Posts Tagged With: clear clutter

What You Choose to Keep

I refer to myself as a Romantic Minimalist. It’s a term I made up to describe my feelings towards my own minimalism. I decided to reach towards minimalism after a serious illness. The experience of coming close to death brought to mind what is important in my life. My thought wasn’t so much about getting rid of things as it was keeping only what meant the most to me and what I truly needed. What you choose to keep is much more important that what you choose to get rid of when you take inventory of your possessions.

What do you choose to keep?

No one else can give you a list of what to choose to keep. It is an individual decision that only you can make. I had a trunk full of keepsakes that I never looked at. When I cleaned it out I chose to keep only pictures and letters that were important to me. When it came down to it, the old prom flowers, endless cards, and scraps of memories didn’t hold me. It was my own decision and it felt right. I had held onto some of it thinking it would tell my children the story of who I was. Reality struck when I found that they weren’t the least bit interested. They are happy with who I AM.

I found that my closet was full of practical clothes that were of various sizes and colors. It felt good to minimize by letting go of the things that didn’t fit. I kept just the size that currently fit me knowing that I could buy clothes rather inexpensively at the second-hand store to replace them as I lost weight. My mind considered that there was someone out there now that needed them. Then I chose the clothes that I loved to wear. These clothes that I wear often reflect the inside of me. Bright colored tops and black pants dominate my closet now. They all mix and match to make dressing easy every day. It’s freeing to look inside my closet and know just what to wear every day. It’s never a hassle to decide what to wear. I feel good in clothes that I love and it shows.

After going back and forth on beauty items I decided to ditch most of it and go minimal. It’s an extreme for a woman that has spent a fair amount of time worrying about makeup, nails, and hair. I went back to basics in skin care because it feels right to take care of my skin with natural products. I decided to cut my hair short and color it at home. These are all too much you might think, but I have enjoyed the time it allows me for other things that mean more to me. The extra money in my pocket makes me smile.

I do these things because it makes me feel good not because I profess to be a saint or I enjoy deprivation. Romantic Minimalism may benefit the planet but it is really just for me. The freedom that having less stuff has allowed me is priceless.

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Save Money Without Pain

Losing your job or having to make due with less money due to the economy may seem painful at first. There are some sensible ways to save money without suffering.

* Stop drinking caffeine. Coffee and tea prices have skyrocketed. Stop drinking them or cut down on the amount you drink every day. Quit buying lattes. Seriously.

* Stop smoking. Taxes on tobacco were raised as incentives for people to stop smoking and it gives the government more of your hard earned money. Quit.

* Don’t support anyone you don’t need to. Your children up to age 18 are you obligation to take care of. After that they shouldn’t be living off of you. If they still live with you they should contribute based on a fair portion of the household expenses. This applies no matter if you have money to burn or not. Be an adult.

* Don’t buy a vehicle you can’t really afford. When buying a car make sure you can afford the payments and the maintenance. Don’t forget taxes and license as well as insurance every year. Get beyond a vehicle being a status symbol for you too.

* Stop buying processed food. Buy whole foods and buy in bulk if you are able. Oats, flour, sugar, and beans are all cheap staples that will make multitudes of meals. Also, consider that a piece of fresh fruit costs less than a candy bar and is healthier for you. The earth will thank you for less garbage too.

* You don’t have to buy multitudes of clothes for your job and your life. Choose brown or black as your basic color. Buy two pair of pants in that color, two pairs of shoes, and five shirts that are different colors that go with everything. Done.

* Learn to cut your own hair or go to a beauty school and ask for the new student haircut which is usually free or at a reduced rate. Keep you hair simple. Find a style that doesn’t need fancy products or appliances to keep neat. Be practical.

* Eat less meat. Eat rice, beans, oats, and vegetables more often. Eat meat, fish, and poultry as well as dairy less. This saves you money now. It also keeps your heart healthy and you won’t ever have to be on a list of medications.

* Don’t be afraid to move. Move to a better location that’s more economical to live if you can. This may take some planning but make things better in the long run. Also, moving means move your behind. Walk to the store, the park, work, or just as exercise. Moving your body saves you money by staying healthy and saving gas.

* Stop buying everyone gifts. Make gifts for each other. Write a letter to each loved one for Christmas telling them what they mean to you. Donate time to charity instead and spread the happiness to more people.

* Be beautiful inside. Stop buying the newest thing that is bragging it will make you young again. Be a good person. They will remember you. No one remembers vanity

What steps did you take to minimize and save money?

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