Create a Life You Love

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How to quiet outside voices so you can finally hear your own.


Our last day in our house 😳

I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

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Create A Life You Love: Comes out on April 30th!

Movers come tomorrow.

This is really happening — I honestly can't believe it.

This week we've been putting last things in boxes, packing up our suitcases, and trying to figure out what should go where. We're separating things out between what we'll need in the week-long trip from Nashville to Indianapolis to Chicago to Lisbon to Malaga to Granada… and what things we can tuck away for when we arrive in Spain and start to get settled. 

(For the record, we could have flown straight from Nashville, but it was A. Cheaper to fly from Chicago, and B. That way we get to spend time with lots of family this week before we go!)

But here's the crazy thing…

Not only are we packing to leave for Spain, but we're also packing up our whole house. The lease on the house we've been renting this year ends in just a few days. 

That means that as well as preparing for an international move (visa documents, medicine refills, etc. etc. etc.), we're filtering through everysinglething we own and having to make a decision about what to do with it.

And there's absolutely no wiggle room here

No shoving things in a drawer declaring, “I'll figure that out later.” 

Every chapstick, every piece of paper, every pair of socks, every cleaning supply — decisions need to be made about all of it. It's either packed, stored in our tiny storage closet, or gotten rid of — and this process is WILD. 

Our conclusion as I sit in the pile of chaos that used to be my office? 🤪 How is it POSSIBLE that we have so much stuff!? 

“We're not even stuff people,” Carl and I keep telling each other.

We've moved twice in the last two years — getting rid of tons of things each time. We've had two garage sales in the last six months alone. And we're chronic organizers — two first-born type-A personalities who often cope with the uncertainty of the world by organizing and re-organizing our closets. (You should have seen what we did to our linen closet/medicine cabinet during Covid. The Home Edit would have been proud!)

And yet, here we still are, the proud owners of about a bazillion things and having to figure out what to do with all of it.

And can I tell you? I'm loving this.

No, I'm not like, actually loving this process. I'm tired, we're all a little bit sick, and we have a THOUSAND things left to do. But even though we're squarely in the thick-of-it (literally, in the thick of a big-old mess — piles everywhere), I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I can see a world where we have less stuff and therefore have to take care of less stuff — a world where more of our money goes to experiences than it does to last minute Amazon orders.

(Shoot, I need to order more PullUps! 🤦🏼‍♀️) 

I can see a world where to get to my favorite face lotion — I don't have to fumble through the face lotion graveyard I feel too guilty about to throw away.

We didn't mean to collect this much stuff — I don't think any of us do — it just sort of happens. And unless we stop and do a serious inventory, we spend a ton of our time then caring for all the stuff we've accumulated. 

And I'm really looking forward to a clean slate. 

Side note:

I do have to say, my personality is about 50% Travel Channel, 50% HGTV — so there's a huge part of me that wants to create a beautiful space filled with storied things that span generations and continents —— that are inspiring and filled with memories. I'm not a minimalist by any stretch.

We filtered out the treasures we love the most, packed them away, and now we're working through the rest of it.

So yeah, we're in the thick of it. But we won't be for long, and I'm very much looking forward to the peace, and freedom, and lightness waiting for us on the other side.

Now, back to my piles — oh, and PullUps. I need to get more PullUps!

P.S. As we've been going through our stuff, here are a few tricks that have helped.

1. One man's trash really is another man's treasure

If you find yourself with too much of something or needing to get rid of something, see if you can find a new home for it. The amount of baby clothes, toddler toys, personal care items, clothes, furniture, and more and more and more that I've been able to give away to friends, family, and neighbors is truly awesome. And it's not that I'm pawning junk off onto people — it's that the thing I don't need anymore just happens to be the thing that they DO need. Our stuff has a remarkable amount of life in it — it doesn't have to be thrown away the second we're done with it! So see if you can find your things another home! It lightens your load and solves someone else's problem at the very same time!

2. Your stuff might also be worth something!

We've been able to sell a LOT of what we have (which has been super helpful in off-setting some of our moving costs!) and actually, my friend Amber recently had a baby and we're trading a bunch of baby things I no longer need — not for money, but for design services. She's putting together a bunch of matching family vacation shirts for the Girls Night Gift Shop, and I can't wait. Win win!

3. Help someone in need

We have so much, and I wanted to make absolutely sure to do everything possible to get the things we have to the people who need it. (Instead of just dumping it all at Goodwill and hoping for the best). This process can be a little tricky though, and so we actually found a pickup service that will connect your things with people who need them. It's called JunkDrop Nashville, and I'm sure there are people doing similar things in other cities!

4. Trashie

This might be my favorite thing I've found. Trashie is a company that actually recycles textiles. That's what we've been doing with old towels, old socks, old clothes that nobody else is going to want. I love that our excess isn't going to end up in a landfill somewhere. 

And then the thing I'm very seriously hoping to do from here is to BUY LESS. I'm not an emotional shopper — in the “retail-therapy” sense — but especially since my girls were born, I've been guilty of thinking that if I just had the right supplies or a backup supply of whatever cleaning product, personal care item, or whatever, that I'd feel more peace and security. 

Peace and security doesn't come from having backup toothpaste or enough baby wipes to last a year. (Steph, seriously… you can go buy more toothpaste when you run out! <– note to self.)

Less less less.

That's the theme of this week as we pack up our house and get ready to leave Nashville. *deep breath* I'm ready for less.

Can you relate to this at all? Your stuff just accumulating and ending up sort of being the boss of you instead of the other way around?

P.P.S. Wondering where we're moving and why? Check out the previous few posts. I'm telling the story little by little right here on my blog as we live it! So happy to have you along for the adventure!

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  1. Katie Holt says:

    I remember when this blog started, and I was reading the free PDF of ‘Lipstick Gospel’! I got your newest book about two weeks ago. Enjoy your new home and make new friends. I appreciate the honesty, warmth, and love you have spread! You make all the deadlines given and the stipulations of the world go silent. Thank you!

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