Getting Real: Minimalism & Blogging

If you’re like most of us, tidying up, deep cleaning, and refreshing home is on the list for January. Christmas comes down and with it our spaces receive an implicit reset. But can I tell you something, after running a lifestyle blog for 5 years, I was simply shocked with my latest cleanout. My blogging closet had been overrun by stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I could justify it. There was a paying client, sponsored content, or affiliate link behind every purchase. Recently I’ve lived in an odd tension. With every piece of content, it simply takes things to create them. Over the past 5 years it adds up and with this year I learned how unruly the closet had become.

Here’s the (somewhat shameful facts):
In my closet (I have two closets in my 1000 sq ft apartment used for this), there are:
– home renovation tools, stains, and paste waxes from former projects
– 85 linen napkins in various colors and styles (did I mention I live by myself)
– brass candle holders, votives, and chargers
– 5 pillows for holiday and season switches
– outdoor accessories for holiday shoots
– 2 bins of craft supplies
– packaging and stock of client gifts
– 2 bins of tax paperwork
– 1 additional printer
– old home decor (lighting, mirrors, shower curtains, etc.)

When it came to looking at all of these things, I found myself both overwhelmed and longing to offer you, my readers something better. Because here’s the honest truth, I love sharing bits of my life, but I don’t enjoy shopping every weekend (or making you feel like you need to do the same). I’ve lived in the tension of simplifying my life and simultaneously know there’s a need for continual content creation both for myself and for my clients. So what’s a girl to do?

Here’s where I started, by asking a few of these questions:

Are the items I’m keeping things I would still use, highlight, or write about?

There are the things that are both timeless and notoriously classic. The wool Pendleton pillows? Yes, I’m definitely saving these for the perfect leather chair and sheepskin moment when I redo my living room. The copper ornaments that look like perfume bottles? Those I’m more than willing to part with.

Would I naturally be buying these items if it weren’t for shopping my affiliates?

This question was a total gut check for me. Some of my partnerships have been incredibly strategic. However, I’m learning the places I want to say yes, where you all are actually responding, and knowing the implicit value of evergreen content. Are these items I would love and rave about if there was no monetary value tied to them? Would I still believe that they add value to my life? This has informed what I do and don’t talk about and what items I’m placing in the shop this spring.

Is the item disposable or can it be reinvented with fresh items again and again?

With seasonal decor and gatherings, it’s simple to collect items for tabletops, gatherings. There is the implicit need to purchase new items with every season. Because of this, I’m pushing myself to build out a stunning prop capsule where food and floral can be the highlight, enjoyed by many but with far, far less waste. It’s choosing to find creative freedom within discipline and constraint. I already have a few amazing staples and dish sets and am looking to expand my collection of hand thrown pottery and stoneware pieces. It’s these small and simple steps that truly bring a recipe and food image to life.

What is custom and truly apart of Glisten and Grace?

There is much of the blog that can be purchased from a big box store. I get that. It’s a way to provide an audience with an access point to your life, provide inspiration, and bring a piece of a personal brand into your home. While some of our staple pieces will remain, this year our hope is to increase our level of custom and digital products in the shop. We know that there are resources and pieces you long to have both in your life and your business. It’s something we’re working on in the winter months and can’t wait to launch them in the spring.

Here’s where we’re going:
Gatherings and home vignettes are coming back.

If we were to have a virtual cup of coffee, I’d tell you more than things, I want connection. It’s the salt of the earth kind of stuff that I live for. More than goals and running after all the dreams on your heart, I’d ask you how you’re making space for people above, beside, and beneath you. I’d remind you that more than anything there’s beauty in the imperfections, that your life and heart is a gift, and that community surrounding the table is the absolute best.

Featuring basics, quality items, and pieces that you’ll hold onto for years to come.

If I’m perfectly honest, I’m over fast fashion. There are very few pieces that don’t come from a few retailers. During a day trip recently, I found myself explaining the value of denim and how it has changed the environment within a few decades. While I am no means an expert on sustainability, I find myself investing in quality pieces and simply changing out a few items from season to season. More than a capsule wardrobe, it’s choosing to make wise choices as a consumer, finding simplicity, and showcasing value through intention. It comes through a less is more mentality, choosing to forage, purchasing from farmers markets, and highlighting where I live.

Focusing on experiences over things.

Every year I talk about this and find myself longing for it even more. There’s something about the constant noise, needing to be constant plugged into devices, and being available 24/7 that brings a need for time off more than ever before. It’s the balance of deliberate simplicity and hustle. It’s choosing rest and fight for margain, working toward time off, refreshment for soul, and finding a healthy rhythm. The quote, “Learn to Rest, not quit” feels truer to my heart now more than ever. That’s why this year, I’m focused on adventure and reclaiming a bit more of my life. It means I’ll be keeping office hours, managing client expectations, and focusing on sustainable growth. I already have a few trips I’m looking forward to and on the calendar, but know that the gatherings I create and the community I share it with is far more valuable to me than having a stunning home. How does this affect the blog? You’ll be seeing far more recipes, moments of imperfection, and highlighting my region again. There’s amazing places where I live. It’s the beauty of Colorado with the climate of California. Expect adventure posts, city guides, hiking trails, and a few fun projects tied in to show up.

Featured image from Styled Stock Blogger Collection

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