Minimalist Living

13 July 2017

My understanding of a Minimalist Living is running under the "less is more" perception in all aspects of life.
It is also going back to basics at some point and it was just recently when I became fully aware that this way of living has always been our set up at home and it is called Minimalism.

We started this kind of approach the moment we started a family. Life began from the very bottom. We get by from paycheck- to- paycheck. This kind of situation taught us to become wiser. We saw the positive effects in "having less". We get by with what is only needed and we spend less time hanging out. Lifestyle is a key player in our lives. Its impact takes effect on us instantly. Sometimes it is stressful and there are moments that are inspiring.

 As our family moved forward, we continued to apply the "less" perspective in everything we do.

We buy items that are only needed.
We use air-conditioning on "as needed" basis only.
We choose not to buy a new car because our old car is perfectly fine.
We buy food as to what is just needed in a week to avoid wastage.
When we go out, we bring food to snack on so we don't have to spend so much.
Less shopping.
We watch movies that are worth watching on the big screen.

We avoid getting too sentimental.
We don't ponder and overthink too much.
  We choose to Live in the moment.
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A Minimalist's life for me is simple living. As for our function as a family, we were able to learn and appreciate the art of detachment. It is one way to unburden oneself and clearly an easy path to get rid of items that we don't need and we feel will only serve as clutter. Time management is also important and setting one's priorities.


At Home
  • My goal everyday as a stay at home mom is to make and keep a well- balanced household. It all starts within the four walls of our house. Having a conducive environment at home helps one overcome the mess that is outside, like a downpour of work or just the nonsense one has to deal with everyday.
  • The reason why we bought a condo is because it is more manageable. Less maintenance, less headache. It's smaller than a house but it is still spacious enough to decorate and play around with. A basic square cut is always recommended so in times you want to rearrange or redecorate, it's easy.
  • Get rid of old items especially those that are not being used. Toys, clothes, shoes etc... Not only you get to declutter but you also get to wear or keep newer things. In our case, we donate to the church my parents work for. 
  • Avoid excessive decorating. 
  • Have plenty of storage and store items you want to keep properly
  • Build a personal space in a corner of a room.
  • In the kitchen, I also have the basics. Baking tools are on a set basis only.  When I got my KitchenAid mixer, I gave the old stand mixer back to my mom. 
  • I have 2 sets of plates one for formal dining and another for everyday use.

These are just examples, the list goes on.

Benefits:
Less clutter, less stress to the eyes and mind.
More room, more space for meditation or quiet time.
Less clutter, less dirt, less bugs and pests.
A clean house dictates clean living and a healthy lifestyle.

Food
  • The main goal is to avoid wastage and to equip your kitchen with your preferred essentials.
  • Buy the ingredients or items for cooking that are often used. In a week, I was able to practice to come up with a menu good for 4 and that becomes basis for my grocery list both perishable and dry goods. Not only you avoid wastage but you replenish your fridge with fresh goods at least every week.
  • Establish what is needed to be bought in bulk and in minimal amount. 
  • One of the things I love about the products we have in the Philippines is the "value pack". It gives the exact amount you need in one cooking or recipe.
Closet/Clothing
  • Let's say, for some of us, it is when we go shopping we greatly damage our budget or savings. One of the perks of being a homemaker is I'm not required to dress up everyday. Shopping for new items for events and gatherings or even just to replace whatever I/we have are the benefits I/we enjoy with having less or just the basics in my/ our closet.
  • For whatever season it may be, "invest" on the basics and just do mix and match.
  • When it comes to footwear, storage can be an issue. Shoes have a life span whether it is often used or not. I personally have "one pair" of what I think is essential. A pair of flat shoes, strap- on/ sandals, flip flops, slip-on, walking shoes, running shoes and I always have a heavy duty pair like Dr. Martens.
  • Accessories, make- up, perfume: Basic, what you prefer of course,  and just enough to consume at a certain period of time so you can treat yourself to a new set again.
Most of this basically hits on the amount we tend to buy and keep for a long time.

Travel
  • One of the things I keep in mind when I travel anywhere with my family is to pack light. On our recent trip to America, even if we were given an allowance of 2 50lbs each (x4), aside from our personal bags, we opted to bring 3 large suitcases only: 2  for our clothes and a luggage filled with pasalubong/ gifts. With kids in tow, it's always best to travel light especially for long haul flights.
  • Set your mind on souvenir items that are going to be useful when you get back home.
  • It's a different case when you've done major shopping at your destination. For us, we ship the items we bought ahead of the time of our departure.
  • Based on our experience being around the East Coast, for a family of 4 we survived our daily tour with just my personal crossbody bag and a medium backpack in tow. 
  • Wear the most comfortable clothes and shoes, the set of clothing you're willing to let go or you'll often use throughout your travel so you don't have to pack it.
Social

This is going to be more on a personal perspective.  In 2015, my husband and I got rid of our personal Facebook accounts. Many wondered, a lot made speculations... and it's just Facebook! Whatever accounts we have now are just active for communication purposes only. We don't post stuff, we don't like or make comments.

For me, the only active accounts I have is Instagram that is on private and with chosen few as my contacts plus my blogs.

Simplify your world online.

The thing we don't like about social media is prying, and there's too much negativity that has been circulating.

We choose the people we hangout with as well. It's cool to have a few friends that you can trust and be open with, than a lot that you barely know or a bunch that give you second thoughts.

When it comes to social media or on mingling, filter your activities. You don't have to get rid of your accounts just filter everything and be wise on what you post and share online.

Like I said, this is on a personal perspective. It works for us without hurting or stepping on anyone.

The reason why my husband and I are able to achieve goals and meet them on our specific timeline is because living with less gives us a wider perspective of things. We can plan well, relax, look at our options, relax, and study everything before we jump into something. It gives us a huge amount of time. It works, and I am very grateful for that.

I'm a stay at home mom and yet we accomplish things as if I'm also earning. Being a minimalist helps us achieve goals and dreams as a family even if with just one person working. Not only we get to save a lot of time and some money, but it also teaches our children how to live a simple life.

No one is getting deprived, it's just simplifying things. It's humbling and it shows the brighter side of life all the time.
 
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