Plastic free july!

It’s that time of year again, Plastic Free July, a time when individuals are encouraged to forgo single use plastics like straws, cups, bags, etc. in favor of reusable.

Now, honestly, I never really did the whole plastic free July thing when I started transitioning towards zero-waste. But I think its a great place for people to start learning about the impact they can have on their environment.

It amazes me how many people are simply ignorant of their waste, or on the other hand those who ignore it purposely. I was told at the checkout today of my favorite bulk store that I am the ONLY person who brings in their own jars…yep, the only one. Little ol’ me. Everyone else uses the provided Plastic bags. (insert facepalm here)

It made me sad.

Why? Because its so EASY to cut down on your plastic waste and consumption. It just takes a few easy steps to cut out the junk. Here are a few easy beginner tips:

  1. Ditch the plastic bags…they’re ridiculous and entirely unnecessary. I bet if you go look right now you have that one giant plastic bag FULL of other smaller plastic bags. Go take a look at how ugly that thing is, don’t worry I’ll still be here when you get back……………You can’t tell me that horde of plastic looks pretty. Reusable bags are the way to go. I have a big old sturdy canvas tote myself. If you’re afraid you’ll forget, keep some in your car, by your shopping list, fold one and stuff it in your purse. Personally, I write my list and get my bags ready right before I leave for the store so I don’t forget anything.WIN_20150724_120334
  2. Get rid of those plastic disposable water bottles, it is easier and cheaper to get water from the tap. There are different things you can replace them with like metal canteens or water bottles, I personally prefer glass (mine is pictured below during a trip to the park)
  3. Next, let go of your love for disposable straws, stainless steel and glass options are WIN_20160706_114101better for the environment, but they also look better and you kids love them, they even have colored options if that’s more your style.
  4. Here’s another crazy idea for you beginners, leave your fruits and veggies loose at the store, don’t put them in little plastic baggies, let them breathe. I promise, they’ll be just fine. I buy my potatoes loose and put them on the conveyer belt loose, the simple solution is to simply wash them when you get home, easy peasy.


All right, some of you are reading this like “I already know this, how bout some tips for those of us a little further along in the journey.”

Here’s some mid-grade tips:

  1. Buy in bulk. Not in giant bulk packages like costco, but from bulk BINS. Big difference. Bins let you get exactly how much or how little you need, no muss no fuss. You may think there are no bulk stores near you, but I guarantee there probably is one and you don’t even know it. I found 2 near me when I was convinced there were none.
  2. Better yet, when you buy in bulk…..bring your own jars or bags! Tare them when empty, write the tare (aka weight) of the empty jar on a sticker or tag. Fill em up, and then they’ll take off the weight of the jar at checkout. (Be warned though that just because they have bulk doesn’t mean all the cashiers will be trained on how to deduct tare weight, if in doubt have them ask a manager)WIN_20160510_162025
  3. For those fruits and veg scraps you have left over, regrow them! Once potatoes sprout you can plant them in a pot of dirt and they’ll regrow into many potatoes. Green onions will regrow if you keep the bulbs in a jar with a bit of water, same goes for leaf lettuce bottoms and celery. Sprouted onions and garlic can be planted to go to seed then you have free seeds to plant for next year 🙂

Now, there are some of you who scoff at those tips above. Those of you that are on another plane of zero-wasting entirely. Here are a few tips for you…

  1. Plant a garden. Window box, potters, or a good sized backyard…it doesn’t matter. You can make space to plant food. Best part, is it’s automatically organic if you keep it clean and don’t use any pesticides or fertilizers. Cheap organic produce is the bomb. I am lucky enough to have a yard where I’ve planted potatoes, onions, green beans, lettuce, spinach, peas, spaghetti squash, carrots, and watermelon. I also have chives, thyme, peppermint, and spearmint that grow back every year on their own. If you don’t want to go gung ho on the veg, try out a small herb garden first. Fresh herbs are the best anyway, and bonus because they don’t sprout out of the ground wrapped in plastic.WIN_20160706_105933
  2. Make your own stuff, whether it be deodorant, apple cider vinegar, salad dressings, or homemade mayo and ketchup. Try out new recipes. I guarantee the first one will probably be a failure if your luck is anything like mine, but don’t give up. I made 7 different BBQ sauce batches before finding ratios I liked.

    home-made ACV
  3. Ditch the plastic from the rest of your house, I got rid of unnecessary plastic tupperware and opted for glass jars instead. I also ditched plastic storage containers and utensils. If you can’t let all the plastic go, please at least try to keep it away from your food. Nasty leaching chemicals are not good to ingest. Glass and metal are much better for food storage. 🙂

  4. Ditch the harsh cleaners. Opt for soap nuts, castile soap, baking soda, vinegar, and bars of soap. Better for you, better for the planet. Cheaper too, which is just an extra bonus.


Are you participating in plastic free July? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


10 Motivations for becomining a Minimalist

I’ve been thinking  a lot about how minimalism has changed my entire perspective on life and I’ve met people who ask me…

Well, why did you become a minimalist? What’s the big deal?

So I thought it would be a great question to answer on today’s post.

Here are 10 motivations to become a minimalist:

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Less Stuff=Less STRESS. Simply because there’s less to think about. I’m not spending my time wondering if I have a dress to wear to a certain occasion or if I’ll have enough clean clothes for the rest of the week, I already know exactly what’s in my closet (because there’s less and everything is visible and worn multiple times) and when I’ll need to do laundry, mainly because I don’t have as much of it to do or worry about.DSC03866
  2. Speaking of laundry and chores…Less stuff =Less chores to be done! Can I get a hell yeah for not spending your Saturdays cleaning out the garage-again. Or laundry, I went from 5-6 loads a week to 3…maybe 4 if I’m doing all my blankets off my bed in the winter. That’s it! When surfaces are clear it takes all of thirty seconds to dust them too.
  3. Consumerism, ah the beast that is consumerism. Ads on television, ads online, ads at the grocery store and even at gas stations now. They all tell you that you couldn’t possibly be satisfied with what you already own. Why use your perfectly functional grill when you could buy this new fancier version!………😒 Yeah, anywho, once you minimize your stuff you learn pretty quickly that you don’t need to buy 3/4 of what they’re selling. This, in turn, saves you money and useless time spent perusing the malls. 🙂
  4. More time= more time! Once you free up all the time from shopping trips and cleaning, you’ll have more time to do whatever you want. You could spend time reading a book or going to the park with your kids or just taking a nice long relaxing bubble bath….ahhh relaxation…
  5. Less stuff is less to worry about and pack when you move. (This is a big one for me since I’ve easily moved over ten times in my lifetime already, gotta make it as easy as possible)
  6. I’m going to be a bit morbid here, but when you die…and all of us will at some point….do you really want to leave a huge pile of stuff for your loved ones and kids to have to go through and sort and trash afterwards? I already know I’m going to have tons of junk to go through when some of my family members eventually kick the bucket, and frankly I’m not looking forward to having to do it. I’d rather leave future generations a wad of cash or a vacation instead of a pile of crap I’ve been hoarding “just in case they want it”. Just sayin.
  7. On a happier note, minimalism makes it so easy come holiday times, I tell family and friends I don’t want any STUFF, if they want to do something for me they can take me somewhere out to eat or ice skating, or to the park. Experiences trump gifts every time. 🙂 I’d rather spend time at a concert with my mother than have another useless tchotchke sitting on my dresser. Yay for bonding time.
  8. Have you seen pictures in magazines of open airy rooms and nice neat counters without a thing on them…I don’t know about you but I think they are so nice and inviting….psssttt, your place can look like that, all you got to do is get rid of everything that clutters your place up. My bedroom is my pride and joy, it went from cluttered and stressful to calm and relaxing, all by removing unnecessary things!
  9. Another thing that motivated me to start this minimalist journey was my beginning into zero-waste, I am a big believer that each and every single one of us impacts the planet with our daily choices whether they be good or bad. I buy my food loose or in glass jars, not only does this satisfy my environmentalist side, but it satisfies my minimalist side too because zero-waste pantries aren’t cluttered with brand names and tons of packaging.
  10. And last but certainly not least I always wanted to have a deeper connection with nature, and minimalism has allowed me to do that. I now have extra time in the day that I used to spend watching television or trolling on the internet that I use to get my hands dirty in my garden or just to go for a walk around my neighborhood. Its almost spiritual when you get to the place where you have just what you need and not much else, it almost feels like you’re harmonizing with nature. Taking only what you need to survive and respecting the planet.

Some of these may be relevant to you, others not. These were what inspired me to become a minimalist and it is by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you have any other motivations that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Dealing with pre-minimalist/zero-waste purchases

Hey guys,

I wanted to do a quick post on something that I see questions about a lot…..what to do with those pre-minimalist/zero-waste purchases.


I’ll deal with them separately, let’s start with pre-minimalist purchases first:

When holding an item that you purchased weeks, months, even decades ago…it can be hard to let go. Whether it be a piece of clothing from high-school or a set of your great-grandmother’s doilies that sit around collecting dust, there are a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. Is this item being used?
  2. Is this item something that fits my body/current lifestyle?
  3. Do I LOVE said item?
  4. Do I really need it?

If you answered NO to any, or all of the above, then it’s probably time to let the item go. But don’t just throw it away…unless it is actually trash….if you can give it to a relative/friend who actually Wants it…donate it..sell it…recycle it…you get the idea.

Now I know what you’re going to say, “But Candice, I spent a lot of money on this/it has sentimental value/it was a gift…”

My answer, if you don’t love it and it doesn’t fit your lifestyle…then you shouldn’t hang onto it out of guilt.

Onto the pre-Zero-waste purchases

This one is a bit more difficult, because there are things that inevitably have been bought before becoming environmentally conscious that are still in good condition…but they’re plastic or made from something you don’t want near your body or your kids…or they’re hazardous to your health (hello most cleaning supplies, I’m talking about you).

For me, I did a few things.

First, I had a transitional period where I used up what was left of my personal care products like shampoo, toothpaste, etc. I did dispose of their containers responsibly when I was finished. But here’s the key- when I finished them off I found alternatives that were 1. Better for my health 2. Package free 3.or easy to make myself

As for the cleaning supplies, I gave them to family who wanted them. I wasn’t going to keep those carcinogens and neurotoxins near me any longer than absolutely necessary,  I switched straight over to vinegar and baking soda…no need for gloves or surgical masks when using them, they’re edible lol For laundry I switched to castille soap and soap nuts.

As I went through my possessions while I was minimizing, I automatically donated random things that were made of plastic that I was no longer using such as organizing buckets, etc. Since I was getting rid of so much stuff, I didn’t need them anymore.

I did have a few things that were still usable like plastic hangars and tupperware…the tupperware I got rid of immediately because I didn’t want plastic anywhere near my food, switched them all out for glass jars (you don’t necessarily have to go purchase new glass jars, you can always reuse ones from things like pasta sauces and jams, get creative) Same thing with plastic baggies, you don’t need them if you have glass jars. Let them go or donate to a local elementary classroom, they use them quite frequently.

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The hangars on the other hand stuck around for a while, but then they started breaking one by one and I found some wood and metal hangars lying around that were my grandparents that no one was using, and I ended up donating the plastic ones. Now, I did purchase one set of 6 new wood hangars to round out my set, but that was a personal decision. Not everyone can afford to buy new things just to replace their plastic counterparts.

So, to date…. I’ve mostly gotten rid of things as opposed to buying new. There were a few exceptions, such as glass jars, a set of hangars, cloth pads, a safety razor when I ran out of disposables, a new hairbrush when mine broke, and an adult laundry bucket (not made out of mesh!). But that’s about it.

The solution for pre-minimalist and pre-zero-waste purchases really depends on your personal situation, but most of the time they can be donated or recycled.

Keep in mind that minimalism and zero-waste are both journeys. They aren’t meant to be accomplished in one day or even a week, they can take years to switch over to. Look at me, I’ve been at it for a year and am just now starting to get really comfortable with my progress.

It’s all about the baby-steps!

If you have any questions, or any suggestions for future posts you would like to read…lett me know in the comments 🙂

My inventory of stuff.

All right, this is something that I said I would probably never do…like ever. But I finally did it, I wrote down a master inventory list of all of my stuff. Yep, I said it, I catalogued everything I own.

Honestly, it took FOREVER to write the list, and I don’t have a ton of stuff to begin with! Or at least I didn’t think I did. I’ve already done about a dozen purges, each time getting rid of more and more that I don’t really need but was holding onto for the moment of “just in case”.

Forcing myself to sit down and write a master list of what I own really made me take a hard look at each and every item and wonder “Is this item really necessary?”, I mean seriously, after writing so many different items down you get to the point where you would rather donate an item than have to write down anything else haha.

I won’t kill you all with every single detail of my inventory, but I thought I would share a bit of it.

When I started this list I thought I would make the lists organized by room, then I thought better of it and separated it into further categories. The categories are:

  1. Closet/Clothes
  2. Room Accessories
  3. Art supplies
  4. Technology
  5. Furniture
  6. Wardrobe Accessories
  7. Oils, etc. Consumables
  8. Personal items (pads, menstrual cup, razor, etc.)
  9. Items in my Armoire
  10. Items stored in the basement
  11. Desk contents
  12. Kitchen contents (only pots and pans, I didn’t count food at all)

The majority of items I found were smaller items that everyone has such as pens and pencils, miscellaneous desk items, and office supplies.

My biggest numbers were definitely in the Art supplies category…there I had 11 brushes, 43 paints, 5 sponges, 2 sketchbooks, 3 oils, 10 markers, 1 paint thinner, 16 pastels, 9 pencils, 9 erasers…..well, you get the idea. 🙂

I’ve always had a thing for creating paintings and sketches, it is a great creative outlet that is relaxing and in the end you are left with something either beautifully amazing or half-ways decent. My goal with the art supplies is to use the supplies that I have before I purchase anything else. I would eventually like to get to the point where I make my own supplies like paints etc. There was this book once that I browsed through that said you could make a paint brush out of cat whiskers….I have two cats who drop old ones all the time, I should have been saving them all these years!

Anyways, onto the other categories. I’ll spare you the details of my wardrobe since I already did a post on it here. Since that post I have minimized a few more items, but not enough to do an updated post yet. I also have eliminated most of the plastic from my closet. I no longer have the plastic bins, and half of my hangars have been swapped out for wood ones. But I digress…

The smallest categories tended to be those with larger sized items. My furniture category is as follows:

  1. Queen bed frame
  2. Queen mattress and box spring
  3. Armoire
  4. Dresser
  5. Desk
  6. 2 sitting chairs
  7. 2 lamps
  8. 1 desk chair
  9. 1 clothes hamper
  10. 1 chalkboard- it’s quite large and hangs on a wall so I classify it as furniture

That’s it for furniture, but then again I do live with other people, so I am fully prepared that when I live on my own I will probably need a few more items. 🙂

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Another category that I have kept rather small is my room accessories/decorations category…

  1. 3 blue glass jars/vases
  2. 1 glass tiger
  3. 1 candle
  4. 1 figurine
  5. 3 ceramic masks
  6. 1 African rain stick

The only thing that is sort of a decoration that isn’t in this category is my paintings, I left them in the art category just to make my life simpler.

For those of you wondering, I’ll throw out a few other numbers of things that most of us own.

DVD’s- I own 14 (I’m thinking about getting rid of a few)

VHS’s- 17…Yes I do still have access to a VCR, I’m a weird person but I still like my VHS’s.

Books- 225….this is still a large amount, but I used to own TWO THOUSAND, so it is quite an improvement. The one thing I have always loved is books.

Sheets- 2 sets, one for winter and one for summer. I also have 1 comforter.

Hair ties- 20

Hair pins- 20

X-mas stuff- 1 small metal tin of my favorite wood/metal ornaments that I display for the month of December and then put them back away. I can use hooks to display them on a wall or a metal jewelry holder to hold them up, I nixed my Christmas tree.

Sentimental items- I have mine confined to a space rather than a number, all of my sentimental items such as photographs or old school accomplishments are in one cardboard file box. That’s it, if it doesn’t fit then I get rid of something…like pictures of old birthday cakes or Christmas trees lol Who needs those?

Those are some of the numbers, which you may or may not consider minimalist. For me it is a far cry from what I used to have, and I continue to reevaluate my items on a weekly basis. What I like to do is keep one box by the front door and as I go about my daily business I can throw an item in there if I come across it and realize that I no longer need it. When the box is full I make a trip to the donation center.

I never thought I would do an inventory like this, but it has been an eye opener.

1. About the number of things I actually own.

2. About how many of those things are one-hit-wonders or made out of plastic (I’ve been phasing out the plastic on my journey to being plastic -free and a Zero-waster).

3. About how much is truly necessary, and how much is just extra fluff. We can survive on very little, but tend to consume to excess. I am now making more mindful purchases that I mull over for a time to really assess if they are a necessity or if they will add value to my life.

Now, considering the fact that this number is changing on a daily/weekly basis I am not currently 100% sure if it is accurate, but I will finally answer your burning question…right now my total number of possessions is somewhere around 900. 225 of which is books lol Another hundred or so are art supplies. So it may seem like a big number, but surprisingly enough it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. I have 1 regular size room with a closet, and 1 shelf of space in our basement.

Have you done an inventory of your items? If so what did you learn? If not, would you ever consider making one?


If you have any specific questions about numbers of any item, ask them in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Minimalist Wardrobe inventory…

The sun is out for the first time this week, I’m sitting in my comfy pajamas, and eating a yummy paleo pizza that I made yesterday…life is good 🙂


Before I really dive into the topic of my wardrobe I wanted to give a few brief updates. The first is that, as promised, I started up a batch of apple cider vinegar…this picture was from day 1, and today is day 8. Its looking a lot more like ACV now 🙂


I also have been doing pretty well about not spending on unnecessary items. For the month of January I have spent a total of twelve dollars besides my regular bills. $2 was on a lotto ticket that I said yes to before I remembered that I wasn’t buying anything, the other $10 were on a pair of fuzzy slippers. (mainly because I am wearing holes in my socks walking around in them all day).

Besides that, everything has been going really well.

Now, onto the wardrobe…

Let me start by saying that my original wardrobe took up my entire closet as well as every square inch of dresser space…it was overwhelming to say the least. In the past year I have downsized my wardrobe to probably 25% of what it used to be.

I am loving the extra space that I have now, everything has space to breathe. WIN_20160121_125829

Now I’ll admit it, there is still a bit more than I am comfortable with. This is my closet currently, I also have a dresser with the smaller things like Tank-tops, underwear, leggings etc. But as of January first I hung all of my clothing backwards. (the hangars are facing the opposite way) as I wear the pieces, I am putting them back the regular way, this way by the end of summer I should have a pretty good idea of what I actually wear and what I don’t. Anything that hasn’t been worn will be donated. I’m pretty sure I already know a few of the pieces that will go, but I’m going to give it until the end of summer to find out.

I wanted to give you a quick inventory of my current wardrobe, it isn’t extremely minimalist, but it is minimalist for ME. Here we go…

  • 7 Dresses
  • 7 skirts (I think that 2-3 will be gone at the end of summer)
  • 8 Cardigans
  • 2 Hoodies
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 2 Dress pants
  • 1 pair of Capris
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 3 pairs of workout shorts
  • 1 workout capris
  • 1 pair of sweat pants
  • 5 long PJ pants
  • 1 Capri PJ pant
  • 4 PJ shorts
  • 3 Pj tops
  • 4 T-shirts
  • 8 Tank tops
  • 1 workout top
  • 2 leggings
  • 1 long underwear
  • 4 gowns
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair of panty hose
  • More underwear than I am willing to count (my one minimalist weakness)
  • 10 pairs of socks
  • 16 shirts/sweaters
  • 4 scarves
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • 3 hats
  • 8 pairs of shoes
  • 2 coats

Now I do live in a place with 4 very distinct seasons, so this might seem like a lot. I am still in the process to minimizing to what I use/need and nothing more. It may not seem possible, but I can fit my entire wardrobe in my luggage that consists of 1 suitcase, 4 duffle and 1 small carry-on bag…before that used to only fit my winter clothes. 🙂

Baby steps.

What does your wardrobe look like? Do you have an area that you would like to minimize further?

Baby Steps in the kitchen

Now that it is officially 2016, I am in a minimizing/zero-wasting motivational high. These past few days alone I have gone through my things and donated an entire garbage bag full of unused items.

Most of you know that I live with three other people, which can make minimizing and zero-wasting tricky…I think of it as a challenge.

I started this journey by doing a bathroom/bedroom makeover…I donated copious amounts of clothing that no longer fit/I didn’t wear, I completely re-did my bathroom routine swapping out brand names for home-made toothpaste, deodorant, etc.

These two areas were the “safe” areas. A.K.A. the ones that no one would complain about because it only affected myself.

Now I am moving on to the kitchen, the kitchen has always been a point of contention within my family. I think that we have waaayyy to many items in the kitchen, everything from gadgets to utensils that we never use. They however think that we “need” every item although I do most of the cooking and never use them.

Safe to say that we agree to disagree on the point. Anywho, One of my family members is out of town and I am determined to prove that most of our kitchen “daily mess” is his, not mine. So I started by cleaning everything in the kitchen, and I mean Everything.

Our kitchen counter tends to be a dumping ground for dirty dishes, etc. I cleared it all up, and with permission from my mother I boxed up half of our dishes, and donated a few unused items. I kept just enough dishes for us to use, four people and we now have 6 large plates in rotation instead of 20.


It has cut down on the counter clutter, that and a new rule that anyone who uses a dish must wash it immediately when finished. It is easier to wash one than fifty.

So far I will say that it is working beautifully. I also went through and got rid of expired pantry items, and am determined to use most of the items left in there before I go grocery shopping again.

Another part of my kitchen clean up involved shelving our toaster, it used to sit out on the counter and was only used once a day at most. It now has a home underneath the counter and can be pulled out when used then put away. It frees up enough counter space for me to have my temporary compost bin and fruit bowl on the countertop, both of which I use multiple times daily. I think it looks sort of pretty, what do you think?


Now of course there are going to be things that I cannot change, like the giant pack of ramen noodles on the shelf in the first picture (my brothers) and the dish drain that I think is rather unnecessary but the rest of the family uses. But I think it is a nice start.

I also have been using my mason jars and the bulk section at the store for my shelf in the pantry…


I also have done a bit of experimenting today, I ventured into making my own barbeque sauce, which was easy enough to make since we had most of the ingredients on hand already. I also made my own salad dressing.

Check out my Zero-Waste dinner:


From left to right: 1 salad with avocado. 1 jar of home-made BBQ sauce, 1 jar of home-made vinaigrette, 3 small pieces of flank steak (grass fed), 1 glass of home-made mango/orange/apple juice, and finally 1 mashed purple potato with garlic.

It was delicious 🙂

What changes have you made in your kitchen?

Benefits of a minimalist wardrobe

Within the past six months or so I have really committed to my journey to zero-waste and minimalism. But before I tell you where I am today, let me start at the beginning….

A year ago

I live with my family in your modest suburban home that is somewhere around 1200 sq.ft. There are four of us who currently live in this 3 bed 1 1/2bath home.

A year ago my closet was a disaster. Here in crazy weather state of Michigan, the seasons are not defined into set parameters like other states. Here we could get rain, snow, sleet, and a sunny afternoon all on the same Thursday. So you can imagine the amount of wardrobe that I thought was necessary for this type of weather.

My closet is your average size, not a walk-in by any means, but still bigger than your average linen closet. A year ago it was stuffed to the brim…and it didn’t end there. I have a dresser as well that was also full, so much so that it was difficult to close the drawers. I even had my “winter” clothes packed away in vacuum seal bags in our linen closet.

THAT was how much clothing I owned. And I was lucky if I wore 20% of it regularly.

Fast forward a bit, and I got into minimalism. I started purging. And purging.

And purging some more.

I easily did over a dozen purging sessions, where I would get rid of things that I hadn’t used since the last session that I thought were “must have’s”.

Now….a year later. I can finally say that I am comfortable with the amount of things in my wardrobe. All of my clothes fit….with room to spare…in my closet and dresser. No more vacuum bags, no more stuffing and rearranging to “organize” my excessive amount of stuff. Now it is rather simple.



I love it.

So I thought I would talk about some of the benefits of having a minimalist wardrobe…here we go:

  1. Laundry is easy when you don’t have a mountain of clothes to wash. I do maybe 3 loads a week now, as opposed to the ridiculous amounts I did before. I find when you have less clothes, you wear them longer before each wash too. When you have more, it is easy to justify wearing something for an hour and then changing because you have so much.
  2. I always have something to wear. Sounds contradictory right? Less clothes, but more to wear. I now only own my favorite pieces, which means I don’t have to scourge through my closet to “find” something. I can grab anything at random, and I know it will fit and look great 🙂
  3. It is easy to pack for vacations. I can probably fit my entire wardrobe in a couple of large suitcases if I wanted to.
  4. There is no longer any excuse to not know where something is. Since there is less to keep track of, I never have to search for that one pair of shorts…way back in the abyss of the dark closet corners. It is all easy to manage.
  5. Say it with me… “no more dry cleaning!” This one is optional of course, depending on what pieces you have chosen to keep. I like clothes that I can just throw in my washer and dryer. No more trips to the dry cleaner for me.
  6. I can always find a matching pair of socks. I have about 10pairs now, all white, most of them are interchangeable. It makes my life easy.
  7. It takes me less that 5 minutes to get dressed in the morning. Need a dress? Well the choice is easy…purple, blue, white or black? Done!

What other benefits have you found from having a minimalist wardrobe?

Check out my closet:


Minimalism makes staying organized easy!

Hey guys, Since starting my minimalist journey, I have realized that it is a LOT easier to stay organized. Before I purged, I would have piles of things on my desk, tons of bottles on my dresser, and things everywhere. It was hard to stay organized, because it was extremely tempting to leave whatever I was holding with the piles that already existed, piles are tricksters…you start with one paper and before you know it there is a whole party going on on top of your kitchen table.

Now that I have only what I love and what is useful to me, I have more room, I no longer have to play tetris to try and fit something into one of my drawers or onto my bookshelf. There is now room to spare. Since everything fits within my drawers and shelves, I no longer have cluttered surfaces. My flat surfaces are clean all of the time now unless I am specifically using them.

Being minimalist, means that everything I own has it’s own home, and that makes it really easy to put it back where it belongs when I am finished with it. As a result I know where EVERYTHING is, at all times. If someone needs a battery I can direct them to where it is within my room without having to get up off of the couch.

No longer do I have to wonder where I put something, my keys are never lost, and I can easily grab everything I need for the day and leave my room in under five minutes.

This is bliss 🙂 It has relieved so much stress, and it has maximized my time, my room is a very joyful place to be now thanks to minimalism. Check out a few photos of how I have things organized:

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Living with non-Zero-wasters/ minimalists

Hi everyone, today I want to talk about a topic that has been making the rounds lately, and that is what to do when you are going zero-waste and minimalist, but the people you live with are opposed.


As some of you already know, I currently live at home, and share a house with 3 other people….let’s just say that they are not big fans of change. They were quite skeptical when I began changing my own routine, and they are still somewhat skeptical, but now that they see the benefits of my lifestyle, they don’t complain about it as much. There are a bunch of tips and tid-bits that I have learned through this journey at home, so I will try to group them into categories for you:

1. SPACE– This is the biggest tip I can give for others who are living with non zero-wasters/minimalists…..make your own space and maintain it. Do NOT try to worry about or control their space (believe me, I tried, and all I got in return was STRESS). In our home “My Space” consists of; my room, my closet, the top shelf in our linen closet, 2 shelves in a kitchen cupboard, 2 shelves/drawers in the fridge, 2 wicker baskets (for my produce), one small box in the laundry room, and one small corner of the basement for misc. items.

If you do not have kitchen space, negotiate for it. My bathroom routine got so small that I no longer need any drawers or shelf space in the bathroom, I gave it up in return for the cupboard space. It was worth it. In the fridge I simply started by separating my grocery shopping and bills from theirs, then congregated all of my food onto one shelf. I already had the bedroom space and linen closet shelf, so I did not have to negotiate for those. I did negotiate for my compost space in our backyard, I had to make promises that it wouldn’t smell and that it would not be in their way.

Keep your space in order, and leave everybody else’s alone. Believe me, when they see that your space is always clean and organized, they tend to start following suit.  🙂

2. MONEY- If you are not paying the lion’s share of the bills, the best way to show your family/roomates the benefits of zero-waste and minimalism, is to lower your contribution to those bills. This could cover everything from taking shorter showers to lessening your television watching. My showers used to take quite a while, because I had about 20 products for every part of me, and it took forever to use them all. Now I have 3 things, shampoo, soap, and shave stuff. I condensed my showers from 20-25 mins to now about 10, saving on the water bill.

I share a car with the family as well, so I try to plan all of my errands on one day, to save gas. I do my own laundry, buying my own soap nuts, and I buy my own groceries as well. My bills are pretty much separate from theirs, except for the basics of electricity and water. I take care of my own stuff, and lessen my impact on theirs (trust me, they DO notice the water bill!).

3. Show, don’t tell- let your lifestyle speak for itself, do not try to force them into it by talking it to death. Be sneaky, when they see you do it and they see your positive results, they are more likely to be influenced. For example, it took me forever to convince my family to sign up for curbside recycling, and when I finally did I was the only one using it. They saw me faithfully take out my recycling every day to the bin, and eventually they started following along, and they now easily fill half of the bin each week.

The same thing goes for food, they see that I do not purchase packaged food and that I go to the farmers market. Sometimes I invite them to come along, but I never pressure them into anything. It has been 4-5 months since I started, and I now see them making healthier choices when they shop, it is all about baby-steps.

4. Get involved- Be actively involved in their lives, and show them the benefits of your lifestyle in a fun way. Instead of going to the movies, ask them to have a day at the park with you, or make them a delicious zero-waste meal (don’t say it is zero-waste unless they ask), and enjoy it together. I asked my mother to go with me to the health store one week, and now it is our weekly routine for most of our grocery shopping. Make it fun, not a chore 🙂

Now I know there are going to be days when they frustrate you to no end, I go through those days too. Remember that you can only control your own choices, and it does not pay to worry about others. Live your life the way you choose, and be a positive example for others. That is all that you can do, and trust me when I say that it DOES make a difference!

The life-changing magic of tidying up: marie kondo

WIN_20150815_123114Hi everyone, this week has been really good 🙂 I got called for a job interview, I had enough time to finish my painting, and I finally got to read this book from the library. A lot of you have probably heard of this book. It has been a big thing recently with decluttering videos on youtube, as well as in blogs (google KonMarie method and you will find them all). I have to say that I was skeptical about how much this book could possibly influence anyone to get rid of things, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how well the book is put together.

Less than half way into the book I put it down to put it into practice….she advises to take everything out of where it is stored, and put it on the floor. So for example you would take every article of clothing you own and put it on your living room floor for sorting. Then you pick up each and every item and see if it sparks joy. If it does, it stays, if it doesn’t then it goes. Simple, direct, and to the point, which I appreciate. She also talks about how everyone already has enough storage, you just need to get rid of the excess for it to fit 🙂

For those of you who have been following my blog, by now you know that I have done quite a few purges, and continue to evaluate my things to see if they still meet my needs. Even so, and even though I have brought myself down to an amount of possessions I never thought possible…..I still found more things that do not bring me joy.

I am getting rid of another 2 boxes worth of things today.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for extra motivation 🙂 I thought it was very interesting how she says to thank your things for being useful, so when you take your shoes off you would say “thank you for protecting my feet today”, I find that this practice, although seemingly strange, can really put things into perspective, and will really help you be grateful for your possessions and the hard work they do to help you out.

I’m feeling pretty inspired today, how about you?