Tag Archives: minimalism

Saving $$$

Because of the new porch and wanting to pay off the loan we got ASAP,  I’ve been looking for ways to save money.

Usually, this means that I find a lot of sites/data that I already know. However, pleasantly enough, I found one this morning which had info. new to me!

(here)

I get aarp’s emails regularly and from them and other sites, most of the ideas are those I know and have used for years:

  • Drink water at restaurants
  • DIY morning coffee/snack
  • Cook at home, from scratch
  • etc.

The saving $ ideas of mine which I’ve never seen elsewhere:

  • Buy the most concentrated form of soaps, or anything else that you can. If you use it with water, you can add it yourself.
  • Buy unscented products rather than buying “his” and “her” products.
  • Use tank tops as underwear, flipflops as slippers during the winter and other such so that you can buy less stuff to start with.
  • Have a set budget for restaurant meals and plan to eat at least one other set of meals from it, whenever possible. (Our budget for 2 adults = $20, and the 2nd meals make that $5/per meal, still expensive, but a lot more affordable than it might be!)
  • Shop your fridge/pantry and use what needs using first instead of sticking with a meal plan.
  • Use a chamois to “mop up” steam from glass and metal shower/bath rather than using glass or chrome cleaners. The steam is a free by product of bathing, use it!
  • Use “snow” from your freezer as sweeping compound to clean your hard floors.

Not unique to me:

  • Buy in bulk when you can afford to, items are on sale, and you have the space.
  • Have a price book.
  • Share and borrow, as needed.

 

 

dollar sign from zazzle.com

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Trying to Avoid Becoming a Clean-Freak Minimalist

I have a tendency, and have since I was a kid. I go from one extreme to the other, then find the happy medium. I’m trying to avoid that with transforming from being a hoarder.

book hoarder

I worked more on the cleaning plan today and “discovered” some new ideas: mostly, that the more often you use something, the more frequently it needs to be cleaned and/or maintained. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

But because I’ve never seriously “let” myself think about cleaning up except as an intellectual exercise (It was dangerous. Remember the reason I became a hoarder wasn’t to keep things, complete collections, or perceived value — it was the safety I felt in the mess, and the panic I felt when my space was neat.) this is a newish concept.

Accordingly, floors need to be cleaned more than anything else. Even if you only walk through a space, like in a model home at a real estate development say, the floor gets used more often than anything else. So, they need cleaning more often. The other thing which needs to be dealt with every day is stuff, things you can pick up in your hand: food, books, papers, clothing, bedding, towels, etc. It’s stuff which makes up clutter. (The notion that clutter is made up of things we pick up and put down — was the last big AHA! I found.)

So, I modified my ideas about what has to be dealt with/how often. I’d figured the kitchen floor needed daily maintenance, but not other floors. I changed that.

Now I have a mental list of the areas in my home which need routine maintenance. Maybe not “deep cleaning” but maintenance seven days a week, or Monday – Friday. Some chores can be put off over the weekends, others can’t.

I swept from the entry to the hall this morning because of this. And then the stairs. [I kept finding more to do.] I swept the hearth, [twice]. I started to go into the kitchen, [but did the hall, again] — and made myself stop.

Then I cleaned the dustpan and the brushes (didn’t wax them, had done that last weekend) and the broom. [And started again, made myself stop.] Put everything away, twice.

See the flip side of the hoarding peeking out? Definitely one of the first times the idea that hoarding/OCD is a spectrum really became obvious in me. Intellectually, I’ve known this for a long time, but I always thought, “I’ll never have that problem!”

Sigh.

empty room

In my old age I  will need to monitor not only my stress levels (because of the PTSD) but keep myself from tipping over the edge from hoarder to OCD/minimalist/clean-freak.

Oh joy.

J

More Minimalism, Sort Of. . .

I found another one of those lists. On this list that I do buy: drinks from Starbucks (when we’re there, it’s an hour away), usually I get them free with stars. I do buy newspapers, on Sunday. It tells us about events happening around our rural area and we like the comics and articles. (And, yes, we’ve been known to start the wood stove with them or use them for shipping materials as well.)

No “as sold on TV” things, well that one’s pretty easy. We haven’t had a TV in > 10 years. Books? Well, yes, I do still buy books. I am who I am after all.

I think our minimalism is more like, cut it down until you don’t have excessive extras. I cleaned out an area earlier this week and found a stapler. Fine. Took it up to the office, where staplers should live, right? We had 2 there already. I couldn’t find one when I wanted it and hauled the one from the kitchen to the office. Then I located the office’s designated stapler. And yesterday, the other. So. . .for the moment there is an office stapler and a stapler on my desk.  The kitchen stapler went back to the kitchen. If/when I move to the other office again (this summer hopefully?) I’ll take the 2nd office stapler with me. Two offices, two staplers. We use the one in the kitchen to seal herbs in brown paper bags in summer to dry them, amongst other things.

Do I really need 3 staplers? No. But it’s convenient. Until it stops being so, I’ll keep them. I could get by with just one, DH hardly uses them at all, but it’s always on the wrong floor, or in the wrong room. (I tried that.)

Other things I’m going to do which are not minimalist. I’m going to make 24 monthly envelopes from fabric for the current and past years’ accounting papers. Why? Because at the moment I’m using manila envelopes, and they’re all over the place as I’m doing the 2016 taxes.

manila envie

I’m tired of opening up the envelopes to find this or that, then closing them, then shuffling thru the stacks of manila envelopes trying to find the RIGHT one. Not now, not til after the taxes are done, but then I’m going to make 2 matching expanding envelopes for each month. I will no longer have to have 24+ envelopes for the 2 years’ worth of data. Three year old data can be filed in the filing cabinet.

If I were really going minimalist, I’d close the business. That won’t happen until the storage is empty and I’ve culled, sold, or whatever the excess stuff. And maybe not then? I’ve been selling things a long time now. Wonder what I’d do otherwise?

 

Happy New Year: Toss List

I tried to do what I’ve done in the past, that is take one of those “get rid of these 30 things” lists as a new year’s step towards minimalism.

I couldn’t get past the woman’s graphics, links to snapchat, etc. It seemed that I would clutter up my life with her or other’s lists about decluttering.

image-from-images-google-com

I made my own, smaller list.

  1. Deal with anything which is broken. Fix it, dismantle it for its pieces if you have a plan for them, or take it to the dump.
  2. Dispose of or deal with anything which is out of date — almost always consumables, food, health or beauty products.
  3. Donate things which aren’t broken, have nowhere to be put away (so you’ve moved them around for a while) and you haven’t used: food, clothes, books, tools, etc.
  4. Shred financial paperwork more than 10 years old unless you have a compelling reason to keep it — keep mortgage and insurance papers which are still current, but shred old paycheck stubs, deposit slips and such. (Ten years is how long the IRS keeps files active.)
  5. Go through the stuff you’ve kept (this will likely take all year): books, magazines, knicknacks, clothes, frozen food, etc. and decide if you really want or need this now? If not, donate, sell, or toss it. If you keep it, make sure it’s clean and has a spot to be put away neatly. If you try to donate or sell it and it doesn’t work (I’ve tried to donate things thrift shops wouldn’t take, I think most people have!) have a back up plan.

That’s it. This covers everything: furniture, art, clothes, health/beauty products, food, building materials.

If you need to be reminded of specific items to toss, cull, edit or whatever, there are a lot of lists out there. Seems simplier to me to use principles instead of specific lists. I’ve never found a list which fit me, so aren’t they a waste of time?

Hopefully, this list isn’t!

Happy New Year —

Jenny

 

Stuff & Minimalism

If you can have a “capsule” wardrobe, stripped down to only the most basic items, can  you do the same for your home?

Why not?

The first answer which popped into my head was that you do more in your home than you do in a given piece of clothing, functionally anyway. Clothes you wear — that’s it. A home you sleep, read, eat, prepare food, garden, play, etc. If you take only 10 pieces of clothing (excluding underwear and outerwear) as your “limit” or 20 if you have winter like we do, then why not 10 items per verb in the list I just made?

So what do you need, minimum to sleep? (static: bed)  changing pieces: sheets (2) pillow, pillow case and blanket. Absolute minimum = 5 for one person, 1 pillow, for 2 people and two pillows, add 2 or 7. With real seasons, double it = 14

What do you need, minimum to read? A book or tablet, ideally, you don’t have to own any of these you can rent them or take them out of the library.

What do you need, minimum to eat? Food and utensils, as needed. If you think about it, you don’t need anything to eat a banana, but eating stew without utensils would be difficult! So, the answer for this one is that “it varies.” Not very successful in terms of trying to be minimalist.

I’m going to mull this notion over a bit.

I’m helping someone learn English. In doing so, I’ve been trying to find the language “short cuts” first. There aren’t many things in English which are always true, but some are. This is a working adult person, not a kid.

The living and stuff thing needs a similar approach. What are the things which are always true, that you always need? Do that FIRST.

We’ll see how it works out with stuff, here.

It seems to me that a beginning can be made by using Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, again. This:

maslow-pyramid

The bottom layer is what your home is about.

Food/eating, water/drinking, warmth and rest are at least some of those basics, so is security and safety. When you add the psychological needs things get more complex.

So, I’m going to make some assumptions:

  1. I’m only talking about STUFF here.
  2. That emotional reactions to STUFF aren’t part of the equation.
  3. The security here is physical security only.

Given those parameters, I’m off to write some notes and thoughts.