle looks different for different people. It’s not about perfection, it’s about making progress. It’s about making more deliberate choices when it comes to consuming.


Everyone living or trying a lifestyle with less stuff is on their own journey, doing it their own way.

So if you’ve nailed the decluttering side of things and stopped purchasing stuff you don’t need, you may be thinking, what’s next?

Beyond the physical stuff, we can examine other areas of life for excess as well.

1. TV and social media

After I purged my home of excess items, I began to look at the way I spent my time and what non-stuff things were causing clutter in my life. What were the distractions taking away from the goals that were important to me?

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Turns out I had quite a bit of technology cluttering my life.

A few years ago I stopped watching daily TV and now no longer own one. This was a game changer for me. I “found” more time and realized that the old, "I just don't have time," when it comes to pursuing a goal or dream is not an excuse if you are watching TV. Truth is, you do have time, you're just choosing to use it elsewhere.

By turning my attention to this, my appreciation for how precious little time there is deepened—its finite nature became crystal clear. Unless we have a handle on how to manage time effectively, we’ll give it away to activities and people that aren’t deserving of our most valuable asset.

I began to pay attention to how much scroll time I was spending on Facebook and realized I was battling another type of digital clutter—social media. My 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there scrolling festivals were sucking up my time and adding no value to my life.

Four months ago I removed all but two people from my friends list, keeping my account open but essentially removing scroll bait. Then I unfollowed all but a few other Facebook pages, keeping only the ones that added actual value to my life and projects—mostly pages with inspiring, informative content. I don't think there's anything wrong with social media—just be a ruthless curator of the channels in which you participate.

2. Zero waste

When I adopted a minimalist lifestyle a few years back, my motivation was mostly about finance, not the environment. Two and a half years later, my journey in owning less stuff has lead me to become more interested and aware of the environmental impact of excessive consumerism.

The zero waste movement, like minimalism, is a growing lifestyle choice. I’m not a zero waster myself, but I am blown away by the creativity, passion and social consciousness of people who fully embrace this movement. I’ve become so much more aware of the waste I produce related to even my idea of simpler living. This year I’ll be spending more time learning about the zero waste lifestyle and plan to take a few steps down this path myself.

3. Food

I love to eat, and I eat a lot. Roughly 90 percent of my day is spent thinking about what I’ll eat, when I’ll eat it, and then what I’ll eat after that. My goal is to rock a tight but tasty food budget.

It’s all too easy to eat a diet full of food clutter without even realizing. This year one of my intentions is to eat a more simple, less packaged diet. I subscribed to a vegetarian food box home delivery service for about six months last year, which I loved. It made it so easy for me to prepare more fresh meals and taught me a little more about simple, tasty ingredients for vegetarian recipes. But I recently canceled my subscription because I want to take steps to minimize waste—even though it was fresh food, there was a lot of packaging with this subscription. I also want to learn how to plan and purchase ingredients for plant based meals myself.

4. Finances

Decluttering my finances and paying off debt lead me to minimalism initially. I’m a bit embarrassed to say this, but I had about twelve different superannuation funds over the span of my working life, because I never bothered with the proper administration to move one fund around. I knew I needed to sort this out and understand what was going on with my superannuation, but it all seemed just too hard. I had so much clutter from these funds—not just the actual paper statements, but mental clutter as well. I’ve streamlined my fund now and feel much better for it.

If you stop buying things you don’t truly need, you’ll find yourself with more money to pay down debt, establish an emergency fund or grow your savings. Minimizing financial clutter is also about untangling yourself from contracts where possible, so I choose prepaid or month-to-month options wherever I can. The liberation I’ve earned from decluttering my finances is the freedom I’ve gained to pursue things that are more important to me.

5. Tiny home living

I am obsessed with tiny homes. Like those devoted to the no-waste movement, I am endlessly fascinated and impressed by the creativity embraced by those who are committed to living within a space just big enough to house only what is needed. Tiny home living as a lifestyle movement has gained momentum in the United States and Canada and is growing in Australia. Some choose to live in tiny homes for economic reasons rather than the primary intention to minimize. Whatever their motivation may be, tiny home owners are discovering the kind of liberation that comes with living in smaller, less expensive homes.

With so many threads weaving into minimalist living, I feel like I will always be growing and learning more about this lifestyle. And it doesn’t matter what paths others take toward their goal, I'm committed to walking my own.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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