Baby-Step #8- Minimalism and Zero-Waste

This past week has been very busy. I have been going through ALL of my possessions and asking myself 2 questions about each thing 1. Do I use it, or is it useful? 2.Does it bring me joy, or do I really like it?

What I found out was that about 75% of my stuff answered No to both questions. You know what I am talking about…..the pairs of pants that you never wear because they make your butt look funny, the few dresses that are just waiting for an occasion to wear them that will never come, the ten tons of jewelry that you don’t ever wear because you always wear your favorite pieces, the random gifts people have given you that you never wear/use (mine were a “bump it” and a head massager lol)….all of that stuff 🙂

That 75% went to donations this past week, and I couldn’t feel better about it. Now I go into my jewelry box and closet and it is easy to pick something because they are all my favorite pieces, I went from the jewerly box on the left to now having the one on the right (I switched boxes with my mother because she needed a bigger one and I was downsizing).

WIN_20150628_103332I also went from having 3 bookshelves full of books in my room, to now only having 1…which has all of my favorite books on it that I reread when the mood strikes me. My drawers used to have tons of miscellaneous items in them, and now they are simplified to just the basics.

What does this all have to do with zero waste and minimalism? Well, minimalism is a lifestyle where you only own the things that bring value to your life, which simplifies your routine and since you have less things, that means you have to clean less and buy less, which opens up both your finances and your time. Zero-waste is a conscious effort to throw away less things and to have a minimal impact on the planet negatively. I have found that both of these lifestyles lend themselves to each other very well, because when you are a minimalist and have very few things, you do not throw away a lot because your routine is simplified. And if you are already following minimalism, then it is extremely easy to make a few changes to become zero-waste as well.

I am not going to lie to you and tell you that paring down your possessions is easy, especially if you have an emotional attachment to them. It also is not something that will be achieved overnight, I have been working on paring down my possessions for the past few months, and I go back every week through different sections of things to see if there is anything else that I am not using or enjoying. It is difficult to let go of gifts that you were given that you don’t use, as well as things that cost a lot of money, they make you feel guilty for trying to get rid of them.

Look at it this way, would the person who gave you the item want you to have stress about it, NO…they wanted to give you something that you would enjoy and use….but if it isn’t working for you, then let it go. It will clear up both physical space and mental space to breathe.

There is no right way or wrong way to live your life, but what I have found is that physical possessions do not make me happy, being able to simplify my stuff and make a smaller impact on the planet has made me happy though. Instead of spending free time shopping and cleaning, I now spend my free time outdoors or with a good book…things I actually WANT to do, which makes me happy 🙂 That is the point of life, isn’t it, to be happy?

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