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When I first started moving toward minimalism about a year and a half ago,
I felt completely overwhelmed.
I had a desire for simplicity,
but, I had absolutely no idea where to begin.
So, obviously, like anyone searching for inspiration,
I ended up on the internet.
I found lots of inspiration!
I found a crazy amount of articles describing what minimalism is.
I perused post after post that gave tips for decluttering my home.
I read blog after blog,
that gave list after list,
of unnecessary items to remove from my house.
I've put A LOT of those ideas into practice.
I've dug through closets.
(Actually, I'm still digging through closets. Minimalism is an on going process, folks.......)
I've emptied out drawers.
I had a garage sale.
I donated many items to our local thrift stores.
I even made a trip to the dump.
I have cleaned and purged and downsized.
And it is awesome!
I'm quite pleased with the progress thus far.
And yet, I still have a ways to go.
While getting rid of excess has been eminently valuable to me,
my desire for simplicity;
this path toward minimalism,
is really to make room for that which I genuinely value.
The thing is, I still feel encumbered.
I still feel harried.
I still feel the need for some simple, practical ideas
that I can incorporate into my daily living habits
to minimize my time. (And, my money!)
I have implemented some.
But, here's the thing......
I'm discovering that minimalism is a journey.
As I walk further and further into it,
I discover more and more ways to practice it.
In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to grow and learn.
I'm choosing not to fret over all that I still have yet to embrace,
and instead, delight in the progress I have made thus far.
And you guys?
I've made a lot of progress!
These are the 12 things I've learned and am practicing so far.
I hope that you too, can integrate some or all of them into your own minimalist journey.
A Growing List Of Practical Ways To Simplify
1. Use one set of sheets.
Simply washing and returning the same set of sheets to your bed will save you time in folding and putting away a sheet set.
2. Use one set of towels.
As with the sheets, wash towels (along with your bath mat), and place them back on the towel rack, to minimize your time.
3. When you find it's time to purchase new, invest in a high quality sheet set and towels.
While they cost more up front, high quality sheets and towels will last exceptionally longer than their cheaper alternative, thereby saving money in the long run. Plus, they feel amazingly luxurious!
Wonder where you can get good quality sheets and towels?
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4. Cut down on your laundry soap.
An appliance tech explained to a friend that, one of the top reasons washing machines break down is from excessive use of laundry soap. I now use 1 to 2 tablespoons of laundry soap in my washing machine, and my clothes are perfectly clean.
5. Nix the fabric softener sheets.
Seriously, you rarely need them. I only use a half sheet, when I'm drying any fleece.
6. Bake a double batch.
Truly, this is an excellent way to save time. Just a few extra minutes is all it takes to bake a double batch!
7. Bake something else.
I almost always bake more than one recipe at a time. Seriously, being that I already have ingredients scattered throughout my kitchen, I may as well put together a second recipe. (Doubled, of course!) This equates to four batches, with only one clean up.
This is some serious time minimization, folks!
8. Turn off the lights.
Y'all, there is just no point in paying money to light a room that no one is in.
9. Turn down the heat.
Look, I live in Alberta. I understand COLD. But, this past winter, I just decided to keep the house a little cooler. If I'm doing house work, I don't even notice it. When I sit, I grab a sweater or a blanket. (And sometimes socks. Because, sometimes, even Barefoot Warriors get cold feet.)
10. Stop heating unused bedrooms.
My son was away at Bible College this past winter, and so his room sat empty. We closed the vents and shut the door to his bedroom. There just isn't any sense in heating a room that is unused.
11. Consider using one product in multiple ways.
So, as I've been working on eliminating harsh chemicals found in many beauty products, I formulated a recipe for a DIY, Night-Time Facial Moisturizer. It works great! So, I decided to use it as my daytime moisturizer, too. Then I thought, why not use it as an after shaving balm? It works fantastic! Actually, this is now the only moisturizer I use. I even use it in my hair in place of a shine enhancer and to calm frizz. And, while I can't yet say for certain, I'm pretty sure this moisturizer also works as a repellent for mosquitoes. (I'll keep you posted on that!)
12. Prepare meals is bulk.
Honestly, it just makes sense. If your're going to make a lasagna for supper, make an extra or two, for the freezer.
13. Consider repairing clothing rather than tossing and buying new. Things like zippers, seam rips, and broken snaps are easily repaired by a seamstress for a fraction of the price of purchasing new.
14. Implement the backward hanger method. If you have an excess of clothing in your closet, turn all of your hangers backwards. As you wear individual items, turn your hangers back around. If you haven't worn an item in 6 months, (or a year if you live in a climate with 4, starkly different seasons) it needs to go.
15. Use the one in, one out, rule. For instance, if you bring in a new pair of jeans, get rid of an old pair.
16. Try a capsule wardrobe. Basically, fill your closet with minimal pieces that will all mix and match together. You'll be able to wear a ton of different outfits with a minimal amount of pieces.
17. Use your library for books and DVD's rather than buying new.
18. Brown-bag your lunch. Seriously, you'll save a ton of money by packing instead of buying, lunch each day.
19. Take advantage of your city's free events. Often times, our towns and cities offer things like free matinee's and free family swimming or skating. Be sure to take advantage of outdoor concerts, festivle etc.
20. Quit speeding. Seriously. The faster you drive, the more gasoline you use. Plus, if you quit speeding, you'll quit getting tickets! It's a win-win!
21. Take shorter showers.
22. Wash your hair less. Truly, most of us can skip washing our hair every, single day. It will save you time and money.
23. Cancel your cable. There are just so many alternatives to costly cable out there that can save you hundreds of dollars!
24. Make a grocery list. And stick to it!
25. Meal plan. Honestly, I'm not sure if there is a better way to save you time and money. Knowing what you plan to cook for a week of a month even, is one of the greatest, and most practical minimalist tips I've found!
So, this is the beginning of my growing list of practical ways to simplify.
I'm excited to learn more, and when I do, I will be sure to add to the list!
What about you?
Do you have any tips you'd like to add?
Post them in the comment section below,
or on my Barefoot Warrior Facebook Page.
If I implement your tips, I will be sure to share them (and mention your name if you'd like!) in my growing list!
I look forward to your fantastic ideas!
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Best of luck to each of you in your minimalist journey!