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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking long and hard a lot what it is what I want to and need to do to pursue a minimalist lifestyle. The goal is to simplify my life and help me deal with all the stress and pressure of being a full-time working mom during COVID.
And I have come up with the following:
1. Go on a clothing ban
Inspired by Mrs. Frugalwoods, I have gone on a clothing ban for a year before and enjoyed it in a way. I tried to make use of the clothes that I had and learned how to fight the urge to accumlate what I thought was beautiful clothing.
Now I can’t even remember what I wanted to buy anymore. Maybe that’s a sign those things weren’t even necessary.
I have to admit that prior to deciding on minimalism, I bought five dresses online as a way to celebrate my job offer. Everyone was telling me that I had to find a way to celebrate the great news and spend some cash. I gave into temptation, spent a couple of days looking up dresses online and bought five of them.
I ended up returning one, so now I have four new dresses that have been sitting in the closet since I haven’t had any occasion to wear them (they are work dresses). Those four dresses cost me $220.
I have been debating whether I should return them since they still have the original price tags on. Part of me says yes, but part of me says to keep them as a reminder of my new journey. And frankly, every time I picture myself wearing them to work, it makes me smile. And yes, I do feel guilty even admitting that.
From now on, I will try to make use of the clothes I already have and refrain from buying new things. And this will be easier now that I work from home.
2. Use up all the food in the pantry
Mr. FAF has a hoarding problem when it comes to Chinese spices. And I have a boarding problem when it comes to groceries.
Mr. FAF wants his Chinese spices ready. And I want to have LOTS of veggies, frozen food and meat in the fridge, especially during COVID.
We end up having a pantry full of random stuff from spieces to noodles and TWO fridges full of veggies, frozen meat, and frozen food. Now that I am embarking on this new minimalist journey, I still try to stop urging Mr. FAF from stocking up on groceries.
3. Maintain a diet
I went on a diet in mid May since I was overweight (I’m 148 lbs in weight and 5″4 in height). Over the past four months, I have shed 20 lbs thanks mainly to my new diet. I’m now 128 lbs. I still eat everything, including ice-cream and snacks. But I do portion control and eat only 1/4 of my previous portion. My current diet looks something like this.
— Morning: 1/2 cup of milk + 2 tps of unsweetened Cheerios cecreal
— Lunch: 1/2 small bowl of rice + veggies/meat + 1 mandarin
— Afternoon snack: gold fish, ice-cream, pancake, cake (totally unhealthy I know)
— Dinner: 1 small bowl of rice + veggies/meat + fruit or Activia yogurt
As for drinks, I only drink whole milk in the morning and water for the rest of the day. No soda. No sweet drinks.
Part of being a minimalism is having a simple and healthy diet. I think I will continue my weight loss diet since I still want to drop 5lbs more. These days I have no interest in having takeout or eating fancy food since it can easily lead to overeating.
I estimate that this new diet has also saved us at least $200 each month.
A simple and healthy meal
4. Use up whatever we have at home before buying more
We tend to have things lying around at home. But sometimes we can’t find them and feel the urge to buy more.
For example, the other day, I had a hard time finding matching socks for our baby. Normally, if she’s at home, I’m totally fine with socks that don’t match. But since she goes to school now, I want her to a bit more presentable (that reflects well on me hehe).
I thought I’d love to buy new socks for her. But keeping in mind my new minimalist goals, I reorganized her drawer and mine and found more matching pairs of socks. That saved us at least $10 right there.
Another example is that I recently bought three new bottles of Johnson shampoo and bath gel for our baby, knowing that we still had two bottles at home that were half full (I do have a hoarding problem).
The first step is for me to realize that such purchases weren’t necessary. The next step is for me to not do something similar with other items in our house.
I am running out of Sts Ives body lotion and will try to use up the rosehip oil I got from Amazon as body lotion. The rosehop oil caused breakouts when I used it on my face. I prefer using jojoba oil to moisterize my face.
Related: 9 Easy Ways to Save Money
I have never mentioned this on my blog. But after entering the tech industry, I started on my second side project about coding. My goal is to share my experience and offer advice for those looking to change careers into tech.
I have gotten a lot of similar questions about what course to study and how to get that first developer job. Instead of repeating myself, I decided to put all of my thoughts and experience onto my second blog so that many people can read it at the same time.
I only have so many hours in a day and won’t be able to have separate phone calls with many people to help them athough I’d love to do so.
This past year and a half has been mainly me coding and learning how to code even more. I think now it’s the time for me to slow down a bit and take the time to reflect on life. Blogging helps put my mind at ease and allows me to express my thoughts freely. For me, writing is therapeutic.
I have to me mindful about blogging so that it won’t lead to more work and stress for me.
Related: How To Start A Blog On A Budget
6. Spend more time with family
This has also been a request from Mr. FAF. And I’m trying to make that change.
For full disclosure, I do sometimes think I’m a workaholic. One of my most favorite activities on the weekends is working and getting things done. It makes me feel productive and accomplished.
I work outside of business hours and think about work often, especially now that I get to work on what I’m passionate about.
But my managers and mentors also advised me to slow down and not get burned out. I will try to have a better work-life balance and not kill myself over (often self-imposed) deadlines.
This is also in line with the goal of me pursuing minimalism: to focus more on my relationships with my loved ones.
Those are the six things I plan to do to pursue minimalism. Usually, I’m just so busy with work and housework I don’t have time to think about minimalism. But when I do, I want to simplify my life and not fill it with clutter. This will be the first step!
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