Author • Speaker Summer 2009 Newsletter

Summer 2009 Newsletter

Hello Friends,

Have you simplified your life yet? Summer is the perfect time to have a garage sale, to clear out extraneous stuff and prepare for a new school year. During the past few months, I’ve received several emails saying, “I’d like to read more tips on simplifying and organizing in your newsletter.” Marvelous idea. What follows are a few of my favorite tips:

The Kindle Saves Trees/Space: I just bought the new KindleDX, Amazon’s electronic book-reader that stores 3,500 books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs. On the first day, I added three books—The Genius Machine by Gerald Sindell, How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, and Rick Steve’s Paris 2009—plus two brainy blogs: “Cognitive Daily” and “The Frontal Cortex.”

A Moving Experience: Out of necessity, many folks are downsizing, moving to smaller spaces. Tip: As soon as you commit yourself to a new home, start editing, tossing, and recycling. Put your trashed items in the trunk of your car and deliver them to a thrift store. Do this often, quickly, and passionately.

Say “No!” to Wire Hangers: I hang my clothes on heavy-duty white plastic hangers. White is peaceful, symbolizes simplicity. I also have a few padded-hangers for jackets and sweaters that need fuller shoulder support. If you have clothes dry-cleaned, recycle the hangers on your next trip. Don’t live with them.

How’s Your Love Life? My friend Kamalia says, “In romantic relationships, there are issues and there is love. When the issues are greater than the love, couples break up. When the love is greater than the issues, they stay together.”

Drink from a Klean Kanteen: No more plastic water bottles for me. I sip water from a sleek Klean Kanteen, made from food-grade 18/8 stainless steel and 100-percent BPA-free. I chose the 40-ounce size with an opening that fits ice cubes. Did you know that 80-percent of the garbage in the ocean is from plastics, mainly bags and bottles? For more, visit

Klean Kantyeen

The Vanishing Wedding Gift A frugal, freethinking couple I know added this note to the bottom of their wedding invitation: “Please no gifts. Bring a dish.” The food at the reception, which took place in a friend’s spectacular yard, was exceptionally tasty because everyone brought a signature dish.

Fruit Juice Is Full of Sugar: I’ve dropped fruit juices, except for wine. Juices have far too much sugar and too little fiber. Instead, I eat fruit salads drizzled with raw organic tahini.

The Game of Life: One of most fundamental insights about life, the thing that most people forget, is that life is a game. To play: Tell yourself that something is more important than something else, that where you are is not where you wish to be. Then go for what you want—and don’t become stymied by the obstacles. All games accept this premise. Intrinsically, nothing is more important than anything else—only thinking makes it so. So change the game any time you like.

“Walker Bags” Organize It Better: I own several mesh Walker bags in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. These bags have simplified my purse and suitcase life tremendously. To see the complete line and more styles, go to

Walker Bags

Knickknacks Revisited: One of my pet peeves is seeing teeny, decorative objects scattered all over a house. I prefer large art objects, stunning pieces that can’t be perched on a windowsill. If you have scads of small items lurking everywhere, consider placing them in one location.

Freeze Cooked, Brown Rice: Few people freeze rice. That’s because they think it will turn mushy and be inedible. Au contraire, frozen rice thaws out beautifully and keeps it shape and taste. When I freeze foods, I use Pyrex or Anchor glass containers with sturdy blue lids. Cooked quinoa freezes well, too.

One Liquid Soap with Many Uses: I use a non-toxic, eco-friendly, liquid soap called “Miracle Soap,” which I buy from a distributor—a gal who sells it from her home. It works well for washing my clothes, counters, mirrors, floors, teeth, and dog. “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap,” attainable in health food stores, is another versatile product.

Simplicity is an acquired taste. We instinctively complicate our lives. Leonardo de Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” So to become more sophisticated and live more elegantly, all you have to do is simplify and organize your home, office, garage, wardrobe, kids, social network, and so on. Less is beautiful.

Cris Evatt

P.S. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,” said Henry David Thoreau, poetic activist for simple living.



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