Minimalist habits for a simpler, more environmentally friendly life

We started our minimalism journey this summer. You can read a few previous blog posts to see how we decluttered:

But what’s been happening since then? This is a continuous learning journey – we keep experimenting, acquiring new habits and adapting them to our own lifestyle. No one way will work for everyone.

Minimalist habits for a simpler, more environmentally friendly life and a clutter free home. Declutter | Minimalism | Clutter-free | Home cleaning | Organization

Minimalist habits to try out

1. Selling stuff

This is never ending! We went through each room and decided if we can get rid of anything. And there’s been enough stuff – the TV in the guest room, the old XBox, brand new shoes, the toaster, food processors. Most of these were big items that we were using once a month or maybe less, so the space they were taking in the house wasn’t justified. We even sold things that suprized us – we had an Insects collection from the magazine and we were ready to throw them in the bin. But we listed them on eBay first and we couldn’t believe it – someone wanted them and paid 50 pounds! Lesson learned – do try to sell everything, some people want your “garbage”.

2. Shopping ban

Considering we’re still selling stuff, it’s obvious that we have more than we need. So no shopping for now. For example, I have 4 deodorants – 4, how bad do I smell?! I can understand how that happened, but for now, I will stay away from the deodorants section in the supermarket. Of course, when we run out of something – either cleaning products, cosmetics or food – we go and buy them.

3. Our own bags at the supermarket

We have a backpack, a few tote bags and a few biodegradable bags to pick up loose vegetables. We reuse as much as possible. It’s less clutter for us in the house, it’s better for the planet and it’s also cheaper.

4. We buy loose as much as possible

Loose vegetables, nuts, grains. Alin is working on some small fabric bags to replace our biodegradable plastic ones. Less plastic, less waste. 

5. We replaced kitchen paper towels with microfiber ones

We use one a week in the kitchen and then wash it in the machine with the rest of the laundry. Same goes for napkins – we now have washable ones instead of paper. It’s cheaper for us, fabric occupies less space than the paper rolls and it’s better for the environment. Win-win.

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6. We reduced expenses

My mom always said that once you get used to a certain lifestyle you can never go back. Proving my mother wrong is always a pleasure! We got rid of cable TV, the monthly massage subscription, landline, Spotify premium subscription and cleaning service. All of these together were costing us £400 per month. Amazing, right? We are now working towards setting a weekly groceries budget to see what’s the minimum that we can live well on. There are still things we definitely can not get rid of (like rent, council tax, electricity bill) and some things that we would rather keep, like pet insurance, but there are enough other areas that we can work on.

7. Minimal Christmas efforts

We kept the same Christmas decorations as last year and we didn’t get any presents for ourselves. As for others, we tried to get people exactly what they said they wanted :). Some cards will also be sent out soon.

8. We contacted all charities that send us paper mail and asked to be changed to electronic communication

9. We replaced our plastic toothbrushes with bamboo ones

They are sustainable and environmentally friendly. We’re using the Humble toothbrush. Find them on Amazon UK or US.

10. LADIES ONLY

A few things for us girls:

  • I switched to OrganiCup. Click the link to read a review I wrote and if you find it before June 29, 2018, you can also take part in a Giveaway to get a cup for free! I heard from someone on YouTube that there is also “menstrual underwear”, where the pad is integrated, but I couldn’t find something I liked;
  • I’m letting my hair grow. A pixie cut has its advantages, but I need to get one haircut a month, and that’s too expensive – both regarding money and time;
  • I’m doing laser hair removal. I’m hoping that in a few months time I won’t have to go to a salon anymore – for years. It’s gonna be cheaper and less time-consuming in the long-term.

11. Clean a bit every day instead of a Big Bang cleanup on Saturday

I try to do a bit of cleaning up every day, so on a Saturday everything is already tidy and I can enjoy my weekend!

12. Papers are processed immediately

How it was before: if we got mail, we took the papers upstairs and put them on the living room table. By Saturday, the table was full of papers that needed to be processed.

How we do it now: we open the mail while we’re still downstairs and we decide what to do with it – recycle, shred or keep. And we do it immediately.

13. We’re working on finishing our started craft projects

Unfinished projects of any kind create clutter. Click To Tweet

14. Alin transformed his closet using the KonMari folding method

It’s cleaner, clothes are easier to access, and it looks so much tidier!

15. No more bottled water

We are now using tap water – cheaper, less plastic and the kitchen is more spacious without the 12 water bottles that we constantly had before.

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas. Also, leave your tips in the comments section! It’s a continuous learning journey; we will never know everything!

Want to read more?

Check out the other posts we wrote during the decluttering journey:

Since writing this post, I also gave up my smartphone. Read here how it’s going!

10 Comments

    1. Author

      Awesome! We had some fabric so we made them ourselves. If only we could find some more places where to buy loose. Supermarkets have a few items that are non-packaged, but not many at all.

  1. This was a good read! I agree that the disposable paper products are a great cut! So many better usable options!

    1. Author

      Thank you! Yes, that’s the easiest thing to start with.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Buying “loose” is intimidating at first, but once you get into its not so bad. A little slower go though!

    1. Author

      I know, it’s not as straight forward. Most supermarkets wrap everything in plastic, but I time I learned which ones have which product loose. I spend more time shopping, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing 😀

  3. All GREAT IDEAS! Thank you! I have to brush up on my Kon Mari knowledge, and clean out our closets! About to read your tips on decluttering clothing! Then on to your vegan info, etc etc! Thanks again! 😊

    1. Thanks! Yes, you can do everything in small steps so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

  4. Oh my goodness – I love this! I have gotten rid of so much, but I’m not quite at the point where I can get rid of my smartphone (although, mine is now so old it probably isn’t going to last much longer anyway, so maybe seize the moment when it happens!). Thanks for sharing this.

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