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10 Ways I Stay on My Minimalist Journey

10 Ways I Stay on My Minimalist Journey

 

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?

 

Categories: Odds and Ends

Comments

  • I'm so impressed with your minimalist pursuits. What especially struck me was how you only grocery shop once a month and have "varsity level meal planning skills." That's one of the areas that haven't paid as much attention to. We eat a lot of fruits and vegetables so I end up going to the market at least once a week. The fresh foods don't keep long. When our girls were young, I did a little better with meal planning and prep. But now that we're empty nesters, our meal situation is different. I love hearing about your minimalist journey and look forward to hearing more.
    10/8/2018 8:34:28 PM Reply
    • @Linda Samuels: I get asked that question a lot about only shopping once a month and how do I keep fruits and vegetables. I neglected to mention in the post that we belong to a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) Program. So, once a week I'm heading to a local farm to pick up a fresh bag of fruits and veggies. In the off-season when there's no CSA offered I buy regular fruits and veggies but eat the ones that'll go bad first like the berries and bananas, tomatoes, and lettuce and then work my way through till the apples and pears and squashes. There are certain things that are heartier than others and will last longer so you just have to be mindful of what you eat first.
      10/14/2018 9:39:28 AM Reply
  • Over the years, I found that I didn't need to add to my stuff. So, I changed my mindset and choose to replace stuff instead. It's empowering not to feel the need to buy something at the store. My mom would call this window shopping. I call it browsing.
    10/8/2018 12:08:46 PM Reply
    • @Sabrina Quairoli: I'm with you on the replacing mindset. I'm a firm believer in the one in/one out rule. And I do online window shopping! ;)
      10/8/2018 4:20:33 PM Reply
  • I would love to try the capsule wardrobe. Working from home, I don't really need much, and it would be really nice to have pieces that look like they belong together!
    10/8/2018 12:08:03 PM Reply
    • @Janet Barclay: Let me know if it works for you. Courtney Carver, the woman behind Project 333, truly is an inspiration if you check her out, but there are others who you do the capsule wardrobe too.
      10/8/2018 4:19:38 PM Reply
  • I don't think I could do the capsule wardrobe. That said, I don't have a lot of clothes, so I don't think I'm over the top on that one. I simplify by having routines and by clearing surfaces every day. This has gotten easier as my children have flown the nest, but it does take intentionality. I have a donation box available at all times, and try to shed at least one box a month. This is a funny one, but I'm also streamlining my holiday decorating. When I unpack the box each season, I'm finally ditching the old/torn/cheap stuff and doing a bit less. Feels freeing.
    10/5/2018 8:25:49 AM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: I think the capsule wardrobe is either a love it or hate it thing. It's not for everyone. And I'm with you on streamlining the holiday decor. Over the years, I've started using more natural elements: mini pumpkins, clippings from my own backyard, holly boughs from my MIL's front yard bush so after the season is over, they get tossed.
      10/5/2018 1:50:30 PM Reply

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