Why we have taken on the “minimalistic” lifestyle.
During this entire process we had already thought we were pretty minimalistic. Although this was far from the truth as we soon found out while emptying out our huge Florida home. We brought with us SIX bags from New York to Manila, Philippines. After that we downsized again to Four bags and now after moving four times we have downsized to just TWO bags plus whatever groceries we have at the time of moving. Moving the stuff is what made me embrace minimalism. Moving stuff that you know isn’t worth the trouble of moving slims down your “stuff” real quick! I had before hand been a big “retail therapy” kind of shopper and now I really only buy things I absolutely love it or believe we truly need it. Things that we buy regularly are coffee, groceries, Uber rides and “play time.” I would love to continue to minimize.
Our wardrobe has downsized in a crazy way. Joey has about 7 shirts, three pairs of pants/shorts. I have four pair of denim shorts, two exercise shorts, one pair of jeans, ten tops, one ankle length jersey skirt, three hoodies/jackets, two bras, two sports bras, four pairs of socks. Aubrey and Oliver each have about 8 outfits each and two hoodies each, they have two pairs of pjs each, some nights we forego them. We each have one swim suit each. We all had FULL CLOSETS before this trip. Each of us. It was insane and we really got rid of a lot of things. We each have a couple pairs of shoes each (flip flops/crocs & sneakers.)
I got rid of ALL of my books (donated to our local library) and only brought a couple with me for the flight. I have bought ONE book while we have been here. I was also a huge stationary/school supply freak (still am) but managed to get rid of a lot of it and now store my necessities in a small cloth Forever 21 bag. I have only bought one journal while we have been in PH. Joey’s real obsession here is watches and he has 7, I believe but that is the only thing that he really buys and they don’t take up much space, haha! His computer situation has minimized a ton, going from a desktop computer with three large monitors to a laptop setup which he puts away after his shifts/during non-use times.
Big things that I will be working on are our grocery budget and eat out budget. Though we don’t buy a lot of “stuff”, we do love our food and tend to always go over budget in that aspect of our lives, haha. Right now we are preparing to go home to New York for two months and then two weeks we will be in the UK (our first time!) We will only be bringing one full bag and one empty bag for anything we bring back. Things that we want to order that are cheaper there or don’t exist here (food items, mostly.) We had gone from a two room sized play room to without a play room entirely and the kids have adjusted well. We have toys of course but they are mostly quality toys in small amounts. Things like wooden blocks, Lego, books, art supplies (stickers, markers, paper, coloring books, crayons) along with a few things like a train set, some race cars, and some odd toys here and there that usually don’t last the month and get tossed due to damage and replaced with whatever new obsession they each have that month.
We have minimized our kitchen a lot because we just do not have the space. I have a large pot for soups and stews, a medium sized pot for everyday pasta, sauces, etc, and a frying pan. I have a blender, a rice cooker, we eat have one plate and one bowl each, same for silverware and cups. We have one induction burner which I really hated for a long time but I do not mind so much now as I think it makes me more mindful. I am more focused on what I am cooking because I am doing it while being mindful that it will take a little longer to make the meal so I spend less time randomly wondering around the house and more time preparing things that need to be done next because it isn’t all on at once. I make our sauces, wash the pot, then boil water for our noodles, mix everything together, wash the dishes, and done.
Something I really love and appreciate out minimalism now is that it takes me 5-10 minutes to clean every night. The kids are in bed, I clean up toys, sweep, mop, do dishes, make dinner, clean up whatever mess I made, and by the time I am done eating dinner and washing our maximum of 5 dishes, I am relaxing in a clean house without having to be anxious about any messes. It used to take me *days* to clean our large 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath home. Another thing that we have indirectly minimized since moving to PH is a washer and dryer. We have only had one twice since living here and we never used them as it is incredibly cheap to send it out (pick up and delivery) so we do that and our clothes come back to us pressed and folded which minimizes more of my chore time and gives me more time to do things with the kids and things I enjoy doing.
We have never been “decorators” when it came to our homes so embracing minimalism has made me feel less bad about our home not always being full of nic-nacs and being “homey.” I feel that our home is comfortable, clean, and good for what we do here which is mostly relax as we do the majority of our playing and learning outside. One thing I don’t think I will ever be able to (or want to) minimize is the amount of blankets thrown around our beds/couches. Living in a small space (485 sq ft) has also made me feel like things have to be super functional because we don’t have the extra space for “random” pretty things. Every foot counts as far as how we use it and what it’s purpose is. I also feel like that means the things we add are all super important and have to really be loved because there won’t be a lot of other things to “out shine” or “hide” them.
So yeah, this is our minimalism journey so far and my thoughts on it… Thank you for reading!