I don't know what your personal goals are for your life, but I am always striving for a simpler lifestyle, with more free time for personal projects and hobbies.
TIME to do the things I love is the biggest gift I give myself. So I've created some simple, no fuss systems that help me simplify my life and find more free time to live my *fantasy* life (which includes decorating, writing, reading, photography, gardening, cooking, exercising, constant learning and striving to become a better human being). :)
Here's my list:
1. Buy Less, Better Stuff (instead of more crap):
I cannot emphasize this enough. When I save up for that valuable thing I really want, I seem to cherish it and savour it more. I am a slow decorator because I like timeless, high quality stuff. While I love many trends, I can usually live without them.
This crystal lamp you see in many of my posts cost me a fortune (about $450) but I love it completely:
My cheap Ikea lamps are not so dear and will end up in the basement with all the other junk. Clutter and managing junk takes time I don't have!
Of course, you don't have to break the bank to get high quality things. Some of my favorite things come from a different time, when quality mattered more than it does now. I love old, heirloom things with patina. For example, these lovely linens came after hours spent scouring the Paris flea markets:
2. Go White for Basics:
You all know this one! Like many of you, I adore white and especially admire those all-white homes. But I also lust for colour. So the best solution for me is to use white elements to connect my rooms and bring consistency to my decor.
I buy all white sheets and pillow cases, which means I can easily add a pretty coloured blanket or duvet cover and don't have to worry about mixing and matching sheets:
On the white front, I also buy all white facecloths and bath towels, white dishes and all white candles!
3. Give Everything A Home:
I have a place for everything. I also declutter regularly, putting stuff in its rightful place. It takes a few extra minutes and I get a lot of exercise covering the four levels in our house, but at the end of every day, stuff is pretty much where it belongs. I'm no Martha Stewart but I know where to find everything. For example:
Envelopes and Ribbon go here:
I throw bills and receipts-to-keep here (quick and not fussy):
(at the end of the year, I file the important stuff, shred a lot, and keep a small box labelled with that year for important receipts, birthday cards, and mementoes)
4. Make a Space for Electronics:
I was tired of chargers and electronic stuff everywhere. This system isn't pretty but it works. I bought a medium-sized basket and threw everything in...
The basket sits in my office right next to the computer, so I always know where all my chargers are (I put a soft felt cloth at the bottom):
I charge everything in the evening when I'm on the computer and make a pass by the office in the morning to pick up my phone, ipod, etc. before I leave the house...
5. Use Your Library:
I still buy and covet books (and would love to have a Kindle), but I spend a lot less money and read a lot more widely with the help of my library. I also have a secret - I put decorating books on hold before they're even issued, ensuring I get the first copy!
If I read them and love them, I add them to my Christmas or birthday lists. It gives people something to buy me and I only end up with the books I really love.
How have you simplified your life?