5 Easy Tips for Simple Christmas Decor

Here’s some pics from my home last year (I’m a year late…shrug).

1. Use what you have

A guiding principle of simple is to leverage what you have on hand. For me it is fallen things in the yard (pinecones and branches). Beautiful paper (old calendars and last year’s holiday cards) plus some flea market finds (metal letters, pedistal dish).

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Paper trees. Old calendar.

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2. Work with techniques you enjoy

I can’t say I’m great with origami or paper arts, but I absolutely love the simplicity of paper. I also love anyting I can clean up with a vacuum. Here’s a tree-folding technique I’ll probably do again this year. Looks great with newspaper or pages from an old book (that would otherwise be thrown away). Window displays at Anthropologie and Light by Coco have been big inspirations.

3. Falalalala Fragrance!

The natural kind. Here’s a pot of clipping from the garden center. So wonderfully smelly! Very inexpensive too ($4-6). Place in water, lasts for weeks.

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Love these colors! #holidaypalette

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🌲♥️

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4. Hang things from the ceiling

This mobile created from a branch, paper trees and thread is very light. The placement above the table gives it more visual emphasis.  Anything in your home that creates shadows and movement will change throughout the day. Such an easy way to add interest.

5. Fill your space with music

Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, Jingle Bells

 

José Feliciano, Feliz Navidad

 

Lou Rawls

Day 20—Even more personal care clutter!

Nothing wrong with this batch. It’s all just stuff I have too much of. I want less of this! Less stuff evolves into more thinking space. That’s the catch 22. The more you’re able to say “this could be useful if …” The more you will actually never use that thing. This is because there’s too much of it. It’s either overwhelming (so you just spend your time Netflix watching), or you have too many things to manage so you never remember you were saving it when (and if) the moment actually pops up! That’s the catch. You actually have to get rid of it to need it. At least this has been my experience. And that’s ok. I’m ok with this because I’ve made peace with this. It is a necessary part of the balance to the clutter situation.

5 things are
• John Masters sea mist (highly recommend travel staple
• Shampoo
• Face mist
• Makeup sponges
• Contact lens case

5 Things Gone—Practice Art

Not all art is sacred. Not all artists are born with talent, either. Therefore, practice art! Today’s purged stuff dates back to 1992-1998. I can’t say my newer art is light years ahead, but at least I know it’s time to let go of these very important (to my development) practice pieces.

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5 pieces of practice art gone today!

  1. Practice painting, lady
  2. Practice painting, fruit/still life
  3. Practice painting, dream scene
  4. Practice pad #1
  5. Practice pad #2 (Referencing my definition that a “thing” is a decision (every decision to toss equals one thing) this pad might count as 30 decisions (the number of sketches I flipped through, and decided to discard).

Have a nice day, everyone! I’ll see you tomorrow for day #20 of my November Pact to Purge

Minimizing. Day 17—discovering a smarter laundry strategy.

That’s what lazy people do, right? We sit around and think about different ways to do things.

All of today’s items are duplicates. Regarding the two little towels, I have this idea that if I reduce my volume of clothes and linens, I won’t need to do so much sorting and thinking. That is the part of laundry I hate the most! Who wants to think about details of laundry? Yuck! Just do it. Shove all the towels in one load and be done with it. If I edit my collection to be one load/week and only things that can all go in one load together (same temp, same color) then that sounds pretty sweet to me!

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Today’s purged five are (it’s Monday, I went easy, just five items).

  1. Broken cooking thermometer
  2. Duplicate steak thermometer #1
  3. Duplicate steak thermometer #2
  4. Face cloth
  5. Hand towl

Day 13, storage purge (essential vs. excess)

Yesterday I came across Thrive With Less. The documentary, by a group of college students, who give themselves challenges to live with less (for example fewer clothes, less driving, no eating out). During their clearing process one gal used the criteria essential vs. excess. Just two criteria to think about when discarding. Just hearing it feels simple and reassuring. I feel calmer imagining my goal as living in a home with more essential, less excessive.

Excessive is one way to describe my basement storage area of kitchen things. Though, before hearing these terms, I might have described the contents as essential. It is practical in that it holds what feels essential, but only for special occasions (serving platters, cake stand, enormous stock pot). I guess that doesn’t sound very essential.

Today my five items come from this storage closet, but this time (unlike cow creamer) I really am getting them out of the house. I never use these things. It is still challenging to let go. I’m hopeful (fairly confident even) that once they all leave the house, I will feel relief and freedom.

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Today’s items I’m getting rid of (Nov 13)

  1. Popcorn popper—I’ve hung on to this for so long because it’s really cool! It works great, I bought it for cheap. However, I never use it. I try not to use the microwave. I need to cut this.
  2. Muffin baking dish—Again, super cool clay baker. I used it once two years ago (I’ve had it for 10). I used it because I was trying to prove to myself why I needed to keep it.
  3. Jelly glass—Such a great shape! Plus it was free. We have far too many glasses. Goodbye.
  4. Silicone ice/cube or baking trays—used once. Had high hopes for these. But, found the whole process really awkward.
  5. Oven mitt—This is another wonderful reason to decide to minimize. It forces you to assess your stuff. This thing was hanging on a hook near the stove. I can’t remember the last time I used it. Look at it! The tip is all gross and deteriorated. I can’t donate this. I’m trashing it. I was hanging on to garbage and I didn’t even know it!

I’m realizing that writing here and confronting myself (and my thought process) really helps me to see things with more clarity. I’m feeling better about letting go of these things already!

What’s this all about? November pact to purge

I rest my case (Ughhh! Not for 18 more days.)

Today marks day 12 of my November pact to minimize. Basically it sucks! And, it is amazing. But, it really does pretty much suck and I can’t wait to push through this. To date I’ve gotten rid of 430+ items (just this month).

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Every day I feel free and accomplished and motivated. Then I get home and suddenly I’m grumpy. The second I decide I’m going to cop out I miraculously get hit with a eureka moment and find something else I’m willing to get rid of. Then I feel guilty and doubtful. Then I remind myself I don’t need 20 blankets or 30 pillowcases. I move forth with my choice to liberate and I feel free. I feel like I’m in control and my newly edited house of things is here to serve me. That’s when the jaw drop happens. At this moment I realize most of what I’ve been struggling with is the feeling of obligation. Getting rid of things doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate things. It took me a while to grasp that. What I’m feeling is that I do greatly appreciate things. I’m just not putting things on a pedestal. Me, my husband, our cat, our friends. Me having a space to get arty. Us having room to get comfy and relax together. It’s pretty cool to be here.

5 things I got rid of today, Nov 12 

  1. Waffled and piped pillowcase
  2. Flannel pillowcase
  3. Home made pillowcase
  4. Quilted sham
  5. Pair of squiggle-flower Euro-shams