Living with Less, Project Update: Reader Suggestions, Questions and Comments

Living with Less, Project Update: Reader Suggestions, Questions and Comments

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Landis Carey
Feb 22, 2011

If you haven't caught our recent series Living with Less, now's the time to catch-up. We've been paring back our belongings each week, and so far we've made it through our clothing, linens and electronic files. We've also dealt with our junk mail and figured out the flow of our incoming paperwork and its disposal or storage. Read on for valuable suggestions from those following along plus answers to their questions.

Living with Less, Week 1: Setting the Agenda
Shortly after the new year I announced I was ready to live with less. I'd been pondering it for a while, so I thought if I announced it here, I would stick to the project! Check out the inspiration behind the project—an awesome article by Sunset magazine—and our plan for moving along.

Living with Less, Week 2: Clothes and Coat Closets
During week 2's exercise I pared-down my clothing from three bedroom closets to just the one in our master bedroom. No longer hunting through various closets (in different bedrooms) saves a ton of time. And no, that's not a picture of our closet. Ours is a fourth of the size of what's pictured in the post; it's just not lovely enough to put on the Internet.

  • Reader Comment I Love: "My biggest problem is maintaining a nice variety for different situations: dressy clothes for more formal events, nice dress clothes for work or other occasions where I need to look "professional", the "casual, but still cute" look when I want to be comfortable but still look nice for a random night out with friends or what have you, and plain-ol' casual stuff. By the time I work through all my "wardrobe situations", I still have a lot...." Absolutely, this is the most challenging part, but I love that you all are rethinking your needs!

Living with Less, Week 3: Linen Closets
In week 3, I realized with a little order and organization, I could conveniently store a set of cleaning supplies in our second floor linen closet, right where I needed them most. Many of you responded with GREAT input and suggestions.

  • Reader Suggestions I Heart: donating used towels to the humane society; using old towels to make Flokati Rugs; folding sheets into "sets," complete with fitted and flat sheets and pillow cases. We also learned the tradition of folding in threes is very old...love it!

Living with Less, Week 4: Incoming Mail & Electronic Files
In week 4, I realized as I began tackling our home office, I couldn't determine which magazines and books were essential or organize files until the junk mail stopped proliferating and our digital file structure was updated. So, I renamed the week to: Establishing Order to Live with Less.

  • Reader Question: "Is there a trusted resource out there that recommends what papers you need to keep a hard copy of in your home and which ones electronic is ok?" I took a peek around the Internet and found a list from CNN Money explaining how long financial documents should be kept. My rule of thumb: if the document is distributed in electronic format, that's all you need. If you don't receive it in electronic format, check to see if it's available. If the document is, in fact, only available in paper form, keep it for the time period indicated by CNN Money.

Thank you to everyone for following along! Keep up the comments, questions and suggestions! We love it!

(Images: Katherine Slingluff via Apartment Therapy, RecycleScene, Landis Carey)

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