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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

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I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

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Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



Bedroom Organization

Picture your bedroom as a serene place that lulls you to sleep and makes you feel relaxed. If your bedroom isn't there yet, maybe it is time to create that nurturing atmosphere.

1. Start by standing in your doorway and examining your room with a pad of paper and a pen. On your pad, list anything that annoys you, how you visualize your ideal bedroom, and any organizing ideas that pop into your head.

2. Now gather your giveaway, put away, and throw away boxes or bags. The first place to go is the bed. Have someone little take out all that stuff from under your bed. Then vacuum it. Now start sorting the shoes, memorabilia and dirty clothes. Storing things under the bed is a good idea if you have one or two labeled under- the-bed storage boxes to keep things dust free. Everything else needs to find another home.

3. How about your bed? Do you need to change the sheets? Do you need new ones? What shape are your comforter and pillows in? List it any dream purchases on your paper.

4. Let's look at the end table(s). Empty the drawers. Get rid of the clutter and sort and rearrange what is left. Does what is in your end tables help to give a sense of peace to your room? Now clear off the top of the end tables and dust or polish them. Now what are you going to put back that you really want? I like to keep a couple books, a notebook and a pen, a light (if you don't have those wonderful lights that go above your bed attached to the wall), and a little glass bowl to put my earrings in that I always forget to take off till I'm snuggled under the covers.

5. OK break time, have a drink of water, read a chapter in your novel and come back in a bit. Once you are back it is time to take care of those piles on the floor. Put the clothes in a hamper. Put the papers on your desk. Throw out the trash. Maybe you can have a little discreet wastebasket. Are all your piles cleaned up?

6. Onto the dresser. Take out the drawers one at a time and sort through the clothes. You know what to do with the ones that you no longer wear, don't you? Any out of season clothes should be in a storage box to be put in a less convenient place. You might think of getting drawer dividers for your socks, underwear, jewelry or makeup. Put the rest of your clothes back in your dresser, it is best if you use one drawer per item so all your clothes aren't jumbled together.

7. Now clear off the dresser, all the way off. Dust and polish it. You can spray the mirror too while you are there. Sort through the things on the dresser. If you have a lot of knick knacks maybe you could put some in storage and take them out seasonally. After awhile you don't notice the pretty things in your house but if you switch things around your house can be fresher. You might also consider a tray for makeup, knick knacks or hair care. When you need to dust you just lift the tray and you are all done. What is on your dresser that helps make the bedroom a refuge? I have a little fountain, a picture of my husband and I from a college dance, a jewelry box, my alarm clock/CD player and some candles.

8. Do you have any bookcases or entertainment centers that needs to be cleared out. You might even consider having them all the way out of your room. Personally we like our entertainment center in the bedroom that way we can watch a movie in there while the kids are watching a movie in the living room. It also gives me space for my many books, hidden behind the door. On top of it are tons of candles.

9. Do you have a desk in your room? Is there anyway to get it out of your room? Your room will be so much more relaxing if you don't see paperwork all the time when you are trying to rest. If not, maybe you can block it off with a pretty screen or a quilt on a clothesline.

10. Now to set the mood. Pretty flowers on the dresser. Meaningful pictures on the wall. Candles for romantic nights. A radio/CD player for playing soulful music. Handmade blankets. Lovely pillows piled high on the bed. Whatever your taste is, you can make your bedroom into a peaceful haven. Especially without the clutter.

How can you make your bedroom a haven?

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Beth Dargis helps the overwhelmed to create saner, simpler lives. For free monthly Simple Self Care Calendar and Weekly Simplicity Tips visit: http://www.encouragingcoach.com. This article is Copyright 2005 by Beth Dargis, Zeeland MI. To send feedback or request reprint permission (usually granted free of charge), please contact .




PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis