Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Souvenirs

Cindy's Weekly Wisdom The girls and I are still on vacation, having traveled 1500 miles (2414 kilometers) thus far from Austin, Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana, and then to St. Louis, Missouri, by way of Memphis, Tennessee.  (Thank you Mom, for lending us your Prius.) Until today, besides postcards, which we purchased but also mailed, we had spent less than $10 on souvenirs. I bought a box of beignet mix at Cafe du Monde, and Clara purchased a pair of earrings, which she's already worn several times. Today we went to one of our favorite places in the world, City Museum in St. Louis (boring Continue reading

Where I am with gifts and gifting

Since we are on the subject of obligation clutter this week I thought I would do a quick post on gift giving, receiving and decluttering.  Not everyone will agree with what I have to say here but that is OK we are all entitled to set our own boundaries when it comes to this tradition.  What I prefer ~ which is what this post is about ~ is to avoid the likelihood of unwanted  and obligatory items entering my home not to mention the unnecessary addition to the supply and demand of products I don't need that have a detrimental effect on the environment. I have written plenty of post on this Continue reading

Baby Clutter

My post on Tuesday regarding clutter foisted on you from other well intentioned people inspired one readers to send me an email. I am so excited for this reader, even though she sees a potential problem looming I am thrilled for her. Not only because of her happy situation but because she has already discovered the joys of living with less before starting a family. What a great opportunity to for getting it right. My children were 18 & 20 went I embarked on my more minimalist lifestyle and although I am sure they will tell you I was a miser there were a lot of things I could have done Continue reading

Awkward clutter

People give things to friends and family members for all sorts of reasons and three of those reasons are 1. Gifts  2. Trying to be helpful and  3. Offloading things they no longer have a love of or need for. And each of these reason have their own sub-categories some of which crossover through all three titles. I will set out some examples below. Gifts They have one themselves and love it and wanted to share the joy. The intention is good but it may not contain the same joy for you. They know you have a collection of something and think you would be happy to receive another example. Continue reading

Plant Clutter

The mini mission for today is plant related clutter. This could be potted plants that have seen better days, potting supplies and tools, gardening equipment, or even wild overgrown garden plants. But the thought behind the inclusion of this post was people receiving potted plants as gifts and not being able to part with them even when they have become straggly and unattractive as potted plants often do over time. This can happen if they are kept in the wrong environment with poor lighting or harsh conditions like in an air-conditioned office. Let me create a scenario for you. Mary works in an Continue reading

Meaningful Gifts

The combination of the words meaningful and gifts is probably half the problem with the whole gift giving phenomenon. We place so much importance on material gift giving that the thought of an alternative is almost unheard of. And of course the retail industry milks this sentiment for all it is worth because they want to sell more product. There are so many other ways to show someone you love them aside from giving material gifts. Do something for someone, spend time with someone, have a nice outing together, get a manicure or facial together, play a round of golf with a friend or take a Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ You Can’t Push a String

Cindy's Weekly Wisdom You can't push a string... Different people have different styles, styles of gift giving being no exception. In my family, specific (extremely specific) gift requests aren't considered out of line. In my husband's family, many gifts, all surprises, are the norm. Well, we all know what happens when people you rarely see or talk to give you "surprise" gifts, right? It took me years of interacting with my in-laws before I realized that I could not control them, I could only control myself. (Some very obvious lessons are nonetheless hard to learn.) I started announcing in Continue reading

Useful Gifts? I’m Skeptical

Cindy's Weekly Wisdom I hate to be a cynic, but I think I might be becoming one when it come to this oxymoron* ~ Useful gifts. More specifically, useful generic gifts. My mother gave me a drip irrigation system for Christmas. Let me tell you, that's a useful gift, and I am so appreciative. (Thanks Mom!) But what about these "useful" gifts that have recently come into my home: water bottles and bandannas from a child's birthday party. water bottles as a "finisher's prize" for a book reading contest water bottles given to the kids when they went to camp for a day bandannas as a Continue reading

Don’t let it linger – Donate

Inspired by Tuesday's post responses I thought I would like to just give a little more encouragement for people to donate items that are lingering in their homes. We all have items that were given to us as gifts that we feel guilty about giving away. Just as we have heirloom items that we feel the same way about. We keep them out of obligation rather than for the love of the item. There are also those guilt items that we spent good money on but never really used as much as we thought we would. There is no better way that I can think of to rid yourself of this guilt or obligation than to Continue reading

What Really Matters in your Life

Often someone else will turn on the television while I am in the room but I am not really watching it. It is however hard to ignore news broadcasts about all the natural disasters that keep happening this year. The latest disaster in Japan is horrifying to behold and conjures up a lot of feelings and deep thought. I don't know about you but my first reaction was 'Oh my god, all those people dead, injured and missing!' Watching the tsunami destroy everything in its path, lives, buildings, cars, ships... The sadness and misery felt by those left behind trying to come to terms with the loss of Continue reading