At long last. At long, long last. I am launching the new A Growing Season! My little WordPress.com blog has decided to grow up a little bit and move to a home of its own at this new URL. At the same time that Growing Season was growing up, I was personally making a tough decision to once again purge a LOT and downsize to a more affordable life. To celebrate these new moves and life changes, I’m giving a few things to help readers do the same! Read on . . .

Apparently this downsizing to a more financially and psychologically “affordable” life is something I have to learn to do every few years. I wrote Purge a few years ago at a very similar moment in my life when I realized I was overextending myself financially and psychologically. Then over time I built up the stuff again, and again I had to have an epiphany about the cost of all my “stuff”–financial, psychological, emotional. (If I keep having the same epiphanies at some point they can’t really be epiphanies, can they? Maybe they’re “repiphanies”?)  Just like the first time around, I felt a huge relief when I made the decision to just LET GO of the bigger house, find a smaller more affordable place to live, and just get on with life!

Mrs Meyers Clean Day CleanersLet me be clear: despite the relief in letting go of stuff, MOVING SUCKS! However, with some help from my good friend, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, it was more pleasant than usual. Very related to my belief in downsizing and living simply is my belief in being good stewards of our planet and our resources, which means I’m an avid recycler and do what I can to avoid putting toxic substances, especially cleaning products which are some of the worst offenders, into our water ways. Mrs. Meyer’s products are full of plant-derived ingredients with scents that are REAL, like the Lemon Verbena Countertop Spray or the Basil hand soap. Besides the renewable plant resources used in the products themselves, the plastic in the containers is 25% post-consumer plastic.

 

Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail BlankeCleaning up the clutter is as much mental as it is physical, and the motivational Gail Blanke in Throw Out Fifty Things explains this concept in her book and encourages you to first get rid of the physical stuff. She then moves on to “Attacking the Mental Mess” in the second half of the book. When we are mired in our mess and all our mostly useless “stuff,” which parts of our best life are we missing out on? What kind of energy can we bring to the good things in our lives, especially the people in our lives, when we aren’t bothering with cleaning rooms we don’t need, when keeping our yards up to perceived neighborhood standards, or shuffling pieces of paper that rarely amount to more than junk mail or pieces of information we will probably never use? Will our dead grandmothers really be upset if we get rid of their curtains taking up space on our shelves but we feel too guilty to get rid of?

To celebrate all kinds of fresh starts, I am GIVING AWAY two different prizes! One winner will get two coupons for two free Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, and a second winner will get a free copy of Throw Out Fifty Things and a coupon for one Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day product.

Entering is easy! Leave a comment below telling us about the ONE thing you have gotten rid of that gave you a huge relief, OR the one thing you are hanging onto that you know you need to eliminate but just haven’t done it yet. You can also increase your odds of winning by following @AGrowingSeason on Twitter (and then tell me you’ve done so in a comment below) and “liking” A Growing Season on Facebook (and then telling me you’ve done so in a comment below). Sharing this post on any social media outlet will also garner an entry. Just make sure you leave me a comment telling me where you shared!

Contest will close at 10 pm on July 4th, 2012. Winners will be announced on July 5th. I can’t wait to send out these goodies to a couple of lucky readers!

 

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