in 30 Seconds

I want to welcome everyone who has visited Small Notebook lately (welcome new readers from Lifehacker, Apartment Therapy, and Nesting Place — what a week it’s been!)

I know it can be hard to find everything in the archives of a blog, so let me share the simple philosophies we talk about here on Small Notebook:

1. Life is simpler when we have less stuff. (You can see my paper pile makeover.)

MBFGW Scene2. The fewer things we keep, the more special they are. (Do you struggle with too many sentimental things?)

3. Organize until it’s good enough, then stop.

4. You don’t need a house to feel at home. (How to make the most of your apartment.)

5. Taking care of our home is about taking care of people.

We have an amazing community here so you should definitely check out the comments at the end of each post.

Book update: I’m writing an e-book about how to simplify blogging. I’ve been blessed and thrilled to see this place grow to more than 10,000 subscribed readers, but I haven’t even joined Facebook. I don’t blog about blogging, but I have a lot to say about it, and every time I hear someone ask, “How do I balance my time with blogging?” it makes me write faster.

I cannot wait until this book is ready to share with you next month. (Click here to be added to the email list so you won’t miss it!)

Thanks for reading here,

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. A friend referred me to your blog…well, blogging community is more like it, and I love it! The first entry I read was about how NOT skimping on groceries is okey-dokey (umm. my words. not yours). I felt so relieved after I read all the comments. If I spend a little more on groceries, I have food I like at home and don’t have to eat out. Keeping too little at home has me eating out more.

    Well, that’s a comment for that post! For this one, thanks for the links. Will read those posts ASAP. Am very happy to be here with you and all the readers!

    oh yeah – I just did some simplifying of my own. A nightmare closet was turned into something a bit more organized and it wasn’t that difficult to do. details are posted on that specific decluttering blog here: (vs. my blog mentioned above which is my “pretty blog”)

    sunny´s last post…colors more colors

  2. Would you look at this a whole collection of Saturday reading!!! I am in heaven!!! Thank you for all your wonderful blogging, I love every second of it!!!

    se7en´s last post…Se7en Discover Cheese in the River Cottage Cook Book…

  3. Lifehacker, Apartment Therapy AND The Nesting Place. Wow, no wonder I’ve gotten so many referrals from posts you wrote months and months ago.

    Very cool.

    And the email list? Awesomeness. Can’t wait for the ebook!

    Kat @ Inspired To Action´s last post…Excuses or Change- What Are You Going To Make Today

  4. Hi Rachel! I have really appreciated your blog, and especially appreciate your summary post today. I’m a behavioral therapist and work with people who have compulsive hoarding (truly an illness, not a character flaw or laziness). I have previously used your image of the grandmother from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” as an illustration, which they loved and saw humor in. Your points 1,2, and 3 will be additional great “take home points” for our next treatment group…thank you : )

  5. Glad I found you through Nesting Place. I will enjoy reading your post as I fit it around my lazy day with the kiddos today. I am embarking on trying to declutter and organize the house so looking forward to reading some of your tips.

    Beth´s last post…Wisconsin Dells – Day 3

  6. I can’t wait for your ebook! They way I balance blogging and my time is, well, I just don’t blog when I don’t feel like I have the time. Which explains the lack of blog posts! I don’t want to be stressed about blogging, I want it to remain a hobby and fun.

    Tracey´s last post…Make Maternity Pants from Pants

  7. Congrats! I am in awe! I have been reading on and off since the days when you had few enough readers that I even got some personal emails from you. Can’t wait to see the book as I don’t know how you do it (a line I am sure you hear often).

    nicola´s last post…vintage swap

  8. I found you through jules @ It is perfect timing as we recently simplified/downsized by selling our home, moving into a rental townhome and am in need of little encouragements. I love how you embrace the small and in doing so grow the big.

    melanie´s last post…Trishs Review- Simply From Scratch by Alicia Bessette

  9. I found you through Apartment Therapy quite a while ago and I feel so at home here! Thank you for being so down to earth and honest. It’s so nice to hear one voice whispering, “It’s okay. Less is good.” among the screams and clamoring for “more, More, MORE!”

    jennie´s last post…Understanding Importance

  10. Hi Rachel! I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog!! I’m looking forward to reading your no spend month. We’re big savers but lately it seems like we spend everything on kids’ activities, entertaining family at home and college.

    I’m so glad to have found you through Life Without Pink.

  11. Nice summaries…can’t wait for the book!

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Im Making the WHAT or Wedding Part I

  12. I am a grandmother who absolutely loves your site because family is everything and I love the calm feeling I get reading your posts and ideas. Suffice it to say I did not have all the savvy ideas you do and share here when I was raising my daughter in Honduras nor when we returned to the States…but so much of what you have given me is relevant NOW. My granddaughter finally liked the little potty after refusing one with all the bells and whistles…I am following you ideas (most of them) on decluttering after having moved from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom condo (wish I had done it before I moved I might add)

    I’ll be looking for your ebook soon! Keep up the good work!

  13. Thank you for the kind words! It’s so nice hearing from you. Welcome!

  14. So inspiring! Love everything here and the simplicity of it all is so refreshing! Your blog and The FlyLady have been life changing…Thank you!

  15. I am a new reader-I love it here! I recently read your article about groceries and it was just exactly what I have slowly been realizing after all this time of pinching pennies on food-only to hate what we buy and end up going out. This time around I went to trader Joe’s bought what I new we would love and we have eaten at home all week. I have enjoyed making our meals with our luxurious groceries-and really I only spent about 30$ more than usual and NO EATING OUT! Which would have been $30 with just one meal out for our clan of 5.

  16. Leigh Anne says:

    I found you through Nesting Place and I’m so glad I did. This post really helps out too! Thanks!

  17. Great job. You do a good job with your blog. You deserve the recognition.

    Jena (Organizing Mommy)´s last post…Launched

  18. hi, just found you. i’m HUGE on decluttering, and mental decluttering too. The latter i’ve been working on this year.
    great site, must help so many.

    Mon´s last post…mama records- toilet learning

  19. I’m happy to be one of the 11,000 that have subscribed to your blog. It is definitely a wonderful retreat to enjoy your findings. Thanks for doing what you do. Also, I really like the concept of cleaning for the people in my family. I’ve tended to clean for other people that visit my family. It is a whole new way to look at things. I don’t know when “company” is coming, but I know exactly when my kids and husband will be home from school and work. Maybe they are reason enough. Hmmmmm.

    Lauri V.´s last post…All I see is love

  20. Congrats! I can’t wait to read your ebook!

    Rachel´s last post…10 Things I Love About My Small House

  21. I found you through Nesting Place…your blog is fantastic. I especially enjoyed your post on grocery expenses. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to food.

  22. So excited to have found this!

  23. I do have to say that you blog is one of the first blogs that I have ever read. You have so many great ideas. I was actually searching for some tips on getting organized and getting ready to move. I stumbled across you blog and have read a little bit every night for the past couple of days. I am really excited to read your e-book about blogging. Through reading your blog and a few others, it has kind of inspired me to write a blog, but I don’t really have any idea of where to start.

    I also would like to say thank you. I really appreciate all the great tips that you have posted. They are very helpfull. Keep up the good work and I hope to read more soon.