Continuing minimalism

Everyday I try my best to practice minimalism, learning new things as I go. I would like to share with you a few ways that I have been able to improve the value of my life by having less! Getting rid of clothes:

In the US, people love having a full closet, I once did too. This, however, lead to the anxiety. I had too many clothes and I'd spend more time than I should trying to pick out an outfit each day. Valuable minutes I could have been doing something else such as eating a healthy breakfast instead of running out the door with a breakfast shake and toaster pastry. After 2 years of regularly donating and selling clothes, I now have the simple following as everyday outfits (athletic and hiking clothes not listed):

-6 T-shirts (blue, green, red, gray, slightly darker gray, black)

-5 Pants (2 blue, 2 gray, 1 khaki)

-2 Button-up shirts

-2 sweaters

-1 Suit

-2 pairs of shoes

-1 pair of running shoes

Replacing your plastic clothes hangers with wood or metal:

Most people use plastic clothes hangers, they're inexpensive and you get a lot in each pack. In terms of a bargain, that is a no-brainer. The downside is that the more hangers you have, the more clothes you allow yourself to buy or keep. Instead, spend a couple extra dollars buying wood or strong metal hangers. They come less per pack and are around double the price, but quality hangers will help you maintain an organized closet with fewer items. They also wont snap like plastic ones do. If you aren't sure how to recycle your old plastic hangers, you can donate them to a local thrift store.

Eliminate single use items:

There are a lot of single use items out there, and it is a huge contributor to pollution. Fortunately there are just as many alternatives to these things:

- Straws: at restaurants, ask for no straw and simple drink from the glass. If you still desire a straw bring your own glass/metal/wood/paper straw instead!

-Diapers: with clever advertising and lots of money to back it, disposable diaper companies usually win the hearts of consumers more often than cloth companies. If you keep an open mind, give cloth diapers a try. They are usually more expensive up front, but save you hundreds of dollars in the longer run (and often have a resale value). Cloth diapers have come a long way and today they are extremely easy to clean. Best part is that after 1 use, they don't go to a land fill.

-Paper towels/tissues: Even though they are paper products, they are packaged in plastic. In our home, we like to buy large amounts of cotton sherpa cloth and cut them down to tissue size and paper towel size for the kitchen. When they're used, simply put them in the wash, then dry and reuse! It saves you money and wasteful packaging!

-Television: Most homes have them and it feels strange to walk into a home that does not. Well, we don't have a tv, not in our family room anyway. Not having a television in our family room opens up the room more and forces whoever is in the room to bond over good conversation, food, or board games instead. We have a small tv in our bedroom but we mostly use it before naps and sleeping.

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