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My forties have brought numerous epiphanies along the way. I can easily say that the most profound has been that minimizing and streamlining in every area of our lives can and will exponentially improve our sense of wellbeing.

Who of you can relate to some or all parts of this picture?

  • An overfilled closet that has spilled into coat closets, guestroom closets, your children’s closets, and/or countertops and floor spaces;

  • A desk at work and/or home that can’t even function as a desk because of the Mt. Everest-size mountain of disorganized papers (and other unidentified objects) growing on top of and around it;

  • A overfilled pantry that contains 4 different bottles of pancake syrup, 3 jars of peanut butter, 6 half-used boxes of pasta and an array of things that expired in between 2009 and 2013;

  • Five different makeup bags floating around the bathroom that contain a total of 16 different eyeliners, 6 mascaras (5 of which are out of date), 24 shades of lipstick and 5 half-used bottles of self-tanner;

  • A mind that is so overfilled with thoughts about yesterday and tomorrow that we have, at times, no idea what the person speaking to us just said because we are so disconnected with the pure simplicity of the one thing transpiring in this very moment.

This is starting to feel very personal, so I’ll stop right there, but I’m sure you can insert at least 10 more examples of your own! Rest assured, all of this is very normal, so don’t feel bad! I’m at Love Your Body 7 days a week, hearing from customers all day long about their lives and the frustrations and challenges they face. I have three young children and the same issues are shared by nearly every mom I visit with during school drop off. As often as I hear about struggles with body image, I also am regaled with the difficulties of having too much to do and deal with. It is from these conversations and tons of introspection and reading that I have come to realize that my most meaningful goal is to find ways to bring joyful simplicity into my life, my children’s lives, and the lives of my customers and clients.

I want you to think of Love Your Body as a sort of “distillery.” Allow us to help you take the guesswork and time commitment out of everything from building your closet to cooking dinner by unearthing for you the best of the best. Through our blogs and offerings, we’ll do the sifting and sorting for you, bringing to the surface those things and ideas that will help you to enhance the quality of your life. Let your streamlining begin here and now.

Each week, I’ll share with you one or more of the streamlining challenges I’m facing and what I’m doing about it. I hope that I can inspire you and I invite you to respond with your own ideas, resources, questions and experiences!

Here’s what’s on my mind this first week of October: Halloween is only weeks away and my kids are chomping at the bit to figure out their costumes. They also want me to get in on the fun and dress up. Although this is such an exciting time of year for the kids, I’m going to be honest—I kind of dread it. Halloween costumes always seem to require both time and money. I’m busy and I’m also trying to minimize our accumulation of “stuff.” So, this year I’m going to challenge all of us to incorporate some repurposing. What do we each already have that can be integrated into our costume? Can my 8-year-old son use those bright green sweatpants of his to begin to build a “Hulk” outfit that may ultimately only require a painted face? Can I style myself as a super cool Pocahontas with my favorite new Astars fringe wrap skirt from Love Your Body?

If the overwhelm of Halloween resonates with you, I challenge you to be creative with what you already own! To that end, we’re launching a contest here at LYB: submit to us your creative ideas for a repurposed Halloween costume via Instagram, tag LYB and a friend, and use the hashtag #LoveYourCostume, and we will enter you into a drawing for a $50 gift card to LYB.

Cheers to simple living!

Lisa Berry

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