March 21, 2014

Love It or Leave It. ~ Stephanie Turner

My girlfriend and I started a tradition of “Love It or Leave It” over four years ago with the intention of creating more space, happiness and money in both our lives.

When we couldn’t possibly fit another “on sale” shampoo bottle in our already crammed linen closets, we knew it was time for a product detox. We decided to free up our space, money and time by making a commitment to only buy shampoo and all other personal care products once we had used all that we currently owned.

Then I decided to do the same with my kitchen. I bought a lot less frozen and processed food (switching to a mostly Paleo lifestyle helped,) ate fresh and would only bring food in that I was “out of.” These changes resulted in a healthier family, a lower weekly grocery bill and a lot more cupboard space.

Soon after, I moved into the cutest two bedroom open-concept, 14-foot ceiling bungalow with zero closet space. Yes, you read that right. The bungalow fit one four by eight IKEA tall wardrobe in each of the two rooms and a dresser. I was forced to part with quite a few of my daughters and my belongings when I moved in. After a year of not going near the boxes in my shed, and in the process of moving again, I threw out what was damaged or passed it along to someone who needed it.

Then it was time to purge my books.

Yes, I love them (all of them) and they all served a purpose at one time. However, I passed on any books that no longer served me, that I didn’t finish, that I didn’t read, that I didn’t like or that didn’t make me feel good or were no longer in line with what I wanted for my life.

Today I did a final purge of clothing that no longer suited me, or simply didn’t make me happy. I now look in my closet and smile because I like everything I see and wear all of it.

How to implement the “Love It or Leave It” strategy into your own life:

1. Give away anything that you haven’t used or worn in a year or that doesn’t make you happy when you see it: use it or wear it.

2. Use up everything before replacing it (unless #1 applies,) regardless of sales, deals and one-time only specials.

3. Bring only things into your home that you absolutely love and see Rule #2.

I continue to have more emotional, mental and physical space by living this way. I have more disposable income. I feel free. I feel lighter. I am happy to look in my closets and see space and things I love.

I am happy to walk into my home and see only things I love and that make me happy. I used to be one to have trinkets filling ever spare spot over nine years ago. Today I have less. I pass everything on with love and in the hopes that it will make someone else happy and serve them for their best.

Love It or Leave It.

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Assistant Editor: Jen Weddle/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: RD Photography / Pixoto

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Stephanie Turner