Bella4Eva: OK, are you ready?
Bella4Eva: Well hello, Lilly! How are you doing today?
Lillypad: Fine Bella, thank you for asking.
Bella4Eva: So, Lilly, what made you decide to start simplifying your life?
Lillypad: Being a working parent, I felt like I did not have enough time in the day to do all of the things that needed to get done. I felt like I was constantly cleaning and organizing, and I never got to just BE with my family and the friends I enjoy. So I decided I wanted to get organized and I wanted free time.
Bella4Eva: I agree. We definitely did not spend enough time together.
Lillypad: Off the record - the kids on the blog after us are adorable.
Lillypad: The mom has a haircut that I could see on you.
Bella4Eva: Lethally Fab? The haircut that is an imitation of Christian Siriano?!?! That's a boy haircut!
Lillypad: The Cole's
Lillypad: I like it...it's sharp.
Bella4Eva: I can't find it
Lillypad: Oh well never mind back to the interview.
Bella4Eva: OK, so after you made the decision to simplify your life, what was the first thing that you did?
Lillypad: I started organizing but when organizing the house did not seem like enough, I sat down to make some lists. Lists of what was important to me and what wasn't. From there I had to decide what I was going to reduce or remove from our life. Not just items, but activities and people.
Bella4Eva: What kind of people did you remove?
Lillypad: I reduced the amount of time I was spending with people who obviously were not going to be a major part of my life, people who were toxic were completely removed (I decided I could love them and pray for them from a distance), I reduced the amount of time I was spending with people who were not permanent (coworkers, classmates, people I once knew), and I stopped trying to hang out with people who were always busy (if they want to see me they will make time). Then I made a list of people that I was going to put effort into seeing, even if it meant flying to where they were. That list of people are the ones who are a priority.
Lillypad: If there were people on the list who made it hard for me to be with my family, then they were removed. For example I had a friend who was really vulgar and in order to hang out with her I would have to leave the children at home because she couldn't tone it down in front of them - so she was removed. I love her, she is a blast to hang out with, but I do not want to ditch my kids every time I have to see her. My kids are a part of me and people enjoy them as they would enjoy me.
Bella4Eva: Glad i made the list!
Lillypad: Yes, you did!
Bella4Eva: What else did you remove from your life?
Lillypad: I no longer take organizer rolls when volunteering.
Lillypad: I say no to birthday parties for people we do not see ourselves knowing for long or for people who do not come to our parties.
Lillypad: If my children are not enjoying or learning from an extra curricular activity then I stop going right away.
Lillypad: I got a new job and left the company where I had a long commute and they were not flexible with my children's schedule. The old job also caused me to have a lot of stress.
Bella4Eva: What about things you owned? What section of your house did you start decluttering first?
Lillypad: I started with the hall closet where we keep the medicine, towels, sheets, and cleaning supplies. It was packed full of stuff and we couldn't find anything we needed.
Bella4Eva: How does your hall closet look now?
Lillypad: Like I need to go through it again, lol.
Bella4Eva: Sounds like a great idea for a future post!
Lillypad: Yes, I will post about it in a few days.
Bella4Eva: So how did your family react to all of the changes you were making?
Lillypad: The kids enjoyed being able to find things when looking in the closet and they did not notice that we were reducing the amount of activities we went to.
Lillypad: My sister said she was proud of us.
Bella4Eva: What about your husband?
Lillypad: In the beginning he didn't really understand why I was making these changes, but he has now learned to love every simplifying, frugal, and decluttering change. We recently had a major life change and it just so happened that simplifying fit right it. He is now the master declutterer and really enjoyed simplifying the Christmas list this year by reducing the number of presents we are giving out.
Bella4Eva: That's great!
Bella4Eva: How many years has it been since you first started your journey?
Lillypad: It has been about 4 and a half.
Bella4Eva: How does your life now compare to how your life was 4 and a half years ago?
Lillypad: It is really different. We had a good life then, but I feel my life is much better now. We are not struggling with feelings of obligation anymore. We are still decluttering as any parent of two children will be, but it is easier now and takes less time.
Bella4Eva: I've definitely noticed a change since you started this process. Your house is much more organized, you seem less stressed, and happier.
Lillypad: Thank you for noticing...I am trying.
Bella4Eva: So, what has been the hardest part of your journey?
Lillypad: Staying focused when others do not understand what you are doing or are not on board. Another really difficult part is getting distracted...when you get distracted, you take a few steps back and have to re-implement what you have been doing, like going back to declutter the hall closet again.
Lillypad: I just sent you two emails. Can you tell me if you got them?
Lillypad: I want to use one of them as a picture for my daughter's evite for her birthday party but I need to make it look fancy. It is a princess tea party.
Lillypad: Did you get the email?
Bella4Eva: Hold on a sec.
Bella4Eva: No, I did not.
Lillypad: I am not sure what is going on here.
Bella4Eva: Have people given you a hard time for trying to simplify?
Lillypad: If I text you the pics, can you save them and email them to me?
Bella4Eva: I don't have internet on my phone.
Lillypad: Oh, bummer.
Bella4Eva: What are you doing?
Lillypad: Writing an invitation to my daughter's birthday. =)
Bella4Eva: What were you saying about being distracted? lol.
Bella4Eva: Have people given you a hard time for trying to simplify?
Lillypad: No, just not understood what it means. I find that people like to be busy and say they are busy as if it were a status symbol. I have also noticed that people do not want to get rid of what they have. I think it is because most people like to be in control of their things, so if you give them the idea then they do not want to to do it, but if it is their idea then they are all for it.
Bella4Eva: Have other people noticed a difference in you or your decluttered house?
Lillypad: Yes people have certainly noticed my decluttered house and they enjoy the homey feeling that my house has now. People feel more comfortable coming over and relaxing there.
Bella4Eva: That's definitely encouraging.
Bella4Eva: Is there anything you've decluttered that you later regretted?
Lillypad: I cannot think of anything...maybe some clothes.
Lillypad: But I don't get rid of things that are important to me.
Bella4Eva: Were you able to find something in your closet to wear in place of the item that you gave away?
Lillypad: No, I will need to buy it. lol!
Bella4Eva: Great, there went our readers.
Lillypad: I do not have the perfect closet yet. That is a different post.
Lillypad: That questions sucks - it is an entirely different topic.
Bella4Eva: OK fine
Lillypad: If I want to look crappy, then yes.
Bella4Eva: OK last question. What would you say to someone who isn't sure if they are willing to let go of things in their lives?
Lillypad: I would ask what is keeping that thing, person, or place there? What makes them a priority?
Bella4Eva: OK, well that is all the time we have today.
Bella4Eva: Thanks for talking with me!
Lillypad: Have a wonderful day!