Rabat: The Garden City

Posted By admin on February 28th, 2015

Rabat A Unique City

Rabat: A Unique City

If you are ever traveling to Africa, the one city you need to check out is without a doubt, Rabat. Rabat is a unique and stunning city that will delight any traveler who makes their way to it.

Rabat, which means “Fortified Place” has been inhabited for thousands of years, including by the Roman Empire. Currently, the city has a population of 650,000 people and it is the capital of Morocco, rather than Casablanca as many assume. It is also the second-largest city in the country and the capital of the Rabat Sale Zemmour Zaer region.

The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River, giving it beautiful views and landscapes around it. There are several smaller bedroom communities around Rabat including Sale and Temara, which give the region a population of 1.8 million. The city used to be a very important port city, but these days it is more geared towards textile, food processing and construction. Sadly, some multinational corporations do operate sweatshops in the area.

Tourism has also become very popular in the city thanks to the many foreign embassies and the effort to get tourists to the city. Casablanca is more famous, but Rabat is working hard to get noticed.

Rabat is popular among Europeans because of its warm Mediterranean climate. It has a mile temperate climate with cool weather in the winter and warm days in the summer. Throughout the year, the nights are cold due to its proximity to the desert. When the day comes along, the temperature usually rises by about 15 degrees Celsius. The high in the winter, at its coldest days, usually reaches only 17.5 degrees Celsius.

So, what is there to do in Rabat? Well, quite a bit actually. Here are the most popular sites in the city:

  • Chellah: This is the old city that was founded by the Carthaginians and conquered by the Romans, then passed to the Arabs over time. It has been abandoned and settled a great deal over time and parts of this old town are still visible.
  • The Old Medina: One of the largest open air markets in the world, the old medina is a must see for anyone who is interested in seeing what Morocco is all about, and it is these stunning markets
  • Kasbah of the Oudaias: This is a deserted Kasbah that was used during the reign of the Almohads back in the early part of the second millennium AD. The Kasbah was deserted following the death of Yaqqub al-Mansur in 1199 AD.
  • Hassan Tower: This is an incomplete mosque that was going to be the world’s largest when construction was started in 1199. It only reached 140 feet, half the 260 feet that it was intended to be. This is a very important part of the historic and tourist aspects of the city.

So, take a trip out to Rabat and see this amazing city for yourself, you will not be disappointed.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Nov 13, 2010.

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Do We Really Reap What We Sow?

Posted By admin on February 18th, 2015

Many of Us Would Argue Not

Many of Us Would Argue Not

Much of human behaviour in this world is predicated on one of the maxims we all know: “You reap what you sow”. This is a saying which drives many people’s consciences and troubles others only after they have “sowed” whatever they suspect will eventually come to be their comeuppance. To many it is a rule to live by, to others a meaningless piece of cod philosophy that simply guilt-trips those who are naïve enough to believe it. Is a maxim of any value if only half of the world seems to believe it? Or should we all look out for number one and happily allow other people to take what life throws at them – potentially as a consequence of our actions?

Karma is an interesting thing. We can probably all think of at least one individual who has, as a result of at best questionable actions, risen to a position of privilege on one level or another. They may head up a major corporation and be able to write their own pay checks as they see fit. They may be extremely sought-after romantically. One way or another, there are people benefiting from not following the standard rules of morality. Do they reap what they sow? Many of us would argue not.

It hardly sets a good example. We will, if we have a commitment to bringing the best out of those we influence, try to promote a message of good actions bringing forth good rewards. Then we let our protégé see a world where people who lie, cheat and bend the rules non-stop are rewarded with money, prestige and often influence. How can they possibly marry the advice we give with the picture they see? The only conclusion they can have is that some people are not living by the rules.

How do we then make a lesson from that, for ourselves and for others? How do we say that the people who ignore the rules of common decency are not a model to be followed? It is a very difficult question to answer, and one which gives parents, teachers and other concerned individuals a few sleepless nights. If we have a belief in an afterlife, we can say that these people will eventually pay for their sins – but we cannot see the afterlife and we cannot see that they are going to be any more troubled then than now.

Therefore, it really comes down to a message that is perhaps more complicated than “we reap what we sow”. We should behave decently to other people because there is much more chance that people will remember what we did wrong than what we did right. We should behave decently to others because, if we have a conscience, eventually a transgression will turn into a sleepless night. But more than this, we should behave decently to others because it is the right way to behave, and in the end we have to face the world with confidence that we did the right thing – even when evidence suggested that the wrong thing may have had greater material benefit to us.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Oct 12, 2009.

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Fez: The Soul of Morocco

Posted By admin on February 8th, 2015

Fez Travel Guide

Fez Travel Guide

Chances are you have probably not heard of Fez, the third largest city in Morocco. It is often overshadowed by its larger cousin; Casablanca. However, Fez is a city that should be on your map when you are traveling to Morocco, because it offers you some amazing sights that you may not see if you choose to bypass the city.

Fez has a population of roughly one million, putting it behind Casablanca and Rabat in terms of size. However, it is actually the former capital of Morocco and is considered to be one of the four imperial cities within the country. Fez is the oldest Islamic city in the world.

Located in the northern end of Morocco is houses some of the most important places in the world. First, there is Fes el Bali, which is possibly the largest medina, or outdoor market, in the world. It is also believed to be the largest contiguous car-free urban area on the planet. There is also the University of Al-Karaouine, which was founded in 859 AD, making it the oldest continuously functioning university in the world.

Fez is located along the majestic Atlas Mountains, giving it a very seasonal climate. Winters are cool, while hot days fill the summer months from July to September.

As time goes on, Fez is becoming a tourist destination for many who visit Morocco. This is causing a resurgence for the city with non-Moroccans restoring the houses in the city as second homes.

If you are in Fez, check out the Merenid Tombs, which are next to the Merenid Hotel. The view you get from the tombs is astounding, giving you panoramic views of the medina and the city. You will even be able to see the olive trees that line the hills surrounding the city. You can also go to the Sofitel Palais Jamai Terrace, which gives you another great view of the medina as long as you buy a glass of tea while you there, which is essentially the cost of admission.

There are many world-class restaurants within Fez, and you will be able to stay in a wide variety of hotels from the very cheap to the luxurious.

It is important to note that since Fez is in Africa, there is often a misconception that it will be a dangerous place. Morocco is not only one of the most progressive African countries, but it is also the safest. Fez is very crowded but very safe. However, you should keep an eye on your purse or wallet because pick pockets are around, and they essentially make up the worst of the crime in the area. Con-artists can also be a problem, so just stay smart and stay safe and you will not have a problem. Even false guides will lead you astray but they are not dangerous, just a nuisance when they ask for money.

Fez is a beautiful city, and one you should not ignore in your travels of Morocco. It will leave you breathless with its beauty, culture, history and friendly people.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Aug 28, 2010.

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Should You Share Problems

Should You Share Your Problems With Those You Trust?

Posted By admin on January 30th, 2015

Sharing the Burden

Sharing the Burden

It is a fact that many people in this world remain quiet about their problems for fear of being branded a “whiner”. The theory goes that we all have our problems and that to speak of your own makes you somehow either weaker or excessively self-absorbed. The old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” has been replaced in many people’s lexicon with “a problem shared is a problem someone else has too now”. Many people will present a façade of friendly concern when faced with someone else’s difficulties, only to then speak about the person behind their back and criticise their lack of backbone. This attitude gets around, and results in more problems, which is why so many people decide to keep their problems to themselves.

This should not be taken as a reason to become non-communicative when it comes to your problems. Certainly, it is wise to be selective in terms of whom you tell your problems to. There will always be callous people who think that it is funny to blurt out information about an individual, and people who are willing to listen and share a joke about it. Equally, there will always be people who feel that their every concern is of interest to everyone else. Neither of these kinds of people are right. What is true is that there will always be people who are willing to listen and help. It is important not only to identify these people, but to realize that they are ready to listen, and that you can count on them as long as you do not overwhelm them.

It is never beneficial to overload someone else with your problems, and certainly it is unwise to demand solutions from other people – we human beings are complex entities, and our problems are seldom simple. But sometimes speaking about a problem can allow you to see it from a different perspective, and can initiate a process that will see you solve your problems. This may take time, but the fact of the matter is that addressing a problem is a far more proactive approach than not addressing it. Tackling the problem may not get rid of it immediately, but sitting and worrying about it certainly will not. In fact, often the longer you think about a problem, the larger you allow it to become – especially if the problem is largely in your mind.

Do not be convinced that because some people are cold-hearted enough to laugh at your problems, others will too. People in general do not like to see their friends suffer, and will go to some lengths to ensure that they can see a way through their problems. It is frequently said that what goes around comes around, and that if you help someone today, they may help you tomorrow. Being open and honest about your problems may put you in a position where, one day, you will be able to return the favour to the person who listens to you.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 27, 2009.

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Casablanca: The City of Legends

Posted By admin on January 22nd, 2015

Travel Casablanca

Travel Casablanca

One of the most beautiful and famous cities in the world is Casablanca, and it is a popular place to visit for any tourist who wants to see a very unique city. This city is anything but a rundown city that had its best days in the past. In fact it is the largest city in Morocco with over four million people, and it is a very cosmopolitan city, as well as the economic heart of the country.

Casablanca was founded by Berber fishermen in the roughly 3,000 years ago and was then used by a series of conquerors, including the Roman Empire. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, it was rebuilt by the sultan of the Morocco and called Casablanca.

Casablanca may be seem like it is a backwards city in terms of being progressive but it is the most liberal and progressive of Morocco’s cities, with young men often seen talking outdoors with scantily-clad women, something not seen in more extreme Muslim countries.

There are several sites to see in this amazing city including:

  1. Casablanca has the largest artificial port in the world, and an interesting place to check out.
  2. The King Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and the third largest in the world, with the tallest minaret in the world.
  3. The Old Medina is a small walled town in the northern part of Casablanca which is where you can find many amazing things to buy from the vendors of the city.
  4. The Shrine of Sidi Abderrahman is a shrine built on a rock off the shore and you can only get to it when there is low-tide. The shrine itself is off-limits to non-Muslims, but you can explore the medina that is around it.

Casablanca is a very safe city to visit as well, so you do not have to worry that because you are traveling to Africa, you are going somewhere horribly dangerous. Most tourist agencies will tell you that common sense will keep 99 percent of problems from occurring. These are things like not flashing large amount of money around, and not looking like a tourist. You should be aware of tourist guides who are not really guides and only interested in robbing you, but these guides are much less of a problem in Casablanca than anywhere else in Morocco.

Typically, the worst that you will encounter in Casablanca is people trying to hassle you or bother you. Being firm with them will usually get them to move on. While annoying, they are far from dangerous and not something you should be overly worried about. Women traveling in Casablanca will be harassed with lewd comments if they do not dress modestly, but should not worry about being bothered or harassed physically.

Casablanca is an amazing city that you should consider as a destination if you are traveling to Africa. It has everything a major city should have, and it has thousands of years of history.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on July 18, 2010.

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Why You Should Not Ignore Your Health Problems

Posted By admin on January 14th, 2015

Why You Should Not Ignore Your Health Problems

Feeling Under The Weather? Don’t Ignore It

There are many of us who feel at one time or another that we are below-par, health wise. Some people will go rushing to the doctor the first time they feel even slightly less healthy than usual, and others who will refrain from seeking any kind of medical help until such time as they are simply incapable of functioning. Neither of these states of being are desirable, as in the first case we are unable to function from day to day without constant reinforcement of our state of physical health and in the second we put our very health at risk through stubbornness or fear.

As with most issues, the right answer is somewhere in the middle. We will all, from time to time, be subject to health problems. When these problems strike, they may come in physical or mental form, and both types are worth equal attention. There has been a tendency in the past to assume that just because mental health is somehow “invisible”, any problems that arise with it are less valid than problems with physical health. This impression goes back a long way, and although it is less prevalent today than it has been it still remains for some people.

The key with health problems, whether they be physical or mental, is to take them seriously while not making a mountain out of a molehill. If you have a slight cold, then the doctor does not need to know about it unless you are specifically prone to aggravation from such symptoms. If, however, you are in such pain that it restricts you from going about your daily business, it is important to get to the point as quickly as possible. Early intervention in medical terms can be the difference between it becoming serious and such a state of affairs being averted.

With mental health problems, doctors and psychiatrists recommend a two-week rule being applied. If you find that you have been suffering anxiety or low mood for nearly a fortnight, then it is justifiable to assume that it is more than simply a standard case of “the blues”. Whether it is something that needs to be approached with counselling, something that would benefit from medication or something else, it is important to treat mental health issues seriously. Without such treatment, mental illness can take a very firm hold of a sufferer and make their life very difficult indeed.

If you go to the doctor with every little thing that crops up, then before too long you will gain an unspoken reputation as a hypochondriac. Even if this does not ever become an openly accepted situation, it can subliminally play on a doctor’s mind when they are treating you. Although doctors are trained to, and will, treat every case on its merits, the urgency with which they treat any serious case may not be as present if you are of a mind to seek help for minor issues which could be solved with a trip to the pharmacy. However, if it is a true problem it needs to be addressed with haste. Do not just “soldier on” if you find that your life is being made more difficult by a health issue.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 21, 2009.

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Marrakech – The Pearl of The South

Posted By admin on January 9th, 2015

Traveling To Marrakech

Traveling To Marrakech

Marrakech is probably one of the most famous in all of Africa. Marrakech is also known as the Red City or Al Hamra, the garden city, the lively city of Morocco, and the Pearl of the South. It is a very important city in North Africa, and was the former imperial city of Morocco, where it is located. Currently, Marrakech is the capital of the economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al-Haouz. Near Marrakech is located near the towering Atlas Mountains, which dominate much of Morocco.

Currently, the population of Marrakech is just over one million people, and the city has an international airport that you can use to fly directly to the city. You can also fly to Casablanca, and take the rail link to the city if you feel like seeing the countryside.

In Marrakech, as with many North African cities, there is an old fortified city called the Medina. This is now a huge open air bazaar and trading area where you can buy a wide sort of goods, and you can choose to just walk through the Medina and check out the various venders who call the city home.

The traditional market in Marrakech is the largest in Morocco and it also boasts one of the busiest squares, the Medina, not only in Africa, but the world as well. Walking through the Medina, you can watch acrobats, water sellers, dancers, musicians and more. When night falls, the entire Medina turns into one big open-air restaurant and it is truly a sight to see.

Some people worry about going to Marrakech because it is a foreign city and many assume that means that it is a violent and dangerous city because it is in Africa. This is not the case at all. In fact, Marrakech is a very safe city and it has a very good police presence. However, as with any place that you travel you want to make sure you stay safe. Violent crime is not a big problem within the city, but there are plenty of thefts and pickpockets so keep your money close to you and do not flash it around. Do not go down alleys or poorly lit streets at night.

When a guide offers to give you a tour of the city, make sure they have an official badge that has been provided by local tourist authorities. If you are a solo traveller, you should be aware of the possibility of being drugged. If you feel you are drugged, take action immediately to find help.

Marrakech is not only an amazing city, but it is a very safe one and you do not need to worry especially during the day. If you are being bothered, just stick up for yourself and tell the people bothering you to leave and they usually will. While in Marrakech, check out the beautiful homes, lovely streets and amazing countryside around the city. It is a very interesting place to see and when you are traveling to Morocco, no trip is complete until you stop in this city that has been immortalized in film and music.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on June 19, 2010.

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Why You Should Not Bury Yourself In Work

Posted By admin on January 2nd, 2015

Work Should Not Be Your Reason For Living

Work Should Not Be Your Reason For Living

We all have to work hard at times, in order to meet deadlines or to get something done ahead of time so that we can take the holiday we promised ourselves. For one reason or another, it is simply a fact that it can benefit us to really throw ourselves at work at one time or another. What should be avoided, though, is a tendency to treat work as though it is the goal in itself. Too many people in this day and age approach their work as though it is their reason for living, and it ends up just being something that makes them ill – or worse. Yes, there are times when we have to work hard, but the reasons why we do this need to be the right ones.

If you bury yourself in your work, you could find that one day your work buries you. It has been shown that stress has been a major contributor to a lot of conditions that can be at best very detrimental to one’s health and in many cases fatal. If your job is one that features a lot of competition, tough negotiating and long hours, then the real risk is that you could be pushing yourself towards a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. There are other stress-related conditions too, and it is not only weak people who fall victim to them. You can be as competitive and as go-getting as you like, but when your heart tells you that you have to stop, you have no option but to obey it.

It is unfortunate that so many people find themselves in a position where they simply cannot take a break from their work. It may be that their home situation dictates that they make a certain amount of money every week, and that they would be in a worse position if they worked fewer hours. Even in a situation such as this, it is infinitely preferable to look for other solutions to such a problem. Your health is no respecter of reasons, and it will not listen to words and phrases like “eviction” or “loan repayment”. If you can negotiate a way of keeping out of trouble while working normal hours, then you should.

Too many people work too long and too hard out of a misguided impression that they need to be a hero. It is essential that we recognise that sometimes the bravest thing is to admit we need a break. It is not for nothing that the term “workaholic” was invented. Some people are convinced that they need to be working and that they are useless if they aren’t. A good work ethic is certainly admirable, but a good work ethic is not always to work harder and harder until you cannot push yourself any more. Learning to work smart instead of working hard can benefit your health and allow you to appreciate life more. Let the other people race against themselves to prove whatever they have to prove – you have other things that need your attention too.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 5, 2009.

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Phuket – The Pearl of The Andaman

Posted By admin on December 18th, 2014
Phuket – The Paradise Island of Thailand
Phuket – The Paradise Island of Thailand
 

One of the most beautiful places in Asia, and possibly the Eastern Hemisphere, is Phuket. The Island of Phuket is also one of the southern provinces of Thailand and it occupies the entire island. Roughly the size of Singapore, the island is connected to the mainland of Thailand by a bridge. Phuket, while once known for its tin and rubber, is now one of he most popular tourist areas in all of Thailand, getting most of its income from tourism.

Turbulent History

As with most places that had European contact during the Age of Discovery, Phuket is no different. During the 17th century, the Dutch, English and French all arrived at the island to trade with the island thanks to its rich supply of tin. The island was eventually heavily controlled by the French, who were expelled in the 1688 Siamese Revolution. While they attempted to take the island back in 1689, their efforts failed within a few years. Things returned to relative normality for the island for the next century until the Burmese attacked in 1785. After a siege that lasted an entire month, the Burmese retreated. It was thanks to Than Phu Ying and her sister Mook that the attack failed. They were warned by a British East India Company captain that there was an attack coming. Ying, who was the widow of the recently-deceased governor, mustered what forces she could to defend the island. After the siege, both became local heroes and are still remembered to this day with statues on the island. Eventually, in 1933, the island became a province in Thailand, which it remains as to this day.

Amazing Landscapes

It is not hard to see why so many groups wanted this island; it is beautiful. The island has many mountains on it, with the Phuket mountain range running from the south to the north in the western part of the island. While the island is roughly 570 square kilometers, it has a stunning array of landscapes that will keep you exploring for years to come. Roughly 70 percent of the island is covered with mountains, while the remaining 30 percent of the island in the central and eastern areas is flat. The island has no major rivers, but there are nine brooks that provide water to thousands. Forests, along with oil and rubber plantations, cover 60 percent of the island, and sandy beaches can be found on the western coast of the island. Eastern beaches tend to be muddy, but you can still enjoy yourself there. Now, if you want to see one of the most stunning sunsets in the world, you would need to journey to the southern part of the island to see the sun set over the ocean at Brahma’s Cape.

Great Weather

Since Phuket is just north of the equator, it has amazing weather. The average high temperature of the island during the year falls between 29C/84F and 33C/91F. Average lows are what many in the northern hemisphere call highs, with temperatures ranging from 23C/73F to 26C/79F. Between November and April, you can expect things to be pretty dry. When May comes along, the monsoon season begins and rain can be expected from May until October usually.

Since the tin industry has faded to the background on the island, tourism has taken over as the biggest industry in Phuket. While in Phuket, you can expect to see a lot of tourist attractions and tourist centers. Since the 1980s, beaches have become heavily developed to accommodate tourists. This has not been for the bad though, as Fortune Magazine declared Phuket as one of the World’s Top 5 Retirement Destinations. The vast majority of the westerners who live in Phuket are retirees.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on May 8, 2010.

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How to Get Rid of 5 Rooms of Clutter in 10 Minutes

Posted By admin on December 10th, 2014

5 Quick Decluttering Tips for Home

5 Quick Decluttering Tips for Home

When it comes to getting rid of things you don’t use and you don’t need, if you look at the whole picture it may be overwhelming. However, handling one thing at a time will make it something doable and less stressful, and it adds up if you continue getting rid of clutter one room at a time. Today, I am going to talk about simple ways to get rid of 5 rooms of clutter in 10 minutes. Let’s begin.

1. Start With the Bedroom – Look around – check on top of the headboard, underneath the bed, or in the drawers to detect only one item that you can throw away right now. It can be a magazine, a receipt, an empty perfume bottle, or anything you don’t foresee using any more.

2. Move to the Closet – If you spend some time and look closely, it is possible to find many items that you have not been using for a while in your closet. But for now, let’s find only one thing you no longer need. It can be a clothing item, empty boxes, shopping bags, batteries, and so on. Pick one up and get rid of it forever.

3. Master Bathroom – No hard work here. Just open the under-sink storage area and you will find a stockpile of items. What can those be? The possibilities are actually endless here: a leftover piece of soap from 3 years ago, a dried-up bottle of Listerine, a half-empty shampoo bottle, a scrubber that gave up months ago, and much more. Pick only one and put it in the bathroom garbage bin.

4. Home Office – No need to quest much here. Look on top and underneath of your computer desk or study table and grab one item that is no longer needed. Even a pen or an eraser from years ago should be fine
.
5. Living Room – Another place where it feels like clutter can’t accumulate, but it is likely to take over throughout the years. One quick spot to eliminate one piece of clutter would be look on top and underneath the coffee table.
The health and mental benefits of having a tidy living space is limitless. Decluttering your full home altogether can be stressful, but you can do it by taking things slowly and one at a time.  

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on Feb 21, 2012.

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