Spruce up Your Home (at Least Once a Year)

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here. A simple...

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here.

A simple rearranging of your living space will not only make you slow down but will also brighten your mood, obviate the need to buy more crap, and bring you a whole new space on a budget of practically zero.

1. Try moving furniture to different rooms. Take that sleek chair from your bedroom, for instance. Wouldn’t it look lovely next to your puffy couch instead of that comfortable recliner? Then move the recliner to a little nook facing a window—the perfect afternoon reading spot.

2. Troll Etsy for handmade art without gallery prices. Go with your gut: If something strikes you right off the bat, chances are you can find a place for it in your home. Look for smaller, cheaper pieces too, and form a cluster.

3. Not everything has to sit against a wall. Play with the proportions of a room, and don’t get stuck always putting the couch flat against the wall. Think angles, intimate spaces, and flow. If the most popular room in your house is the kitchen, don’t place the sofa facing away from it.

4. Have an awesome view of the changing leaves? Make that your focal point in the fall. The fireplace makes for a cozy focus in winter, then in the wet spring, you may want to swtich to DVD watching and switch it to the television. Just call it seasonal impression.

5. If dealing with the mess of painting or the anxiety of choosing the perfect color stresses you out, try panels of fabric instead. Hang them on one wall, floor to ceiling, for the greatest impact: instant texture, pattern, color, and personality.

6. Ugly carpet is the worst. Instead of replacing it, get a rug. Sure, they can be expensive, but if you get a display model, it’ll save a lot of dough and cover a ton of surface area.

7. Make piles work for you. Magazines with no rack to hold them? Put a stack or two together and place a solid piece of material up top to form a table. Same is true for books: Secure a few bundles with large, industrial rubber bands to form a cube. Instant ottoman.

8. Anytime you come across fabric that speaks to you, snatch it up. You never know when those lumpy throw pillows will need a new cover, and you’ll already have the beloved fabric on hand.

9. Plants breathe life into a space. Literally. If your room is stagnant, make a windowsill herb garden. Take an old loaf pan, add some sand and soil, and plant two or three of your favorite seedlings. Not only will it look charming, it will also bring fresh flavors straight to the kitchen.

Our Good Guide to Slowing Down was a unique collaboration with our friends at ReadyMade magazine. Check out their good work at, and follow them on Twitter at @ReadyMadeTweets.

Illustration by Tim Lahan
AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less