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Simple Living

In case you all were not already aware, I am quite a geek. And I have to say, sometimes, there's just nothing on television as appealing as public television. As even further evidence of my geekness, sometimes I'll watch the USU extension channel. There's a particular show on that channel called "Simple Living". It's hosted by a woman named Wanda Urbanska (how's that for being one of the weirdest TV host names ever). Anyway - Her show is all about getting back to basics, cutting out the clutter of our lives, living frugally, and doing more with less.  Kind of like the depression-era phrase "Use it up, make it do, or do without". Sometimes it's a pretty appealing message.

I was reading an article about her that appeared in today's Deseret News, and in that article, she provided 12 steps for Simple Living. Some of them I do currently, and some of them I'm not so good at. But in the spirit of sharing helpful information, here they are:

1. Pay bills immediately. As long as a bill is hanging out there in the unpaid category, it occupies mental space.

2. Bring a mug to work. Instead of going through stacks of single-use disposable cups at work, bring your own ceramic mug. Same goes for a water bottle, plate, silverware and any other frequently used items.

3. Spend time outdoors. Whether sunny or overcast, step outside every day to re-connect with nature.

4. Celebrate your victories. In the rush of our lives, too often we allow our "mountaintop moments" to pass unnoticed.

5. Pay in cash. Identify a personal spending trouble spot and shift to a cash-only policy.

6. Save your "petty" change. If you buy a bottle of wine for $9.19, pay with a $10 bill, then put the 81 cents change directly into your piggy bank or an old glass jar.

7. Empty your trash. Staring into an overflowing waste basket makes you feel bloated, while an empty receptacle signals that your slate has been cleared, and you're ready to move forward.

8. Turn on the ceiling fan. They provide a soothing, low-level whir (the white noise can help you sleep) and reduce cooling bills in the summer and heating bills in the winter.

9. Hang clothes outside. I was overjoyed to rediscover in middle age that my childhood chore of hanging clothes on the line was actually pleasurable.

10. Buy used. It costs less and cuts down on packaging waste, thus reducing your carbon footprint. Second-hand or consignment shops are great places to find clothes, kitchen equipment and even furniture.

11. Disconnect and reconnect. Take time every day to disconnect from electronics. This will open the way for eye-to-eye contact and genuine engagement.

12. Stop and chat. When you're out for a walk in the neighborhood, or in a supermarket line, make small talk. You will find that "small talk" isn't small, but big and meaningful.


plainoldsarah said…
this is a good post. i just recently started hanging my clothes out to dry - now that i have the time. but the truth is - it doesn't take much time at all! and they dry rather fast out there. i'm now pondering the cash thing. good to know.

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