Posts

Showing posts from April, 2023

Jammed Up: How to Declutter When You're Stuck

Image
Many of us live in homes that hold far too much. We find it hard to declutter unless something forces us into it. As long as we have the room to stockpile extra belongings, we do, until our drawers, counters, closets, basements, garages, spare rooms, and rented storage spaces are full. And then, one day, something makes us realize that we feel crowded out of our own home. Maybe we get tired of moving piles so we can sit, use a table, or prepare a meal. Maybe we get tired of looking for stuff we need among things that we don't. Maybe we just feel stressed, anxious, and frustrated for reasons we can't explain. So we decide to declutter. Now I know I've written this or something like it in the past:  Keep what you use and love, and let the rest go. But if decluttering was that simple, why would there be whole books and websites dedicated to it? And why would we keep reading and hoping for inspiration and the determination to finally get clutter-free? What is clutter? Clutter i

How an Easy Smartphone Hack Can Help You Save Over $3,000 This Year

Image
As fun and relaxing as we imagine retail therapy to be, the reality isn't so glamorous.  A 2022 survey found that the average American spends over $300 on impulse purchases every month .  It adds up to a whopping $3,768 per year in unplanned spending.  What could you do with that money instead? Here's an effective way to use your smartphone to curb that impulse. Go ahead and go shopping. Don't try to resist, just go.  Walk around the store and put all the things that catch your eye into your cart or basket.  Enjoy the dopamine hits as you pick and choose.  Take pictures of yourself with each item, and text the pictures (with or without cute captions) to friends you think would also enjoy the stuff you've chosen. Watch those positive, supportive responses come in.  Smileys, hearts, LOLs, whatever.  It's the validation you crave, quick and superficial.  (More dopamine!)  And you don't need to buy all the stuff in order to give your friends a little lift too.  The

Think-Back-On-It Thursday #5 - Earth Day

Image
Now that I've written almost 480 posts for Maximum Gratitude Minimal Stuff , I'm in the process of revising my older writing.  And some of those older posts are quite useful. But many of you are newer readers and have never seen posts that were written in 2018, 2019, or even last summer or fall.  And if you've been a faithful reader for quite a while ( thank you , by the way), you've probably forgotten.  I wrote the stuff, and I've forgotten parts of it! It's worth visiting what we've written, read, or thought before, as both a reminder and for new insights.  So on selected Thursdays, instead of posting new content, I'm going to direct you toward posts of the past that I think are worth a re-read. The posts I'm featuring this week are appropriate as Earth Day approaches.  I hope you'll find some inspiration to think about your impact on the planet and how minimalism can make a difference. Declutter Fearlessly , from March 15, 2019 Our extras may

20 Things You Probably Own Too Many Of (and what to do with them)

Image
Do I really need a dozen towels?  Does my husband need 19 tee shirts?  Does your house need seven clocks, your kitchen eight spatulas, or your tool box three hammers? We need multiples of some things, but at a certain point "a few" becomes "too many."  Things accumulate, and we veer into clutter territory .  Clutter steals our time and attention, and makes our home environment seem out of control.  Check your home for these items, and see how many you can declutter this week. Do you own too many...? 1.  Sheets Unless you have babies or potty-training children, you probably don't need more than two sets of sheets per bed.  I actually have one high quality set per bed, and save time and space by simply putting them back on after wash day. Donate old sheets to animal shelters, DIY a kids' play tent , sew up some drawstring bags for craft kits or gift bags, or cut the sheets up for cleaning cloths. 2.  Towels It's not necessary to use a new towel after every

My Confession

Image
It's tax season in the U.S., and as a self-employed author I complete several forms and schedules to file with our 1040. Here's my confession:  In 2022, I made more than I've ever earned from sales of my books and the tiny commissions I receive as an Amazon Associate.  Yay, me!  Here's the kicker:  I figure that after expenses (paying for my blog domain, my business email, and the service that maintains my subscriber list), I'm earning less than $2.00 per hour. You read that right –  less than $2.00  per hour. Now maybe you don't think my work is worth more than that, but honestly and without bragging, I believe it is. I have another option. There's one easy way I could dramatically increase my income right now.  Google is begging me to let them put ads on this site, but I'm sorry, ads on a site about minimalism doesn't make sense to me (although I've seen many minimalist sites with plenty of ads).  I link to a few products that I like and find u

5 Steps to a Life That's Less Complicated Yet More Fulfilled

Image
The opposite of minimalism isn't just maximalism or materialism, it's complexity .  And a complicated life is costly. The price of a complicated life Life gets complicated when you own a lot more than you need or even want schedule every moment and live life in a hurry live beyond your means and owe more than you can pay every month search restlessly for more, more, more instead of being contented with what you have worry, complain, hold grudges, and pay attention to negative self-talk eat, drink, sleep, and move your body in ways that aren't healthy spend too much time with technology and screens prioritize your stuff or your bucket list over relationships We might think that life is easier when we can afford more luxuries and conveniences, but in order to do that we might adopt some pretty complicated circumstances, such as a stressful job with a long commute a barely-affordable home loan or renovation a high-end car that requires expensive maintenance and insurance a des

Think-Back-On-It Thursday #4 - Peace and Positivity

Image
Now that I've written more than 470 posts for Maximum Gratitude Minimal Stuff , I'm in the process of revising my older writing.  And some of those older posts are quite useful. But many of you are newer readers and have never seen posts that were written in 2018, 2019, or even last summer or fall.  And if you've been a faithful reader for quite a while ( thank you , by the way), you've probably forgotten.  I wrote the stuff, and I've forgotten parts of it! It's worth visiting what we've written, read, or thought before, as both a reminder and for new insights.  So on selected Thursdays, instead of posting new content, I'm going to direct you toward posts of the past that I think are worth a re-read. With Easter only a few days away, can I encourage you to choose faith over fear and peace over anxiety?  The world isn't perfect, and troubles and disappointments will come .  But we can choose to focus on what is beautiful and good. Related article:  G

52 Minimalist Hobbies to Benefit and Enrich Your Life

Image
Everyone benefits from a hobby or two.  Hobbies reduce stress by letting you spend time on something you enjoy provide scope for creativity and imagination make you more knowledgeable and interesting help you develop patience and skills improve your sense of accomplishment and self-esteem promote mindfulness and concentration can create a social life and let you bond with others who share your interests can allow you to stay active and physically healthy I've known people with entire rooms dedicated to their hobby – studios for painting and pottery, sewing rooms, woodworking sheds, and basements filled with wine-making apparatus or a model train setup. But even if you live in a small space, like my husband and I do, or you want to pursue hobbies that require less equipment and expense, you're in luck.  Many hobbies take a lot of space and tools, but many do not, and you can probably find one of those that you'll enjoy. There are some tricks to making a hobby work in a small