How has your life been simpler in 2011? Any changes you made to bring more simplicity into your life? Congratulate yourself on any of these changes.

How about for 2012? If you still feel life is too overwhelming and hectic take a few moments to answer these questions. They will help set you up for a simpler year ahead.

  • What will you stop doing?
  • What will you get rid of to bring in the new?
  • What boundaries will you set?
  • What projects will you drop, even for a little while?
  • What simple habits will you incorporate, like the one in one out rule or having daily quiet time before anything else, or staying home at least 2 evenings a week?

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Want more questions and worksheets for a simpler year? Check out the Simple Annual Plan.

 

So you want to get it all done this break from work? I suggest – don’t.

Rest

Most of my clients have super big goals for this week. So I have had to talk some of them down. Vacation time is not only to get your home back in shape, it’s to recover and to spend time with your family.

Check your to do list, is there a balance? Not perfect balance because that is elusive and doesn’t really exist. But, a simple balance.

Do you have home projects on the list, like decluttering the bedroom or getting through some paper piles? Have just a couple on the list and once those are done you can always add more. After all, I am sure there is already some cleaning up from the holidays that also needs to get done.

How about family activities? Maybe visiting the grandchildren, taking the kids to the movies, or having a family game night. Try to have some family time every day on vacation.

Then there is recuperation time. Do you have any relaxing time on your list? Some reading, extra quiet time to think about the year ahead, long walks, or coffee with friends. Add daily recuperation time to your list.

If you don’t enjoy this vacation time, if you have it, then you will start the new year back at work as tired as you left.

How about if you don’t have vacation?

I am self-employed, so I have work to do. I am trying to work less this week, but there is still work. If you have to work this week too, maybe leave most of the home projects and other projects till after the New Year. Enjoy this time with your family & friends and get some evening recuperation time for yourself.

Off to go to the in-laws to celebrate Christmas!

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Photo by: Michael Cory

 

Welcome to this week’s issue of Weekly Simplicity Tips. The moment you’ve all been waiting for – the 2012 Declutter Calendar is ready. You can download either the full calendar or each month’s calendar separately.  Join the newsletter list to get the calendar:

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

Warmly, Beth

 

  1. What can you throw out from this week’s to do list?
  2. Write down your Christmas or holiday memories in a holiday book.
  3. Even if you don’t go out, find music to dance to on New Year’s Eve.
  4. Write down your highlights from 2011.
  5. Take a long, meditative walk.
  6. Review last year’s aspirations.
  7. Download your statements to help with taxes.

 

Solutions

Is Clutter Overwhelming You?

Declutter Group

Join me as we create a great plan for decluttering your life and enjoy fun support! I have declutter groups twice a year in January and again in the spring. I love hearing about how much people declutter during our 8 weeks together. Wouldn’t it feel great to have your home with a lot less clutter by March?

This course usually pays for itself as people sell off their clutter.

Starts Jan 23, 2012

http://www.encouragingcoach.com/programs-decluttergroup.htm

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Snowy Walk

Stop. Breathe. Breathe again. Now continue on your regularly scheduled day.

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Photo by Brea Dargis

Welcome to this week’s issue of Weekly Simplicity Tips. The moment you’ve all been waiting for – the 2012 Declutter Calendar is ready. You can download either the full calendar or each month’s calendar separately.  Join the newsletter list to get the calendar:

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

Warmly, Beth

 

  1. Don’t rely on your memory for to dos’ – always keep a list.
  2. Attach glow-in-the-dark tape to flashlights, fuse boxes and anything you need to find in the dark during an emergency.
  3. Start moving money automatically from checking to savings once or twice a month, or up your current savings.
  4. Add wire to the top of the tree to hook to the ceiling or a window to hold the tree up if you have small children or kittens.
  5. Find some lovely harp music to listen to.
  6. How can you give to those in need this season?
  7. Remember how you were as a child during the holidays and bring back that child-like joy.

 

Solutions

Is Clutter Overwhelming You?

Declutter Group

Join me as we create a great plan for decluttering your life and enjoy fun support! I have declutter groups twice a year in January and again in the spring. I love hearing about how much people declutter during our 8 weeks together. Wouldn’t it feel great to have your home with a lot less clutter by March?

This course usually pays for itself as people sell off their clutter.

Starts Jan 23, 2012

http://www.encouragingcoach.com/programs-decluttergroup.htm

***

One reason for paper piles, is that we stack papers for things we are working on: the birthday party we are planning, the ideas for the bathroom redo, kids’ schedules. One of the easiest ways to fix this are project files. I keep my project files in my action file when I am actively working on them. When the project is done it can be gotten rid of or put into reference files.

Take a look at your paper piles. Are any of those papers really projects?

And it’s helpful to go through your project files at least once a season. I went through mine last weekend. Gone was the completed time course, last year’s school folder for my daughter, and a financial deal. And I added a file for a retreat I’m planning, a trip to Washington D.C. and clean eating recipes.

I also do many projects almost exclusively online. No paper – yea! But where to put all the info?

I use Microsoft OneNote for my projects. You can cut and paste all sorts of things in there. Other people like Evernote.

You don’t have to have detailed plans, but support info and next actions are important.

How do you deal with projects?

 

I had a small closet and therefore a small wardrobe. I rely on accessories like scarves and necklaces to change up my outfits. I had been hanging my scarves on an old tie rack that was attached to the wall when we bought the house. But now I have too many and they keep falling off the tiny hooks. I searched online for various ways to store my scarves.

There was the shower curtain ring method

Using tension rods

On a hanger (with or without shower curtain rings)

In a drawer if you have more drawer space

And of course you can buy scarf organizers

All of these are great ideas. Then I found an old belt organizer I’ve had for years. At least I think it’s a belt organizer, maybe it’s a tie hanger. It looks similar to this: http://www.organizeit.com/axis-chrome-tie-hanger.asp

It worked perfectly. I loop the scarves around so the higher ones are behind the lower ones and I can see them all at once. I also used the center area. I can store a lot more than with most of the scarf organizers in a smaller space. The scarves don’t get creased and wrinkly. Most importantly, I just re-hang the scarf when I am done – no rings, folding or maneuvering.

You can see what the holder looks like here, where I have taken off some of the scarves:

scarf organization

and here is how it looks with all the scarves on it:

scarf organization

Do you have any great tips on storing scarves?

Welcome to this week’s issue of Weekly Simplicity Tips. Looks like the 2012 declutter calendar will be ready next Monday.

We finished up our Christmas decorating and buying gifts this week. I also did a major office overhaul (I’ll blog about it this week.) The extra space feels so calming. That’s how I want to feel this week – light and calm. How about you? 

Warmly, Beth

 

  1. Clear it up when you are done – drinks in the living room, a sewing project on the couch, the daily mail on the dining room table.
  2. Arrange your shopping list by aisle so it’s faster.
  3. Create a routine to call a friend regularly.
  4. Simplify social events, instead of a big party go out to dinner with friends, or go bowling with the family.
  5. Look at today’s list and be ruthless – what do you actually have to do today and which are less of a priority?
  6. Declutter with a friend for support and fun.
  7. Take time to sit and breathe.

 

Solutions

Holiday Special

My friend and accountability partner, Marcia, is having a special 30% off sale at her site:

http://takechargesolutions.org/products

When you purchase enter the code HOLIDAY30

She has many helpful organizing products there.

Simple Holiday Plan PLUS Simple Annual Plan Bundle

Do you want a holiday plan that doesn’t have you do a million things you just don’t have time for?

I’ve tried the holiday plans that are online. But, I never finished them. Having simplified my Christmas I didn’t use many of the parts of those plans. And they just made me feel guilty.

Would you like a simpler holiday plan ?

I created a plan that I use to keep my holidays organized without overwhelming me.

Bundle it with the Simple Annual Plan to help plan your year ahead.

Simple Holiday Plan PLUS the Simple Annual Plan Bundle

Or get the holiday plan alone: Simple Holiday Plan

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If you are tired of the usual printed Christmas paper that rips too easily, you can try some of these simple wrapping ideas:

Use old jewelry as bows

Beautiful wrapping, most starting with plain paper

(from Pinterest)

Get creative with what you already have

Wrap things with string and a little greenery

Or use pom poms and buttons

Wrap in towels or large cloth napkins

Paper bags and ribbons ala Apartment Therapy:

 What are your favorite ways to wrap?

Decorating isn’t one of my favorite parts of Christmas but I like how it looks when it is festive. So I have simplified my decorating. Besides replacing some Christmas balls last year I haven’t gotten new decorations in at least 4 years.

Some simple ideas:

  • Put Christmas books on plate racks

     

  • Use Christmas balls – I have some hanging up, one in a plant, on door handles, in a large glass dish, in candle holders in the kitchen, on a geode holder in the bathroom, in a bowl in the office.

  • Use nature – pinecones, fruit, flowers, cinnamon. This page has great use of natural objects, I especially love the Noel Room.
  • Put what is most important to you this season front and center. For us it is the nativity scene.

  • Candles all over to make things bright
  • We took some decorations off our wooden shelf in the living room and replaced them with those old, heavy, snow globes (the pictures are my great-grandparents)

  • Bowls of old fashioned hard candy (for those with no toddlers)
  • Keep most of the decorations in the box, except your favorites (better yet, declutter them)
  • Decorate by color – this year it was red and gold, so I was able to find these colors around the house like a big red mug filled with caramels. Another year it was country blue and red. Another year it was burgundy and gold.

Do you have any simple decorating tips?