Declutter as if you are moving

My friends smile indulgently as I mention yet again that we have let go of several items in our home. “You won’t have anything left!” I do not mind the teasing as I know that my actions provide inspiration to get organized, or at least make for interesting conversation. (Readers share their stories in “What Our Stuff Means to Us“)

The interactions that give me pause however are with those who have to deal with the sudden ejection of household items, perhaps due to a change in circumstances that requires a downsize, or a parent’s home needs to be put on the market after they have passed on. Objects stir up emotions, hence why we ‘store and ignore’ (see my LinkedIn article last year called “Steps for Un-storing Your Possessions“). Continue reading

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leaving facebook

everything from old ipad 972

Sea turtle rescues on video, lengthy political rants and daily selfies. Multiple captures of tasty food and romantic moments. 25 versions of outrage about an appalling news item. It is time to turn down the volume.

For a couple of months I have rehearsed the idea of stepping away from Facebook. After seven years of being able to peer at the veneer of people’s lives, I thought it was time to analyze the purpose of this digital connection. This exploration has inspired me to converse with people who use it regularly, and a few who have either deleted their profile or were never on Facebook. Continue reading

an organized view of a minimalist’s wardrobe

A photo of author Jo Bennett wearing a structured 40's inspired wool hat.

My Lillie and Cohoe winter hat happily received by a colleague.

I don’t have enough clothes.

Folks who know me could take this statement two ways. It may not be a surprise that my wardrobe is small. My Facebook friends are used to my photo posts, featuring many formerly-loved items I want to give away, such as evening wear, hats, jewelry and handbags. I drop off clothes in good condition at Goodwill about four times a year. On the other hand, should a minimalist desire to own more things? Ultimately, my goal is to be aware of what I need and what I want. Continue reading

minimalism 101

A photo of a wooden floor, clear and clean, lit up by a setting sun, revealing doorways into several rooms.

Clear lines, clear mind (photo by Jo)

Are you a minimalist?

For over 15 years I have been shedding whatever I perceive to be in my way of living a satisfying life. I don’t remember exactly how this transformation started but I suspect I have been conditioned for it: years ago, living an artist’s life required moving from place to place, transferring whatever possessions that could fit into a borrowed car. However, that just answers the question regarding physical objects. When asked what it is I get out of minimalism, I reply “truth”. So to talk the walk, I believe that managing toxic relationships since I began adulthood is likely the birthplace of my perspective. Once powerful barriers (guilt from expectations mostly) were removed, then I could see the landscape that is my life. Continue reading

when the lights are out

A photo of multi coloured tulips in a clear vase on a white mantle. The angle of the sunlight from a nearby window casts a strong shadow on the wall behind the flowers and the glass refracts and sparkles. It is early evening on a Spring night.

During a ‘No Gadget Night’ in the Spring, we revel in the sunlight until 8pm. (photo by Jo)

As Earth Day approaches, (April 22nd) I have been receiving reports about the challenge I put to my readers to try a No Gadget Night (NGN). With lights off and all electronics put away, what happened? Finding activities to keep occupied did not seem to be a problem. What I find fascinating is the variety of thoughts and feelings around habits of consumption and how we live with technology.  Enjoy these great stories! Continue reading