Simplifying our life is a good goal one could set up as a new year resolution, yet, many people don't take any action on it. Below is a list of actions that you can take today that will simplify your life considerably
1. Pack your lunch: Instead of wasting your money, make your own lunch or pack leftovers from the night before. This is even a healthier alternative.
2. Cook one more night a week: This will not only save you more money but will also save you the calories if you aren't eating out. Adding to that you'll get to spend more time with your family.
3. De-clutter your desk: Clearing your desk will make it more spacious and more comfortable for you to work and create. Organizing your desk will also save you the time you normally spend rifling through the piles of papers.
4. Stop buying things you don’t need: De-cluttering your desk or place and then replacing what you get rid of with more things you don’t need, doesn’t help. Whenever you like something and feel the urge to buy it, ask yourself “do I need it now?”.
5. Own Less: Any clothes you no longer wear and are just taking up room, give them away to a charity. Make sure that anything you own has a use. If not, get rid of it. Don’t let your stuff own you!
6. Limit Your Choices: It has been proven that the more choices you get, the less happy you feel. Take the example of choosing among ice-cream flavors. If you love chocolate and you get to choose between chocolate, strawberry or vanilla, you’ll choose the chocolate and feel pretty satisfied. Now if you get to choose between dark chocolate, Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, Chocolate Fudge Brownie… you might end up regretting your choice and wondering if you have to choose again. Now, this goes with everything in your life. Always limit your choices.
7. Learn the Power of No: Learn to say a polite “No, thank you” to anything that might hold you from the things you love and the goals you care about achieving.
8. Spend Some Time Disconnected: As much as useful the technology could be, it might take some of your time you otherwise could’ve spent it in more important things, like meeting the people you love or enjoying the view instead of watching it through your phone screen. Don’t let life pass you by while you click away.
9. Spend Time with Those You Care About: We often don’t realize how important it is to spend quality time with the people you care about. We take them for granted forgetting that they’re the ones that matter and that they’re the ones who’ll be there for you when it gets though.
10. Give More: We need to give as much as we need to get. In fact, it has been proven that giving provides us with a deep satisfaction and a feeling of fullness like nothing else. Make giving a goal in your life. You can not only give money and things but even giving some of your time might be the most precious gift.
11. Learn More About Minimalism: Start reading books that will help you lead a more minimalist lifestyle and follow people who are living such a life. It is important to live simply, but what is more important is to keep learning how to maintain your life that simple.
12. Consider a Smaller Home: If you intend to move, consider a smaller home. Limiting your living space will make you limit the things you don’t need.
13. Switch Chemical Beauty Product With Natural Ones: Beauty products can burn a hole in your pocket and leave behind unwanted side effect. Whereas, natural remedies and treatments are safe to use and more effective. Check out these natural remedies:
14. Try Living Without a Car: Walk, bike, or take public transportation. Using your car less will give you more time to think and the opportunity to interact with people and notice your surroundings.
15. Choose Quality Over Quantity: You can apply this to every aspect of your life. For example, instead of buying different jeans, buy one that is with a good quality.
16. Start Your Day With Gratitude: Always find reasons to be thankful. This will provide you with deep satisfaction and a feeling of fullness way better than owning more could.
17. Pack Lightly: From going to school, work to vacations, try to pack the least you can. You can try the one bag rule which consists of going out with only one bag, even in vacations. Remember that life is about experiences and not things.
18. Pay off Your Debt: Whether it’s student loan debt, credit card debt, car debt… paying it off will make it much easier for you to manage your finances and you will have less debt to stress about.
19. Unsubscribe From Emails: Emails that you don’t need can take so much of your time without you noticing. You can check how many lists you’re subscribed to with Unroll.me
20. Use the Cloud: Instead of using a flash drive that you might forget at work or lose, start saving your documents to OneDrive or Google Drive. You’ll be able to access your files anywhere, and safely save and organize them.
Baking soda, a $1 kitchen staple that is probably already in your kitchen, can be a cheap alternative to many expensive spa treatments and be effective as much, should you give a chance. Below are 15 beauty uses for baking soda you need to know that will simplify your life: 1- Toothpaste: Dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost. Baking soda is commonly used in many kinds of toothpaste. Or you can simply dip your toothbrush into baking soda and brush your teeth.
2- Teeth Whitener: To whiten your teeth, make a paste of baking soda and water, rub your teeth with the mixture and leave it for 5 minutes then rinse your mouth.
3- Freshen your breath: Baking soda helps to neutralize odors, not just covering it up. Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water and use it to keep fresh breath.
4- Deodorant: Baking soda helps to neutralize the body odor, whether you put it on before or after sweating, the result is impressively effective. You can put baking soda onto your underarms or you can also fill an empty liquid deodorant bottle with water and add one teaspoon of baking soda.
5- Clean oral appliances: Add 2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water and soak oral appliances, like retainers, dentures, and mouthpieces. It will loosen food particles and neutralize odors to keep them clean and fresh. 6- Facial scrub and body exfoliant: Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin then rinse clean. If your skin is dry, sensitive, or having acne problems, you may need to skip using baking soda on your skin.
7- Shampoo: Add some baking soda to your shampoo to give your hair more volume. It also works as an effective cleanser to remove dirt and oil leaving your hair lighter and more manageable. You can also use baking soda and water alone as a shampoo, it works better than many expensive shampoos (for foam, you can add some shampoo to the mixture).
8- Dry shampoo: Sprinkle a little baking soda on the root and tousle your hair. It works the same as any other dry shampoo.
9- Clean your hair brush: Soak your hair brush in a bowl filled with warm water and 3 teaspoons of baking soda, rinse and allow to dry. It will help clean accumulated oil and other hair products. 10- Nail cleaner: Leaving nail polish for too long might leave stains behind. Clean your nail with a cotton dipped in the mixture of half glass of water and teaspoon of baking soda. 11- Sooth your feet: Soak your feet for 20 minutes in a bowl of warm water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda, you can add your favorite essential oil. Baking soda will help remove odors and bacteria from your feet. Then scrub your feet with baking soda paste to help exfoliate rough spots.
12- Hand cleanser and softener: Skip soap and gently scrub your hands with a paste of 3 part of baking soda to one part of water. It will help neutralize odor from your hands and make them softer.
13- Make a bath soak: Add ahalf cup of baking soda to your bathwater to wash away oil and perspiration. It will also make your skin feel very soft.
14- Treat insect bites and itchy skin: For insect bites, apply a paste of baking soda on the affected area. To ease the itch, from sunburn or allergic rashes, rub the damp skin with baking soda after bath or shower. 15- Relieve diaper rash: Add 2 teaspoon of baking soda in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.
I’ve always wanted to be a Minimalist, as many of us would want to be, I mean who wouldn’t like to do something good, not only for himself but also for the environment. However, I kept carrying the idea without taking action on it until I watched this inspiring interview with Bea Johnson who wrote the book Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste and most importantly who was living a real minimalist life. The interview was so inspiring, she had a beautiful house that was so spacious and looked super tidy, just because she only owned what she does need. Adding to that she’s living in a zero-waste home. She doesn’t take out any garbage.
Now to set minimalism as a goal is too vague. The key for me to get me started was this goal, a zero-waste home!
It even helped me to buy less because I was dreading the garbage I’ll have from throwing the package. I ended up feeling much better with each item I didn’t buy, because I don’t need most of them in the first place and eventually I found better alternatives. Start using baking soda: - As a shampoo: mixed with water alone or with your shampoo. - As a deodorant: to neutralize your body odor. - As a mouthwash: in a half glass of water. - As a handwash dishes: with your regular detergent - As a cleaner: to the oven, microwave, floors, furniture, shower curtains, laundry with your regular detergent. - As a deodorant: for your refrigerator, trash can, drains, dishwasher, lunch boxes, closets, cars, shoes… Here are 51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda
To make zero-waste a lifestyle, you’ll need to do the following:
- Prepare some jars, containers for milk and juice and some cloth for the bread which can be a simple pillow case.
- Buying without package: see what’s available in the supermarket without packaging, go to bulk stores and buy, when possible, second-hand clothes.
- Stop accepting freebies, business cards if you already have the contacts or you know you won’t need it. Stop accepting plastic bags when you have your own reusable bag.
In the kitchen:
1- Swap paper towels for reusable rags.
2- Shop vegetables and eggs from farmer’s market and take with you the egg’s carton and your basket or a reusable bag.
3- Reuse the single-printed papers for shopping lists
4- Reuse vegetables and fruits cleaning water to water your plants.
5- Use baking soda and white vinegar to cleanthe kitchen (oven, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher…)
6- For the food that can be frozen, cook much of it and save it in the freezer.
7- When buying food, don’t buy more because it’s on promotion, only buy what you really need and the quantity that you really need. Write a list before you go shopping and stick to it.
8- Grow your own herbs. If you have a little garden, make it useful and plant in some vegetables you eat constantly. Even if you haven’t a garden, you still can grow them in pots. In the bathroom: 1- Use baking soda as a deodorant
2- Refill your bottles with bulk shampoo.
3- Buy package-free solid soap.
1- The rule is: Anything you didn’t wear for a year and a half you’re not going to wear it ever, so donate what you don’t wear.
2- Keep your closet minimal.
3- Shop as few times as you can per year to avoid compulsive buys.
4- Buy second-hand clothes.
5- Bring a reusable bag for your purchases.
6- Use the worn-out clothes as rags.
7- Learn few sewing tricks. Repair your clothes or make something useful out of it instead of throwing it. Cleaning:
3- Open the windows instead of using an air freshener and let houseplants absorb toxins.
4- Do the laundry as few times as you can. General tips: 1- If you have a habit of coffee, make it at home. If you want to drink it at work, make it at home and take it with you in a flask.
2- Sign up for free customer rewards program, but don’t just buy to collect points. Let it be a long-term investment.
3- Turn off the TV, it not only consumes energy, but your time most importantly. Instead of spending time in front of TV, do something you love.
4- Use the nearby park to jog and do your exercises, instead of going to the gym. It not only saves you money, but also having some fresh air can reduce your stress considerably.
5- Cut down your expenses. Remove luxuries from your budget, buy what you can from thrift, buy exactly what you need when it comes to clothes.
6- Consume less. When it comes to saving electricity and water, it might not seem that consuming less of them will pay off or make any difference at leaston the short term. But it actually makes a difference, it might not be a great deal when it comes to money, but it’s a way to train yourself to live minimalist.
7- Use cheaper transportation. Walk as much as you can and use carpool. When using your car to shop, start with the furthest destination for maximum fuel efficiency. 8- Always have shopping baskets and bags in your car. You can buy them or make them. Here’sa way to make your own grocery bag.
These were some ideas and tips to inspire you to live a minimalist. The main thing is to keep in mind that your goal is a zero-waste, then you can imagine the alternatives for anything.