Anything we can imagine, that is a worthy dream, we should try to build it from the ground up. Press your imagination on especially the small things. I know what it’s like to come from nothing. On welfare from the day I was born, living off food banks, and never a vacation until 23, I know what it’s like to struggle. I see it in the homeless – people with dreams and felonies and mental illness – utilizing all they can to survive, especially in the winter. It is part of the reason I put off having children, to live with a little breathing room. I have found happiness in plenty and in lack, I have found emptiness in scarcity and self-indulgence. Life is what you make it, what we focus on. Don’t underestimate yourself. If I have to make decisions, I will make them using intuition, imagination, and objectivity. Advice is welcomed, but we have to prove out all advice, that it fits with us. The proving comes before the believing.
We elevate our thoughts when we think beyond all that has been written by authors before us. Tap into intuition – your greatest gift – because no author and no speaker knows you better than you. You live with yourself every day. The ideas for how you can make each motion more efficient can become apparent with imagination and mindfulness. Our mission in life is to find what is true for us.
Small Improvements Are Life:
I remember the feeling of getting down to two pencils in college — granted, no kids are walking off with my pencils. Ever since that day, I’ve had the same two pencils. It’s hard to lose even the small things with few things. I’m not an extreme minimalist, but even a moderate minimalist can clean a house in 30 minutes or less, no matter the kitchen mess.
Downsizing kitchenware was the most rewarding. It’s great because you can keep your pots and pans in one area, your utensils in one other area. If you are putting things away or preparing for a meal, only 3-4 cabinets/drawers ever need to be opened. Putting my meal napkins next to my utensils was my most recent improvement, and perhaps I will find a way to keep the plates nearby my place mats as well, for ultimate efficiency. I’m sure we’ll find more ways together.
Getting furniture down to the basics and elevating as much as possible made cleaning so much easier. Armed with only one cleaner, even dreamy intuitive me could keep up with the weekly tasks.
Perhaps the biggest benefits of buying less are having to put almost nothing away after shopping, no more returns, and no more regular donations. Most things now can be purchased online, and even more will be added to Amazon in the next 10 years. Getting groceries delivered to our door is not that far off. Great efficiency through the use of drones is on its way. Perhaps wages will continue to stall because of this, but we will get by, because we are minimalists and we have overcome everything that has come our way. Whatever needs to be done, we will rise to the occasion as it comes, as our ancestors did before us. Minimalism builds optimism, courage, and resourcefulness. We will make it.
Here are some other things I’ve learned to let go of over the years, in keeping with the minimalist mindset. The physical realm is very small compared to the mental state and energy/errands saved:
1. Selling so many things. I stopped trying to recover money from anything that can’t sell for $50. Your limit can be $20, but at least set a limit. Don’t try to sell everything, unless you are passionate about selling things online. Follow passion, where you will shine.
2. Signing up for cards for money, whether at a store or from a major credit card company. One card, 2% cashback. You can add a few more cards if you need for business or if you travel enough to justify the 5% gas or air rewards, but it is a nice load off not to have to keep track of rotating categories.
3. Using checks to pay for taxes. I’ve used two checks this past year — a great savings in stamps, letters, and checks themselves. You can pay quarterlies online and make money back using your 2% card. The 1.89% fee is a write-off, and you can make .10% cashback on thousands of tax dollars.
4. Using physical coupons. I only use emailed ones, because they take up no space and require minimal energy. I am particular on what I purchase and do not want to be dissuaded or strategic.
5. Trying to take advantage of sales, going to multiple stores or buying sizes or quantities larger than I would normally. Not having to keep track of sales is nice, and because I’m a minimalist, I don’t lose money for this.
I do not spend more than the average family, no matter clothes or vacations, and this is because I put my money where it matters for me. So long as we buy quality and put money in our retirement, at the end of the day, all is better than well.