5 Tips For Incorporating Minimalist Living Principles Into Your Work Life

A simpler life is a better one. But even if you’ve made a commitment to living a simple, minimalist lifestyle, some aspects of life always seem to be out of control.

Maybe you can’t have a completely uncomplicated life because you have children who have developed a taste for expensive sneakers and hard-to-maintain hairstyles. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t feel the same need to simplify as you do.

In many cases, however, it’s the workplace that doesn’t fit with the model of simplicity to which we strive, so we spend hours each day surrounded by frustrating and infuriating waste and complexity.

Here are five tips for trying to bring simple, minimalist living principles into your workplace:

1. Remove yourself from voluntary complications. That means avoiding the afternoon coffee club — and the gossip that comes with it — and perhaps having your lunch away from the coworkers who want to invade your personal time and make you part of other people’s problems.

2. Try to avoid wasting resources even if others are wasteful. Just because handing out hard copies of PowerPoint slides or stapled booklets of documentation is usually the company’s practice, that doesn’t mean you have to do things that way. Maybe the others in your company would appreciate getting information electronically for a change.

3. Work directly with your boss to change procedures. There’s no reason to embarrass anyone in front of other workers, but your boss might welcome suggestions for cutting down on wasted time and resources. Waste costs money, and most bosses like to save money because it makes them look good. They can show their bosses that they have improved a longstanding procedure.

4. Get involved in the processes that create the most waste, unnecessary work and ill will so you can work to change them from the inside. You may have to take part in the wastefulness or the complexity for a little while, but workers may be willing to take your suggestions for changes more seriously if you can speak as an insider.

5. Work your way out of really difficult work situations. Some workplaces are beyond being saved. To save yourself from needless complexity and the silliness of wasted resources, leaving may be your only option. If you must leave, work toward starting a business of your own and not taking a new job so you can control just how simple your life is in the future.

Final Thoughts

If you’d like a simpler life, you’re not alone. So many people are turning toward minimalist lifestyles that websites are springing up about the topic all over the web. For example, Minimalist Living Today is a resource for those who want simple, frugal, intelligent lives that aren’t as out of control as many people’s live seem to be these days.

Applying the principles of minimalist living to your life and to your workplace may be easier than you think. And maybe it won’t be. Whatever the case, removing the complications and complexities from as many aspects of your life as possible will serve you well.

Moving toward minimalist living in the workplace and in your life in general could help save your sanity too.

Exclusive Buyer Agents Offer An Alternative To The Traditional Real Estate Buying Process

There’s more than one way to buy a home, and all three of the paths below can lead you the house of your dreams. Only one of them assures that your interests are protected at every turn, however.

For people unfamiliar with the real estate process who want help navigating its complicated twists and turns, an exclusive buyer agent could be the best choice. Even better, it usually doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Which of these three methods of navigating the complicated real estate buying process sounds better to you?

The Traditional Method

The seller and the seller’s team win when transactions are handled the traditional way. That’s great for them, but it doesn’t always work out well for buyers.

The traditional way involves a listing agent and a showing agent both working for the seller. The buyer is viewed as a customer and stands alone, without representation of any kind in the transaction.

The Dual Agent or Intermediary Method

A less common way to handle real estate transactions is through a dual agent or intermediary who represents both the seller and the buyer — with full disclosure to both, of course. If this agent is a person of integrity, he or she doesn’t favor one party or work to the disadvantage of either the buyer or the seller.

The problem with this method is the potential for conflicts of interest. In many cases, no one wins with this method


The Buyer’s Agent Method

Exclusive buyer agents work for home buyers — not sellers like most real estate agents — to make sure the transaction is completed in a way that’s favorable to you. With a buying broker on your side, you can be sure no one is trying to take advantage of you.

Since the seller has a listing broker standing with them, the transaction is balanced and ethical. This sets up a situation where everyone can feel good about the deal knowing that it’s completely fair.

The Choice Is Obvious

Smart buyers choose the method that assures them complete representation.

An exclusive buyer agent is the best choice for many real estate transactions, and using an EBA instead of a traditional real estate agent could be the best choice for you the next time you purchase a new or existing home.

Shade Gardening: What If All You Have Is Shade?

These days many people are looking for ways to put the best food available on their table. One of the best ways to do this is to plant a garden. But when thinking about a garden, the first place that comes to mind is a nice sunny spot in the yard.

While this might be ideal, not everyone has a plot with full sun, but that’s no problem. There are lots of vegetable that will grow just as well with little amounts of sun. Vegetables that are grown in order to harvest their fruit or to use their roots usually need full sun to develop, but if you are going to use the stems or leaves, the plants can often be grown very successfully with just a few hours of sun a day.

So if you have a place in your yard that gets between three to six hours of sun a day, what types of vegetables can you successfully grow?

All types of lettuce and salad greens grow well in shade. Other greens such as mustard, turnip, collards or spinach also do well with little sun. Most beans and peas seem to thrive and produce a good yield in a shade garden. Other vegetables that a shade gardener could try are radishes, broccoli and cauliflower.

A garden in an area that is partly shady tends to need to be watered less frequently because there is less sun to dry out the ground. Also, vegetables that tend to stop producing due to the heat will often continue to produce a harvest longer if grown in a shady area. This means that you will get more produce from the space you have. These are just two benefits to having a shade gard


Be creative when choosing a space for a shade garden. Add chard to a bed of your favorite perennials. Use large pots and have some lettuce growing just outside your kitchen door, ready to harvest on a night you want a big salad to complement a meal. If you have a window box, radishes or a mixture of various greens would fit in nicely and provide color and interest to the box while also helping to supplement your food supply.

Whatever type of space you have — whether full sun or shade — make the most of it and in this way you can double your vegetable production. And your family can enjoy some nice fresh vegetables beginning in the spring and all the way to the fall.

Is Buying A Used Zebra Printer Or Other Reconditioned Thermal Printer A Good Idea?

Is buying a reconditioned Zebra label printer a good idea? Are used thermal printers worth the money or is it be better to buy a new one?

Zebra thermal label printers, available from Amazon, save time and ink for those who print a lot of shipping labels or other 4×6 labels, and in many cases, a used or reconditioned one is just as good as a new one. There is very little that can go wrong with them.

These durable printers are perfect for shipping labels and a variety of other label types. And since they print by applying heat to heat-sensitive labels, they don’t use ink. That means no cartridges to change.

Amazon offers a variety buying choices for reconditioned Zebra printers. While these printers can cost $300 to $400 new, used printers cost a fraction of that.

I bought my Zebra LP 2844 thermal label printer used and couldn’t be happier. For several years, I printed dozens of labels several times a week. My usage has slowed now, but I still use it more than once a week and I have never had to make any repairs of any kind.

What’s even better, these printers are completely compatible with Endicia, the Internet postage printing outfit that is a popular choice for many sellers and that I was already using with my earlier printer anyway.

You may have some problems if you want to print labels with USPS Shipping Assistant, and any kind of thermal label printer can be a bit cumbersome to use with PayPal’s built-in shipping system.

I print 4×6 labels, the industry standard for shipping labels. My Zebra LP 2844 will not print anything wider than four inches, but it can also print smaller labels if necessary.

Be aware that you may need to buy a new cable if you buy an older printer. Most LP 2844’s can be connected to your computer using modern USB connectors, but some older printers come with a different kind of cable.

Some computers will not automatically recognize a Zebra thermal printer, so be ready to visit Zebra’s website to download the driver you need to make it work on your machine. Note that on some computers, you may have to download a special, more compatible ZDesigner driver from Zebra even though other drivers may also be listed for your operating system. All of these drivers are free, however.

Zebra thermal printers are a great alternative to using sheets of labels in an inkjet or laser printer because the labels feed automatically, so you don’t have to fumble with the sheets or remember the next printing position.

While there are a few wasted labels on each role due to wrinkling toward the end of the roll, you can choose to use flat labels that feed in through the back of the printer instead — as long as you have adequate room on your desk or printer stand for them.

A Zebra printer is also a great alternative to some other thermal printers like the DYMO LabelWriter because they do not need special labels. The labels for many other printers are available from a limited number of sources and often cost much, much more. Remember to compare the cost per label, not per package or roll.

Of course, purchasing a new Zebra LP 2844 printer gets a you factory warranty to guarantee its reliability, but I’m happy with my used one, and I think a used or refurbished Zebra label printer will be a good choice for you too.