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]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Kindness

Kindness is an expression of simplicity.  It costs us nothing to offer a genuine smile, warm greeting, or heartfelt thanks.  Here is a list of 10 simple acts of kindness you can perform on any given day: Offer to return someone’s cart to the corral after they have loaded their groceries. Ask your cashier, waitress, bank teller (or other customer service person) about their day. *Be interested in their response. Say “thank you” when someone performs a kindness for you,[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Joy (Ike)

I had the pleasure of going to a house concert last weekend. The featured artist was Joy Ike, a young woman with a rich, resonant voice and captivating presence.  She exuded joy in keeping with her name, and her music, which she played on both keyboard and ukulele, held us in rapt attention for over an hour. One song, in particular, fit perfectly with my theme of simplicity for this month’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  It’s called “Everything[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Intention

The word intention gets a bad rap, especially when paired with “good.”  It implies that you mean well, but do nothing.  I fall into that description more often than I’d like to admit. However, to live with intention, to be intent upon something, implies focus and determination, and it is a key element to achieving a life of simplicity.  When we are focused on attaining the life we truly want to live, we take the steps necessary to get there. [Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Health

Achieving great health can be simple with a bit of forethought and pro-activity.  What good is a lifetime of wealth and achievement if you don’t have the good health to enjoy it? When my husband David and I used to watch House Hunters on HGTV, he would frequently comment on this, noting those of retirement age who were out of shape or infirm and unable to partake fully in the fruits of their labor. The time to get healthy is[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Gratitude

Are you grateful or greedy?  Closely connected to our discussion on contentment is the idea of gratitude.  When we are grateful for what we have, it magically becomes enough.  However, when we compare and complain that what we have isn’t good enough, we convince ourselves that more is the answer.  More will change our disposition and make us happy, when in truth, it only leaves us more unsatisfied.  As Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist says, Gratitude, I have found, is[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Faith

We are shifting gears after what I hope has been a productive week of assessing the mess, identifying the beauty, culling the keepers, and donating the items we no longer need, love, or use (otherwise known as clutter). Now, let’s look at the why behind what we are doing. Creating space in our lives is essential, but there is more to life than being clutter-free.  I talked about this in my post, To What End Do We Simplify Our Lives? [Read more]

How to Encourage (and Enjoy) Your Child’s Independence

(I am taking a break from our 26 Steps to Simplicity series to bring you this post.  It still falls within the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, though: E is for Encourage.) I’m sitting here at the library, attempting to create an editorial calendar for my blog, while my four-year old daughter enjoys her weekly Storytime session.  Unlike the other moms, I am not participating with my daughter, marching around the room, waving my duck sign, or listening intently[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Donate

I hope you have amassed several bags and boxes of culled items from yesterday’s post in our Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  At our house, we are tearing up the concrete floor in our basement today in preparation for a second bathroom.  Last night, I went through all of our art/craft supplies and reduced them by half.  This morning, I rummaged through my tablecloths, gift bags, and wrapping supplies, condensing them, as well.  A stack of beat-up folding chairs[Read more]

26 Steps to Simplicity: Cull

Today, in our Blogging from A to Z Challenge, we are going to begin the hard work of simplifying.  Beginning in your room from day one, we are going to cull the clutter. Clutter is a Verb What is clutter anyway?  Interestingly, we often refer to clutter as a noun or an entity, which it is, but essence of clutter is best found in its definition as a verb.  According to Merriam Webster, clutter means: “1. To run in disorder,[Read more]