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Showing posts from 2024

12 Ways to Redecorate Your House with What You Already Have

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There's something rewarding about freshening a room or making an item that's been ignored noticeable once again.  Parts of life can be a bit repetitious, and small changes can liven things up. You don't have to plan a shopping spree to redo your home.  For the most part, you can give yourself a new view with what you already own. A new view For many years, I was one of those people who can't pass up a HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, or even the Target pillow or lamp aisles.  I regularly visited antique stores within a 50-mile radius.  I shopped at craft fairs and quilt shows.  And I kept my husband busy painting, wallpapering, landscaping, installing windows and a French door... and more. All of this greatly contributed to the five-figure credit card debt we had back in 2012.  And none of it added to my satisfaction, because I was never satisfied.  There was always something else the house "needed." I still like a pretty house.  But my ideas about what's required

Beware the Drawbacks of Minimalism!

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What is life as a minimalist really like?  I write all the time about the benefits of minimalism, and why less is more should be your mantra for life.  And everything I've said is true, but maybe it's my duty to point out a few of the negatives.  After all, there are downsides to almost everything.  It won't all be roses.  Minimalism is freedom.  It's clarity.  It's energy, time, and resources to spend on what you believe is important, rather than wasting your life trying to be the person with the most toys. But opinions about minimalists are often mistaken and uncomplimentary.  Along with some necessary lifestyle adjustments, these opinions represent the thorns among the roses. Consider yourself warned. 17 changes and conjectures to beware 1.  A well-known regular You're going to get to know local charities, consignment stores, and maybe the dump too well as you clear out your clutter. 2.  So much time As a minimalist, you'll have to figure out what to do

Minimalism Isn't Magic (but it can help change your life)

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Want to change your life?  Minimalism can help.  A lot.  But you're the one who will do the work.  Don't get me wrong – minimalism can do amazing things for you.  It can help you get more control of the scattered pieces of your life.  It can help you find more time for what really matters, and more money for the things you really care about.  Minimalism can help you save your energy and focus for your most important goals. But this isn't a process that happens overnight.  Simply getting rid of your clutter won't make it happen .  Minimalism isn't a magic cure for everything that's out of whack. 4 truths about minimalism 1.  Are you overwhelmed by all the stuff in your house? Houses don't declutter themselves.  Minimalism can guide you as you reduce the chaos, but you have to do the work.  In fact, continually reading about decluttering could keep you from getting started decluttering! So start today.  Right now.  Take five minutes and do one of these declut

On Accepting Gifts with Grace and Joy

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Mother's Day is on the horizon, and it's an obligatory gift-giving occasion in the U.S. I've gone through a long period of not giving gifts at all, except to my grandsons and for new babies and marriages.  I always pick something from the new parents' or couple's registry, because I don't want to give anything that would burden the receiver.  After seeing many people who struggle to declutter gifts that they don't like or use, plus the guilt and the arguments that sometimes ensue, I don't want to potentially add something that would fall into that category. So I send greeting cards, and if I do give a gift, I limit it to impermanent things like flowers, food, or a gift card. I also avoid accumulating unnecessary items, so family and friends know not to buy me anything for special occasions.  Sometimes they give me some nice chocolate, a scented hand lotion, or a special tea blend, but most often I'm happy when they give a gift in my honor to one of t

A Time for Everything

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I had emergency abdominal surgery at the end of February, and I spent a good part of March at home, in pain, relying on my dear husband Jon for help to do nearly everything.  The idea for this post came out of that experience. That's because I had a huge burst of ideas and writing inspiration in January.  I couldn't explain why I was creating so much, but I was amazed and humbled by all the ideas and the desire and energy to express them.  The unexpected result was that I was able to rest and recover while all of that previously written material was auto-published by my blog platform.  For weeks I only wrote a sentence (or maybe a few) daily, as is my habit, even though the surgery sapped my ability to do almost everything. Our go-go-go expectations hurt us.  We measure worth for others, and for ourselves, by what we produce.  That's our culture.  We pay lip service to the idea that everyone has value, including the infirm and the differently-abled, but that's not how w

How a Hospital Stay Made Me Even Happier to Be a Minimalist

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I had unexpected surgery at the end of February, and as a result, I appreciated the benefits of minimalism even more than I usually do. Sickness, injury, or long-term infirmity offer even more reasons to simplify and streamline what you own.  When you can't personally keep up with chores, and rely on someone else for physical care plus help around the house, it's even more important to own less of what you don't need! The prescription: minimalism All of those little maintenance jobs such as making the bed, keeping up with mail and laundry, stocking and cleaning the kitchen, and putting things away after use become so much harder when you're feeling weak and lousy.  Yet when we don't manage these things, home can very quickly become cluttered and even dirty.  And that will add to your feelings of being stuck, with your personal space spiraling out of your control.  Soon, you may feel even less able to cope with your needs, and may even experience depression. Many of

How to Make Habits that Stick: A Simple Guide to Change Your Life

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Most of us were taught a lot of good habits when we were younger, and that pays dividends now.  We may make our beds, turn off lights, and eat the occasional vegetable because Mom nagged us into it.  Thank you, Mom! Habits matter because they make life easier. We all have plenty of things to do and think about, and habits relieve some of the pressure.  A habit is a subconscious routine or behavior that's repeated regularly.  We don't have to plan to brush our teeth, wash our hands, or put on clean socks.  Our brains choose the path of least resistance, so if we have habits in place, those well-worn tracks will be activated without effort. The downside of habits Unfortunately, not all habits are beneficial.  Do you complain every time you're stuck in traffic?  That's habit.  Do you grab a snack when you watch TV?  Habit.  Do you check your phone as soon as you're awake?  Habit. For better or worse, your life is the result of your habits.  That's why forming good

Enjoy the Rewards of a 15-Day Declutter Challenge

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Whether you're new to minimalism or not, my 15-day challenge will help you create a calmer, more spacious and inviting home. It's easy to start.  The challenge is to take consistent action as you make decisions about your belongings.  You'll begin to see immediate benefits: more space easier cleaning simpler routines straightforward access to the things you use and love Your goals For this project to succeed, remember that your goal is not just to rearrange or reorganize the things in your home.  You want to actually remove items and donate, recycle, or responsibly dispose of them. Every day for the next 15 days, choose one area and remove 10 items.  At the end of 15 days, you'll have spent time evaluating possessions in all (or most) of the areas of your home, and you'll have removed 150 things! If you want to, work through the challenge twice to easily remove 300 (or more) unused, unloved things from your home in just one month. 15 days, 15 areas, 150 items declu