A few years ago I wrote this blog post about my minimalist journey. I came across this list from The Wallet Moth on Pinterest recently and realized that I'm not doing half bad staying on this journey.
Here's how I'm upholding these steps:
1. Declutter Your Home
I'm an avid fan of clearing out the old and weeding through things I no longer love or use. I decorate my home each season and as I change up the house I always seem to have a little purge party of my stuff. I also keep a donate box on the floor of my closet that constantly is filling up with items.
2. Clear Out the Garage
I have to admit this one is easy as my husband has been building a detached garage on our property and until he drywalls it we haven't really put much inside. Also because he's a one-man show it's been a slow build so it's really given me time to ponder how I want things laid out and what items I truly want to bring back into the space.
3. Create a Capsule Closet
Ok, I have to be honest, I tried doing a capsule wardrobe a few years ago based off of Courtney Carver's Project 333 and it wasn't really my thing. To my credit, I have a pretty refined wardrobe and with the donation box stored in my closet, things that I'm not wearing or no longer like quickly make their way in. Also when I buy something I'm a firm proponent of getting rid of something. Lastly, I'm all about shopping consignment and Goodwill stores. Hardly do I enter the mall or any high-end retailers.
4. Go Paperless
This is one area I feel pretty confident in. I pay my bills online, I sort my mail as soon as it comes in the door, I have one cookbook and keep the rest of my recipes on Pinterest. I also take very few pictures so I only print out one or two of the really good shots which I keep in labeled photo boxes and I create photo books aka Soboleski Yearbooks through Shutterfly each year which are so much slimmer and easier to store than albums.
5. Spend on Experiences
My husband and I haven't really gotten each other birthday, Christmas or anniversary gifts in... I can't remember the last time! We'd much rather plan a weekend getaway, enjoy a nice dinner out, or even have a lazy evening in. Whenever my kiddo is invited to a birthday party I'm one of the few parents who shows up with an envelope as opposed to a shiny gift box or bedazzled gift bag. My envelopes are usually filled with gift cards to the local ice cream parlor, pottery studio, or Dunkin' Donuts.
6. Shop for Needs, not Wants
I'm one of those people who only grocery shop once a month as I know the more times you enter a store, the more impulse purchases you're likely to make. Every year for Christmas I follow the 5 gift-giving rule for my son: something to wear, something to read, something he wants, something he needs.
7. Replace, Don't Add
Thankfully I'm married to a handy husband who'd much rather try to fix something than replace it. We live in a 1920s bungalow and we've always got a home improvement project going on which usually requires restoration. Also, my son and I visit the library once if not twice a week to take out books and movies rather than hitting up Barnes and Noble or the Redbox.
8. Consider Alternative Living
Well, my husband and I are not the type of couple to want to up and move into a tiny home or embark on a life of RV living, we do keep it pretty simple. Many of our friends throughout the years have moved into larger homes, but we prefer to stay put in our 1800sf abode. As I mentioned earlier, we're building a garage on our property that has a second floor which we're hoping to use down the road as either an in-law apartment or rent it out as another income stream.
9. Cut Down on TV
I stick to a rule in our house that there's no screen time until after lunch. And even after lunch my son has to practice his piano if he wants to be able to spend time on his computer tablet. In the late afternoons he can only watch educational television. At least one evening a week I forgo watching the tube with my husband to read whatever book I'm into at the time. I do feel like I could do better in this area especially around the use of my iPad, so stay tuned for a follow up in a future post.
10. Plan Your Meals
Not to toot my own horn, but I have varsity level meal planning skills. When you only grocery shop once a month, you really have to be very planful of your meals and what you're using when. It's at the point now where my husband knows to ask me before he takes something out of the fridge to make sure it's safe to eat and not designated for a dinner. What makes planning easier is that I rotate through a couple favorite dishes and nothing is overly complicated. I'm a big fan of the crockpot, meatless Mondays and Thursday night leftovers.
As you can see from my list I'm definitely stronger in some areas than others, but I stick to it and am always trying to improve. What are some ways you live simply?