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Showing posts from June, 2021

Let's Play the Glad Game

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Have you ever heard someone referred to as a "Pollyanna?"  It's intended to be an insult, by the way.   Pollyanna, the heroine of a  1913 children's book ,* is determined to see the bright side.  She always looks for the good in people and situations.  Her cheerful outlook comes from a lifetime of playing the Glad Game with her father, who died before the book opens. *  This blog is reader-supported.  If you purchase through my links, I may earn a small commission. But in popular culture, calling someone a Pollyanna is to say that person is idealistic and na├»ve, unable to deal with the "real world."  The American Heritage dictionary defines "Pollyanna" as "a person regarded as being foolishly or blindly optimistic." Is positivity toxic? Some have described the Pollyanna outlook as "toxic positivity."  They assert that positivity causes you to stifle and deny negative emotions, and keeps you from finding ways to deal with difficu

Try 50 Ways to Leave Your Clutter - But Don't Stop There

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"There must be 50 ways to leave your clutter."  Isn't that how the song goes?   Well, maybe not.  But it's true anyway.  There are  at least  50 ways to declutter (you can start with these 10 , and  here are 10 more ). Minimalism is about more than decluttering. Maybe the real question isn't how to declutter, but why .  Unlike 25 or so years ago, when I first started getting interested in minimalism, people know what you mean when you talk about "decluttering."  Everyone's doing it.  It's trendy, and there's a perfect storm of reasons for that . Many people agree that decluttering brings peace and clarity, that living with less saves money and maybe the planet, and that streamlined spaces and electronics are just so cool-looking. But decluttering is only the first step toward a minimalist life. I know a lot of you come here for inspiration and ideas about decluttering, which is why I regularly write about it.  And that's great.  But decl

3 Easy Decorating Rules Are All You Need to Create a Comfortable Home

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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.   But our home environment plays a huge role in our mental and emotional health, so we want to get it "right."  How can we do that when styles change every year (or even more often) and decorating mistakes can be expensive and frustrating? You don't need to follow the trends to create a home that is peaceful and inspiring.  Three guidelines can help you create a space that leaves you feeling grounded and energized . 3 guidelines that 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 no room for the people who live there. The key is to keep some white space, or margin, in your home.  When you keep things simple

The Essential Decluttering Decision: Keep or Toss?

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Sometimes it's hard to discard things – even long after they've served their purpose. I gave away a box of books this week.  They were all books I've read and enjoyed, so it was a little hard to let them go, even though I doubt I'll read them again.  The very fact that I bought them and gained some benefit from them made them hard to donate.  Yet I wanted room on my bookshelf for something new. Feelings that make us hesitant to declutter We might list several reasons to keep things we own: We spent good money on them. They were gifts, and we feel guilty about getting rid of them. When we dig them out of storage, they remind us of happy times or people we loved. They're still usable, and we might want or need them someday. 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

What Are the Joys and Advantages of 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 lot 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 liberating to live with a fraction of your possessions.  You'

Make More Memories by Taking Fewer Photos

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Photos are essential for preserving memories, aren't they?  Even minimalists cherish their photo albums and scrapbooks.  There's no such thing as too many. Well, that's what most people think anyway.  But is it true?  Is it possible for us to ever take too many photos? 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,

10 Tiny Decluttering Tasks With Big Results

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Are you starting to realize: Clutter takes up too much space in your home. Living in a cluttered space adds frustration and annoyance to everyday tasks. Clutter makes homecare more difficult and time-consuming. Clutter burdens your mind. Clutter makes you feel more stress and anxiety. You long to make a change.  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. You can start today. 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 t