Happy Halloween – And a Challenge

by Oct 31, 2021

Happy Halloween!

Originally from All Hallows Evening (Or Hallowe’en)

Are you a big Halloween person?  Do you love to dress up and head out for all sorts of spooks and scares?  Or maybe you just appreciate the candy treats – or the pumpkin spice signal of fall?

Halloween is quite a big event in the area where I live with lots of decorations and activities.  I don’t consider myself a Halloween person at all and I definitely do not have a vast cupboard of costumes, accessories or makeup.   However this year, my husband and I were participating at a Halloween Harvest Market and I was going from there to volunteer on treat duty on a Halloween trail walk.  Both required some form of costume.  I was determined to use what we had around home so we kept it simple.  I made sleeves and a headband with recycles packing paper for straw and sewed some patches on a pair of overalls.  My husband added a plaid shirt and an old hat for an effective scarecrow.   I have a witches hat and a cape that was probably originally a vampire theme – I have had them for many years. Working with a matching colour theme, I added fabric hair and a suitable COVID mask (required by current health protocols) and my husband whipped up a broom from our scrap pile.   We were rather pleased with the results – and they were comfy.  My witches boots and tights came me warm on a very chilly late fall day.

How do you think we did?

30 Days of Minimalism Starts Tomorrow

Keep the Stories is about capturing memories so you can release stuff and simplify your life. This month, the focus will be on the latter, offering you suggestions and motivations for cutting back and letting go. Along the way, I will also invite you to think about stories that you want to keep.

Every day this month, I’m going to post some thoughts on how minimalism and simplifying can make a positive difference in your life. I will offer you challenges about making choices to simplify your life.  I’ll also suggest daily declutter challenges to reduce in one designated area.

Here are some tips for the declutter challenges:

  • Set a timer for 15 minutes and focus on making quick decisions. Don’t spend a lot of time with any item – if you are on a roll and want to keep going, you can always extend the time but a limited time to start can take off the pressure.
  • Take everything out of the space and reorganize as you return things.
  • Have a system that will let you make a decision on each item quickly. One easy way is to have four boxes labelled Keep – Donate – Sell – Trash (use categories that make sense for you). You might also decide to have a box labelled Defer but if you do that, use it sparingly.
  • Some questions that might help you decide:
    • Have I used this in the past year?
    • Do I have something else the same or very similar?
    • Does this make me happy?
    • Does it fit / suit / work?
    • Could someone else use it more?
  • DO NOT think about what it cost but about what value it offers you now – and if you might have more value by letting it go
  • At the end of your block of time, remove things you have chosen not to keep. Take them to the trash or put them in the car for donation. Don’t put them back to deal with later.

I hope you enjoy the challenge and join me in creating a life with more intention – and less ‘stuff’.


Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


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