So many people are running around exhausted. Complaining about no sleep. Complaining about no fun time. The real reason is that people don’t value rest.

We value productivity, getting things done. Rest = guilt. We want rest, but we really don’t think it’s important.

Think about the last time you had an unscheduled hour. Did you read, take a nap, relax to some music? Or did you clean or check off another to do? Or did you web surf and play with your phone – which seems restful but is a way to pretend to be productive while not really being. And disconnecting to those around you. Plus that screen time is not relaxing to your brain.

When you value rest, you are valuing the rejuvenating power of rest. For some reason we think we can go and go without downtime. And too often replace downtime with screen time which is not nearly as rejuvenating.

Why is rest important?

  • replenish energy
  • build immunity
  • better memory
  • stress relief
  • stronger relationships
  • more focus and clarity

Why is rest important to you? Are you going to schedule some in this week?

I received a comment from a reader that had been stockpiling the Weekly Tips and decided to let them go and start over. That’s what I want for all of you.

If you didn’t finish last year’s Declutter Calendar, don’t worry. Just start anew with the Declutter Calendar 2013.

If you have old Weekly Tips, feel free to delete them. You can a fresh start with the new tips. If 7 tips are too much for you, pick just one each week to help you simplify. An easy way to remember to do the tips is to put the ones you want to implement right in your to do list or calendar. Things in newsletters rarely get implemented if they don’t end up on some kind of action list.

The same goes for the blog. Don’t just star in Google Reader or think to yourself I want to do that. Make a note on a to do list or calendar. This will help you take action on simplifying instead of just reading about it. But, only pick the ones that will make the biggest difference to you and your family.

I never, ever want you to feel guilt over not doing all the tips or not doing everything in the Declutter Calendar. I want you to feel good about every small step, every day you do declutter and all the progress you make. It’s not all or nothing here.

Blow out all that guilt with a whoooooshhhhhh! You are free to begin again and make progress in whatever way you want. Glad you are here!


And to help you make a fresh start, I have teamed up with a fitness expert and nutrition expert to help you make a fresh start with nutritious eating, upping or beginning your fitness plan and systemizing to set up for your new year.

One of my highest values/feelings is freedom. That’s why I work from home. That’s why I created work hours. My daughter calls me a non-comformist which has allowed her to be a non-comformist.

One thing that weighs down freedom is stuff.

Possessions require money to buy – which means your time working. Need less stuff, have to work less hours. And more time to do what you want. And if you pay for it with credit, now you are buying with hours you have yet to work. Too much debt and you spend the rest of your life paying for stuff you already bought.

Things need time and money for maintenance. Cleaning it, fixing it, space to put it, things to organize it. The more things, the more time and money.

Unless you aren’t maintaining and then things just become a mess. The more things, the more mess if you don’t have time or energy to maintain them.

You are less nimble. A great job offer across state. Well, first you have to sell the house and move all your stuff.

A once in a lifetime trip comes along. Well all your money is in your home and your stuff so you can’t pay. And then you have all that stuff to maintain. I know someone who sold most of their stuff so they could live 3 months in Italy – that’s freedom.

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

When you have lots of things, what is really important to you like people or nature or contribution become less. You have less time for what is important to you because you are using time and money maintaining or running from maintaining.

So as you are putting away the things you got from Christmas, think about releasing at least one item for every new item.  And think about what you buy in the January clearance sales. Is it worth your time, money and freedom?


Declutter Group

Join me as we create a great plan for decluttering your life and enjoy fun support!

Starts Jan 21, 2013

Many of us worked hard this holiday season, preparing a joyous time for our families and friends. This time can also be an emotional time with family dynamics and remembering losses. The 12 days after Christmas are a wonderful time to renew ourselves. Every day you can do a little something that will make you feel delightful. I’m posting this now, so you can get this into your calendar. Here is my list, but you can change ideas to what makes you feel great.
  • December 26 Give yourself a face massage with jojoba oil with a drop or 2 of your favorite essential oil.
  • December 27 Sit back and listen to a few of your favorite songs without doing anything else.
  • December 28 Use a mixture of brown sugar, oil and honey to exfoliate your lips then put on an extra moisturizing chap stick.
  • December 29 Savor one piece of a rich dark chocolate or whatever your favorite treat is. No guilt, only pure enjoyment.
  • December 30 Watch a favorite, comforting movie of yours. I like the Sound of Music.
  • December 31 Whether you go out for New Year’s Eve or not, dance to a song or two. Really let loose.
  • January 1 Wear something you feel fantastic in, maybe with sparkles.
  • January 2 Give yourself a warm foot bath with 5 drops of essential oil. Moisturize afterwards and put on your coziest socks.
  • January 3 Enjoy a ripe pear or pomegranate at the kitchen table with no distractions.
  • January 4 Give yourself a head massage, have your spouse do it or use a contraption like this (link to it).
  • January 5 Immerse yourself in a novel for at least 30 minutes.
  • January 6 Plan some weekly renewal time this coming year.

How do you plan to renew?

Welcome to this week’s issue of Weekly Simplicity Tips. Friday’s news from Connecticut was heart-wrenching. I know all too well the loss of a child from violence. So I needed to turn off the news, log out of Facebook and take care of myself emotionally and spiritually. I stayed in on Friday and Saturday. I left home Sunday just to serve communion at church and gain comfort there. I hope you are taking care of yourself as well.

Earlier in the week I had a date with my husband where we saw a shipwreck that had been uncovered due to the low water levels. We also saw a family of deer.


Ship Bow


Warmly, Beth

Weekly Tips


  1. Practice getting everything out before you start something like cooking, grooming, an art project.
  2. What are the most important parts of a current project? Can you simplify and let go of things not needed?
  3. If you could simplify one thing in your life that would make the biggest daily difference, what would that be?
  4. Go to bed early one night this week.
  5. Hide things in your living room with ottoman’s, antique suitcases, baskets or armoires
  6. Keep a running grocery list on your fridge in categories like produce and frozen.
  7. A hat box can also store things like small purses or scarves.




Who do you know that wants to declutter and would enjoy this beautiful calendar?

Keep your life more organized for 2013 with this day-by-day guide to decluttering your life!


This calendar is brought to you by My Simpler Life & La Lovely Ink.



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.

There is a limited amount of room in the group.

Starts Jan 21, 2013




We put so much pressure on ourselves to put on perfect holidays. I was talking with someone who said since she is a stay-at-home mom she felt she had to go all out for the holiday since she didn’t work outside the home. And a working mom may feel since she is not at home she needs to make the holidays really special.

It takes a lot less time and money to make the holidays special then we think. Think back to your favorite holiday memories. Some of mine:

Looking for the bird ornament Grandma would hide in the tree for the grandkids to find. Getting the tree at Detroit’s Eastern market with my grandparents and always stopping at the candy and the cheese shop. Christmas caroling at the nursing home with the choir as a teenager. Looking to see the lights. Listening to the Nutcracker Suite. Baking sugar cookies.

I have very few memories of actual presents. Hiding a bird in a tree would take two minutes. We only baked one kind of cookie and my sister and I would decorate them. A lot of memories have to do with sights, sounds, smells and tastes.

What holiday memory would you like your family to have this year? And what can you let go of?



Bird from Sewz for Fun

When it becomes busy time, self-care is usually the first thing to go. This is one of those busy times for most people. So by the time the holiday comes, we are tired or sick. Or Grinch-like.

I know I’ve been sick on quite a few holidays. Simplifying Christmas has been so helpful for lessening the stress.

And this year, I decided instead of lessening my self-care, I would amp it up.

I paid for a punch card at our local community recreation to incentivise making it to exercise classes. I only have so much time to use up those punches or I lose money. I’ve been making it about three times a week. I am having so much fun with Zumba. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Then I do weights and yoga at home other days. If you don’t have that much time you can fit in these mostly 15 min. workouts:

I am also letting myself sleep as long as I need to until I wake up naturally. I get more done when well rested. If you can’t sleep in longer due to kids or work, you can go to bed earlier or take a nap.

My goal is to eat 7 fruits and vegetables a day. At least 3, I get through a morning homemade smoothie.

Other ways to add self-care to the holiday season:

  • Read an advent reading or inspirational reading daily
  • Schedule and take downtime after a big shopping or cooking day. I’ll bet a massage or long bath would feel fantastic!
  • Enjoy the fun parts of the season – looking at lights, Christmas carols, movies/TV specials, the smell of pine, connecting with loved ones
  • Ask for help with the chores
  • Schedule stay at home evenings
  • Say no
  • Keep checking in with yourself to see what you are feeling, if you are stressed and what you need

The lies we tell ourselves are we don’t have time, it all HAS to be done, and we can’t take time for ourselves. But, we can take care of ourselves, enjoy the holiday and get things done. We get to choose what it is that we want.

If you want to take care of yourself, you will have to plan for it. Otherwise it probably isn’t happening.


Photo by: Janet


(affiliate link as I think you’d like it)


I noticed as I was picking up my daughter last night, that the houses with the most lights have houses next door with lots of lights as well. Perhaps instead of neighborhood rivalry there is sibling rivalry at your house. If your sister bakes 5 types of cookies you feel the need to bake 7. Or you want to get your parents an even better present than your brother. Maybe you want your kid to have the best present of all their friends. You work extra hard on that Christmas play costume so you aren’t embarrassed by the better costumes.

Of course you would never admit that you are approaching Christmas competitively. That doesn’t set the mood well. But, you might need to look a little further down. Where do you tend to overdo during the holiday season? Is it an elaborate party you don’t have the time or money for? Or giving presents to just about everyone you know? Maybe it’s decorating so much that there is no room to put a cup of coffee down at.

It’s not that we want to be better than everyone. It’s that we think if we have the most beautiful, most elaborate, most expensive something we will be loved more. Saying it out loud the concept seems a little silly. Yet, wanting to be loved is one of the most human of all things.

And thankfully we will be loved whether the roast burns or not. Whether we have an elaborate light set up or just a wreath.

This season, just be aware of when a competitive streak starts to hit. Instead do things that bring the love and the joy into your life. For some that will be artistically wrapping presents or baking 7 different types of cookies.

Check your motives and do things out of love. That joy will spread to others.


If you are looking to celebrate a simpler holiday, it’s not too late to try the Simple Holiday Plan

Welcome to this week’s issue of Weekly Simplicity Tips. My daughter got up close to this magnificent Great Blue Heron on a family hike this week:

 Great Blue Heron

And I thought you’d all like to know that the 2013 Declutter Calendar is available to download for people on the Weekly Simplicity Tips list:

Also if you are looking for lovely gifts to send, my mother-in-law sells wonderful smelling soy candles:

Warmly, Beth

Weekly Tips


  1. Have adult children pick up their old stuff. You may be surprised they don’t want it any longer and you can get rid of their stuff guilt-free.
  2. Make your entryway functional not a place to throw things.
  3. Take a picture of your license plate on your phone and email it to yourself. So next time you won’t have to run back to the car when asked.
  4. The holiday season is not a competition.
  5. Big furniture and TVs take up a lot of space. Consider smaller ones if you have a smaller place.
  6. A nightstand can add more storage space to a small bathroom.
  7. Don’t use lateness as an adrenaline rush.


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.

Plan includes:

  • a checklist for each week
  • simple steps to take to create the holiday you want
  • short cuts and simplifications for many holiday tasks
  • questions to help you decide what is important to you and your family
  • worksheets and forms

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



Who do you know that wants to declutter and would enjoy this beautiful calendar?

Keep your life more organized for 2013 with this day-by-day guide to decluttering your life!


This calendar is brought to you by My Simpler Life & La Lovely Ink.



My skin has been pretty normal. Oily T-zone, dry on the cheeks. Sometimes it breaks out and was usually a little red.

Most of my household cleaners are natural, I buy organic when I can, and my shampoo & conditioner are sulfate-free. Time to upgrade the skin care. Most of that was full of chemicals – alpha hydroxy, retinol, tightening astringents.

The skin invites everything you put on it, into your body.

When I was reading about natural face care, much of the information was on using oils. I was always told oil was the enemy and that it causes breakouts. I was a little leery on trying the oil routine, but decided to experiment anyway. According to what I read jojoba oil is the most like your natural skin so that is a good oil to try.

I have been so happy. My face isn’t breaking out anymore than it did before. But, it is much softer. The cysts around my eyes vanished. And I have lost the redness the chemicals were causing.

I searched online for various natural cleansing ideas and this is the routine I cobbled together:

  1. Put some jojoba/sesame oil mix on a cotton ball to remove eye makeup
  2. Wet a washcloth and put the same oil on the cloth. Wash with the oil to remove impurities.
  3. Use a toner on a cotton ball. The toner is in a blue glass bottle. It consists of distilled water plus 5 drops of lavender essential oil.
  4. Massage the oil on my face, not too much oil, as moisturizer
  5. Weekly natural mud mask or some other mask I find online that is all natural

After my shower I put sesame oil on my body instead of moisturizer with chemicals.

Do you have any experience with natural skin care? What could you share with us?