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Back to basics.


I started this blog as a way to document my quest to revise, improve and simplify my life to focus on what’s most important.

A lot has changed since then. My only child started college 700 miles away. I sold my home of nearly 14 years. My husband and I moved from Arizona to Southern California.

But as I pause to catch my breath, I realize the words I initially chose as filters for editing my life — revise, improve, simplify — have not changed. In fact, they’ve helped guide and ground me during particularly stressful times.

Simplify. We sold our house much faster than anticipated, so there wasn’t time to agonize over what to take with us. Though I’ve never considered myself a hoarder, I accumulated a lot of stuff living in one place for 13-plus years. The commitment to simplify (plus the need to cram it all in a van) made it much easier to say goodbye. We donated nearly a thousand books, hundreds of record albums, and carloads of clothes and home goods.

The litmus test?  Discovering 15 boxes of my son’s baby paraphernalia in a long-forgotten attic crawl space minutes before the movers showed up. There was no time for a meltdown or waxing nostalgic. Luckily, wanting to simplify freed me to keep just a few small things I thought my son might want and donate everything else.

Revise. The open layout of our new place meant getting rid of some furniture and getting creative with the rest. And since it’s a rental, I can’t really do much to alter it. While at first this felt very restrictive, deciding to revise my mindset has made it incredibly liberating. Time previously spent picking paint colors and planning the next remodeling project can now be focused elsewhere. I will always care about where I live and want it to be comfortable and inviting, but now I can spend that time making the stuff we can take with us even better.

Improve. There are many, many things I want to improve, but all this change has brought one into sharp focus: what matters to me most are the people I love and improving my relationships with them.

Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. And in this case, I don’t mind.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne permalink
    03/12 12:21 PM

    I really, really love this. I am always trying to simplify my life but it only just seems to get more complicated. Thank you, Jennifer, for inspiring me to try again.

    • Jennifer permalink*
      03/12 12:25 PM

      So glad you found it helpful. I’m fighting the same uphill battle…

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