When I decided to get clutter out of my life — physical, mental, time, and productivity clutter — I did it because I wanted to have more time and room in my life for the things that matter most to me. There are only 24 hours in the day, and I want to spend the majority of my waking hours doing what I value and find important.
Sure, there are chores (about 30 minutes a day) I don’t love, but doing them keeps stress and other negative effects out of my life. My overall life is better because I have routines in place to take care of the not-so-great parts.
One thing I don’t like doing is gardening or anything to do with the yard. I know that some people love gardening and are horrified that I don’t like it, but I enjoy things that I’m sure they have no interest in doing (cheese making, doing stand up comedy, reading mystery novels, playing the pedal steel guitar). We’re all different, which is what makes unclutterers so great.
Since I’m not fond of gardening, I have fake plants in all of the flower boxes on the front of my house. These are high-end fake plants. Even when you’re standing inches away from them, you have no idea that they’re not real. But, unlike real plants, I don’t have to do anything to maintain their beauty.
- No watering.
- No weeding.
- No dying plants.
- No plant diseases or pests.
- No maintenance.
If you’re interested in sprucing up a flower box with fake plants, follow these tips to make it so that no one on your block has any idea:
- Use high-end fake plants. If it looks bad in the store, it’s going to look bad in your flower box. The French make the world’s best fake plants, and if you can afford them, buy them. My favorite is Trousselier at 73 blvd Haussmann in Paris. If heading to France isn’t in your future (Trousselier doesn’t have an online shop), check out your local craft store and be very picky about what makes it into your cart.
- Buy plants, not flowers. You don’t have to worry about things blooming in the wrong season if nothing blooms. And, even when they are very well made, fake flowers can still look fake.
- Only display the plants during appropriate seasons. If a fern wouldn’t be growing outdoors in January, don’t have a fake fern outdoors in January. Store it into a garbage bag in your garage, and put it back out in the spring.
- Only buy fake plants that could grow in your region.
- Take the time to plan out and landscape your flower box before you go shopping for fake plants. You want the plants to look as natural as possible.
- Buy fake plants with realistic looking imperfections. Not every leaf on a plant is the exact same shade of green, and sometimes a leaf or two is brown. Nature isn’t perfect, and neither should your fake plants be.
- “Plant” your fake plants in gravel with fake moss or fake grass as ground cover. Weeds won’t grow in rocks, but they will grow in dirt. If you “plant” in dirt, you’re still going to have to pick out weeds.
Okay, now you know my time-saving secret. Where do you cut corners to free up time in your schedule to pursue the things that matter most to you?
(My apologies about the picture being small. It was hard to line up an image that didn’t flash my neighbors’ license plates to the internet.)