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
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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