Simple Living News Update + A Video Message

by Tammy Strobel on January 7, 2011

Every Friday, I post a Simple Living News Update that includes links to some of my favorite articles of the week; along with an inspiring quote from each piece.

Today, I have a quick video message to share with you:

For those of you who can’t watch the video, here is the summary:

1. During 2011, I’m going to incorporate question/answer videos into RowdyKittens. I think it will be a fun way to answer your questions! So if you have questions about downsizing, starting a small business, taking digital sabbaticals, etc, please leave them in the comment section.

2. What types of posts would you like to read during 2011?

Leave your requests in the comment section. Thanks!

Now onto the update…

Resolutions Are For Chumps. I Choose Revolution.

“This is the age of the human being, where, for once, our value does not depend on how many widgets we produce, or how efficiently we can transfer information. Our value now depends on US.  On our ability to lead and connect–our ability to deviate from the flock, to stand for something worth standing for, and to bask in our humanity, and what it means to really live.”

I Tried to Quit My Job

“Also this month, after getting rid of much of our extraneous crapola, we are moving into a (much) smaller apartment downtown, saving $500 in rent. We’ll also save on transportation costs by leaving the car parked and walking everywhere. We’ll trim expenses in other areas, also. Except for coffee. Coffee is non-negotiable. I start frothing and biting.

It might seem like using our money to pay off debt, getting rid of our stuff, and living in smaller spaces are pretty gigantic sacrifices. But these weren’t hard choices for us. We want to need less. We are weird.”

Welcoming The Maximalist Movement

“At the heart of this new maximalist movement is one simple ideal: more. I think people want more from life, not less. But, I also think that the two are not mutually exclusive.

I reject the idea that the answer to a happy life is merely to simplify and do less.”

11 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Do in 2011

“Listen up honey bunnies. Video is the future, people have been saying this for years and it’s growing more and more popular as we speak (read? write? whatever). All of you with even slightly presentable mugs should be integrating some sort of video into your business/brand. If you have a face only a mother can love, do videos anyhow – Steve Buscemi has built a brand around that.”

How Permission Can Make or Break the New Year

“Quit needing permission to do what you want to do. Just start doing it.”

Rockin’ Interviews

Cool Stuff: Free ebooks

Simple Living Resources

There are a lot of amazing resources on the internet. Be sure to check out my twitter and tumblr feed for more goodness.

A great way to spread the word about my posts is to use the Retweet button or click on the “Like” Facebook button. Thanks for your support!

1 Ash @ The Middle Finger Project January 7, 2011

I am SO bummed that for some reason I can’t hear the audio! :( I was so excited to hear you talk!

On another note, I think the Q&A videos is a fantastic idea. Go go go yes yes yes!

2 Tammy January 7, 2011

@Ash – Really? I can hear it okay. Maybe it’s a YouTube problem? Thanks for the feedback! :)

3 Rick McCarthy January 7, 2011

I had no problems with the sound Tammy. I think the video Q&A is a great idea and will be beneficial, especially to those of us who are in the early part of our minimalist journey.

Thanks for inspiring my wife and I to begin to make positive changes in our lives.

4 Mallory January 7, 2011

Woohoo! Great video Tammy, it’s getting me excited for the upcoming question/answer sessions. I’d really like to know more about your small business. How you successfully monetize a blog to support yourself, the process of creating an ebook, etc. Thanks!

5 Logan January 7, 2011

Loved the video! :) Its a terrific idea to have more face time in answering questions with readers! :)

The sound worked great on a PC running both internet explorer and google chrome web browsers. Cheers!

6 Logan January 7, 2011

However the you-tube video did not show up in my Google reader version of this page…weird.

7 Rona January 7, 2011

I love the idea of video answers to questions; great idea. I actually have two questions for you.

I am interested in the idea of a digital sabbatical of some sort. I teach at the university level, so I can’t just disappear, but I would love to limit my time on line in some realistic way. What are your thoughts on this? I am always so struck by how much time just disappears when I am on line.

My second question is about being a minimalist in general. I have always lived with not much stuff, but since reading rowdy kitten and several other blogs, I have happily gotten rid of a lot more. I wondered, though, what was the hardest piece of being a minimalist for you, and how have you dealt with it. Thanks!

8 Laura January 7, 2011

Thanks for the video Tammy, what a great idea! It was so great to match a Rowdy Kittens with a face/voice/smile. My question is: Do you have advice for simply living as a couple? Are their techniques/activities you used to try and get Logan to practice the art of simple living, or have you always been on the same page?

Laura’s Last Post: Round 2 1/2: 100 things

9 Alicia January 7, 2011

Great tool, you will definitely get some new ideas on what to write about.

The question I have always had for giving up the day job is what to do about insurance. I think I can come up with needing less money, and making money doing freelance work but the cost of medical bills scares me to death.

Thanks,
Alicia

10 Stephanie January 7, 2011

Hey Tammy!

I’m a huge fan of this site, once I found it my passion for minimalism was confirmed.

I have a suggestion for content that actually has to do with the way I found RowdyKittens (a google search for minimalist/self-sufficient/eco-aware shampoo recipes). I have been suffering from eczema for most of my life and recently found this website (http://www.health-benefits-of-honey.com/healthbenefitsofhoney.html) and have cured the unsightly rash on my hands, just with raw honey! I think tips like this and the shampoo one can be really valuable when trying on the minimalist lifestyle. And when they work they can be really powerful motivators for those who are interested in these values but need a way to get their foot in the door.

Anywho! I love your sight and look forward to every update.

Best,
Stephanie

11 whitney January 7, 2011

Not able to watch the video right now but I wanted to respond to your question about posts in 2011. Around the holidays, there were a lot of great posts about resisting mindless consumption and insane gift-giving but I found myself wanting more practical advice. I want to know how other people talk to their family members about their choices to buy and receive less, particularly family members who may be offended. Thanks!

12 Robin January 7, 2011

Tammy, I love the idea of more video sharing. I saw a clip of your apartment once and was inspired to really get rid of my clutter. Would love to see more clips of your kitchen, closets etc, how you organize or have de-cluttered. :) It motivates me!!

13 Heahter January 7, 2011

Thanks for the mention Tammy! I can’t see the video because the damn filters at my corporate job block YouTube. Thank goodness I’m sort of quitting!

14 Steve January 7, 2011

Question – Do you miss your non-profit career working to help abused women?

I am working in Corporate America in what I would have described 5 years ago as my “dream job”- good bosses, great pay, fairly secure. But, with the deaths of some loved ones, a move to minimalism, practicing yoga and buddhism (and probably just getting older!) my values have changed greatly in the past 5 years. I no longer strive for the $, power and prestige that I once thought were so important.

With so much time consumed at work, I want to make a meaningful contribution instead of just increasing the stock price of my company.

However, I’m not a writer, an artist or programmer. I’m a salesman and sales manager. I think I’m ready to make a significant change in my life and joining a nonprofit might be the way to do it.

Do you ever think of rejoining the traditional workforce for these reasons?

Keep up the great work- I am a regular reader who gets a lot of inspiration from your writings.

(FWIW, I like videos when there is a demonstration aspect but prefer reading if it is just a talking “head”. Or ideally, a video with a text-only option.)

15 Kirstie January 8, 2011

Steve, I can really relate. I quit my high paying corporate job in financial services last year to start attending massage school full time. Before making this move, I did a lot of serious thinking about what I value in a career and about the direction my work life had taken. In the end, I realized that a meaningful career that would enable me to help others was more important to my personal fulfillment than a high powered, high salary career that felt soul sapping. Good luck in what ever you decide to do, but know that this kind of change might be a wonderful thing for you!

16 Janna January 7, 2011

Hi Tammy,
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how simplicity & minimalism affects women differently than men…so I’d love to hear your thoughts on that — do you think it’s harder for women to simplify? I’m talking about things like shoes, accessories, bags, personal care products (lotions, perfumes, oils…) spending hours getting ready, selecting an outfit, putting on makeup…the list goes on. Since men don’t typically have the same habits, I often wonder if they have it easier…

17 Rarian Rakista January 7, 2011

Walkability, talking about it would be cool, I just went from a 12% walkability to a 90% walkability.

18 Rose January 7, 2011

Hi Tammy,

I happened across your site in December and I’m really enjoying it. It was lovely to see you in your video just now. Being so new I don’t have suggestions to offer yet because I’m still getting to know your site, but I wanted to say thanks and wish you well.

Rose in Australia

19 meg January 7, 2011

hi tammy,
i really love reading your blog. i don’t know how i stumbled onto it but i am very glad i did.
how can i apply all these principles of simplifying and decluttering when my husband is not
on the same page. that’s my question.
i love to read also and it would be great if you keep us up to date on what you are reading and give
us an idea of what the books are about.

20 Tammy January 8, 2011

Thanks for all the thoughtful questions! I’ll do my best to answer your questions via video blog. Have a great weekend. :)

21 Kirstie January 8, 2011

Hi Tammy – I am so happy to have found your site a few months ago. I have to echo the thoughts of Laura and Whitney. I’d love to see a post on gently influencing / educating those you love in terms of the benefits of living more simply and more thoughtfully. It’s sometimes difficult, because while each year I find myself growing in my desire to live a more simple life my husband doesn’t seem very compelled to move in this direction.

I also struggle with not quite feeling ready or knowing how to take the leap in terms of explaining my beliefs to extended family members. For example, I really don’t want to receive material goods as gifts anymore and really recently struggled when my husband and I were given a TON of paper plates, cups, and napkins by one of his relatives for our first anniversary (i.e., the paper anniversary). Any help in dealing with situations like this gracefully would be much appreciated!

22 Robyn January 9, 2011

I would love to hear more about alternative banking, alternatives to big banks, alternatives to Wall Street.

On another list, someone had a rant about a big bank continuing to solicit her business. She made points about the fees and about continuing to be on the banks mail list.

My experience with my credit union is quite different. I went by New Year’s Eve, was unsure if they were open so went to the front door to read the sign. When I went back to my car to get my bills to epay, an employee came out, calling me by name, saying they were open and please come in. Further, I pay no fees but do get an interest on my checking, paid to me each month.

We need more education about alternatives to banking, investments, and the big, impersonal financial institutions. I love your daily emails and that you are open to comments, like mine. Thank you for all you do.

23 Nina Yau January 9, 2011

Very cool, Tammy! I love how you’re going to be incorporating video blog posts at RK! You rock, as always! :)

24 Baker Lawley January 10, 2011

Hi Tammy, and Happy New Year!

Nice job with the video post–it sounds great to do these Q & A’s with video.

I’d like to ask you about how your philosophy of minimalism and simplicity applies to your own business. I hope to launch a blog in the next month or so, and I’m finding that there’s so much to learn (reading your blog and others for guidance, fiddling with website stuff, networking and promoting, and the crucial act of writing helpful posts, just to name a few!).

It’s totally fun and really fascinating work so far–and it also seems like the work could easily take over most of every day. I’m just wondering how your take on minimalism fits in with your online business. How do you approach your work-life balance with minimalism and simplicity? How does minimalism affect not just your material possessions but also your philosophical approach to your business?

Thanks so much–I love reading your stuff.

25 John Anyasor January 10, 2011

My question: What’s a day in the life of THE Tammy Strobel?

By the way, It’s great how you’re incorporating video! Can’t wait to see more.

26 Mark Powers January 11, 2011

Hey, Tammy! What an awesome idea to get the video Q&A happening. I think that format will bring people yet another layer of insight into your topics, as well as how incredible you and Logan are . . . congrats!

27 Donald January 12, 2011

New to minimalism. I would like to know more about how the US-health-care reforms are being regarded by the general public and more about how society can sustain energy-production by other means than fossils.

28 Berit January 15, 2011

Hi Tammy!

I want to live a simple life with no stuff, but I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I live in a house with two kids, wanting to down-size, i.e. sell the house, pay off mortgage, student loans etc and become debt-free. I’m looking for a 3-bedroom apartment in my area. At the same time I know I have to declutter a lot before putting the house on the market. I need to declutter the storage area to be able to put back the christmas decorations in there, declutter the kids’ stuff, clear out my clothes and everything I’ve put in the closet when crisis cleaning. Not to mention my office space which really is a disaster with boxes, bags and stuff piled up. I want to declutter every shelf, every cupboard, and every area of my home, but have no idea how to get around to it. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe.

I work full-time and commute almost 2 hours every day. I only have energy enough for the most important tasks; grocery shopping, cooking, washing up, doing laundry, spending time with the kids doing homework, packing bags, sleep… and once in a while I clean my house.

I have been giving away bags of stuff (and some furniture) to good-will, and been throwing out quite some useless stuff. I’m so ready to let go of most of it, but I feel stuck. It’s one step forward and then suddenly two steps back. I know I have made progress but now I – again – feel like I don’t have a clue how to get some energy to continue. I’m so tired.

I want to down-size to be able to work less. (Maybe I need to work less to be able to down-size?)

I want a simple life, a clean home, more time with my kids, and more time for exercise and eating healthy.

My question to you is.. where do I start?

Thanks a lot.

29 Lorna January 19, 2011

Tammy,
I must say your site is one of my favorites…so much information! Count me as one who loves the idea of you answering questions via the videos. It adds a certain warmth and sincerity to Rowdy Kittens.
I would like to get your view on the benefits of being a vegan/vegetarian. I have taken the bold step of not eating most meats (still eating shrimp or fish every now and then). While this might seem small to most, it is a HUGE step for this Texan. Meat is a major staple for most in this area and it still is for the majority of my family. I just stopped eating it cold turkey…pardon the pun. LOL I originally came to your site for minimalist tips and I found so much more!
Anyway, keep blogging and I look forward to your video response.

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