Live the life you want to live

less stuff. more freedom. happy life: downsizing!

Spring has sprung (finally!) and I’m on a roll with downsizing and minimizing mania. All the clients I have right now are my absolute favorite kind; the ones making big changes and getting rid of the things that are weighing them down and holding them back from doing what they really want to do.

We are purging homes full of things that bring stress, no longer have use, or are unnecessary. We’re getting lives either back on track or starting new chapters.

DID YOU KNOW IT’S NEVER TOO LATE?

Baby…you’ve got all the choices in the world!

One of my current clients is 52 years old, and has raised kids who are now off on their own and thriving. She’s caught grief from family and friends about her major downsize and move to the big city from a teeny one. Are they jealous, or just projecting their fear on her? Either way, she’s happy as a college kid about to graduate, so I’m over here jumping out of my skin thrilled to help her. It’s not easy peasy to grow up and stay in the same town most of your life, then make a jump for the big guns with both feet in…but it is so possible.

Work Time Diane Peacock

(I love being cheesy in anticipation of these blog posts to give you a good laugh. That’s me in action last week during a 16 hour day. Nice and glamorous, exhausted and dirty. Just how I like it.)

At first, my clients grumble about starting these seemingly overwhelming projects, but when we get rolling and this happens:

Purging Blue Lollipop Road style

…the lighter, more free feelings rush in, and oh the celebrations we have!

Here’s what I can tell you for sure if you’re thinking about downsizing:

1.) You’ll wonder why you didn’t “do this sooner.” (A direct quote from every, single, last client I have ever worked with.)

2.) Your kids don’t want your stuff. (Sigh, I know your heart is broken, but the China cabinet from great granny is going to get sliced in half and painted white or Agreeable Gray at best. Likely to be used to put a flat screen TV on. More likely to be thrown in a bonfire. Happens all time. Right now your kids are out with your grandbabies and the dog at a craft brewery, eating dinner off paper plates from a food truck. Yes, even on a Tuesday night.)

3.) You will not for one single minute ever remember, or be miffed that you donated or sold whatever item you thought you might die without. (That old winter coat, the couch, or that ceramic plate you served Johnny’s 1st birthday cake on.)

Since I was a wee-little stubborn girl, I’ve always thought that retirement and living simply “later” was a most ridiculous concept. Work your fingers to the bone for years on end, save up all this money and time in hopes that it will be served on a silver platter back to you while you still have your eyesight, and THEN go enjoy doing things you love with the people you love?!

Silly! Let’s downsize and retire NOW…no matter how old we are.

Let’s make smart choices buying only what we absolutely need, use, and love. If we are living a little too big and bleeding out money, let’s assess, reel it back in, and pivot in a new more efficient direction. Let’s stop and prioritize things like health, friends, family, and whatever else makes you scream, Yahtzee! Downsizing Seminar

Toll Brothers has invited me back again to speak about downsizing at one of their new communities! Come join me this Thursday night if you are in the Charlotte area. If you’re far away, you can invite me to where you are and I will gladly road trip (you know I love those!) to talk to your group about my Less Stuff More Freedom Happy Life movement.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #RespectTheClock #MoreExperiencesLessStuff

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still celebrating everyday? Heck, yes!

And just like that…poof! There goes another month. Time flies too fast.

I spent the first month of 2018 celebrating and sharing here, and the second, not sharing here. Don’t fret my loves, I’ve still been having a lots of fun! I’ve been celebrating things like helping to get client donations to women and children coming out of domestic violence situations:

Donations for Domestic Violence Victims

(Doing good feels so good! Thank you to so many people who volunteer their time to help others!)

…waking up in beautiful places and sipping coffee on balconies:

Kiawah Mornings

…uber windy chilly afternoons on the beach:

Beach Girl

…breathtaking sunsets:

Beach Sunset

Beach Sunset

…purging and packing for cross country client moves:

Moving

(Remember, PURGE BEFORE YOU RELOCATE! Why in the world would you want to spend your hard earned money on moving a bunch of stuff you no longer need/use/want? There are so many more fun ways to spend your cash, like on cheese, the waterpark with your kids, coffee, a concert with your lover, or that mani/pedi you need to take a few minutes to yourself, for:)

Now let’s continue the celebrating with throwing a surprise birthday party for a friend:

Party Cocktails

(Like bubbly? Fill a flute 80% Prosecco or Cava, and the rest with grapefruit. Fresh grapefruit is best, but bottled will do, too. Yum!)

…onto events that promote inclusion, diversity, health, wellness, and human rights!

All Gender Restrooms

Condom Couture Charlotte

Equality now and forever! (You do you, girl, boy, or whatever word/term/name/thing that suits you/you feel like you want to rock out.)

…a little bit of road trippin’ for Carolina Blue basketball:

He's Not Here

…and food! Oh how I love cooking and feasting with amazing people…one of the best ways to spend time:

Chimichurri Cauliflower

Chimichurri cauliflower!

Crunchy French Toast

Crunchy french toast! Roll your egg-battered bread through corn flakes and voila…french toast kicked up a notch. Especially with Schoolhouse Maple syrup, made by my friends. It doesn’t get better than this, and sugaring season now. Mmm. (Yes! You can order some here.)

2 months down in 2018, 10 more to go, and some really fantastic things are on the horizon. This Blue Lollipop Road party isn’t going anywhere, so be prepared to keep those sunglasses on, because the light is shining bright, baby. Whether you celebrate in quiet or out loud and proud, it’s all about taking a minute to appreciate simple things…every…single…day.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#EverydayAdventures #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #RememberCelebrateLive 

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man, that girl parties a lot

2.1.18

Hi there. If you haven’t been here before, welcome to the celebration. This is day 32. For the year 2018, anyway.

I’m Diane. This is me goofing around at Domaine Carneros a couple of weeks ago:

Diane Peacock at Domain Carneros

I love the bubbles there. They’re extra special with good company, too. Life is about celebrating everyday, right? And the people. Yes. The ones you love and those who make you laugh.

I don’t think we celebrate enough. I think we wait until it’s often too late. I think we’ve made a bad habit out of “saving up” for the perfect time or chance to live like we are actually alive. 

The clock is ticking. When will we learn?

I do my best to work and practice what I preach by getting all fired up and excited about small, silly, insignificant things everyday, and taking anyone who let’s me, along for the ride. Kid in a candy store baby, it’s the only way to be while all the sweetness is there for the taking. When we practice having more gratitude, we have less attitude, and a helluva lot more fun.

So about this whole “celebration” thing?

Since meeting Noah Scalin years ago at an event where he shared his Skull-A-Day art project, I’ve been a little obsessed with doing my own 365 project. I attempted one in 2014 and it lasted for a bit over two months. This year I’m determined to go all the way for 2018, filling your inboxes with funny, strange, head-scratching things each day that I’m having a little party (celebration) about. I hope you will continue to follow along, and think a little more about feeling the thrill of at least one little ridiculous awesome thing everyday, too. (Scroll down to the bottom of my webpage and sign up for daily email notifications if you haven’t already.)

When we do things that make us happy, we stay unstuck, when we are not stuck, we are more badass, when we are badass, we take life by the you know what’s and don’t wait for damn permission from anyone to do whatever the heck we want.

Did you know you have the choice to do whatever the heck you want?

Bingo!

CELEBRATE! DO IT UP! TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE.

This Blue Lollipop Road was inspired by a couple of crazy joyful girls who didn’t care what day it was, they lived like they meant it. I will always be inspired to do the same. Today I celebrate making the choice to celebrate. Staying happy is a practice. Lace up, buttercup, and get in the game. The whistle just blew and it’s go time…

How are you going to start celebrating more?

#StartDriving #LifeUnstuck #TodayIsTheDay

*Feeling stuck as a pig in a pit? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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celebrate everyday: day 30

1.30.18

I’m a AAA member, and have been for years. (Road Trippin’/travelin’/nomadin’/adventurin’ peeps, unite!) These horrifying stats just came to my email inbox from AAA about National Plan For Vacation Day:

National Plan For Vacation Day

Last year 54% of American didn’t use all their vacation time?!

Oh. Em. Gee. My heart breaks for people out there who are a part of that 54%. WHAT ARE Y’ALL WAITING FOR?! (I just had to get all southern for a minute, I’m so sad for that fact!)

National Plan For Vacation Day

Dear Friends,

Let’s start respecting the clock. Shall we?

Love, Diane

I bet:

*You could use a break

*You have a grand baby across the country you want to snuggle more with

*Your mom has been bugging you to visit

*Your jeans are bursting at the seams after the holidays and the gym is calling

*Your college reunion is coming up

*You’re in love with someone across the state you want to smooch

*You have needed to go to the dentist for a while now

*You are so over that closet piled full of crap you don’t use, need, or want

*Your kids kept you up all night last night

*Granny keeps calling, she wants you to meet her for lunch

*The Big Game is coming up and you sure would like to stuff your face with nachos watching it with friends

*Your passport is about to expire and it has no stamps

I’m wrong? None of the above? Ok, then I bet:

*That nonprofit you’re super passionate about could use some more extra help

*Your brother misses you

*Your guitar is collecting dust

*That cooking class only has one spot left available

*Your convertible hasn’t seen the sun in ages

*That book! That book is still sitting half-read on your bedside table

*You keep staring at that photo of the glaciers in Patagonia wondering why you haven’t been

*You’re daydreaming of a palm tree, a cold beer, and a moment of silence

One or more apply to you? Think it’s maybe time to go, be, see, and/or do what you want, need, or should?

Today I celebrate saying goodby to the office/cube/”work” for a day, week, or month, and hello to taking the time you have earned.

Not taking vacation…time…for your heart, health, and well-being, is about as bad as showing up to your should be inspiring commencement speech and telling all the fresh faces in caps and gowns the world sucks, there’s no hope for anyone, and Dr. Seuss was wrong, because they will never go anywhere.

Please don’t do that.

I challenge you to walk in to the big kahuna and tell her (see what I did there?) you’re going to take a few days to go hiking in nature alone, then spend the rest of your other few days just hanging with your family doing a whole lot of nothing other than being together. (Or whatever other very simple or over the top thing you can think of.) You will be taking ALL of your vacation days this year thankyouverymuch.

Let’s wipe out waste (of every kind.) Especially wasted time.

#RespectTheClock #TodayIsTheDay #LifeUnstuck

*Ready to get outta dodge, near or far? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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celebrate everyday: day 24

1.24.18

Today I celebrate entrepreneurs, because it takes a lot to keep the hustle going when you work for yourself:

Advent Coworking F*ck Up Night

Advent Coworking F*ck Up Night

I went to F*ck Up Night a Advent Coworking tonight. F*ck Up Night is, you guessed it…an event where a panel of entrepreneurs share their stories about how they got to where they are, and all their f*ck ups along the way.

The kind of passion, drive, and hustle it takes to work for yourself is not for the weak or tired, to say the least. There’s a whole lot of regular “Why don’t you just go get a real job?” and other ridiculous opinions we’ve all heard, as we scrape the last penny out of the bank account, put in another late night, and wake up early to pound the pavement again. Those things would make most people break down and cry like babies. (And we have at times.) But! Figuring out ways to navigate this crazy world and make a living doing what you love and believe in so hard core, even your hero couldn’t talk you out of doing it? That, is pretty f*cking awesome. And totally worth the expenditure of those blood, sweat, and tears days.

NEVER GIVE UP!

Does something you overhear in a conversation at a cocktail party make you want to jump over the appetizer table, knocking over the hostess as you spill your martini, just so you can be talking about it, too? I think you’ve found your thing, baby. Go for it.

You know what you love to do. It’s ok to feel like you want to punch someone in the face next time they tell you you’re nuts to chase the life you want. You don’t have to punch them, just keep looking straight ahead, and let all that bs outside noise fall far behind you.

What lights your fire?

#LoveYourWork #StartDriving #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone

*Ready to join the hustler club, but don’t know where to start? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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celebrate everyday: day 21

1.21.18

Today I celebrate being goofy:

Jumping in Napa

Just because you’re a grown up, doesn’t mean you can’t be chock-full of joy and ridiculousness.

This life is not a practice session. What are you waiting for? JUST JUMP! (Pants not required.)

#TodayIsTheDay #ExperiencesNotThings #LiveOutsideTheDroneZone

*Feeling stuck in the gerbil wheel? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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celebrate everyday: day 14

Today I celebrate relaxing under a blanket in the sun with a pile of books and magazines in peace and quiet:

Lazy Sundays

Go, go, go? No, no, no.

Less is more. When will we learn?

Here’s a trick on how to keep your sanity:

Take one day a week, whether a week day or week end and schedule nothing besides what you absolutely have to. (Work or school.) No errands, coffee dates, lunches out…nothing. Use the extra time to purge your closet that has the ski boots with 6 inches of dust on them because you haven’t been down a slope in years. Camping gear? You haven’t camped since Boy Scouts. Later, tent. Get all the things out of your house you don’t use or need, and then next time a winter Sunday rolls around, you won’t feel bad about sipping coffee in bed reading until 2PM because you’re less buried mentally and physically in all that crap.

Freedom. It’s a beautiful thing.

What are you holding on to that you know you really don’t need?

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #TheYearOfLessCrap

*Feeling stuck or buried in your head or home space? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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celebrate everyday: day 1

1.1.18

I’ve been planning to start a project today for a long while now, but didn’t know what kind of photo I’d kick it off with. New Years Eve last night didn’t exactly get us into bed early, so I was a bit surprised when I woke up like a bullet before the sun rose this morning. It was 21 degrees. Barefoot on the quiet balcony straight from a warm bed to snap this shot felt, um…a little chilly:

New Year: 2018

…but totally worth it. Could there be a more perfect way to start the new year, than with the day coming alive like this?

I don’t think we celebrate enough. I think we wait too long. I don’t think we stop to look up enough. I think we could use to have a little more fun. I don’t think we should be so scared of everything. The only thing that’s scary is no more time.

Join me in respecting the clock this year, won’t ya?

I’m throwing a party. Consider this your formal invitation to come rip up the dance floor with me. Hell, maybe we’ll even rip it up naked style, and post it on YouTube! I’m kidding. (Maybe.) It’s time to celebrate because we have the choice to. Watch here for a 2018 daily dose of life outside the drone zone, and get ready to share yours.

What are you celebrating, today?

#StartFresh #TodayIsTheDay #HopToIt

*Ready for a big change this year? Want to organize your time, space, money life…or all three? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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a manageable life

I got this sweet surprise from a client today:

Christmas Gift

I love surprises, but what I love more, is helping people simplify and run their lives and businesses better. 

Why do we have to go and make things so complicated?

It’s the holiday season. What better time for us all to admit that this life is one giant beautiful shit show that we all typically make much harder than it has to be. Even shit shows can be managed.

Those Minimalist guys catch a lot of heat for advising that the best way to get organized is to “get rid of most of it.” I couldn’t agree more. “It” or “stuff” isn’t just stuff, stuff…as in physical things, It’s too much on our plates, jobs we don’t feel passionate about, spaces that drive us nuts, systems that aren’t streamlined, and toxic people who make us feel like crap.

Ew.

My favorite gift to give? Permission to say peace out to unmanageable, unproductive, or unwanted people, spaces, and things. If you’re not jamming out to someone, or something that is your total jam, maybe it’s time to kick off 2018 with the volume all the way cranked up on your existence radio. No need to sit in lonely, painful, buried silence watching everyone else dance.

Whaddya say to shaking a little tail feather together? A simple, manageable life can be so rich and juicy.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #StartDriving #LifeUnstuck

*A huge thanks to all my clients for a great year! Watching you fist pump in the air proclaiming how much better and free you feel at the end of our purging and streamlining systems projects, make me as happy as a kid on (ahem…) Christmas.

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