Stress Less with Minimalism

New Year's resolutions. Goals such as quitting a bad habit or working out more are of usually norm when a new year begins. These are great goals but I wanted to add something more.

My goal for this year: stress less.

I am a relatively calm person and have even received comments about how I stay calm in stressful situations. Don't get me wrong, I do stress but I usually ask myself the question "Is it useful?". Is stressing out over this or that contributing in any useful way? The answer is usually no and it helps to keep myself together. Most of the time there must be something that can be done.

One of the primary sources of stress last year was/is my home.

First off, I left my job and had a baby. I get to spend almost every minute of my day raising my little tortilla chip of energy and I.love it. But hot damn, does our home never get clean?! It's like a never ending cleaning cycle. Being new at this whole stay-at-home-mom thing, I thought it would result in a 24/7 sparkling clean home. Nope, not with a baby. For some reason getting to a cleaning task flat at fails at times. The chores stack up because you have a tiny human to take care of and demands your attention. People always say "the chores can wait", but I get uneasy when our place gets messy. Especially now with a curious baby. A messy home could result in a unsafe situation if things are left lying around. 

A few weeks ago while browsing Netflix during some me time. The documentary Minimalism: Documentary About the Important Things caught my attention, so I watched it. In short, Minimalism is about how to live a meaning life with less. You do not necessarily deprive yourself of things. Instead you keep only the important things in different aspect of your life resulting in a more meaningful and less stressful life. This is just what I needed! In terms of ones home, our home should be not be a source of stress but a place of retreat to unwind and relax. Less stuff will result in less stress! Its a process, but since watching the documentary I have been going through our home and getting rid of things. I has made a difference already when it comes to household chores. Cleaning is becoming more simple and streamlined. I can only image what it will be like once our entire home is done. I definitely recommend watching Minimalism. Or if you prefer, they also have a series of books available. The most popular being this one.


Reducing Waste

As someone who has been slowly switching to natural beauty products and home cleaners for the past year. Yeup. Really. (I use EWG's site for help.) I've been feeling pretty good about reducing and possibly eliminating the toxins in my home. Especially now, since we are expecting our first child. =]  

So I began searching for ways I could possibly recycle/reduce waste and maybe save a little money. A balance of both. I have typed up a list of things. Some we have already done and some not, but will. This is primarily a FOR THE HOME list.

Things checked off the list: 

  • Replace toilet paper with toilet paper made from recycled materials. We use Seventh Generation.
  • Replace a paper grocery list with a digital grocery list. And any other list that is doable. 
    • I use the app Pocket Lists. As a visual person, I enjoy having an icon for each individual list. It makes it easy to find a list when you have a bunch of lists! 
  • Use reusable shopping totes.
  • Replace plastic cutting board with a wooden cutting board.
  • Use old toothbrush as a cleaning brush for hard to reach spots, like faucets. 
  • Reuse packaging material.
  • Use house plants as natural air filters. 
  • Replace dish plastic drying diskrack for wooden one or a towel.
    • Our sink is divided into two. So we wash on one side and place them on the other to dry. Once dry we place our frequently used plates, bowls, cups, and utensils on our bamboo dishrack and utensil holder for easy access.
  • Plan errand trips and make a list of what you need! Saves you having to go back and forth around town. Time and gas saved right there.
  • Replace paper bills/bank statements and sign up for the digital version. 
    • I sometimes overlook emails and due to my fear of missing a bill, and which I have never. I use bill app reminder such as Mint Bills or Chronicle.
  • Replace paper magazines with digital subscriptions. Honestly, how long did I have that stack of magazines just sitting there? 
  • Use as much natural lighting at home during the day. 
  • And my favorite of all! ...no more budgeting on paper! I use the 'Goals' feature in my trusty bank but not really a bank at Simple.com You guys should sooo check it out. Saves me from doing the math. 

Things needing to be checked off: 
  • Obviously stop being lazy and take what we can to recycling centers. 
    • Unfortunately, some cities do not have a recycling pickup program like your regular trash pickup, and some of us just don't feel like making the trip. I know I'm guilty.
  • Replace paper towels with washcloths or maybe bamboo ones? 
    • Will be replacing these for cleaning almost everything. Just not for cleaning the toilet. I just can't do it. 
  • Replace plastic cooking utensils with wooden cooking utensils.
  • Replace dryer sheets/dryer balls with organic dryer balls or simply throw a towel in there. 
  • Air dry clothes when possible.
  • Place a brick in the toilet to save water.
  • Replace night light with a glow in the dark one or a solar powered one.
  • Replace paper towels with towels with reusable ones. Restaurants do it! How come we're not? 

Nothing extreme, but baby steps. Things we are comfortable with changing now. I'm sure we will add things later on to our list and under different categories. Such as beauty and food. We're not perfect and will most likely make mistakes along the way.


©SyntheticElegance Working on some weavings. I will be posting more pictures of my weavings on Instagram.