Monday, December 30, 2019

The 30-Day Habit Challenge


Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash


A 30-day habit challenge is a commitment to a new personal habit or routine for 30 days.

The purpose of the challenge is to find out if this interesting new behavior is something that works well and improves your life.  Maybe it saves you money or time, maybe it helps you eat more healthfully or get more exercise, maybe it helps you get rid of clutter or streamline your wardrobe, or maybe it helps you be more mindful and grateful.  It may or may not become a permanent part of your life.  It's an experiment, meant to be enlightening and fun.



Monday, December 23, 2019

Song of the Shepherds


Photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash


I don't often write poetry, but I recently tried to write new words for an old tune, and this is the result:


Bright stars shine in a wintry sky,
Glory, alleluia.
Moon is rising, night winds sigh,
Glory, alleluia.
Shepherds with their flocks bed down
In the fields near Bethlehem town;
Silver light glows all around,
Glory, alleluia.

Angels come with joyous news,
Glory, alleluia.
A Savior's born for me and you,
Glory, alleluia.
Choirs are singing peace and mirth
To all people of the earth,
For God's love grants all souls worth,
Glory, alleluia.

Through starlit streets the shepherds trod,
Glory, alleluia,
To see the infant Son of God,
Glory, alleluia.
Marvel at the lowly place
Where God comes down to our sad race
And offers His amazing grace,
Glory, alleluia.

Go and tell both far and wide,
Glory, alleluia,
Of Jesus' birth at Christmastide,
Glory, alleluia.
This holy Child, our Prince of Peace,
Has come to give our souls release,
That greed and strife may finally cease,
Glory, alleluia.

Now sing alleluia!



Merry Christmas to all of you!








Friday, December 20, 2019

The Best Christmas


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


What truly makes the holidays special?  Jo March in the classic Little Women says that "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," but is that really true?  Jo might be forgiven for that feeling when you realize that she and her sisters were giving up so much else that might have made their Christmas merry:  their father was away serving in the Army during the Civil War, and they barely had money for everyday needs such as food, heat, and clothing, let alone anything special for a holiday.

Do you know of anyone in a similar situation?  A family with a parent on active duty somewhere in a dangerous part of the world?  Someone out of a job (or working two or more low-paying jobs) and struggling to buy groceries, coats, boots, or to pay for light and heat?  Perhaps you know someone dealing with health issues and doctor's bills, or unreliable transportation and large auto repair bills.

To a family in any of those circumstances, Christmas may not feel like Christmas at all, whether or not there are any presents.  In fact, Christmas may seem like the darkest, most dreary day of the year, because their situation contrasts so strongly with what the day is "supposed to be."

It may be a time that makes them feel particularly deprived and hopeless.



Monday, December 16, 2019

A Natural Holiday


Photo courtesy of Bartlett Arboretum, Connecticut, USA


For the winners of the book drawing, see below.... 

One of the best ways I know to limit consumerism is to replace shopping time with time in nature.  The world created by God is an effective antidote to the man-made glitter and hype of the marketplace.  When I'm tired of the crowds or the traffic or the constant pop renditions of Santa songs, even a walk through the park can restore my sense of peace and joy.

For me, being more aware of the natural world seems to deepen the spiritual impact of Christmas.

As the winter solstice approaches, the period of daylight grows slowly shorter.  Sunsets come earlier, and the welcome glow of Christmas lights and candles, and the sparkling winter constellations, remind me that even when things seem dark, the light of faith can shine brightly.  And isn't that the central message of Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter holidays?



Friday, December 13, 2019

Feel the Hygge




Interested in a receiving a free copy of one of my books?  Read on... 

The Danish know a thing or two about coziness and comfort.  During long northern winters when it can be dark for up to 17 hours a day, Danes lift their spirits with hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah").

As days get shorter, wetter, and colder this season, we might all like to snuggle in and enjoy hygge, the Danish concept of positive self-care.  But while hygge has been aggressively marketed of late, it is definitely not about buying something to improve your mood.



Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Guest Author on No Sidebar


Photo courtesy of Deanna Mills


I'm so pleased and grateful to once again be featured on the minimalist website, No Sidebar.

The piece I wrote is partly about a holiday tradition in my town, and while I like the photo chosen by the editor of No Sidebar, I thought I'd share an actual photo of one house on Toyon Avenue, so you can see the work of some Christmas-loving homeowners.

I hope you're making time to savor the people and traditions that mean the most to you during this season.  Ask anybody what they love most about Christmas.  I've never heard anyone mention receiving gifts.  A few mention making or giving gifts, but most speak of lights and music, snow and coziness, family, memories, and love.  Don't miss it!










Monday, December 9, 2019

Top 12 Gifts for a Minimalist





Ask most minimalists what they want for Christmas, and they'll probably say, "Nothing."

But maybe you want to give a gift anyway, or maybe you're a minimalist (or an aspiring minimalist!) who wants to give gifts, but doesn't want to add to anyone's clutter.

Here's a list of gifts pretty much guaranteed to brighten a minimalist's holiday.



Friday, December 6, 2019

Cozy Minimalism




Minimalism is about owning only what you use and love, but it's not confined to one decorating style.  Your home doesn't need to be all white, with chrome and glass furniture and one piece of modern art.  A home can be uncluttered and still be warm, inviting, relaxed, and personal.



Tuesday, December 3, 2019

This Holiday, Give Hope


Photo by element5 digital on Unsplash


If you're reading this, it's pretty likely that you have a roof over your head, plenty of food on your table, an education, and many other benefits of a modern life.

We know, even though we may not like to think about it, that others are not so blessed.  Too many homeless are sleeping on the streets tonight, too many children are going to bed hungry, and too many people are without basic medical care or even clean water to drink.  And, shamefully, that kind of deprivation exists in our own country, not just in some far away locale.

Minimalism isn't just about decluttering our homes and our calendars -- it's about realizing that we have enough, and that we can do some good with our excess.  We can donate items we're not using, and we can be generous with our time or our money to help someone in our own town or halfway around the world.

The ability to be generous is one of the greatest gifts we have, and it should make us feel rich.

And when we give, the impact is greater than we might imagine.  When someone is down on their luck, or has nowhere else to turn, your gift gives them hope.  Your act of kindness gives them the feeling that they're not alone, that they have a future.  It's the greatest minimalist gift of all.





Monday, December 2, 2019

Limits Make Your Christmas Happier


Photo by Vanessa Bucceri on Unsplash



This may sound strange (Or not!  I'm a minimalist, after all.), but the best way I know to make the holidays happier is to create some limits.  Limits are good for several reasons:  they create financial peace of mind, curb materialism in yourself and your children, give you a bit of breathing space amid the bustle and busyness, and force you to choose from among myriad possibilities with thought and care.



Thursday, November 28, 2019

We Need Grace


Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash



What is "grace?"

"Grace" has the same root as "gracias."


1.  When we say grace, we are thankful.
We pause, notice, and appreciate.  By focusing on all that is good in our lives, we crowd out more negative thoughts.  So by practicing gratitude, our blessings seem to multiply.


Monday, November 25, 2019

Your Personal Minimalist Holiday


Photo by jeshoots.com on Unsplash



I guarantee that a minimalist mindset will make your holidays more joyful.  And no, I'm not envisioning a Little House on the Prairie Christmas with candy canes and handkerchiefs for gifts.

Simply put, managing your money, time, and energy during the holidays will bring more peace and comfort to your days, now and into the new year.  When you find out what matters most to you, and focus your attention and resources on those things, the return is far greater than what you'll get from trying to buy and do it all.



Friday, November 22, 2019

Ten First Steps




There are many ways to start down a minimalist path; it's not a one-size-fits-all blueprint.  See if any of these ideas resonate with you:



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Minimalist Black Friday


Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash


HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

Yes, it was exactly one year ago today that I published my first post... and today I'll share a revision of that post.



"Are you ready for Black Friday?"

It was just friendly chitchat from a store clerk, but it caught me by surprise.  The aisles were packed with people shopping for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients, just as I was.  But in our consumerist culture, Thanksgiving Day has become Black Friday Eve.  The real event is a long weekend of shopping.



Monday, November 18, 2019

Just Start


Photo by Jurien Huggins on Unsplash


I had another post scheduled for today, but it came to me while I was watching my husband do push-ups at 5:30 this morning that I needed to write again about habits.

Many of us have good habits that were taught to us (nagged into us) when we were small, such as "wash your hands" and "brush your teeth" and "turn off the lights when you leave a room."  (My dad was a stickler for that last one!)



Friday, November 15, 2019

Put Your Blinders On


Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash



You don't need to know exactly where you'll end up in order to begin.

Minimalism is not a one-size-fits-all blueprint.  It does not look the same for everyone, because minimalism is all about discovering the people, activities, and things that have value for you, and minimizing the things that take time, money, and energy away from what you value.

I can't write a prescription or step-by-step road map for your minimalist journey.  I can give you ideas, suggestions, and challenges to help you question, test, and reveal what minimalism looks like for you and your family in your current situation and time of life.  I can try to inspire you on your way.

What I have no intention of doing is laying blame on you.  Clutter and overwhelm may strongly impact your life today, but clutter doesn't need to define or limit you.  It doesn't need to have a say in your life going forward.

You can change that picture.



Monday, November 11, 2019

Three Sentences


Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash


When I was a young mother, if you had asked what was most dear to me, what were my absolute highest priorities, I wouldn't have hesitated to say my husband and kids.  There would have been no question in my mind that they were the center of my life.

I wouldn't have said my greatest concern was my house or its decor or the list of things I wanted to buy to "improve" it.  I wouldn't have said it was food, or my next diet.  I wouldn't even have said it was singing, or pursuing my next role.  After all, I had chosen to home school my kids, and opera singing was now a hobby.

I wouldn't have said so, but that's where my thoughts, efforts, and money went.


Friday, November 8, 2019

A Recipe for Mindless Living





Looking for a foolproof method to wreck your ability to be present for your own life?  Just follow The American Plan, a twelve step program for mindlessness, guaranteed to leave you numb and disengaged:

1.  As soon as you're awake, pick up your phone and flick through social media feeds and email.



Monday, November 4, 2019

When a Loved One Won't Stop Shopping


Photo by Freestocks.org on Unsplash


I used to use gift-giving as an excuse to shop.

I had a little shopping addiction, and craved that rush of pleasure you get when you acquire something new.  But when I didn't really need anything, I had to find a way to manage the guilt of buying for no reason.

So I'd buy a gift.  I could always come up with a gift-giving occasion -- maybe Mother's Day was only a month away, or a colleague had a birthday on the horizon, or I thought I'd save an item for Christmas.  (I had a closet full of potential gifts.)



Friday, November 1, 2019

Live Like Every Day Matters


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash



It's November 1, and you can't go into any store without seeing evidence that as far as marketers are concerned, the Christmas season is here.  There might be a little corner devoted to Thanksgiving, but since that holiday has been celebrated by retailers since Labor Day, it's already getting old, even though, by the calendar, it's still nearly four weeks away.

I don't know about you, but the continued pushing forward of every season (bikinis on sale in January, for example) and every holiday kills the anticipation for me.  Change is a natural part of life, and it's good to plan and prepare for it, but it's also good to pay attention to what's happening right now, and to find ways to savor what today has to offer.



Monday, October 28, 2019

Experiments in Living With Less





Many of us long for a simpler life free from the burden of our stuff, but we don't know how to achieve it.  We are overwhelmed, and we feel trapped in our current way of life.  But deep down, we believe that change could bring a huge payoff:  more time and energy, more money, more freedom, more generosity, less stress, less debt, and less distraction.  But how do we go about making that change?

Why not creatively experiment with a more minimalist approach to life to see whether the benefits are worth the effort?



Friday, October 25, 2019

I'm Dreaming of a Simpler Christmas




I know it's early, and I dislike rushing Christmas, but... if you want to simplify your holidays this year, now is the time to be thinking and planning for that!  And just in time, I've created a fantastic resource for you.  My newest book, Minimalism for the Holidays is available now on Amazon Kindle (which can be read on any device, even your computer, with their free app) and in a beautiful paperback edition!  Look for the link in the sidebar.

Meanwhile, here's a sneak peak:

*****

I don't want to do it this year.  Just thinking about it is depressing.

I'm talking about the Christmas that starts now, before Halloween.  I'm talking about the canned music, the packed parking lots, the over-heated stores, the ads, and the wish lists.  The jam-packed schedules, plastic reindeer, and way too much food.

Some people thrive on the noise and the hype and the busyness.  I too used to believe I loved all of that.  But when I think about what really makes me happy, it doesn't look anything like the Modern American Christmas.  In fact, almost everything about the MAC makes me think I'm missing something that should be wonderful.

Would you like to join me?



Monday, October 21, 2019

You Can Make A Difference


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


There are billions of people in the world who wish their biggest problems were a cluttered house, an over-busy schedule, picky kids, and that extra 20 pounds.

Billions of people don't worry if they have the latest phone, the trendiest clothes, nail art, or a luxury car.  They worry about food, water, and shelter.  They worry that a mosquito bite will make them sick, or that their child will have to leave school to work in a factory for pennies like they do.

We didn't choose to be born with all the blessings we have.  We didn't steal anything.  But if we keep it all for ourselves, and indulge in cheap products made by the poor and exploited, then we're doing wrong.



Friday, October 18, 2019

Rich Minimalists in a Needy World




Minimalism isn't a numbers game.  It's not about

  • owning only 100 things
  • living in a tiny 300-square-foot house
  • keeping only 10 books
  • wearing only black, white, and gray clothing
  • eating only beans, rice, fruit, and vegetables and drinking only water and green tea

Sure, you might experiment by doing any or all of these things in order to learn more about yourself or to help you change your consumer habits, but you can be a minimalist without setting these limits.


Monday, October 14, 2019

An Exciting Announcement


Photo by Michael Wagner/Unsplash



Dear Reader,

Minimalism is about living consciously and with only the things that add value to your life.  It focuses less on material possessions and more on relationships and experiences.  As Joshua Becker, creator of becomingminimalist.com, has wisely said, "Excess possessions do not increase happiness -- they distract us from the things that do!"



Friday, October 11, 2019

Zero Waste Challenge


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


Don't you hate walking through a park and seeing garbage on the ground?  Or garbage tossed along the highway?  Is there anything uglier?

Well actually, yes there is.  The plastic soup that infiltrates gigantic areas of our oceans, chokes marine life, and allows toxins to enter the food chain is a problem on par with global warming.



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

You Are Enough


Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash


One of the ways that advertisers keep us buying is by creating the feeling that we could be the people we want to be if only we had a new car, a better phone, more stylish clothing, a sexier perfume, or an exotic vacation.  We are constantly encouraged to look for change and improvement outside ourselves.

We want to believe that our next purchase will solve our problems.  And it's so much easier to swipe a card or click-to-ship than it is to do the hard work of changing ourselves.  I know this first hand, because I keep losing the same 30 pounds over and over again.

But you can't buy change.



Monday, October 7, 2019

X-Ray Vision Helps Clear Hidden Clutter


Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash


We're finite creatures.  We have only so much time, money, space, and energy.

But our modern consumer society offers a dizzying array of merchandise.  This can have several possible effects:

  • The constant influx of new products catches our attention and makes us greedy, and so we buy more than we need.
  • Endless sales and clearances make everything look like a "bargain," and so we buy more than we need.
  • The difficulty of making the "perfect" choice can be overwhelming, even paralyzing.  We're unsure, and so we buy more than we need.
  • We can't locate something essential among the clutter of past purchases, so even though we own three such items, we buy more than we need.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Wear a Capsule Wardrobe


Photo by James Hollingsworth on Unsplash



I'm sure you've seen Pinterest photos of beautifully curated closets and capsule wardrobes.  Maybe you long for one yourself, but think it's impossible or too restrictive.

It's a modern consumer belief that we need a huge wardrobe to be "interesting."  Of course you want to be appropriately dressed, and why not wear attractive clothes that flatter your body type and coloring?  But none of that demands a huge quantity of clothing.  Limits encourage creativity, and a smaller closet isn't necessarily boring.


Monday, September 30, 2019

Unplug


Photo by Zach Betten on Unsplash


I love the internet.  I wouldn't have this blog without it.  We wouldn't connect via Facebook, Instagram, or email without the internet.  The internet makes extensive research easier and opens up tons of news and entertainment options.

But we need to get away from the internet sometimes.  It's open 24/7/365, and we're not.  We can't be.  It's too much.  We need to take breaks from our phones and computers so we can enjoy real life.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Travel Light


Photo by Dawid Zawila on Unsplash


When we travel, we have the perfect opportunity to try a different lifestyle.

Packing for travel is a bit like decluttering.  You have to consider carefully which clothes you'll need, which toiletries and accessories.  Maybe you make a list.  As you pack, you might think of a few additional items it would be nice to have, just in case.  But you're still limiting your choices -- you're only going to take a fraction of your possessions, after all.



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Single-Task


Photo by Josh Newton on Unsplash


Many of us have (or had) jobs that require juggling two or three tasks at a time while continuing to be available to bosses or clients.  Or we meet the needs of two or three young children while managing household tasks and honoring volunteer commitments.

It can be crazy.  Rushed and overwhelmed, you repeatedly lose focus and have to backtrack, trying to remember where you left off.  You can't give your attention to one thing at a time, so everything takes longer, and any minor holdup can become a major meltdown.



Monday, September 23, 2019

Rethink Leisure


Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash


Lately, news headlines have been proclaiming that "Sitting is the New Smoking."  In the sense that they're both linked to a lot of health threats, then yes, sitting and smoking do have a lot in common.

Here's where they aren't alike:  Smoking is much less widespread.  A growing number of cities, states, and countries have enacted laws that ban smoking in all work and public places, including restaurants and bars.  The Centers for Disease control reports that the number of smokers in the US has fallen to a record low.

But sitting is far more acceptable.  In fact, we all do more of it than ever.  Most of us have jobs that require little or no physical exertion.  We might do a little standing, lifting, and walking around, but mostly we sit.



Friday, September 20, 2019

Quality, not Quantity


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


We took our 3-year-old grandson to the park a few days ago.  He had one toy truck with him -- a very sturdy plastic dump truck.  That little truck was his constant companion for two hours, and when his mama put him in the car seat to go home, he was still cradling it.

He has many toy cars and trucks of all sizes at home, and several at our house too.  But when there's only one to play with, that one is cherished.  It almost takes on a personality as he tells stories about what that toy can do.  Go to the beach, play in the sand, play in the bathtub, hold water, dump rocks, roll down the slide to be caught at the bottom....  It's Super Truck!



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Preserve Public Works



Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash


Some of our greatest treasures are things we don't own... 

... and never can:  The beauties of nature, music, and art.  The comfort of good relationships.  The incredible riches of good health and an active mind.

Think of the value in public works:  Libraries, public parks, the Golden Gate Bridge, highways and road maintenance crews, law enforcement, fire protection, water treatment and garbage removal, public schools and colleges, government-supported scientific and medical research, health departments.

These good things can be available to everyone.  Yes, they're supported by property taxes, gasoline taxes, and sales taxes, but those are paid by everyone proportionally.  The rich pay more because they buy and travel more, and their property is more valuable.  The poor pay less for all the same reasons.  But everybody contributes, so that everybody can benefit.



Monday, September 16, 2019

One In, One Out


Photo by Teddy Kwok on Flickr


In decluttering, you identify the belongings you use the most and like the best, the items of the highest quality.  You release things you don't like or use, and all of those multiples you've accumulated.  Next, you find a home for each of the possessions you've chosen to keep.

Using containers such as boxes, bins, drawers, shelves, and closets, you put everything away.  Your items will no longer pile up or drift around homeless; each has a place to belong.  As you gain a clear idea of how much each container will hold, you are able to place limits on what you keep:  how many shirts will hang in your closet, how many pairs of socks will go in their designated drawer, how many books will fit on your shelves, how many bins of holiday decorations will fit in the cupboard in the garage.

By respecting the physical limits of your space, the things you own can stay organized and uncluttered.



Friday, September 13, 2019

Non-Conform


Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash


As a teenager, I often argued with my mother, usually ending with a comment like, "You just don't get me, Mom.  I have to be myself!"  Which is funny in retrospect, because I was always desperately trying to conform to what my peers were doing.

Even as adults, we continue to try to fit in.  Look at a typical group of friends, and you'll often see similar hair styles and colors, similar clothes, similar manicures, similar phone cases, even similar gestures and vocal inflections.



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Memories, Not Mementos





Does that box of souvenirs really have sentimental value, or are you just caught in inertia or guilt?

When we have boxes full of stuff we never actually look at, it seems silly to claim we keep those things because of the wonderful memories they evoke.  If that's the case, why aren't all of those things on display in our homes?  Perhaps we need to consider whether the items truly mean as much as we think they do.



Monday, September 9, 2019

Love Limits


Photo by Marivi Pazos on Unsplash


His hair is sweaty and his face looks hot, but he doesn't slow down.

Up, across, down, run back, up, across, and down again.  The sweat slips down his cheek, but his eyes are alight with eagerness and fun.

He's my three-year-old grandson, and if I didn't call him over for a sip of lemonade now and again, he'd climb and slide and run around the play structure until he dropped from exhaustion.  He has no idea of limits.



Friday, September 6, 2019

Kindness


Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash


Doing good makes you feel good.

Studies show that when we are kind to others we become happier, but self-indulgence doesn't increase our feelings of well-being.  Researchers found that the more generous and helpful people were, the more purposeful their lives felt.  Knowing they were useful and needed made them happy.

This finding demonstrates the opposite of what advertisers want us to believe.  As long as your basic needs are met, acquiring more won't make you happier.  Your life won't improve if you buy the next hot item or luxury upgrade.  But removing the excess and the busyness so you can pursue your life purpose has major benefits, for you and for others.



Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Journal Your Gratitude


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash



I can stand in the middle of certain stores and pick up plenty of items that might "spark joy."  I'll bet you can too.  But there's a ripple effect to retail therapy.  When I look for joy in belongings, I always need the thrill of something new.  Contentment is short-lived, because the next acquisition beckons.  Then I need more space to store stuff, more time to take care of stuff, and more stuff to keep me interested once I've tired of the "old stuff."

If you've ever turned to shopping as a source of comfort and pleasure, I'd like to suggest a powerful replacement.



Monday, September 2, 2019

Identity -- It's Not What You Own

We all need love, acceptance, community, and a sense of accomplishment.  These factors contribute to our mental health and self esteem.


Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash


Psychologists such as Abraham Maslow have demonstrated that once our basic physical needs are met, we embark on a path to self-improvement.  Whether that leads us to seek out new experiences, new skills, new possessions, or a new look, we always want something more and different.



Friday, August 30, 2019

Habits That Keep Life Simple


Photo by Jarek Ceborski on Unsplash


We're real people.  We work, we socialize, we have hobbies and husbands and kids.  Stuff enters our homes every day, and if we don't change the way we deal with it, clutter will reappear.  So part of the minimalist lifestyle includes learning new habits that keep stuff from once again overwhelming our lives.

Here are four habits that will prevent the reappearance of clutter.  Use them as minimalist mantras!



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Give Gifts That Matter


Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash


I used to use gift-giving as an excuse to shop.

I would feel the urge to buy something, anything really, just because it's "fun" to buy.  (Oh yes, I understand the idea of a shopping addiction, that little rush of pleasure when you acquire something new.)



Monday, August 26, 2019

Financial Freedom


Courtesy of Comstock/Getty Images


Here it is -- the most important financial advice you'll ever receive.

Spend less than you earn.

If you cut back on spending, you'll be able to pay off debt, build an emergency fund, give more generously, and start saving for college or retirement or a trip to Europe.  Spending less will reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep.  It might even improve your marriage.



Friday, August 23, 2019

Embrace Empty Space

Many people think they can't be minimalists because they don't want to live in an all-white room with a chair, a lamp, and a mattress on the floor, or with only enough possessions to fill a backpack.






You know what?  The majority of aspiring minimalists don't choose that lifestyle.  I live with my husband in a small apartment, but we have a couch and a coffee table and bookshelves and a queen-size bed and a dresser and a dining table with several chairs.  My kitchen has a dishwasher and a microwave.  I have art on my walls, houseplants, and hobby supplies.

But I also have something I didn't have when my home was more cluttered, and that's empty space.



Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Do Less


Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash


A lot of people think of "minimalism" as a huge white room with a white couch, a glass table, and some modern art.

And while that is one minimalist design aesthetic, and minimalists do talk a lot about decluttering, it would be a mistake to think that purging physical items (along with all color and personality) from your home is the ultimate goal.

Decluttering is a valuable tool that brings many benefits, but minimalism is a complete lifestyle that impacts much more than your physical space.



Monday, August 19, 2019

Clear the Clutter



Photo courtesy of Magnolia Home

Imagine your dream home.

Open the front door, step inside, and look around.  What do you see?

You probably don't see stacks of movies on the coffee table or toys scattered over the floor.  You don't see a kitchen counter too crowded for meal prep, or a dining table so cluttered that no one can eat there.  You don't see piles of mail, laundry, dirty dishes, unfinished repairs, or things that need to be cleared away before you can sit down.

You see the beautiful home you'd love to have.



Friday, August 16, 2019

Buy Less


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Want to reduce clutter permanently?  Stop buying so much.

Well, duh.

We all know that, right?  So why is it so hard to do?