I am trying my hand at this whole minimalism thing and I am really liking it. Is anyone else doing minimalism? I have also been really inspired by the “zero waste” households that I keep reading about. It’s amazing how much garbage we actually produce each year. So here are the ways I am working toward being more minimalist and lower waste.
I have downsized my belongings and reduced my spending a TON in the last few months and I am feeling really good about it. The first thing I tackled was my closet. I have a lot of clothes that don’t fit or I just don’t feel good in. I boxed those up and donated them. In hindsight I probably could have repurposed more of my things but it’s a learning curve right? I wish I had cut up a couple pair of pants into short and made some reusable produce bags with our old sheets and pillowcases. I have saved a couple things that I love and will repair instead of replacing. Like a couple of my favorite coats.
I didn’t donate everything all at once. I’ve gone through my wardrobe 3 times now and each time I have been able to part with a few more things. And it feels really good! It also made me aware of the gaps in my wardrobe. Like that I own no shorts! Now that my wardrobe is mostly just the things I love, I can pick up a couple new things to make it complete. This leads me to my next mission…
Instead of buying everything brand new, I have been visiting the second-hand clothing stores. This is great because it gives the clothes a second life instead of ending up in landfills. My favorite new discovery is that I don’t have to worry that my new purchases will stretch / shrink / fade / warp etc because they have all been worn, washed and settled into their final shape. I can’t even count the number of pants that got 3 inches shorter after the first wash. Or shirts that warped into a strange new shape. It has the added benefit of saving me some money too.
I am trying to be less wasteful while grocery shopping and this has been the hardest part for me so far. Twice I forgot my reusable bags 🙁 That is the most basic first move for anyone trying to be less wasteful. Somehow I keep forgetting to put them back in my car but I am getting better already. Now after I empty them, I hang them on the front door handle so I can’t possible forget them on my way to my car.
Bulk Barn, our local bulk foods store, has a bring-your-own-jar program which is pretty awesome. You take your jar to the til and they weight it, then you go fill them up and go back to the til to pay. I haven’t had a chance to try this out yet but I am excited to.
Does anyone have any ideas on how I can reuse my plastic grocery bags that I accumulated over the years? I have stopped brining new ones home but I still have a big stockpile from the past.
Next I went through my kitchen appliance and gadgets. This was HARD. I am a foodie (obvi) so I tend to collect little gadgets or trending food items. I couldn’t believe how many things I own that I haven’t touched since the first week or two that I bought them! Yikes, so much wasted space and money. I owned so many things that did what a knife does! I offered these things up to friends, sold some online and donated the rest.
Hello, I am Andrea. I am a food hoarder. I swear I must have starved to death in a previous life because I stock so much food that an entire football team could survive for months at my house. That is so unnecessary for the two of us! I wasn’t going to toss or donate food so I made a list of all the food I have in my house (deep freezer, dry goods, everything!) and planned my meals to use up those foods. I am not buying anything until I am completely out of the stored equivalent. I have saved a ton of money and I feel good that I am not letting anything get freezer-burnt or wasted. And nothing is getting forgotten in the back of the cupboard or bottom of the deep freeze.
I find that making a basic meal plan for the week leads me to buying less food and brought my food waste down to nearly nothing. If I turn my oven on, I will cook enough for a few dinners and freeze the extra servings for another night. This saves time on future meals and I can reduce the amount energy that my oven uses per month. It’s good for me, it’s better for the environment.
Minimalist Beauty Routine
The first thing I did was stopped dying my hair. I figure I have a few years left before all the greys show up so I am embracing my natural colour. This saves me on salon services but also specialty shampoo, conditioner and products for coloured hair. I am actually falling in love with my natural colour again. Now I don’t know why I ever wanted to cover it up! I also started washing my hair only once (sometimes twice) a week. Less products used and my hair looks and feels better than ever.
I learned to cut my own hair. This is not for everyone but I have long straight hair and was about to find a couple ways I like to do it and I really like the results. This keeps me low maintenance and saves me driving to the next town (or farther) for a trim every 6 weeks.
I am wearing less makeup! A few years back it was my new years resolution to learn how to put makeup on. I got really good at it over the year but then never really felt comfortable going out with my naked face again after that. Slowly I am transitioning back. A little concealer and mascara and I am good to go. I find that if I concentrate on eating well, my skin looks better, and I don’t need a full face of foundation to feel comfortable.
Whew, I didn’t realize I had so much to say about minimalism! The crazy thing is that if you just walking into my house you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference yet. These things were almost all clutter. In closets, cupboards and drawers. But for me it feels like I have a TON more space!
Do you have any tips for me about how to be more minimalist or zero waste? What have you tried?