Monday, January 30, 2012


Sometimes I cheat. I do my laundry during the day because, well, it's easier.

Electricity in Ontario is on smart metres. There are times when it is less expensive to throw in a load, or run the dishwasher than other times. It's quite a big difference in price so it's wise to stick with the off-peak hours for the major stuff. But sometimes I just don't care. Sometimes I just know that the few extra dollars will not make as big a difference in my life as the need to get something done at a specific time. And that just simplifies my life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I can't believe there is a show on TV called Extreme Couponing! Thankfully this is not possible in Canada, and I say thankfully, because I find it such a waste of time and energy. You need a big house to store all the stuff - which means more to clean and heat, and you get stuff you don't really need. And wouldn't 50 containers of mustard go bad before your family could consume it all?

I tend to think of this as organized 'hoarding'. It is an addiction and it serves  no one any good to be buying things simply because there is a coupon. Not to mention so many of the things I see on this TV show being tossed into the carts is junk food.

I have personally chosen to not use coupons at all. I find it simplifies my life since I don't have to store, search and keep track of them. And most importantly, I just don't get coerced into buying things I may not really need. I might not save a few dollars a week, but I'm OK with that. I would rather take the extra time to make my own coffee at home and save the $2.00 I would spend at the coffee shop otherwise.

It's all a matter of choice. I choose to simplify when it comes to coupons. It makes me feel good, and isn't that what life's all about?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Why does this simplify? Because it allows a normal sized portion of food so that you are not overeating. This makes it easier to consider going out more often, which is a nice luxury. Whether it is because of cost or because of calories, splitting makes sense. The bonus of eating out, of course, is that you go home to a clean kitchen... that's always my favourite part!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I just picked up this book at Anthropologie, one of my favourite stores, and I love it! It is quite simple and basic, but it is written with such love and the ideas and photos are so perfectly me. It has 501 old-fashioned ideas to simplify your life. It touches on the home, the garden, clutter control, food and so much more. The book caught my eye as soon as I walked into the store as it had all the elements of me on it! Did you know I even collect milk bottles? How fitting!

Check it out on Amazon or at the amazing Anthropologie store. It will be a treat to just walk through the store for inspiration, and then you can open the pages of this book for a sneak peak.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Leaving your shoes at the front door is something a lot of people do here in Canada. It's simply because in the winter it is obvious to take off your boots, so it just spills over into the other seasons as well. But if you are the type that runs in with your shoes on in the summer, you may want to stop that habit. It will help you cut back on dirt, therefore less cleaning, and it will make your home feel just a little more special. There will be less stains, less wear and tear and it will feel just a little more like your own zen space, where shoes are just not allowed.
Do be sure to keep them nice and tidy at the front for a healthy visual... and in keeping with that overall zen thing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The title seems obvious in order to simplify, right? Well it is. To make this transition, start at the store. Before you even try on any clothes for purchase, read the label. If you really want to stop having to go to the dry cleaners and ironing, then don't even try clothes on that require either because if it looks good on you, you may be tempted to buy it! So to stick to this plan of simplification, stop the cycle right at the store level.

For what you already own, just get rid of those things that you say you will iron or have dry-cleaned... you know you never will if this is a goal of yours. And once it is gone, you'll only have things in your wardrobe you can look at and just put on! How relaxing!

I do recognize the need for a fine suit for men and perhaps that perfect little black dress for women - both of which may require dry-cleaning, but this is an everyday lifestyle change I am referring to. This is something my husband and I have already taken to it's extreme. My husband's pants and shirts are all iron-free, so hanging after washing is all it takes. As for me, I have gotten rid of my crinkly iron shirts and my own little black dress is actually washable in the machine! 

Bonus - the chemicals used in dry-cleaning and electricity used in ironing are eliminated - eco-friendy too?... Check!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Cutting, fertilizing, edging, and weeding your lawn are time consuming. Unless you have little kids that like to run around on the grass with shoes off playing tag or ball, you don't need grass. Without it, it can make your life so much easier. Not to mention that it is more environmentally friendly to have more native ground cover than grass. Here are a few great examples of what you can have and enjoy without the worry of mowing a lawn. Heavenly, right?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Let's face it, we all have too much stuff. This is part of the reason we all seem to think we need bigger houses! But do we really need all that stuff? To simplify, ask yourself this question every time you pick something up - "do I love it; do I need it"? If you can't answer yes to either, get rid of it.

It really can be as simple as that as you go at your first drawer, then the closet, then the garage, then the basement...
Keeping only what you truly need and love in the kitchen is a great place to start. There are no doubt some relics in yours like that awful mug a co-worker gave you or the mis-matched dishes set that is all chipped. Unless you use these things often, you really don't need them and you can't tell me you love them. Take cue from this perfectly organized kitchen cupboard that seems to have everything you would really need - just the right amount of glasses, dishes, mixing bowls and prep bowls. Why have more?

Everyone has an area they call their office these days. Whether it is the corner of your dining room table where you put your laptop computer; or a full room dedicated to all your personal and/or business needs. This is an area that often gets neglected because of all the paperwork, paperclips, pens... This little office in a cupboard is a great solution! It contains your stuff so you can't grow 'more stuff'. It really makes you consider only the things you truly need (or love, like those little blue vases).
Your clothing cupboard can no doubt use an overhaul too. This cupboard shows a very minimalist wardrobe, but I bet if you took everything out of your closet and only put back what you wear regularly, yours would look like this too. If not, it's time to re-think the amount of black pants you have, or how many sweaters you need in the same colour. Choose the ones that make you feel best when you wear them, and only those. Getting dressed in the morning will be so simple once you only have stuff you really truly love.

Your linen closet should only have what you use. How many extra towels do you really need for guests or cleaning up? And if you have changed your colour scheme, get rid of the old towels you know will now clash in the new space. As for sheets, keeping your two favourite for each bed is best - give the rest away.
Lastly, don't forget the big jobs like your basement storage and garage. These places tend to have your cast-offs. It should be pretty easy to rid yourself of the things in those places, but because you don't see it it is forgotten. So get to that when you have a chance and find the easiest way you can rid yourself of the things that can truly clutter your mind when you see them.

To summarize simply - Only keep what you need. Your life will truly feel richer.