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Smart Design By Suzette: Living A Simpler Life In A Modern World

on July 20, 2017 - 9:48am
Los Alamos
Today’s world has many luxuries that are supposed to make life easier.
At times they may, but other times, they make life more complicated. Yes, I need a kitchen remodel, yes a bathroom remodel too. But when I’m feeling stressed out by what I ‘think’ I need, I look inward at what is making me unhappy or anxious. It might not be the remodel at all. It might be a combination of life stressors - observing the effect it has on my family, my finances and my sanity.
To feel a sense of peace and happiness again, I try to think about how I can achieve living a simpler life. I can choose things to do, or not do, that make life easier. And currently, for me, it’s time for a change.
I have realized that the sustainable lifestyles concepts, which I often write about, are not all encompassing. I want to expand my definition of simple, sustainable living to include sensitivity, comfort and gentleness. My design approach is adjusting, tweaking, it seems, to life lessons.
Sometimes having special, sentimental objects around helps us feel connected to people we love. Real life isn’t a magazine spread and sometimes we just have to do the best we can and let go of impossible ideals.
I have begun consciously yearning for more simplicity. I spent some quiet time considering the qualities of daily living that, for me, are most important.
Simple Living:  My Goals – Setting Priorities
  • To foster peace, love and laughter in my home
  • To live in a uncluttered environment
  • To eat healthy food, spend time outdoors and get exercise
  • To be debt free and steward finances wisely
  • To live lightly on the planet
  • To allow time in my busy day to unwind, to have quiet time and rest so that I can recharge and have energy to give back to my family and the community
Your list may look very different from mine, but that’s the beauty of occasionally reviewing our priorities and considering how we ideally want to spend our time, energy and resources. It is for this reason that my column will be cut back to once a month…to allow me to have more time with my family.
Successful companies often have annual retreats for long-term planning; shouldn’t we also occasionally take stock of whether our daily lives match up with our values and dreams?
Living More Mindfully
A simple, mindful life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending time doing what’s important to me.
It means spending time with family and friends I love and doing things that I enjoy. It means getting rid of the clutter so I am left with that which is valuable to me.
It means taking care and maintaining what I do have to live responsibly. It means being kind to others, especially to the less fortunate.
Track Your Time
Pay attention to how much time you are spending doing things. Look for ways to cut down on time you think is being wasted on unnecessary things.
Time and money are two of the most valuable resources people have. When life gets simpler, the amount of these two things increase. That is the benefit of a simpler life in today’s world.
A search around the home will find many things that are not needed, or are no longer used. Find different ways to get rid of the things that are no longer necessary. It is even possible to make some money selling these things that can be used to help in other areas, such as paying off credit card debt.
Track Your Expenses
One thing people will benefit from doing is tracking the money they spend. It is the best way to find out when you are spending money and what you are spending it on. It is possible you will find you are spending a lot of money you don’t need to.
You may find that second car is an expense you may not need. You could take public transportation to work and get by without a second car and all of its headaches. When you realize that, it becomes possible to make changes.
The great thing about this is that people have choices. Life is about choices. There are things we all can do to simplify our lives. Making the choice to live life in a simpler way can only benefit you and your family.
Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website