Get Your With-it On

simple life principle #1: find an exact (e-deals) system that works for your life.

with-it-ness describes teachers who can simultaneously teach and monitor student behavior by minimizing distractions. in the online world, i like to think of with-it-ness as staying on top of the sales and deals by use of newsletters/updates while doing your own personal life/work/kids etc. you have to set up an effective system for monitoring all the info.

are you bogged down by mass emails? what a headache. decide today to unsubscribe to emails taking over your inbox. electronic clutter can be as stressful as paper clutter. and while it’s good to stay on top of deals, you know that you mostly delete all those e-newsletters without even lookin’ at ’em. time to focus on the best ones!

you will need:

  • a  “shopper” facebook account or email account just for shopping – a designated location just for “junk emails” or signing up for facebook deals
  • a search engine
  • some spare time (even a few minutes a day)

take a moment to do a mass unsubscribing of all the emails in your regular inbox. it feels great! over the next week, make sure it’s all gone.

set up the “shopper” account as you would a regular facebook (without giving away too much personal information) or email address. you do not want to use your own personal account for security reasons but also because you don’t want to be distracted by the unnecessary stuff while communicating with important people – family, friends, coworkers.

then go searching for your favorite stores’ websites and sign up for newsletters to the “shopper” email or if you are using the facebook method, like their facebook page so it shows up in your newsfeed. be really selective. after a few months if their deals just aren’t that great then unsubscribe. don’t waste your time.

facebook newsfeeds are nice because they are all in one spot, but i prefer to keep my facebook page as pure as possible, keeping the newsfeed free of garbage (you all know what i’m talking about).  plus a lot of times, you go to sites like groupon that ask for an email before you can browse and you can safely give them your “junk” email address.

in your spare time, look through the ads or facebook pages and become familiar with your stores’ sales trends. that way you know when a really good sale is happening vs a ho-hum sales event.

here’s some of my favorite sites that offers e-newsletters. maybe they’ll become one of yours too.

  •  folica.com – love the hair products!!
  • deseretbook.com – living outside of the bubble means no deseretbook or seagull stores, so i look for free shipping offers, even though i’m not a fan of the cheesy films and fictional writers, i like browsing for gifts
  • chinasprout.com – the cutest Chinese learning materials site ever, a lot of resources, some nice decor too
  • banana republic factory store –  since moving to ca, this is my new favorite store and since we’re always near some outlets during the holidays, it’s nice to have coupons and other offers ahead of time

again, it’s all about your interests. go and be free from the e-clutter!

Overcoming the Chaos

the best type of life is the simple life, with as little amount of clutter as possible. but this type of life, while simple, is not easy. everyone’s life will have some mess and some clutter at one time or another, but those who want to control and subdue it have to have some structure and organization to deal with the chaos.

i’m a recovering mess-addict. i actually come from a rather messy family with mild hoading tendencies who haven’t seen the light yet. my mother will hate that I am revealing this to you. we often hosted visitors from near and far to come to our house for dinner and conversation. they thought we were so clean but usually we kept our messes hidden in various places in the house known as the closets and bedrooms.

some people are clothes-addicts or shoe-addicts. my family are tech-addicts with significant cord clutter. you see, we grew up on computers (nerds!). we had computers in our house before other kids had computers. we each had our own computer before it was commonplace for households to have more than one computer. it’s crazy how much outdated technology has cluttered their house.

i know there’s worse out there…reality tv shows display people’s hoarding behaviors to remind recovering mess-addicts like me to never go back to the old ways. but i’m afraid one day the family might turn into one of those crazy hoarder families. it’s unhealthy to live in chaos.

i’ve battled with siblings and parents to get their messes under control—and lost. so in the life, marriage and apartment, SimpleGuy and i share, we feel we need to avoid the messy, cluttered life that my family experiences, starting with the mantra “don’t go to bed with a mess around you.” no doubt SimpleGuy’s clothes pile is a daily challenge. so is the sink full of dishes that i sometimes wash at 11:30pm right before going to bed. i’m definitely still recovering from being a mess-addict; it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to keep up the uncluttered life.

here’s what we’ve given up:
1. no accumulation of junk mail piles
2. no food left out (except fruit that is ripening)
3. no odds and ends pieces of tupperware and plastic containers
4. no accumulation of mugs, glasses, plastic cups from hotels,
5. no piles of receipts (more on my organizing system later)

it’s totally liberating! try it out.