New Decluttering Book on the Way

I’m afraid my blogging has suffered because I’ve been so busy working on my new book, which I’m excited to say is almost finished. It’s in the final editing stage right now, so it won’t be much longer before it’s published.

Like my other books, it’s related to decluttering. Until you go through the process yourself, I don’t think you can truly understand just how liberating it is to get rid of things you don’t really need. My goal is to help others understand just how wonderful it feels to be free of too much stuff, and to live in an uncluttered home.

In a culture where accumulation of stuff is a sign of prosperity, it seems like someone has to become overwhelmed with their clutter and sometimes even forced to downsize before they consider lightening their load.

So they begin to declutter their homes, but get stalled out in the middle of the process. There’s a common reason for that; the solution is the subject of my new book. So stay tuned!

 

Building New Small Houses

This recent article about builders who think new construction should include smaller homes brought joy to my heart. It has been so long since I’ve seen a small house being built. But it no longer makes sense to only build McMansions. Young people can’t afford them.

Having lived in a large home for many years, I learned that while it’s nice to have lots of space, cleaning it takes too much time,  and paying for it takes even longer. And even after we paid off the mortgage, we still had an enormous property tax bill to deal with every year.

Since we moved to a small, well-designed small ranch (1000 square feet), I’ve come to truly enjoy the freedom that comes with not having so much house to deal with. I hate to think of how much time I spent decorating that big house we had. Now that we do everything on a smaller scale, I love having so much more free time. I can see where that would really benefit busy young singles, couples and families.

I  hope that article is a sign of things to come. I can’t wait to see a new subdivision filled with lots of small, energy-efficient, well-designed little homes. If I didn’t love my little house so much, I’d be tempted to move to a brand new one.

Another Homeowner Out on the Street

Wow, is this a sad story. A widow whose home was rehabbed by the television show “Extreme Makeover” just lost her house to foreclosure, has to move out, and doesn’t know where she will go.

There’s lots of blame to go around here, from the television show producers that insisted on a huge, showy makeover, to a government that charges ridiculously high property taxes, to a woman who was under stress but should never have agreed to have her house improved to such an extreme.

The fact is that a widow with three boys never needed a 3,300 square foot house with with all the latest amenities, including an indoor water wall. She just needed a safe sturdy house in which to raise her boys.

So many people have lost their homes over the past decade because they chose to live in a place that was much larger and fancier than what they really needed. When will people learn? Small and affordable = freedom and peace!

 

The Boring Sister Wins This Round

My sister is getting ready to sell her 6-bedroom mansion and downsize to a two-bedroom condo. For most people, this would mean spending weeks or even months going through everything, deciding what to donate, what to sell, what to pitch and what to allow in the new place. That’s how it was for me when I moved from our 5-bedroom house to a tiny ranch.

But that won’t happen to my sister. She has plenty of furniture in the home she’s about to sell, but she’ll sell most, if not all of it, without a backwards glance. As for the personal belongings, well, she doesn’t have that many.

You see, my sister is the opposite of a hoarder; she rarely keeps anything. This was predictable way back when we were kids sharing a bedroom. Her twin bed was always neatly made, with just one cute little doll or stuffed animal on the pillow as a decoration. Meanwhile, my bed had at least half-a-dozen dolls on it.

Her side of the dresser held a little ballerina statue and a hair brush. My side was covered with belongings and mementos of all sorts, starting at the imaginary line in the center and running out to the very edge. She often looked at my side of the dresser and said, “You’re such a slob!”

I disagreed; I just loved all my stuff, and I had lots of interests, which automatically translates into lots of stuff.

As a budding writer, I regularly used a toy typewriter I got for Christmas. It was parked on a card table in the corner of our room that I used it as a desk. Like most writers, I was also an avid reader; my Nancy Drew collection took up most of the space on our little bookshelf.

Of course, I had other toys besides the dolls on my bed. I had lots of Barbie dolls so they could talk to each other, and naturally they had lots of clothes, and they needed a furnished Barbie house, which I also had. Then there was my love of sewing, which let me to collect fabric remnants, sewing tools and a collection of patterns.

Meanwhile, my sister had very few belongings because she had very few interests. I don’t remember what she did back then besides fight with me over the sorry state of my side of the room. I do recall that she took ballet lessons, but other than that I think she mostly watched television. To her complaints about my being a slob, I usually retorted that she was boring.

She still is, to be honest. But she’s got the edge on me now, because her move from the mansion to the condo is going to be the smoothest downsizing ever, I just know it.