With every new year comes those inevitable resolutions: lose weight, get more sleep, visit grandpa in the slammer, give up that wallet-draining cocaine habit. You know, the usual. And at the end of each year you throw yourself into consumerism (also known as “the spirit of Christmas”) in an effort to drown out the voice in your head that whispers in a creepy, high-pitched, sing-song voice, “Another year, another failure…!”
But maybe it’s not that you messed up; maybe your expectations were simply too high. I mean, if grandpa were in the local county jail rather than all the way over there in Sing Sing, perhaps you would’ve visited him more often. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
So this year if you want to check a few things off your bucket list in order to feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment come December 31st, might I suggest that you lower the bar? And decluttering the crap from your so-called home office that hasn’t seen the light of day since you filled it with all the As Seen on TV goods you bought in a fit of failure last year is a good place to begin. (more…)
If you’ve never heard of Julie Morgenstern, chances are you’ve been living under a giant pile of clutter for the past twenty-five years. According to her, she is “an internationally renowned organizing and time management expert, New York Times best-selling author, consultant and speaker.” She is best known for her organizing books Organizing From the Inside Out and Time Management From the Inside Out, as well as her monthly column “Getting Organized” in O, The Oprah Magazine. (more…)
With all the different reality TV shows on the boob tube these days, there’s no longer a reason to pick up a book or take a stroll outdoors. And why would you when you can watch herds of men fight over one bachelorette, tone-deaf hopefuls sing for the chance to be idolized, or rich socialites do absolutely nothing? (more…)
Ever since the last of the great horror films—no, not Hot Tub Time Machine; The Shining (1980)—filmmakers have been desperately trying to scare the pants off movie-goers. They’ve been largely unsuccessful (unless you count the frighteningly high price of a movie ticket these days) and the reason is fear of the unknown. In other words, what scares us most is that which we can’t see, control or anonymously criticize on Twitter. Once the monster has come out of the closet (literally, that is, not as a homosexual metaphor), it no longer has the same power over us. Well, more or less. Those yappy little Chihuahuas still get me every time.
An expatriate is someone who resides in a country other than the one in which they have citizenship. For many people, the thought of living anywhere but on their native soil is inconceivable, but this is only because they haven’t given it some serious consideration. And why would you, when you are busy with more important things in your life, like taking a selfie of your awesome abs, sending mean letters to pregnant meteorologists, and creating a color-coded excel spreadsheet to help you stop wasting your time.
Here are the advantages of being an ex-pat: (more…)
It happens with alarming regularity and always out of the blue—your friend moves into a new house, apartment, or extended-stay motel and you receive the dreaded housewarming invitation. What on earth do you get for the guy who hoards everything?
You suspect his monthly moves have something to do with that nice photo of him hanging on the wall at the post office, or maybe it’s just his way of getting new stuff whenever his household items break down, but whatever the reason, you’re going to have to think outside the moving box for some thoughtful housewarming gift ideas. (more…)
Maybe it’s your first apartment out of college, maybe it’s a temporary situation after a messy divorce, maybe you’re a self-diagnosed starving artist—but you find yourself signing the lease to a bachelor pad that is about the size of a minivan.
Looking around your new home with realistic eyes for the first time, you wonder how on earth you are going to fit all your belongings into this shoebox. Between the surfboards, the U-shaped sectional sofa, the artist easels, and the shoe collection that makes Carrie Bradshaw look like an amateur, this is going to be a tight squeeze. God forbid you should have to get rid of your king-sized bed just as you became single again.
Sure, you may have to make some adjustments, especially when downsizing from a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 4-level house with double garage, but with these tips, anyone can make the most of a small apartment.
The Art of Zen
To paraphrase Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, “We have more possibilities available in each small apartment than we realize.” In other words, if we truly open our eyes, we will see that there is more space in this 400-square-foot residence than we thought. All you have to do is live like a Zen monk (minus the celibacy, of course; we’re not asking you to perform miracles). Monks have existed for hundreds of years in tiny, dormitory-sized rooms and they are as happy and peaceful as you can be. (more…)
Ah, to be paper free! Think about it for a minute: how much of the stuff in your home—and your storage unit, if you have one—is paper? Stacks of paper, bins of paper, color-coded file folders filled with paper.
I have a theory about why we all have so much paper: it’s easier to add one thing to a stack than to sort through it. So our “to save” and “to do” and “to file” paperwork often are merged together into stacks. Then, if you’re like me, you might go out and buy a really nice box or folder for the stack. And then another, and the stacking goes on. (more…)
Ah, spring… the cold weather has finally subsided and it’s time to throw open the doors and let some fresh air into your home. Let the sun shine in on your living space and—if you are like so many people—you will be shocked by what you see! Stacks of mail, half-finished projects, even a few holiday cards hiding out in the bookshelf. Before you can even think about spring cleaning, you’ve got to begin with the logical first step: clearing your clutter.
Snow may still be falling, but spring is near and that means it’s almost time to clear out the clutter. Over the cold months, you’ve likely buried yourself in belongings as the weather buried your home in snow.
It’s natural to let your home become a little mismanaged while you are dodging ice roads and entertaining kids during snow days. But a new season calls for a renewed approach to spring cleaning. Start planning for a full take over (or take back) with these tips for launching into cleaning and reorganization. (more…)