I’ve been trying really hard to live a more minimalist lifestyle lately. I’m super choosy about the clothes I buy, have been cutting down on clutter like whoa, and am aiming to live in a super cozy storage container within the next 10 years. Now, that being said, no matter how much I trim down my earthly possessions, you will never catch me without a massive stockpile of cute greeting cards and a wallet full of fresh stamps. There are some things that, no matter how much you simplify and streamline, you should always have on hand. Always. Here are 10 more of them: Keep reading »
When I got married in 2011, we spent a cumulative $12,000 and called it a bargain. And it was a bargain – the average American wedding costs $25,200 these days. We cut corners, but we did the whole shebang: Big gown, big venue, big meal, big dessert table, photography, videography, DJ, centerpieces, customized everything, tuxes, event coordinator, rehearsal dinner, jewelry, makeup, hair, theme, colors, officiant, and of course, in the first place, a very expensive diamond engagement ring. After all that, though, there’s only a short list of things that I wound up really loving about my wedding — my dad going out of his way to make a slideshow and take dance lessons so our first dance could be awesome (it was), dancing with my friends for two straight hours, and the fact that my family came from all over the country to witness my vows. Keep reading »
The wildly popular website Zen Habits debuted in 2007. Miss Minimalist started blogging in 2009, and The Minimalists followed in 2010. There’s a subreddit each for minimalism, anti-consumption, and decluttering. There’s also one for tiny houses, and if you happen to downsize to the point that you can fit in 160 square feet or less, you can buy a mobile, pre-made tiny house – or build one yourself. Suffice it to say, there’s a growing American minimalist culture.
There are a lot of great reasons to go minimal: Donating your extra stuff to charity helps other people. Buying only what you need keeps your expenses low now and in the future. It’s good for the environment — downgrading from a car to a bike or public transit cuts CO2 emissions, and recycling or repurposing your possessions means one vote for less manufacturing. People who are anti-consumption downsize because they question a culture of consumption that values people by what they possess rather than who they are.
As an adult, I’ve spent a lot of time shopping for the latest fashion trends — but I could never truly keep up. More often, I found myself in the maddening cycle of buying cheap, clearance-rack, last-season cast-offs that were never designed for my body type, having them get misshapen from wear or laundering, and going back to the clearance rack for more. This year I finally got fed up. I wanted to stop the madness. To do that, I decided to step back from the endless cycle of fashion trends, and apply minimalism to my wardrobe. Keep reading »