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Start 2017 with a Simple, Sustainable Life

Start 2017 with a Simple, Sustainable Life

Over the past 11 years, Olin and I have changed our lives a little at a time by pairing down our “stuff” and being content with less.  We have found that this practice has created an incredible amount of joy and reduced a massive amount of stress from our lives.  We would like to share some of our successes (and things to avoid) in our 2017 weekly newsletters to help you discover new and different ways to live this year simply and sustainably.

We welcome any suggestions, comments and advice from any of our readers to share with others, so that everyone can benefit from your personal experience!  So please reply back to any of the newsletters this year with your input!  Thank you!

So here are a couple of tips that we began about 10 years ago for Holiday decorations:
If it takes more than 2-3 hours to decorate for Christmas, we don’t do it!

I know…it sounds ridiculous…it did to us too.  But we began by pairing down our decorations to the ones we really loved;  then we only put out the tree ornaments that have memories associated with them;  and we pack everything away in an organized fashion in large plastic bins, so that it’s easy to find and put up the next year (key to success).  And YES, whatever you are not using (after a couple of years), you can give away, donate, or use some things for wrapping gifts (like ornaments, ribbon, etc).  Think about all the people you can bless with your beautiful decorations that you don’t use anymore…

Another tip we started many years ago which saves money and keeps the wrapping station organized:
Use ONE Container for wrapping supplies; including all holiday celebrations (with birthday, anniversary, etc.)

clear-storage-box-for-gift-wrapI know…sounds ridiculous…but it can be done.  You will be amazed how it will simplify the amount of gift wrap you need in your home.  You will not feel the need to go buy oodles and oodles of 50% off gift wrap after the holiday to store for the next holiday, because you will have a manageable wrap station that holds an easy to view inventory.  The only additional bag we have outside the wrap station is a recycle bag full of gift bags that we reuse for the next holiday.  We also save bows and tissue paper (if they are not damaged) to help decrease the landfill for at least another year.

The lesson we learned about simplifying our decorations and wrapping supplies is this:  Simple and organized makes life easier and less stressful.  Simple living leads to sustainable living…

Happy New Year from Leigh and Olin!

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