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20 March 2007



Two ways to clean up the clutter. I am a magazine freak...but instead of keeping the whole thing I pull out the page that I want and put it in a plastic sheet in a notebook, that way I can always find it and that magazine goes either to a friend or in recycling...never the trash.


Can you hear my "Amen"? I went to Target yesterday to buy a bed pillow, $73.00 later...

I try every day to simplify, I'm just not always successful at it. One thing I've finally learned is to weed through my children's school papers each day so that I don't end up with a pile 2 feet high at the end of the school year! As much as I'd like to, I find it is impractical to keep each & every little worksheet & test. I have to be selective & only keep the ones that I feel represent their progress throughout the year. Then, of course, there are those silly people drawings by my 5 year old that I adore & can't part with!


Every day, I take something from my kitchen cabinets to get rid of; after 17 years in our home, I have a collection of condiments/ingredients that have aged WAAAY past their "best by" dates! I've carried this over to frequently checking the fridge and other pantry areas to get rid of stuff that I've had too long for whatever reason. And I'm NOT buying more (well, you know, unless I need the specialty mustard for a legitimate reason)! I've put a "magazine sharing" box at work -- rather than toss them in the recycle bin, people bring in their magazines so others can share. This has helped me to stop buying magazines in a big way and gives me some place to bring the ones that still come into our home before they hit the recycle bin. I'm keeping track of passing by those "little" purchases, and in June I'll donate the money to charity (via this: http://www.swap-bot.com/swap/show/2645) Once you get started down the path of simplifying, it gets easier and more freeing....


Amen! I've been on a conservation kick for scrapbooking stuff since Christmas and it's amazing how much easier it is to create when I'm not obsessing about the newest/latest things.

My Dad used to say "Just be who you are." I want to be a person of less pretension and more substance. You contribute to that, btw. So thank you.

sarah the kiwigirl

I am so the wrong girl to talk to about simplifying....I don't travel light, my home is lets say "artistically cluttered" and so is my life....I have just learnt to embrace it! LOL


I am all for simplifying. I was really into it for quite some time and then came the holidays and now I am buried under stuff it seems. So I really watch now what we spend money on as far as entertainment and have started cleaning my craft room. The technique I am doing is called the big box (I made it up). I put all these things I don't know where to put into the big box and keep the things I use out. Then I put the box in the garage so if I am missing something I can look through it. If I don't need to look in it I will give the stuff away.

Kelly Wills

Hi. I'm lovin' the simple life. I have spent the last month or two throwing, donating and parting with things I don't like or use. Each day I get the mail and receive a catalog, I call and get off their mailing list. I've asked friends to kindly remove my email from their batch email list. I've asked my kids to pile up the clothes they don't like or wear then I donate. I have gotten rid of big sweaters, scratchy clothes, stained, outdated clothes and shoes. I've even thrown out my old Outward Bound hiking boots I've held on to for 15 years. Ick. I'm down to about 6 pairs of shoes. I've piled up the furniture that is falling apart and plan to have a furniture garage sale. I drop things off at kid to kid all the time. And the thing that has literally changed my life...I get up and work out before the kids get up and then buy my groceries for the day. I love a clean, healthy fridge..and body. I have four kids and have taken the entire year off of extra activities. No ballet, sports or art. I love not rushing around town. I'd much rather play with my kids...reading and cooking have become nice rituals. And we don't watch TV. Life is good. Thanks for sharing a piece of your world, Rebecca. You've inspired me to embrace a simple life.

Melissa S-E

I have a few suggestions that I am in the process of implementing - and I am the world's worst at throwing away ANYTHING useful!! 1) The book "Scaling Down" (search on Amazon; it's there) has been a huge help, 2) DIGITAL PHOTOS of anything that I keep SOLELY because it evokes a memory or inspires an artistic (or other) idea, 3) I ask myself, "Is this part of my NOW or my TOMORROW as far as who I am, who I want to be and where I want to go?" If the answer is NO; it goes.

I, too, am a sucker for Target. DRAT THEM!!! It's a conspiracy, I tell you...

Melissa S-E

Oh, I forgot to say: things that ALWAYS stay are - obviously - crucial papers, photographs, home movies, sentimental family heirlooms and some of my kids' old schoolwork. Everything else is fair game! :->


I've also been simplifying, getting ready for my move. I want a fresh start in a new home with NO clutter. We've been going through everything and the stuff we don't want/need, we are either putting it on freecycle or ebay. (I love freecycle and ebay!!)

As far as simplifying my time... since I knew we had a move coming up, we have no extra activities this semester (no soccer, RA's, gymnastics, or anything that would consume our evenings and weekends). :)


Oh yeah, and Target (aka Tarjay) is my downfall too. Why do they have such cute stuff all the time?!?! :)


Oh I hear ya on the Target one. So hard to do that for me. Here's an idea....ask your hubby to go and get stuff there (or any errand). I go into a store for one thing and come out with 8. My hubby just gets what he's supposed to get and that is IT.

Rhonda M.

Simplify? Okay, if I must. Out goes the 18 pair of high heels I've held onto for 15 years. I'll call the catalog people in the morning to get me off the lists. I'll stop stockpiling more and more and more scrapbook supplies and start using what I have. But I won't, I just can't, stop digging through the aisles and in boxes under the tables of my favorite junque shops. Those itsy bits of old lace, dusty game pieces, tattered books, worn quilt squares, bags of sewing notions, and adopted acestors in b/w snapshots just call out begging me to bring them safely home. Those are my life's treasures--the heart of my art, the soul of my passion. Target--you can have it. You'll find me sorting through the fleas and rag pickin' in "markets" that have nothing to do with fruit. Simplify, I will--but not my old stuff. I just can't do it.


I simplify by saying "no". No, I do not need what you are selling. No, I do not need anymore clothes than what I can wear in a week (since I do laundry weekly anyways). No, I do not want to be part of a weekly mom's group.

Another way I simplify is to just stay out of the stores. I love Target, too, though, so what I do is keep a list on our kitchen bulletin board. On this list goes anything we are down to the last item of. When I do go to Target (or Sam's Club), I buy at least 2 of every item on the list. This way, when we use up the first item and move onto the second, I can add it to the list but it's not critical I go to the store to buy it now. Because of this system, I shop at Target and Sam's Club every other month. I grocery shop just once a week or sometimes every two weeks (I've learned to make do!).

You other ladies here have had some great ideas! I've enjoyed reading them!


Nicole! You are a woman after my own heart! I too say "no" (at so many silly and unnecessary things) and surprisingly it works! Love the list thing, cuz it's kinda like the one I have! Used to think I was a putz for doing it, but now I am glad that I do it, and won't go back.

Rebecca! Love your blog. Your posts inspire. Everyday. I bet you are a fantastic mother and that your circle of friends just love you!


This year, my simplification starts with not spending as much. I signed up at paperbackswap.com. It's a wonderful website that allows you to swap your books with other members for FREE!
I have been accumulating so much and I have finally started to get rid of it all. I do what Dawn does and cut out pictures or articles from magazines and then recycle the rest. I am constantly going thru closets and pulling things out to donate. Helps keep the clutter down.
But like you and everyone else, it's so hard to resist all the wonders of Target!

charlotte lyons

That was so enlightening reading all these! One of my posts is about donating to day care centers or nursing homes- art or materials---(sweaters and fleeces for the older folks, too). It's an easy feel-good way to get it out. Target has built an amazing presence in our lives...anyone else think that's a little scary? I shop there too. Too much.

Angie Grimm

Hi Rebecca,
Great post. In an effort to cut down on scrapbook overstock :-) My friend and I have implemented the "do I have a chance in h--- of using it" when looking at any cute sb supply. It works!
Love you simplifying ideas. I plan to begin implementing many of them soon.
Love your blog and have it linked from me. I hope that is okay :-)
Have a fabulously uncluttered day!

Sally in Mass

You get an amen here! I love your ideas and those posted by others! Clear out the clutter and give yourself some freedom when it comes to not doing to much! Why is it so hard for us mom's to just do something for ourselves and not feel guilty?

Thanks for your post!


I love to watch shows like, "Mission Organization" and "Clean Sweep". They're so inspiring.

I saw the host of Clean Sweep (Peter Walsh) on Oprah. He wrote a book titled, "It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff". This book is so great. He has tons of ideas for thinning out your stuff.

For example, take all of your utensils out of your kitchen drawer and put them in a box. Over the next few months, as you use them, put them back in the drawer. Anything left over after a certain period of time goes into a donate pile. This method works for a lot of things - clothes, etc.

Love your blog!!!


oh baby...amen!!!
i have tried to simplify too....even though your new creations are a major temptation. i try not to run out the door to every single possible event. i try to do chores during the day so hopefully when my 4 girls get home & my sweet hubby, i can give them all my attention....not the stuff. doesn't always work, but i;m trying. same with the phone...i try to take no calls at night unless necessary. now, if i could say the same about the time i spend on the computer...oh well, baby steps, huh?


Amen and amen. Simplify is my word for the year. I'm cleaning out closets and drawers and donating to a local 2nd hand store that is run by an organization that employs disabled adults. I'm weeding out scrapbook supplies and donating to our local women's substance abuse center. I've stopped buying all the latest and greatest scrapbook supplies and have been creating more with what I have. It's so freeing - and there is less to take care of and clean.

liz elayne

oh yes...an amen from me too.
i am going to tackle my closet in the same way soon. i have to. i have fun out of hangers and there is no need to buy any more.

i am trying to sit at the table and eat dinner with my husband...instead of sitting in front of the tv. talking to one another to help each other pull back from that frenzy.



There's that wierd magnetic ray that sucks us all into those bright and shiny aisles of Target. Hard to resist? You bet. Here's why.

They really look at all aspects of design - everything is cool, eye candy - lots of it is functional. (Method Brand cleaners are sooooo cool looking.) All of us designy girls here love good design and nice colorways and the new cool thing. Target has us on the hook, easy.

In an organizational book I once read the phrase ' "I will let _____________(fill in store name here) be my warehouse." This little mantra helps me to leave more things on the shelf than not. I try to get an eyefull and then drive on.

Of course, this is tres difficult to apply to the here to day/gone tomorrow Dollar Spot!!!! "Where am I ever going to find these essential sparkly flower shaped headbands for a buck? Must have five." Arrrgh!

On overcoming the overcommitting gene: here is a phrase I practice with a friend "I am sorry, that wouldn't be convenient for me now." or at the very least you can always have, "I need to think about it and get back to you later." in your back pocket. Unfortunately, this does not work if you are actually a handraiser. The concept of "Eggs in my own basket" is good for that. Think, "Will this benefit me or my family?" "Have I taken care of my needs and thiers and am feeling generous with extra energy?"


This is definitely a topic I struggle with. I have taken on the task of clearing out many things from my closet and selling them on eBay. What I must refrain from is buying more little things, just like you mentioned. I do not need 10 pin cushions, even though they are so darn cute.

And I despite cleaning windows as well.

I'd much prefer spending time with my hubby and playing in my craft room. Which is why I grocery shop with peapod and eat Lean Cuisines for dinner, except on Sunday. :)

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