Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts tagged Musings

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 […]

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I offer you my 10 Best Living Lightly Tips of 2016. The first 6 are my own. The last 4 come from other bloggers I respect. Most can be read in under 2 minutes. The Beauty of Empty – 8 practical steps to unclutter any part of your […]

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 […]

In my never ending quest to save both time and money, I’ve noticed that these two values are often at odds with each other. Saving time can cost money (eating out, hiring someone to clean the house, scouring stores or the internet for bargains) and saving money can cost time (see my 3 recent experiences […]

My Lent 2016 resolve was twofold: Paper Reduction. Starting with my desk and including my “desk extensions” (3 file cabinets and the Ping Pong table), my goal was to reduce the paper. The connection to my spiritual life was that I figured clearing the extraneous paper that crowded my life would make me more productive […]

This past week I was away at a meeting so I didn’t have time to go through my remaining desk drawers. I figured I’d focus on my companion Lenten resolution – to listen more mindfully. On the last leg of my flight to Louisiana my ears popped. You know, that uncomfortable feeling that you sometimes […]

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 […]

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, […]

Following my mother’s death last spring, I was blessed with inheriting quite a few lovely items. This presented me with a mini dilemma. Here I am trying to prune my home of extra possessions but I want to honor the memory of my mother. By including some of her household items in my decor I […]

Within the category of Too Much Information there are the subcategories of good news, bad news, and irrelevant news. GOOD NEWS: Although you would think that there could never be too much good news, even good news can create mental clutter. For example, how many birthdays, anniversaries, and friends’ awards do you need to acknowledge? […]

It’s Easter. Hurrah, I can spend money freely again. So.… did my Lenten commitment to not spend any money increase my solidarity with the poor? Yes, but imperfectly. It certainly raised my consciousness of my own privilege. Even though I might choose not to spend money on something or to delay an expenditure, I knew […]

Did I spend any money that did not comply with my Lenten resolution  (only food, housing, and gas) during the last two weeks? I’m not sure. $5 – Fish Fry: I justified this as both simple food (which is allowed) and a donation since it supports an inner city school $10 – Donation: Since construction prevented […]

Not counting donations, during this fourth week I spent $7. It was invisible money because my husband paid for something that included both of us and I didn’t notice – till later. That’s what happened when we went to a local contra dance last Saturday. He paid my admission of $7 and only later did I wonder if […]

Strange things have happened to me during the past 4 days – 2 merchants gave me free service. There was a Home & Garden show at the Cincinnati Convention Center. Jim thought we should go to research replacement windows for our 100 year old house. I agreed and assumed this would be free since the […]

An email came from a friend about contributing household goods to a local refugee resettlement program. Most of the people currently being served are from Nepal. Lita invited our faith community to bring extra household items for the refugees to our next meeting. I thought I wouldn’t have much to contribute since I’ve been limiting […]

THE HAMSTER SYNDROME Do you ever feel like you’re a hamster running a never ending wheel of activity and never quite getting caught up. I do. People ask how I am and I’m tempted to say “Busy.” I’ve been trying to eliminate that answer as an automatic response because I realize that it’s usually just […]

A few days ago our daughter emailed us saying that she was in Liberia. With the Ebola crisis emanating from that region of Africa, our parental worry antenna shot up. She assured us that she was being extremely careful and was super sanitized but Ebola stories have been endemic on the news. Of course that’s why […]

It was a bad day! It started with an unnecessarily long conference call which meant I had to scurry to make my eye doctor appointment. This meant I didn’t have time to recheck my directions, made some wrong turns, and was 16 minutes late. The office informed me that they didn’t honor appointments later than […]