Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 365+

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I’ve picked a dozen favorite snippets from my 2017 blog posts. This was like picking a favorite child but in my ongoing effort to save you all reading time, I forced myself to whittle my original 18 down to 12. Click on the links to get […]

HANGING ON: It was just one leaf – but it kept hanging on. That’s what I thought as I looked outside my bedroom window from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5. As I sat in my prayer space during those two weeks, I kept pondering the spunk of this lonely leaf (see the middle of our […]

Living lightly is not only a matter of reducing material possessions but also not crowding my time with trivia. By virtue of my personality, I enjoy the challenge of saving time. Sometimes this means doing things faster or multitasking. Of course there are pros and cons to speed and efficiency. It takes time to play, pray, […]

I’ve been writing this blog since 2010 and over these 7 years have explored many angles of voluntary simplicity (material, emotional, spiritual, and technological). The question I keep coming back to is: How much is enough? – How much is too much? On the material level I realize that there is a point where more […]

Recently our daughter moved to a new city. Many of her belongings stored at her previous home in Africa would take at least 3 months to arrive in Washington, DC. She thought she would help me out with my ongoing disbursal of extra household items by taking a few things from our home. She really […]

When a crisis or catastrophe strikes, people are often motivated to be generous. Floods, hurricanes, fires, accidents, etc. are hard on the victims but they often bring out the best in those who are in a position to help. Maybe this is the easy side of letting go because it’s clear that someone else needs […]

Plastic items are light, easily cleaned, and often cheaper than cloth, wood, metal, or brick. Maybe the three pigs should have built their homes out of plastic. But, of course most plastics do not biodegrade easily or quickly which make them anathema to environmentalists like me. They can, however, be recycled. Conscientious citizens already know […]

Now that one office file cabinet is pretty much pruned and reorganized, I decided to tackle my two bookcases which hold work related books. I had a happy conundrum. Friends who were moving out of town offered me one of their bookcases. It matched my main bookcase in size and style so I was happy […]

I’m in a time warp. Easter was over 2 weeks ago but I’m still finishing up my Lenten resolve to prune my file cabinets. By Easter I had pruned 2 drawers of my first cabinet. (See here ) Once started, I was motivated to keep going. I have now finished the final 2 drawers of […]

Lent is over but my Lenten resolve is not. I had 2 goals: TO CLEAR MY MIND OF THE POLITICAL FUNK that was crowding my spirit by trying to better understand those who have different political beliefs than mine and voted for Trump. I spent a lot of time during most of Lent conversing with […]

I had a good two part plan for Lent this year: *Clean out my work files and shelves *Clear my mind of the political funk that was crowding my spirit The process seemed logical: Step 1: Clear off the ping-pong table, aka my extended desk of papers that were “in process.” Step 2: File papers […]

My last blog entry was on the pros & cons of online shopping and how it can save time but create unnecessary waste. Here’s another conundrum for you – When does doing a small good take so much time that it’s not worth it? The culprit: a broken mixer blade The solution: Buy a replacement blade. […]

Christmas has come and gone. That means that we have gratefully received some nice gifts – often clothes. This also means that a natural consequence is the timeliness of giving away older things that are no longer needed or wanted. This is not bad, but it’s also not sacrificial giving. As I looked over the […]

December 26 is celebrated as “Boxing Day”  in some countries. The name comes from the tradition that on the day after Christmas well-to-do families would give a box of money or presents to their servants or customers. I remembered this as I was cleaning up after Christmas and was struck by the extraordinary number of cardboard […]

I recently ran a little contest among colleagues to find out how folks commonly or creatively tackled the environmental trio of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Out of 222 responses I was especially impressed with the clever, albeit human energy intensive, submission of Therese Brennan. She saves the used shampoo bottle, buys the same kind again, then pours ½ […]

A success I couldn’t fit anything more into the file cabinet drawer assigned to NACFLM, my professional family life association. At this same time, a NACFLM committee I was on decided to archive former newsletters. For many years I had been the newsletter editor. Hmmm. I decided to bite the bullet and go through all […]

I like to think of myself as a pretty decent recycler. I put paper, bottles, cans, and appropriate plastics out for curbside recycling. I decline plastic bags at stores and use my cloth bags instead. I take a reusable water bottle to meetings. I take #5 recyclables to Whole Foods. I compost. I even collect […]

My next several blog posts will cover various angles of recycling (Recycling, The Multiplier Effect, Paper Pruning, and Precycling.) Let’s start with the easy one – recycling plastics. 😉 This will be a refresher for many people but I’m throwing in some trickier items for the hard core recycler. The Usual: Most municipal curb-side recycling […]

Lately, I’ve been having some troubling feelings connected with my latest book, Blessed By Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly. It was published almost 3 years ago and won a number of awards. I’m understandably proud of it, but I find myself feeling dispirited by not getting enough credit for it. For […]

We were robbed last week. Someone took Jim’s golf clubs out of the trunk of our car and my prescription glasses out of the front seat. Our car wasn’t locked and it was in our open garage. Still it felt like a personal violation and it takes time to replace stuff. After allowing ourselves some […]