Friday, February 28, 2020

Decluttering Quick-Start Guide, Part 3

It's often true that a cluttered home is a symptom of an over-busy schedule and an over-commitment to screens instead of real life.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you should drop everything and pare your schedule down to yoga and meditation.  Just simplify one thing.  Make it a daily reality.  When you are ready, try one of the other ideas.  And we're not all the same.  "Simple" will be different for each of us.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Decluttering Quick-Start Guide, Part 2

I hope you're feeling a lift in your spirits since you've decluttered at least one of your personal spaces.  If you feel ready, declutter another personal space, or choose one of the following shared spaces for your next decluttering task.  And remember -- maintenance is key.  As you create new habits for yourself, you'll find that your daily life becomes smoother and more peaceful.  You'll feel calmer and more in control as you deal with the clutter that's been weighing you down.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Decluttering Quick-Start Guide, Part 1

You've decided you want to own and do less so that you can focus on what is truly essential to your happiness.  You want the simpler, clearer, freer life that minimalism promises.  But the task just seems SO OVERWHELMING.  Where can you start?

Some people make radical promises to themselves and actually succeed.  They quit smoking or they give up sugar, and once they take the plunge they don't look back.  The people I know who have managed to stick with such drastic, immediate changes always had a strong catalyst, usually a major health crisis.  But how can you manufacture a crisis that will make you simplify?  You can't just burn down your house.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


... the book I've been working on for more than a year.

Make Space and Time for the Life of Your Dreams

I have just a few more chapters to write, and then of course I need to do all of the editing and formatting.  But I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Decluttering is a hot topic.  A lot of people are talking about it.  A lot of people want salvation from the frazzled, overstuffed lives they're leading.

UNCLUTTERED is going to be a comprehensive handbook for a simpler life -- not a one-size-fits-all approach, but a creative, encouraging, multi-faceted guide to help you
  • remove the stuff that's bogging you down
  • uncover a cleaner, more spacious home that welcomes and supports you
  • escape the consumer treadmill
  • overcome bad habits and practice better ones
  • highlight your favorite things and memories
  • gain focus and peace
  • discover a sense of freedom and accomplishment 

You can be happier with less, and UNCLUTTERED will show you how.


Photo by Brian Mann on Unsplash

Monday, February 17, 2020

Clutter Defined

Does this sound like a typical morning in your home?  When you wake up, the first thing you see is a messy bedroom, with lots of unfinished projects and items that don't belong in the room.  This immediately sets an unpleasant tone for your day.

You get up and can't find a wearable outfit in your closet.  Either nothing goes together, nothing really fits, an item you want is dirty and possibly buried at the bottom of a pile of other dirty laundry, a button is missing from your favorite shirt, or you dug through your overburdened closet rail and half of the clothes fell to the floor.  In any case, you throw on whatever you can find and feel uncomfortable and unhappy.

You go to the kitchen, and one of your kids is frantically looking for her homework, which can't be found.  You're out of milk for breakfast, and all of the bowls seem to be in a dirty pile in the sink.  To top it off, your car keys are missing for the third time this week.  You feel frustrated and angry, and your stress levels are soaring -- and it isn't even 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Love in Action

Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Things are gonna be much better if you only will.

James Taylor

You know that actions speak louder than words, right?

Well, actions speak louder than gifts, too.

Do you really want to show love this Valentine's Day?  You can't buy it in a store.

  • Share hugs, kisses, high fives, fist bumps, and neck massages.
  • Call your mother.
  • Put down your phone, look him in the eye, and give him your undivided attention.
  • Reminisce about how you met, and happy times you've spent together.
  • Pay a sincere compliment.  Praising someone's outfit or hair style is nice, but acknowledging her kindnesses, her talents, and her smart ideas is even better.
  • Spread grace where it's needed.  Let bygones be bygones, and make the first move toward reconciliation.
  • Make his favorite food.
  • Notice a need and meet it before you're asked.
  • Spend time with your loved one doing something that she likes.  Learn about it and look for ways to enjoy it, even if it's not your cup of tea.
  • Do a chore that rightfully belongs to someone else.  Don't say anything -- just let him discover it done.
  • Speak positively, and try to go one day without complaining (it's harder than you think).
  • Sing her favorite love song (it's OK if you're not Pavarotti).
  • Write a love letter.  It can be serious or silly.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Monday, February 10, 2020

Rethink Screens

In 2011, a "parody for the next generation" was published by author "Ann Droyd" (illustrator David Milgrim).  Goodnight iPad destroys the serenity of the "great green room" of Margaret Wise Brown's beloved Goodnight Moon.  Instead of a little mouse, there's a robotic rodent with antenna emitting sound waves.  The comforting fire in the old illustrations is replaced with a fireplace video.  A whole family of rabbits, each oblivious to the others, is sprawled around a "bright buzzing room" full of technology.  And no one can sleep until the mother rabbit throws everyone's screens out the window.

Silly and over the top, of course, but this is the way most of us live now.  In less than one generation, the Internet has become the realm in which we spend most of our time.  It makes possible all sorts of wondrous things, but it is also a juggernaut:  huge, overwhelming, and all-consuming.

Friday, February 7, 2020


When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same.  Go small....  Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
Gary Keller, The One Thing

Recently, I enjoyed reading a blog post by Fiona Ferris, creator of and author of several inspiring books, including Thirty Chic Days and Thirty Slim Days.  She shared her "favourite easy slimming tip" which is summarized by three words:  choose size small.

She explains:
Whenever you have the choice of a size to order, whether it's a coffee, chocolate bar, menu item, package size or even the size of a piece of fruit -- choose the smallest.  What I've found is that it's the first bites (or sips) of something that are the most pleasurable.

Monday, February 3, 2020


My new book, The Minimalist Family, is now available on Amazon!  Starting at midnight (Pacific Standard Time), just as Wednesday, February 5 begins, I'm running a free book deal on the Kindle edition (also downloadable to your computer, tablet, or phone).  The deal continues until midnight on Saturday, February 8.

Can you remember a time you felt inspired to make a change in your life, to dump a bad habit or start a better one?  What happened?  Were you able to take action and accomplish that change, or did you hit a roadblock?

Here's what often happens to me:  I read a book or an article, watch a documentary, hear about or talk to someone who is changing their life, and I feel that surge of excitement.  I think, "Maybe I can do that too.  I want to make that change."  I'm motivated to go for it.

And then... pfffft.

  • I decide I need to do more research.
  • I get distracted by email or Pinterest.
  • I fix a snack.
  • I run a bunch of errands.
  • I'm tired.
  • I watch "just a couple" of episodes of my favorite TV show.
  • I have to make dinner.
  • Or worse, my inner critic jumps in and says, "You'll never change; don't bother."

Don't we all experience this?  We may love an idea, but actually making a change is hard.  It's easier to do what we've always done, even when we sense there's something better.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

My New Book!

I'm so excited to announce that the Kindle edition of my new book, The Minimalist Family: How You and Your Children Can Find More Joy with Less, is being readied for publication on Amazon.  It should be available by Monday, February 3.  Look for more information then!