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Showing posts from August, 2022

Pre-Order the New 3rd Edition of A MINIMALIST HOLIDAY

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Announcing a bigger and better guide to a more joyful holiday. I've completely revised my book, A MINIMALIST HOLIDAY : Simplify Your Celebration for More Meaning and Joy  * (previously published as Minimalism for the Holidays ), and added tons of additional content (word count is almost 50% greater). * This blog is reader-supported.  If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission. Are you dreaming of a simpler Christmas?  You're not a Grinch, but you want a holiday with less greed, clutter, and stress and more love, meaning, and peace. A MINIMALIST HOLIDAY can help you identify the Christmas traditions that hold the most value for you and learn to say no to the rest.  It can be your guide to remove clutter and prepare your home for the holidays budget money and time for maximum satisfaction inject humor and comfort into common holiday challenges help your family learn that the most wonderful parts of the season have nothing to do with gifts! With chapters detaili

Work/Spend Trap Making Every Day a Grind? Here's How to Get Free

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A lot of people are stuck on the merry-go-round of work and spend, work and spend.  It doesn't make them happy, but they don't know how to break free. What is the work/spend cycle? You work long hours to further your career. Pay beaucoup bucks for child care while you work long hours. Come home tired and stressed, but still try to spend time with your partner and children. Order lots of takeout food because you're not only too exhausted to cook and clean up afterward, but also to plan meals and shop for them. Fill your online shopping cart and buy something nice to make yourself feel better.  The feeling is real (because: dopamine), but it doesn't last.  You need to shop again so you can get your hit of that feel-good chemical. Increased spending in an attempt to make life easier and happier requires you to keep working long hours to pay for all of it – and crowds your living space with a bunch of stuff you don't need. Working long hours drains your energy and makes

5 Key Habits Make Your Next Milestone Birthday the Best Ever

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How old do you feel? I'm not old.   I clearly remember seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, but I could easily live another 15 or 20 years – even 30 more years if I live as long as my grandmother. I didn't sleep well because of Restless Legs Syndrome, so this morning I felt stiff and sluggish, with a headache that begged for coffee.  Cleaning my bifocals before sitting down to the computer, I noticed my slightly arthritic right wrist was already aching. I'm not old , but if I feel this way now, how will I feel when I'm older? I don't want to live forever, but I'd like to stay healthy and active for as long as possible.  I might have something to contribute to others, rather than being a drain, if I remain vigorous into old age.  Today is the best time to start. Even if you're in your 30's or 40's , it's not too early to make the best of your health.  Instead of settling for an expanding waistline, more aches and pains, and less vitality, you c

Save Time and Gain Satisfaction With These 6 Tips

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It's easy to forget how privileged I am when I'm rushing from one project to another, driving from here to there, and clicking from site to site.  It's so easy to ignore when I have lists of things I need to buy, places I need to go, and things I need to accomplish.   I don't feel privileged – I feel under pressure . As my brother-in-law Chris says, these are "first world problems!"  Our privilege and affluence keep our lives in a constant whirl. Most of us don't have to worry about where our next meal will come from or where we'll shelter for the night.  Instead, we're worried about the weight we want to lose, the new smart gadget we want to buy, or whether we can afford that trip to Cancún. We're lucky.  Since we don't have to worry whether we can meet our basic needs, we have tons of time and energy to deepen our closest relationships, observe and learn about our amazing world, develop our interests and talents, and figure out which miss

One Little Word That Can Help You Succeed

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It's always a little scary to try something new, including minimalism. You decide to curate a capsule wardrobe, navigate a city you've never visited, or learn how to play Minecraft from your 6-year-old grandson.  You're about to gain information and learn skills that are different from what you've done before, and you're going to access abilities that may be rusty or undeveloped. At the beginning, or at some point along the way, you're going to feel unsure of yourself .  You may even feel like the whole process is too detailed or too hard. News flash – this is what growth feels like.  Growth is exciting, but it's also uncomfortable.  You won't know if you can do the new task until you do it.  But once you get to the other side, you're going to wonder why you waited so long to try. Related article: 12 Practical Tips for a Wardrobe that Lets You Dress with Ease and Confidence Choose your mindset. When you embark on a new project, before you get to tho

How a Naked Table Makes My Home Life Better

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What's so great about minimalism?   My naked table is a perfect example of the benefits. Bare is beautiful. You might think a naked table is boring, impersonal, or lifeless.  "Those minimalists live in a sterile white box.  Ugh!" But that nakedness is temporary.  The table gets covered with stuff every day. But it always starts out naked. Related article: Why Minimalism Might Make You Happy, Even If You're Skeptical Room for life. The naked table leaves room for the life that happens in my home every day.  It's always up for anything. When we're ready to use it, we don't have to move flowers, candles, or a centerpiece, or find somewhere to put them out of the way.  The table is bare of keys, sunglasses, and neglected piles of mail.  It's empty and ready to be filled with the things and activities we care about. And when we finish with a project, we put the pieces away, wipe the table, and leave it naked and ready for whatever happens next. We fill th

Summertime Hygge: How to Increase Happiness During the Dog Days

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It's better to create happiness than long for escape or wish away the time. "Don't sit so close – it's too hot." I said those words of rejection yesterday, not to my husband (though I've said them to him on occasion), but to my darling 3-year-old grandson Damien, who wanted to snuggle next to me as I read to him. Yes, of course I felt awful, and immediately apologized and hugged him. What's a hygge? The Danish concept of hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is often thought to be about cuddling and coziness, cocooning and comfort.  Much of the marketing of hygge-related objects is about blankets, slippers, candles, and cushions. That's fine for a country that experiences plenty of overcast and rainy days all year round, and snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures during very long, dark winters. But I don't live in Denmark.  It's August, and I live in a climate where summer weather lasts from May through October.  And I don't mean pleasan

Why Your Dream Home is Surprisingly Closer Than You Think

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How to make any home your dream home.   Many of us work for years to save and buy our "forever home" – the one we think will make our daily life happier, more presentable, and just a little better than everyone else's. But even after we buy the "perfect" house, we plan improvements.  From the entry hall to the mud room, we find details to tweak . In the past, I've purchased paint and flooring, a French door and a wood stove, plus a gift shop's-worth of décor – and I still wasn't quite as satisfied as I wanted to be. My method was flawed. Don't get me wrong.  I believe beauty is important, but so are ease and comfort.  I kept buying things for my house, but never thought about the cumulative effect of all those possessions. Besides, it's the quality of life inside the house that makes all the difference. The most exquisite palace in the world can be a scene of misery, and a small and simple dwelling can hold great happiness.  (You know this i