how to create an everyday uniform

...Let me give you a window into an average day for me as a mom of 2 little kiddos. My kids wake me up before 6 almost everyday. I wear my pajamas around the house while getting the kids ready for school and I'm so out of it I'm lucky if my shirt is not on backwards. I maybe change into a slightly more adult-ish looking outfit to take my son to school, (aka turn my shirt around the right way). My shirt kind of smells because i really want to use natural deodorant (but it isn't working quiet right ... yikes). I come home with my three year old daughter and think, oh good, she is playing quietly, maybe i'll get ready for the day while she plays.

As soon as this plan is set in my mind, she starts to follow me around making a request for her third breakfast. I start to think about what kind of outfit I want to wear today, but my brain starts to skip around like a scratched CD.  I can't focus without my thoughts being interrupted with a request from my daughter and think in my head, "LEAVE ME ALONE". I love her, but as an scatter-brained introvert, this wears me out. 

I brush my hair, put on some mascara... and I feel guilty that I told my little girl to leave me alone in my mind. I throw on some workout shorts telling myself that I might work out today. 

Also worth mentioning, my daughter has worn three different outfits at this point (before 9am) & the one she finally lands on includes Christmas leggings and a watermelon dress.

Can you see why I need some simplicity in my life (and my closet...)? I'm working on sharing an idea for a solution to this problem tomorrow, but want to hear from you:  Is this at all what your life is like?  Have you figured out anything that's helped?

As I am on a mission to simplify my life & closet, i definitely find that sometimes life becomes more complex as a result of decision fatigue. 

here's an idea: create a uniform that helps simplify your morning routine.  here's what I mean:

How to create an everyday uniform

no, this does not involve joining the navy or getting a job at taco bell.  an everyday uniform is a consistent, pre-planned outfit you always have ready for a day of the week or occasion that makes you look and feel amazing.

First, define what type of day you need a uniform for.

Maybe it's Monday for you because Monday is one of the hardest day to get going with life/work/kids. Maybe it's getting ready for church that always is a sticking point. What will you be doing on this day and what kind of outfit would best help you to look and feel great?  Mondays are my sticking point.  I'm going to create a Monday Uniform outfit. 

second, Decide What clothes ideally would make you happiest for this type of day? 

Comfortable clothes? Professional?  Sassy?  Fun?  Is there a color or pattern you love that makes you happy? To create your uniform, start with your favorite clothes that fit the bill. Make it something you feel awesome in, but that also will be appropriate for you to handle the tasks for the day.

third, set out your clothes.

Put your 'uniform' pieces in a place where you can easily pull them together and put them on.

My Monday uniform:  the Allie top + Summer Cardigan from my shop (+  leopard printed earrings !), paired with Target jean shorts and birks

My Monday uniform:  the Allie top + Summer Cardigan from my shop (+ leopard printed earrings!), paired with Target jean shorts and birks

fourth, redefine seasonally. 

This could almost be a mini-capsule for you. I don't know if I like the idea of a capsule closet, but I think I this sort of applies the same idea on a smaller scale. 

I would love to see what your uniform would be + what it would be for if you give it a try! Tag me with your uniform on ig or share your uniform in my facebook community

If you are looking for some pieces like the ones above to help simplify your closet, these pieces will be available Monday in my shop

what is one delightful shop?

one delightful shop sign letter board

As I am simplifying my closet...life...all the things, I wanted to share with you the direction we are headed with One Delightful Shop. First off, we don't know 100%.  We are on a journey to figure out what its going to look like to run a shop that helps people find clothes they feel amazing about while also remaining committed to helping others find simplicity in life and in our closets.

Allowing this to be a slow process of figuring out what is next has allowed us to dream more than I would have imagined. I am grateful that it has helped our vision to shift as we have it given it time, which is why we are slow to say 'this is what we are doing.' 

If you are in our facebook community, you are seeing us process simplifying to our messy lives. I started with our kitchen & now am working my way through my clothing & accessories.  I still love fun, comfortable clothing with a conscious ... I just want to have less of them and to feel good about myself in everything I own. As we have started to dream, what's become clear is our desire to keep One Delightful Shop open with these value I just mentioned in mind. 

bell sleeve top over black dress

Being a mostly stay-at-home mom (well, more like work-at-home mom), I like comfortable clothing. I don't need a lot of dressy things, but I like comfortable clothes that makes me feel beautiful and stylish. Because so much of my brain space is devoured by my work and my little minions, I need easy to assemble outfits so that I don't end up wearing the shirt I slept in the night before everyday. 

I know need a few accessories that make me feel fancy...

or can accessories that can take a causal outfit and dress it up a little bit for a date night. 

But I still want to be comfortable in those things.

Ya dig me? 

Maybe this describes your life or maybe you work outside of the home, but you still need those kind of pieces in your wardrobe.

so...We are beginning to curate a shop like this

+ we can't wait to show you some of the things we've been preparing for you very soon!

curating simple, beautiful clothes you can feel great in

simple.  

functional + versatile.

comfortable, but fun!

made in the USA. 

& we hope you will love it! 

P.S.  If you love the simplicity experiment, don't worry!

We are continuing on our journey toward a simplified life that leaves space for what matters most.  

One Delightful Shop is a part of this journey + we hope the two will overlap nicely.  Here's to a simplified life + closet!

the simple closet challenge: 3 steps to a simpler closet that you can feel great about

Clothes. So simple, yet so complicated.

I feel fat in that. 

That shirt show my mom pooch. 

I'm too pasty for that skirt right now. 

I don't have anything to wear with that dress. 

That material is itchy. 

The simplicity experiment the simple closet challenge

is getting dressed for the day a pain point for you too? 

It is for me. I really like clothes & honestly am NOT looking to create a capsule wardrobe.

FYI..Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called "Wardrobe" in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. - Wikipedia

I love clothes, but it seems like I need more of a balance in my life between having the right pieces of clothing that I love & the courage to let go of ones I don't. 

3 steps to a simple closet

What to wear needs to be simpler.  I need to look at which pieces would help me to make an easier decision for what to wear that day & take a little stress of the morning routine.

I do literally have a small closet, but I know I have a lot of things in it that I don't wear & that I am holding onto for some reason: usually sentimental, possibly ridden with guilt (aka, I don't like this, but so and so gave it to me so I should keep it).  

Deciding what to wear should make me feel good about myself.  Half my clothes are aspirational for how I think I should dress and what I think I should fit into, but end up making me feel so bad that I just end up wearing a sweatshirt & leggings instead. 

What is in my closet should be helping the people that make it to thrive.  I sometimes worry about where things are made. Am I unintentionally supporting a system I don't want to support by wearing certain brands of clothing that are made in unsafe factories or by children? 

This week, I'm going to start to unpack our closet and share with you guys how I am going to address these issues that I have with it. And you can join me! WOOT! 

Make sure you are on our email list to get our free printable on how to to begin the process of decluttering your closet. I shared some on how to start this process in our community group on facebook.   

Here's a basic overview of the process:

how get started on your simplified closet challenge

  1. TAKE EVERYTHING out of your closet & drawers 

    • (you could also do this one section of your closet or one drawer at a time)

  2. sort each piece into the categories below by picking it up & asking yourself...

    • Does this fit?

    • Have I worn this in the last 12 months? Will I wear it again? 

    • Do I love this piece or is it serving an important function?

    • Is it damaged?

keep sell purge-atory simple closet categories

KEEP is your yes bin. 

SELL (or giveaway) is your "not keeping, but it has some value." For me, if I can sell an item, it leaves a little wiggle room in my budget to find an item I truly love to replace it or can lessen the guilt of getting rid of an item.

PURGE-ATORY is the indecision pile. Set a reminder on your phone to re-evaluate these items in a month. If you have not missed them, give them away or sell them. If they are really sentimental - consider making a SMALL sentimental box to put in storage. 

shirts on wooden hangers one delightful shop

Then step 3, start to put things back. I'll get more into this soon, but I would suggest putting things with like items. (ie all workout clothes go together, all tank tops go together so you can find them easily)

HANGER TRICK: put hangers on backward to use as an evaluation tool to see what you are really wearing. If in a month or two, there are a bunch of things that haven't been turned around, maybe you want to consider purging them as well. 

A simple, ethical (with some grace) closet full of clothes you can feel great in is the idea we are developing products around at One Delightful Shop.  

We are super excited to share more with you all about that soon!  Jump in on our challenge by getting on our email list & printing out the printable that we'll send you soon to get started.

In the email, we'll also give you a way to join in on the closet challenge.  If you join in, we'll have a little something special for you during our one delightful shop site relaunch!

xo, katie bowling

the simplicity experiment: the kitchen

So this week I decided to start with the kitchen in our house because it is a room used everyday & also seems to be the dumping ground for other clutter in our lives. We don't have a laundry room or a mudroom or a pantry so the kitchen really is our hub for most things. The heart of the house if you will, but sometimes it feels like the armpit. Our kitchen isn't worthy of being on Hoarders, but its far from a simple, serene space to enjoy uncluttered cooking, family time ... (or a glass of wine by myself).  I have four goals for the kitchen that I am hoping will simplify our lives & make us a little happier.

#GOALS (why do I use that expression all the time?!)

  • Find a spot for things on counters in the kitchen that shouldn't be there
  • Eliminate dishes, appliances, etc that we do not use or love
  • Set up an efficient system for meal prep, snacks, baking, etc. 
  • Bonus, make it more beautiful

Here is our start...It is a beautiful kitchen - but it just needs some love & organization. 

kitchen before with all the clutter

And just for funzies - if you are joining us or just want a fun playlist - I made one for such a time as this...starting with appropriately, "my house" by Flo Rida because I'm not a real mom, I'm a cool mom.

 

On day one - this past Monday - I planned on emptying every cabinet in the kitchen & making decisions on what I would keep, throw away, giveaway, etc. Lol lol. Why did I think I could get that much done in a couple hours?!

I quickly realized I needed to just tackle one thing at a time, so I focused on food items not in the refrigerator. This also made me think that the kitchen might be the hardest room in the house to simplify because everything that needs to be decluttered I thought I should also clean while I was at it. I'm a hot mess.  So I gave up on my mission of total kitchen simplification in a week and just decided to get our non-refrigerated foods in order and create a system to restock them without our cabinets again exploding into a cornucopia of foods that we only use once like tapioca pellets and condensed coconut milk.  I used three questions to help my process:

What foods should I overstock so that we have plenty of them?
What should I always have in my pantry?
What are some new meals we could add?

A little inspo here.  I haven't applied most of these things yet (remember ... hot mess), but I like the idea of them.  

kitchen-plan.jpg

before

My plan here was

1 / to empty out our pantry cabinets. 

2 / Toss expired food & giveaway food we don't use.

3 / Identify foods I should have in my pantry (particularly ones that I could stock up on & not need to constantly rebuy)

4 / Put things back in a way that is easy to access

kitchen-cabinet-after.jpg

after

 

Put stuff back. Yay. 

Made a station for making lunch for our son since that happens every week day. 

Happy dance!

I more or less was able to finish the pantry in a couple of hours, which spurred me on to want to create a pantry list of go to things I'd like to make sure I have in stock. I also felt like we needed a space to list meal ideas because I often get into food ruts & can't think of anything to cook.

This is totally do-able for a person such as yourself.  i would recommend....

  • Pick a space to evaluate in your house (or office, etc)

  • What is the purpose of this space & is it serving its purpose?

  • What are pain points in the space? (places where clutter builds or you can't find things, etc. For us we had a couple of spaces where stuff was piling up that needed to be dealt with but they never were being addressed.)

  • Set a few small goals for the room or space (mine are listed above for the kitchen) & plan a reward if you hit your goals (can be small or big!)

  • Start with something small that you can succeed with (i.e. Empty a drawer or cabinet that is not working for you - but only commit to one at a time)

  • Take everything out of that space and put it in piles designated:
    • Keep
    • Toss
    • Giveaway (or sell)
    • Indecision Purgatory Box / I am so bad at making decisions (thus, clutter...) Your purgatory box is for things you think you do not need, but are afraid of getting rid of. Put things in this box you are afraid of missing. Set a time line and a reminder to reopen the box at that time (a reminder on a calendar would work) - if you haven't missed it during that time - get rid of it!
  • Put the things back into the space intentionally
clutter is no more than postponed decision
xo, katie