Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in The Process

There are several layers to Recycling Christmas:I’ll start with the traditional religious and gift-giving concepts and the go on to those that fit the more classic ecology dimensions. 1.The SUPER-SPIRITUAL: This approach goes back to the basics and reminds us that Christmas is about the Christ coming into the world as a human being. It […]

My last post on giving away socks was easy peasy. This one took some homework and research. We’re all familiar with the environmental slogan, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” This is good; but I sometimes rant about how folks often jump to the Recycle part and overlook the more substantive Reduce/Reuse aspect. After all, we wouldn’t have […]

Sometimes life gets messy, complicated, too busy, or painful. We, who like to think of ourselves as responsible hardworking people, can beat ourselves up thinking we’re not doing enough. It might be missing deadlines, not recycling enough, being lazy, or not living up to our values as fully as we would like. This week was […]

Our daughter was home for Mother’s Day. Yay! Now that she lives back in the States, I encourage her to take her stuff that’s been stored at our home to her home – a  much delayed goal. In the process Heidi identified 6 books that she said were obsolete and should be pitched. The Best […]

Simplifying one’s life need not mean eliminating all luxuries but it might be a helpful practice to ask ourselves whether a contemplated purchase or possession is a necessity or a luxury. This can focus our decisions about how we spend our money and time. For example, during this cold winter I thought about those who […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

At my stage of life (children sprung, I work at home) I don’t need to buy stuff as often as I did when our kids were outgrowing clothes and I needed an office wardrobe. Bottom line – I don’t do much shopping. However, underwear does wear out and thus I embarked on what I thought […]

My last blog talked about “The Beauty of Empty” and how helpful it is to empty out a space to start the pruning process. Now it’s time to start with myself (and my husband). Since my first round of pruning our clothes closet in 2010, I’ve slowly been passing clothes on that I seldom wear, […]

January 1: As we begin a new year, our hearts turn to resolutions but our practical sides often resist – at least after a feeble try at exercising more, eating healthier, becoming more prayerful, etc. In an effort to serve you better and clear my own life of clutter, I keep up with what professional organizers […]

December 31: As the year comes to a close, it seems like a natural time to give away the things I’ve been collecting in my “Giveaway Bin.” The month of December, however, has also been a busy time for me. (What a surprise 😉 ) So, I did what any committed but lazy declutterer would […]

As our 44 year marriage evolved, we realized that my husband, Jim, enjoyed cooking and I didn’t. This fits us well in sort of a “Jack Sprat could eat no fat; his wife could eat no lean” way. As our marriage progressed so did our accumulation of cookbooks. I dared not complain because, after all, I […]

Traditionally the time leading up to Christmas is a time of shopping. It is also the time that my own nuclear family again faces the question of how we are going to celebrate the holidays and what will we do about gift giving. In the past we have ranged from buying a gift for everyone, […]