When people ask me what I do, I often tell them what I do for my “day job” and what occupies my time at night. Rarely do I say that I have a “business” blogging. Why? I think I am still unsure how to explain what I do. When I tell people that I have a website, their faces are in a state of confusion – maybe I don’t look like someone who would be “wise” enough to start a website; or maybe it sounds too “nerdy”; or maybe it sounds boring. I don’t know. Maybe I should ask!?
At the end of March, Organizing Life With Less will be ONE YEAR OLD! I look back at the past 11 months of blogging and I am baffled at where Organizing Life With Less is today. Yes, I had a vision, but I didn’t picture being where I am today.
If you have ever considered starting a blog, I feel there are a few things you should know. Being candid and vulnerable isn’t always so easy, but that is how I have lived my life for the past 5 years. Yes, I am opening myself up for scrutiny, but everyone has a story in my book. I want to tell mine. This will be more of a series as I take a deeper look into how Organizing Life With Less got started, what it took, where it is today, and what my hopes and dreams are for the future of it.
My Journey to Living With Less
Over the past few years, I have really dug deep and tried to figure out what is most important in life. It was during a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, that I realized I didn’t need 5 of the same size pan. I didn’t need bookshelves filled with books I never read. Clothes that collected dust became an eye-sore in my closet. I realized my possessions were controlling me. I was unsettled (thanks to a trip across the seas). For all too long, I was buying things to satisfy this empty void in my life. Except, I didn’t know what that empty void was. I was searching for something, but didn’t know what I was searching for.
For a few years, I had a personal blog that I had kept up. It became almost a daily journal – not just a glimpse into my life. My life is far from “normal” (whatever normal is). I have congenital heart disease, resulting in me not being able to carry children (yes, this is why we do not have kids and yes, we are still praying for a miracle). In 2011, my husband and I had the chance to have a child through a gestational carrier, who was a best friend of mine. We had the joy of finding out we were going to be parents and celebrating the gift of life. Little did I know that our life would take some drastic turns in 2012, that caused deep grief and heartache. After going through the year-long IVF process, our two little children went to their eternal Home at just 3 weeks old in the womb. Though we never officially “met” them, our hearts and hands were left empty. During this process, my husband also lost his job. We didn’t know which way to turn, except to cling to our faith. Though, it was through faith and the support and love of so many (many of whom I met through my personal blog), that we continued to persevere and know that our story was far from over. During that time, we learned what it meant to live a life of love, of unconditional love and grace, that our carrier had shown us. To her and her family, we are forever grateful and we continue a bond and friendship with them, that is like no other.
Shortly after my husband lost his job, we moved in with my in-laws for 5 months. This time gave us the opportunity to take a deep look into our lives, our faith, and find what our purpose is. As I started to think back to that trip to the DR, seeing our belongings in boxes everyday, and eventually moving to another state, I knew that a life of possessions was not the life I wanted to live.
So, ALL THAT TO STILL ASK…
Why did I decide to start Organizing Life With Less?
1. Over-possession. When we could not fit all of our belongings in a 21 foot U-Haul (granted we took all of our appliances), I was embarrassed. While living with my in-laws, time was not hard to come by. I had time to research. To surf the internet about organizing and organization projects. The homemade and handmade. The simple and frugal. THIS was the life I wanted to live. A life filled with possessions I don’t need, is not a life I desired.
2. Do others desire the same? After unpacking our belongings, I continued to find items that we did not need (even though we had gotten rid of so much already). As I started a “donation station” and went through box after box, cupboard after cupboard, I thought “maybe others desire to do the same?” To go through every inch of their home – to look through every-day possessions and ask “do I really need this – do I really need this MANY?” I wanted to take 100 every day items and try to live with less of it, hence my 100 Days of Less series.
3. Sharing my passions. Not only did I want to share my desire with those who desired to do the same, I wanted to start a blog that I could continue, even after the 100 days were over. I care about how others live their life – if they have that same desire. If others want to live with less, I want to partner, network, and encourage them in their own downsizing/living with less process. Did I think I would start my own business out of it? No. Since I had a personal blog, I thought “I can start my own”…except…
4. What’s in a name? What was my goal? What did I want my readers to get from my blog? How do I encompass that into a name – a name that summarizes what I am trying to do and portray? I wanted readers to understand what it meant to live with less, what it meant to live a simple life. What it meant to live an organized life. That life doesn’t have to involve constant consumerism, the desire for more and more, and a life with the latest and greatest. One night, my husband asked me what words described what I was trying to do and I told him not living with so much, while organizing. Hence, that night I went to bed in peace, knowing I would wake up establishing the domain name: www.organizinglifewithless.com.
5. Dream job. This truly is something I have always wanted to do! I have always wanted to start my own business – doing what, I wasn’t sure. Having just moved to Minnesota, I did not find a job that was doable for our life situation, until the middle of May (we moved in March). What helped me get through that time? Organizing Life With Less. Every day, I woke up, spent about 6-7 hours researching, learning by trial and error, making phone calls, setting up accounts, and did I mention researching, as I figured out what it meant run a blog more as a “business” instead of a personal blog.
And I have not regretted it. I have “met” (not in person yet :)) so many incredible people, have had amazing networking and partnering opportunities, and have grown and stretched myself in ways I never thought possible. Oh do I have a long ways to go!
I can say confidently, that starting Organizing Life With Less, has been the perfect choice, in challenging myself to live with less, while experiencing the joys of starting my own business!