As I shy away from paying for Hulu and Netflix services, I have been further exploring what YouTube has to offer. It's interesting what you find that you connect with when you are curating your own entertainment. One community or trend I've been following is the tiny house and minimalism trends. I was raised by minimalists and have always been pretty subconsciously minimal, but now I want to wake up to more possibilities with it.
The first step is opening your eyes to things you consume and surround yourself with in the home. I think everyone has a few things that stand out as things we seem to collect, but not get our use out of. This may motivate us to part ways with these things, simply stop collecting more of it or make an effort to use what we've already collected. I've always been a fan of the buyerarchy of needs pyramid and would love to recreate it as a piece of art to hang in my home. The base of the pyramid, not unlike a food pyramid, is the healthier choices. From base to top, the buyerarchy is: use what you have, borrow, swap, thrift, make, and finally buy.
These are the things I noted that I collect and do not get optimal use of.
I am such a creative person. Crafting makes me feel good until my mind has created more things than I can actually keep up with and even storing my supplies has become a mess. This year I've decided to clear my palette. Once I've completed the crafts in queue, I will put all my creative energy into writing because it takes up little space and afterwards my career!
Books are another common consumption a new minimalist looks at first. I'm not that bad, but I'm a new mom who has not had a chance to read regularly the books I've accumulated. Instead of using my credit card points on books as I usually do as a treat for myself, I'm going to read what I have and turn my points in for cash reward instead. If I'm interested in skimming a book on a topic on a whim, there are many free and inexpensive books offered on Google Play.
Jewelry does not take up a lot of space, but it does encourage me to buy more clothes to match them. Some jewelry lovers may have great pieces that go with everything, but not me! Over the years I've made a small collection and I never wear them. It's sad. If I can not incorporate them into my wardrobe, I am going to donate them and pair down to the most versatile and interchangeable pieces.
With a changing body, pregnancy to postpartum, my wardrobe has expanded and not in a good way. Clothes I never would consider keeping have stayed; torn tank tops, ugly dresses, ill-fitting pants, and leggings and sweatpants with holes in them. All because I anticipate more change and also stretching and mistreating clothing until I'm finished breastfeeding. When I go into my abundant, yet organized closet, I try on several pieces before I'm satisfied with the fit, look, and quality of an outfit. To feel good with my current wardrobe, I will need to tighten the collection and cut the fat. Anything I am not absolutely sure I should toss will go into a Rubbermaid bin in another closet to be taken out and evaluated another season.
My Child's Toys
After reading about Montessori methods, I understand the importance of not having too many toys so a child can work on focus and skills associated with one or few age specific toys. Since then I have been dispersing toys he grows out of and even toys that are age specific to his grandparent's house or spread to different rooms. Being overwhelmed with toys only makes the child less focused on them and more on getting into whatever you are doing! It also contributes to a messy house and safety hazards, so I'm much more pleased when my son has 3 age appropriate toys in each room that I can sit down and show him how to use. It's more peaceful for all of us.
What things do you have an overabundance of? Some other examples might be makeup, tools, movies, cords and remotes, canned food that never gets circulated or boxes "that might come in handy!". What things are you consuming that can be cut from your budget to provide you a savings cushion or vacation? Some of these things might include coffee and lunch purchased outside the home, eating out in general and Hulu / Netflix / Cable. Maybe you buy so much of something that you DO use that you can purchase it in bulk to save money and save our planet from excess waste of packaging! Exploring doable minimalist practices can only help you, your family and your planet. What are you waiting for?