Showing posts from January, 2022

The Lightbulb Moment

For many of us, moving house offers a chance to pare down and clear out all of the extras – things we don't use or need.  Not only does this make packing up and loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking easier, but it adds to the feeling of a fresh start which a move always brings.  It just feels lighter and freer to move with less. But that's not the way it happens for everyone.  Maybe it depends on the reason for the move, or other factors which affect your mindset at the time.  Some of us feel the need to bring everything to a new home.  Maybe it's a way to relieve the sense of loss that comes with parting from someplace where we've been rooted, where we have history.  Carting along everything we own is a way to bring that sense of belonging into a new place.  At least, I think that might be how it happened for Denise, a reader of this blog who moved from Illinois to Florida back in the 1990's.  She and her husband packed a huge moving van, a large pickup

What Minimalism is Not

Joshua Becker describes minimalism as "... the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it." This is a great definition because it's so personal and open-ended.  Minimalism becomes what you want it to be.  You choose what is important, what you will place front and center.  You choose what will be removed from your life in order to leave you with more space, time, money, and energy for what matters.  By doing this, minimalism helps you define your goals and purpose in life, and makes it more likely that you will be able to pursue and achieve them. By this definition, my minimalism will not look exactly like yours, and your minimalism will be distinct from anyone else's.  Yet we are all minimalists. I believe that everyone would benefit from a minimalist lifestyle, but obviously not everyone makes that choice.  Why is that?  Maybe it's because there are a lot of mistaken ideas about it.  These wrong id

Maximum Gratitude

It's here, and available to purchase on Amazon!  My newest book/journal, Maximum Gratitude: Find Happiness and Contentment through the Habit of Giving Thanks is finally ready for you. I've been writing in my proof copy, and I think you'll be happy with the quality of the binding, paper, and color.  This is a book you can carry with you – I like the feel and the weight of it. Maximum Gratitude is a book you will personalize.  Each of you will become my co-author!  Of course you can use any journal as a gratitude journal, but this one contains my carefully crafted ideas, insights, anecdotes, and how-tos, plus great quotes and pictures. Actually part journal and part inspirational handbook, Maximum Gratitude begins with a 30-day Gratitude Challenge to jump start a new lifestyle.  Next are twelve thoughtful essays interspersed with pages which you will fill with your own expressions of gratitude – enough for an entire year.  You will develop and hone a thankful mindset while

Why I'm a Minimalist

Research published in the International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology in 2020 found that minimalists report various benefits to their well-being.  These include a greater sense of autonomy and competence, feeling more in control over their environment and themselves, having more mental peace and awareness, and positive emotions such as joy and gratitude. In contrast, the study reports that a lot of research shows that materialism and consumerism are associated with negative outcomes such as higher levels of stress and dissatisfaction with life, along with more debt and all of the problems associated with that.  Research has also shown a connection between materialism and a lack of concern about the environment.  If you're interested in minimalism, these conclusions probably don't surprise you.  You may have discovered the benefits of choosing to live with less for yourself. But it's always nice to get "official confirmation" that you're on the righ

Cozy Your Home

The holidays may be behind us, but winter is still here, and we all want to feel comfortable and warm at home while the trees are bare and weather is cold.  Even without the Christmas lights and festivity, you can cozy your space for the new year.  6 Elements to Increase the Comfort of Your Living Space 1.  Add firelight. Lucky you if you have a fireplace or woodburning stove.  Enjoy them!  But you can have the warmth of a fire in any home – just add candles.  I like a row of plain ivory pillar candles down the center of the dining table.  On the sideboard, I place tapers in brass candlesticks hand-forged by my grandfather.  Tealight candles twinkle and glow in glass holders. 2.  Add vintage. The nostalgia and warmth of an older piece can't be denied.  Whether it's heirloom furniture, a photo album on the coffee table, or maybe an old painting or Grandma's quilt, something preserved and used through the years will add instant coziness. 3.  Add texture. Soft, nubby feels are


We live in a culture that constantly tells us we don't have enough. We're bombarded with messages about the latest phone with a better camera, the latest home with a professional kitchen and tons of smart features, and the latest car that can tell us when we're drifting out of our lane.  (And are we really unaware of that?  Perhaps we shouldn't even get behind the wheel.) There are ads and sales and notifications to help us locate more stuff to want and buy.  And don't worry if you can't pay... this new credit card gives you rewards!  Use it to buy more, and you get a few cents per dollar back, or a few more free miles! Which reminds me, our world also pushes us to increase our bucket lists of places to travel and experiences to have.  Exotic travel, once the province of the very rich, is now something everyone wants.  Rack up those miles, taste all of the pleasures.  Never mind that tourism is one of the things most likely to destroy a local culture and a local