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3 Easy Decorating Rules

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Feeling settled at home is extremely important, especially during busy and stressful times.  Our environment plays a huge role in our mental and emotional health.  Clutter, unfinished projects, and impersonal spaces can lead to uneasiness and frustration, while simple, bright, meaningful spaces leave us feeling grounded and energized. Famous designers have shown us again and again that decorating "rules" are made to be broken.  After all, each of us is unique, and we all have our own tastes and styles.  If your design choices make you happy and comfortable in your home, then you're doing it "right."  You don't need to follow the trends to create a peaceful and inspiring space. However there are three guidelines that seem to work in any home. 1.  Keep it simple. Homes that are overcrowded, with blocked traffic zones, too much clutter, and no open spaces where the eye can rest never feel right.  They're chaotic and heavy, and seem as if there's really

Keep or Toss?

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We all have excuses about things we keep long after they have served their purpose.  Maybe we feel shame about how much money we spent on them, or guilt because someone gave them to us.  Maybe when we dig them out of a box they remind us of a happy time or a person we loved.  Or maybe we worry that if we discard them, we'll wind up needing them in the future. These feelings are pretty common among people who start to declutter, making the process harder and more frustrating.  Unless we can approach the task with some practical strategies and a no-nonsense attitude, we may not be successful. So if you've been wanting to declutter and experience all the benefits of a simpler life , ask yourself these questions to help you decide what to keep and what to donate or toss. 10 Questions to Give You Clarity 1.  Is this item something I actually use? If the item is something you haven't used in a year or more, it can probably go.  Unless it's something like a baby stroller, stil

Minimalist Travel

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You can travel first class and spare no expense.  Pack a whole new wardrobe in a pile of suitcases, visit every high-traffic venue, and commemorate your once-in-a-lifetime experience with plenty of souvenirs.  This requires careful planning, a ton of money, and someone to schlep all that luggage. Or you can travel light, with a backpack or a carryon, prepared to interact with your destination as authentically as possible.  As you walk the streets, or ride on public transit, you can be curious, observant, and free to follow a whim. You can be weighed down, or you can enjoy the agility of minimalism. I love the minimal completeness of packing for travel.  You consider carefully which clothes you'll need, which toiletries and accessories.  You might bring a book or a journal; you'll probably bring your phone.  But you carry only what you've chosen to take with you.  It's the ultimate in decluttering. It's rather liberating to exist with only a fraction of your possessi

Make More Memories with Fewer Photos

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I remember my husband on the living room floor, imitating our 5-month-old daughter's attempts to roll over for the first time.  She kept fruitlessly swinging her leg over her body, and he, so much larger, copied her every move as well as the little grunts of effort she was making.  The pair of them were so funny I laughed until I couldn't breathe. I have no video, but the memory is absolutely clear in my mind. I can picture the huge pile of autumn leaves my two children made at the end of their backyard slide, and their shrieks of glee as they climbed and slid down into the colorful heap, then ran around to do it all over again.  The sky is blue, the sun is gentle, the breeze is cool, and their joy is infectious. It's not on video, but my brain can replay the scene with ease. I remember details of my son's star turn as Willie Wonka in a high school stage production, and the time my grandson (then 4) regaled us with a long list of careers he might have when he's grow

10 Tiny Decluttering Tasks

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Perhaps you've come to this realization:  Clutter takes up space in your home, and it burdens your mind too.  Living in a cluttered space adds frustration and annoyance to everyday tasks, makes homecare more difficult and time-consuming, and can make you feel more anxiety and stress. But you're busy.  Maybe you've put off decluttering.  If you've been procrastinating about getting your space in order, maybe it's because the idea of getting rid of things brings up fears of lack and deprivation.  Or perhaps it's because you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. But I know from experience that these feelings are the exact opposite of what you'll feel once you get into the decluttering process.  The sense of lightness and freedom you'll gain, and the simpler, easier ways you'll be able to live every day are worth the effort. So I want to help you remove the roadblocks to decluttering, and change that pattern of avoidance by taking on tiny,