Clean up!

We always talk about spring cleaning, but why should that be the only time we dedicate time to clear out the clutter? This year, I’m dedicating time to work on things that better my life, no matter when. And that means WINTER cleaning – January/the new year seemed like a perfect time to take this on!

have less do more be more | sunshine & the bear

Because I live in a small row home and I’m a bit of a shopaholic, I have to rotate my clothes between summer/spring and fall/winter. Because the winter weather has been so erratic, I’ve made a mess trying to make all seasons available.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely done this little dance over and over every year, even with things I literally NEVER WEAR.

I recently read an article from the New York Times article which references tips from Marie Kondo, author of the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. The basic concept is that we should start “seeing clothes organization not as a problem, but as a positive exercise. We should have a healthy relationship with our clothing pieces, and we should only hold on to those items that really bring us joy.” I love this idea.

Of course, it’s hard to determine if a t-shirt brings me joy or not…but the concept is definitely one I can grasp. We hold on to too much that we do not need. We gather things because we want stuff. We think “I’ll wear that someday…”

So this past month, I set out to clear out and organize…with joy in mind. For this concept, you “don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill…You must take each outfit in your hand.” It was tedious, but I took every single thing out of my closet and went through it piece by piece.

It took a lot of work, but I think I did good! I didn’t remove a ton because I still like it and/or it fit me (which was reassuring) but I tightened up the ship. Got rid of things that didn’t work for me inside and out. Honestly, when I go to grab something to wear now, it’s easier to see everything, it feel lighter and I feel better!

before after closet clean | sunshine & the bear

What do you think about this idea? How often to you declutter?


[Inspiration] 100 Happy Days

Recently, I stumbled on a project called 100 Happy Days. I was intrigued because I kept seeing the hashtag pop up all over social media, so I did a little digging and found out more.

From their website (I couldn’t have said it better): We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, isthe base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

The challenge: submit a picture of what makes you happy, every day. Sounds easy enough, right? But is it…?


Their website claims that 71% of people who tried to complete this challenge gave up. 71?! That kind of shocked me. Sure, I’ve tried/failed with some photo contests before but that seems crazy. But then I started thinking about it. I am not immune to getting wrapped up in the craziness of every day life…sometimes I don’t even have time to make it to the grocery to get fresh food, or to eat lunch before 4pm, or to even read a little…I guess 71% doesn’t seems so outlandish after thinking about all of that.

BUT I’m sick of the doom and gloom and stress. We all deserve to be able to be happy each day. :)

I’m doing this. 

Here’s my first few happy moments documented :)

100happydays katekatebear tulips

100happydays katekatebear meal prep

Even if you’re not interested in the photo challenge part of it, I think the message behind this movement is solid. Take a moment. Take a break. Take a second (at least one) every day and be happy. 

Have you heard of this challenge? Are you going to try it?