Minimalism to me means reducing waste
Sticking to only the basics in life
A minimalistic life is life… simplified!
It is to do everything you do in the simplest way possible using the least amount of resources. This will reduce clutter around your life and make you feel enriched and happier. According to Rachel Aust, minimalism is:
- Unsubscribing from the idea that how much you own equates to your level of happiness
- Letting go of the unnecessary
- The removal of distractions
- A way to reclaim your time
- An intentional way of living that allows you to identify what’s important to you
Back to the basics
How to organize
Following are some organizing basics:
- Place items you use daily in easily accessible areas
- Put away infrequently used items
- Place similar items together
- Put smaller things in compartments/boxes/organizers
- Put everything back in its place after using it
- Dig through cabinets, drawers and all storage. Remove unused & expired products which you no longer need
- Try to put things back in their proper place the first time. e.g. Don’t put your socks/jacket in the lounge when you will have to put them in the closet again. Minimize your time & effort by putting them in the right place the first time.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. – Antoine de Saint
Easy daily minimalism tips
- Try to avoid impulse buying. If you really like something, add it to your wish-list. Give yourself 10 days. If after that time, you still want it, go and buy it. If you forget about it, you never needed it.
- Try not to go for fast fashion which changes quickly. Keep in mind that you’ll buy clothes/shoes which will last a long time.
- Buy products that serve more than one purpose. e.g:
– Wind-proof glasses which are also great for cutting onions
– Some skirts can also be worn as dresses.
- Whenever you need something, consider getting it from a second-hand market like Facebook Marketplace, Kajiji or OLX before going for brand new products every time. Recycling is always better.
- When you don’t need something, sell it off on a second-hand market like Facebook Marketplace, Kajiji or OLX.
- Don’t get sold by marketing gimmicks which promote duplicate purchases. e.g. Face wipes, make up removing wipes, eye-makeup removing wipes, stain removing wipes, stuffy nose baby wipes, baby wipes. Many times, only the marketing is different and the products work the same.
- Before going to the grocery store, take a look at everything properly and make a list of exactly what you need. Stick to the list in the store and try not to get distracted by marketing gimmicks.
- Whenever you see the word SALE, remember your needs, their tricks and space issues before giving in.
- Try to decide wisely. When buying furniture, look for pieces that are not too large and don’t cramp up the room.
- Buy only things which you REALLY REALLY like at the store. They look their best there. Remember ‘When in doubt, throw it out’.
- Rather than buying your baby 10 teethers and rattles, try getting just two. Kids appreciate quality time spent with them way more than filling up their rooms with toys. Try telling them stories, reading to them and playing games with them instead.
- If feasible, invest in floating shelves which are great space-savers.
- If you love displaying photos in your home, invest in a digital photo frame instead. All your photos can be displayed in one place.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris
- In the kitchen and bathroom, keep surfaces clear so it’s easier to clean and more hygienic. Keep only the things which you use daily.
- Finish/cook food in kitchen cabinets, fridge and freezer fully before buying groceries. This will help you keep your kitchen clean and also minimize the chances of expired products.
- Repurpose things in your house through your creativity. e.g:
– Reuse plastic grocery containers (which come with fruit/veggies) as drawer & cupboard organizers
– Use old outing clothes as nightsuits
– Use old nightsuits as dusting cloths
– Use old/cracked mugs as pen holders
- Use one oil as a moisturizer, makeup remover, diaper rash cream and hair oil. I use almond oil for all the above. It works great.
- Be mindful about laundry. Overwashing can wear down fabrics and is a big waste of resources. Do a thorough smell-check before dumping everything in the laundry bag.
- When planning to cook, use what you have first rather than choosing a dish for which you have to shop the ingredients.
- Try to have light curtains. Let natural light in as much as possible. It’ll give your house a great natural look and will save you the electricity.
- Use 2 in 1 shampoo & body wash instead of two separate items. This is what Nyra and my niece Anya have. We should look for such a product too.
- No need to accumulate your store/pantry with extras! It’s okay to stock basic necessities like kitchen towels, toilet rolls, toothpaste but you don’t need to accumulate anything else unless you live too far away from a grocery store.
- Use less quantity of products like toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel. Research proves that we use much more of these products than we actually need.
- Use an all-purpose cleaner that works on mirrors, kitchen, wood, floor, oven and bathroom. An even better idea is to make one yourself. Here’s how.
- Wiser food choices include less packaged foods and more food in bulk to avoid waste.
- Try not to hang on to memories with stuff. Get rid of empty perfume bottles even if they were gifted by your loved ones.
- Keep a box in your store labeled ‘Donate‘. Now ruthlessly put all clothes, toys, shoes as soon as you don’t need them. Give it away as soon as possible.
- No need to use full tissue, kitchen roll or wipe if you only need a little bit. You can easily use your hands to tear only as much as you need and let the rest of the portion be used for next time. I divide baby wipes into 3-4 parts as I only need that much every time.
- Set a timer and tidy up for 10-20 minutes every day. This can include cleaning up your phone and laptop.
- Declutter your mind by meditating, walking, journaling, exercising, sleeping more and single-tasking.
- Set days for a digital detox where you don’t watch TV, use laptop, phone or any electronic devices. Your brain will feel refreshed. Make digital detoxing a part of your week. Set a day every week to put your phone off. Read books, journal, play board games and enjoy quality time with loved ones as in the older days.
- Go through all the paperwork you have and consider scanning and only keeping softcopies. In your workplace, replace paper and files with folders and documents on your laptop. Use apps like Office Lens to scan documents from the phone easily.
- Rather than buying books and stacking them in your house:
– Borrow from library/friend
– Listen to audiobooks
– Read them on your e-book reader (kindle, kobo etc)
- Try to eat less. Eating more than you need can cause a lot of health problems and waste a lot of money.
- Say no to junk food. This is probably the hardest point. It’s so hard to stop! But let’s try to reduce all this waste.
- Stick to a very basic makeup routine. No need to invest in primers, setting sprays, bronzers etc. Many of the items are marketing gimmicks. A basic makeup routine would do just fine.
- Rather than giving family members brand new gifts every time, consider exchanging things you already have. My sister and I have been carrying out our tradition of exchanging clothes and earrings for years now. Feels great.
- On the laptop, try to automate processes as much as possible. Use Gmail Canned responses so you don’t have to type similar kinds of emails from scratch every time.
- Try to create a habit of single-task rather than multi-task. It’s proven to be more efficient.
- Always write down your expenses and income. Make sure your spending remains less and you save every single month.
- Try to implement the less-than-a-minute-rule according to which you must do a task immediately if it can be done in less than a minute. Examples of this are putting your shoes away, wiping the sink, replying to an email, etc.
- Make a to-do list daily and stick to it. It’ll help you stay focused and away from distractions. Use a calendar and schedule time off, family time, gym, etc.
- Eat the frog or Worse=First. Do what you hate doing first of all to get it out of the way before you continue better tasks.
- Whenever you don’t need the phone (running, sleeping, working), turn your phone to airplane mode. It will save your body the exposure to unnecessary radiation.
Buy less, choose well, make it last. – Vivienne Westwood
My sister Nataliya inspired me on the subject of minimalism. If you love minimalism, please check out the following:
- This article is inspired by the book: Less – A visual guide to minimalism by Rachel Aust
- Another amazing book to read on the general topic of minimalism in life is The Joy of missing out – by Tonya Dalton
- A refreshing read on minimalism with great tips on how to live a simple yet joyful life: The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
- One of my favorite podcasts is The Minimalists
- Another favorite podcast is Minimal-ish
- 14 Life-changing podcasts for aspiring minimalists
If this article helped you in any way, please take a moment to share your feedback. It’ll make all the effort worth it. Thanks for stopping by.