26 Steps to Simplicity: Living Room

“One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.”    (Francis Jourdain, 1876) Over the past couple of years, we have remodeled our kitchen, living room, and the kids’ bedrooms. I have since been struggling with how to decorate these spaces. As an aspiring minimalist, I am trying to find the balance between less clutter and more meaningful, tasteful design.  In seeking out guidance for minimalist decorating, I have been disappointed with my findings.[Read more]

Wake Up Happy: Clean Your Kitchen (Plus, a Giveaway!)

If you want to wake up happy, you need to clean your kitchen before you go to bed.  I know, life gets busy, and the day grows long.  We run out of energy after dinner and think, I’ll take care of all this tomorrow, before turning off the light and leaving the kitchen in total disarray. However, even if you are a morning person who can tackle a full day’s worth of dishes, including those streaming in from breakfast, nothing[Read more]

Ode to Ave Maria (or Living Life Marie Kondo style)

“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.”  Peace Pilgrim I claimed her fourteen years ago, after my great-grandmother passed away.  The family had gathered in Elda’s small, yellow house in Iron Mountain, MI to sort through her belongings.  As the newest married couple, Dave and I unexpectedly inherited her bedroom set, since everyone else already had one.  But there were[Read more]

5 Strategies to Avoid Unnecessary Spending

Part of adopting a minimalist approach to life is living only with those things that are necessary and that bring you joy.  However, our tendency to shop recreationally counteracts that end, as we fill our homes with more and more things we don’t really need . . . or want.  As a beginner on this journey, I have found five strategies to help me stop impulse spending in its tracks.  1. Flee Temptation.  Which store sucks you into its vortex[Read more]

Minimalism in the Bathroom and a Beauty Giveaway!

Over the past few weeks, I have slowly been working my way through our bathroom drawers and closet.  We currently have one bathroom to service our family of seven, and lines are frequent in our hallway.  The good news is that we will hopefully have a second bathroom installed this year yet- hallelujah! I don’t care how minimalist we become, a second bathroom is a necessity with a family of our size and ages. One thing our current bathroom has[Read more]

Minimalism Means Less Comparison and More Contentment

The pile of discarded items in my garage is growing each day, but, try as I may, I can’t seem to make a good blog post out of my progress.  I’ve been through the bathroom drawers and closet and my kitchen cupboards. I’ve made great headway, paring down the items we use each day to a manageable amount. But,as we are reading with the kids in Ecclesiastes, it all is meaningless.  I haven’t found joy in the accomplishment, and I[Read more]

Saturday Minimalist Mission: Bedroom Closet Cupboards

They must have been calling out to me in my sleep, all of those unwanted and unused linens hovering over my closet, because when I woke up this morning, my foremost goal for the day was to clear out my bedroom closet cupboards. First, I cleared out everything from the cupboard space:  sleeping bags, sheet sets, comforters, toys (I hide the especially annoying offenders up there), and other linen-related items.  Then, I began to sort.  Can you believe that I[Read more]

Simplifying in September

I know it seems crazy, with all the back to school, season-changing madness, that I would pick September to write a series on simplifying our lives, but . . .  Imagine achieving a peaceful, uncluttered, happy home now before we make a futile attempt to slow down and scale back at the holidays. Imagine saying no to Black Friday and the excessive, budget-busting gift-buying and the stress of trying to juggle a million holiday party invitations and family commitments. Imagine[Read more]

The KonMari Method: Tidying My Clothes and Accessories

Earlier this week, I shared some of the work I had done with regard to “tidying,” inspired by the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.  Today, I’d like to show you some of my progress.  I spent the morning learning how to fold the KonMari way by watching several YouTube videos and practicing with both my children’s and my clothes. My girls were especially interested, joining me in the folding lessons.  It was so cute to[Read more]

Minimalism: A Bigger Life with Less Stuff

Over the past several weeks, I have begun to seriously attempt to adopt a minimalist mindset as we prepare to reconfigure the basement space of our home.  Daily, I read articles by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, and I just finished The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I read minimalist material daily to keep myself motivated on the quest for less.  I read to gain the tools I need to let go of things instead of[Read more]