Lifestyle, Minimalism

10 Things I Do Now That I’m A Minimalist

Ever since I decided to practice minimalism & live a more intentional & simple life, I’ve noticed so any wonderful changes. My perspective on life is quite different now that I don’t revolve it around consumerism & “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Although it may seem abnormal to go against the grain & live happier with less, I strongly believe EVERYONE would benefit by just simply adding one of these changes into their lives. Here are 10 Things I Do Now That I’m a Minimalist

1. I Look For New Experiences

When I stopped wanting for the next trendy piece or expensive item, I realized adding these things into my life left me feeling empty. Or, they would bring me joy for a short period of time but I would quickly want the next best thing. Instead, I look for new experiences to enrich my life & help me grow. And when I talk about experiences, I don’t just mean extravagant vacations overseas. I also mean local adventures like hidden hiking trails, new restaurants & activities. Simply trying a new drink on the Starbucks menu counts as a new experience. I’m more inclined to spend money on these forms of happiness than material items that just sit in my home because it’s another story to tell. It’s an added memory that makes us who we are or want to be.

2. I Actually Use Up Products I Buy

I try to adopt the rule of using what I have before I purchase a new one. It’s not to say, I don’t have a few backup products in the hall closet; but most duplicates are essential to daily living. I no longer experiment too often & I stick with what works. You know the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” That’s the mindset I try to keep when advertisements try to entice me with something new & trendy.

3. I No Longer Try To Keep Up With The Joneses

Comparison & competing with people is honestly so exhausting. You can never really keep up. And why are we so wired to prove things to people? We need to feel more content with the lives we create for ourselves. In a world where social media snatches joy from right under your feet, we can’t allow ourselves to see highlight reels as the only depiction of success. Wouldn’t it be more refreshing if people showed all sides to the story? And if you still find yourself comparing yourself to other’s feeds, maybe you need to consider getting rid of the platforms that aren’t serving you well. For instance, I deleted my Instagram & haven’t looked back since.

You Might Also Like: Social Media Detoxes Are Good For the Soul

4. I Enjoy The Little Things

I used to feel like my life had to be so extravagant. I had to spend tons of money, visit the most fancy locations for what? To show people I can? To make myself feel more whole? This year has taught me happiness can be found in such simple ways. I embrace that type of life now. I’ve become a real homebody. I don’t go searching for things to fill a void any longer. I’ve become a stronger person this way. And like I said about experiences, sometimes the more simple moments are the most precious.

5. I Have Better Relationships With People

I was someone who focused on my own happiness harder than others. Not in a spiteful way either. More like an oblivious way where I would stay in my own safe bubble. Now that I’m more aware, I ask people how they are doing more often. I listen to their stories instead of quickly telling them mine. I listen harder instead of being a burden. And sometimes keeping things to yourself is ok. There’s a difference between vulnerability & word vomit. Those who practice a minimalist lifestyle, tend to focus on decluttering material items. But the decluttering process can be useful for all aspects in your life. When you choose your friends wisely, the ones that remain can be the best ones for you.

6. I Know Who My Real Friends Are

I love the friendships that are there for your highs & your lows. The type of friends who love coming over your house, sit on the floor with a glass of wine & talk about life. Each stage holds different phases of friendships. They change & you evolve as well. Rarely does anything ever stay the same. Find the tribe of individuals that encourage you & show off your best self. Let go of everything else.

7. I Show More Confidence

When I was a teenager, I would get myself so upset if my outfit wasn’t perfect. I was too much of a try hard & honestly the outfits weren’t that great. I worried about not being pretty enough, not having the latest trends or whether people would notice of my boots were knockoffs. Now that I’m older my fashion sense has improved so much. The only reason for this is my sense of confidence has improved. I don’t own the most unique clothing pieces. But I know what works for me & I rock it.

You Might Also Like: How I Boosted My Confidence During a Pandemic Year

8. I Save Money

The amount of pointless purchases I’ve made in my life is astronomical. I try to be more intentional with my purchases. And no, the joggers from Target were probably not on my NEED list, but during quarantine, they were an essential. When I do decide to treat myself, I appreciate it more. Before, I would spend so often that I stopped being grateful. “Oh that $50 Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlight Palette? Trash! And like that palette, it just sat in my drawer untouched. I try to maintain the mindset of purchasing items that are purposeful, fit in my capsule wardrobe or would truly benefit me evolve as a person.

You Might Also Like: How To Save Money The Intentional Way

9. I Have Gratitude

That house you live in. The nice bedding you sleep on. The pets you own. Never take those things for granted. I used to have the mindset of always wanting the next best thing. Although I do own less, I’ve learned to really appreciate what I have. I still love owning nice things. I just don’t let them define who I am or my happiness. I try to keep things into perspective & prioritize the people, animals & experiences I have in my life above all else.

You Might Also Like: I Wrote in A Gratitude Journal For An Entire Year

10. I Live A Happier Life

Minimalism wasn’t the end all be all cure to my life but it has made me happier. I thought I knew what happiness was before, but I’m more enlightened. I didn’t realize I used material items to hide from my problems, my emotions & people. In no means am I a perfect person. I am still a work in progress. But I will say practicing this lifestyle has helped open my eyes to the important parts of life.

Twitter / Pinterest

-B

Lifestyle, wedding series

Why Spending Money on Travel is Worth it: Honeymoon in Maui

It sounds a bit dramatic when I say our honeymoon in Maui changed my life. But I’m a Leo, & we are rather dramatic individuals, so I stand by this statement. Anytime I feel like I’m in a rut or need to make a change, I always know some form of traveling will be that cure. This past year has been one of the most trying years with the loss of my dad in the fall & planning a wedding in the middle of said grief & healing. But now that phase of my life is over [ the wedding planning part] , I’m looking ahead to a summer of continued healing & focusing on what I want my life to be moving forward. I strongly believe in the idea of immersing yourself into experiences to grow as individuals. When we simply remain in our bubble, thats when ignorance develops & the perception of believing our lives are only tied to what’s right outside our front door. We are so much more than that & a 10 day trip on island time showed me the type of person I want to strive to be which is more adventurous, tied to nature & one who continues to focus on the more simple aspects of life like experiences.

Focus on What Truly Matters

I’ve been following the minimalism lifestyle for around 5 years now. It’s been a slow journey & in no way am I a perfect minimalist [ i don’t think there ever is]. But I definitely strive to focus on the bigger pictures & refrain from putting my attention on frivolous material things. It’s not to say I don’t spend hours putting together outfits for my travels, but I also let go of the notion in thinking I constantly need new or better items to have a good time. I’ve learned through packing light, you can actually enjoy more of your surroundings & prioritize the connections & memories you make. While on our honeymoon, we did a lot of adventurous activities that lead to ruined clothing, muddy shoes & losing my $5 pair of sunglasses on the beach. I don’t focus on that because through those instances, we drove ATV’s up a mountain, we went 10,000 feet past the clouds on top of a mountain & star gazed. We snorkeled with motorized scooters. My husband jumped off rocks into the ocean, while I casually soaked under a few waterfalls. We hiked for miles, trudging through mud, rock & bamboo forests. We saw an array of sea life including two sea turtles while snorkeling. We also ate tons of different foods & visited local gems. It was truly an experience & memory I will hold onto forever.

Capture Those Moments & Stay Present

We took countless photos & videos during our travels, but we made sure to make the conscious effort to go off the grind for these 10 days. Not answering calls or texts [ unless they were true emergencies ] & staying off social media. It was truly refreshing. And I want to make the habit of doing this during our mundane days. Leaving your life a mystery is actually a powerful thing.

Reminiscing the Memories

I’m not the hugest fan of gifts or souvenirs. If I do bring something home from a trip, it usually holds some form of purpose or I know I will have it for a long time. One of the fun things we did was collect stickers during our trip. We plan to display said stickers as a collage & hang it up on the wall of our home. I love displaying photos or DIY projects like these because it showcases what we love to do as a couple – travel. I did find a few other souvenirs along the way including a Maui hook t-shirt [ I’m a sucker for a new graphic tee] & a sun hat [ which I plan to wear all summer long ].

I feel like this post is a little all over the place, but the bottom line is traveling to Maui reminded me of my love for travel. And I want to continue to make the effort to travel more often [ locally or across the world ]. There are so many times where a holiday comes up & we choose to do the same boring routine when we could be experiencing someplace new. For instance, I would love to visit Chicago during St. Patricks Day. Or going to Disney World or NYC around Christmas time. My side of the family is choosing to gift experiences over wrapped gifts under the tree this year. I think the pandemic taught us to enjoy the simple moments in life but it also ignited the urge to see more than what’s out your front door.

Where would you love to travel to next?

-B

Minimalism, Minimalism

How To Travel 10 Days in a Carry On Suitcase

I’ve made it a mission to put my minimalist lifestyle to the test when it comes to traveling. In the past, I’ve been known to overpack even on the shortest getaway. So, when I realized I would be traveling 10 days for my destination wedding AND 10 days for our honeymoon soon after, I figured this was the perfect time for such a challenge. Not to mention, we have to haul my wedding gown on the flight as well. By limiting myself to merely a carry on suitcase or small duffle bag, I learned it is possible to travel lightly & still have plenty. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your next adventure:

Check The Weather

One of the hugest culprits in packing heavy is preparing for all kinds of weather. Even on the most sunny vacations, I was known to still pack a rain jacket [ just in case]. Now, I try to trust my weather app & only pack according to the predicted weather. If an unexpected rain shower does occur, for instance – I can always purchase a jacket or umbrella at my destination. Naturally, I find warmer climates to be easier to pack for than colder destinations. So, when it came to preparing for our destination wedding in the South & our Maui honeymoon, I was lucky I didn’t need to pack any heavy boots or anything.

Plan Your Outfits / Activities

Although spontaneity is fun, I find when it comes to longer vacations / trips; having an itinerary of sorts is very helpful. Base your outfits & clothing to what you plan to do on your getaway. Our destination wedding for instance consisted of a lot of visiting & relaxing before the big day. I was smart in shipping a few items ahead of time like my rehearsal dinner dress, veil & the bridemaid’s morning of gifts. In all honesty, the goal was to be an outfit repeater that week. And since I was staying at a family home, I knew I could do laundry if need be. In terms of the honeymoon, I knew we were going to a luau, so I made sure to pack a tropical maxi dress. But for the most part, I knew Hawaii would consist of lots of bikinis & outdoor wear. Weeks before either of theses trips, I hung all the outfits up on my clothing rack. This allowed me to keep track of what I was bringing & prevent me from making any impulse purchases or overpack. I also kept in mind, I would probably do some shopping while we were in Maui anyway.

Wear the Bulkiest Items on the Airplane

This is my most favorite hack when it comes to packing light. My airplane attire always consists of leggings, a tank top or t-shirt, sneakers & a jacket or sweatshirt. Shoes & hoodies are two of the most bulky items to pack in the suitcase. Even though sandals can be easier to take on and off at TSA, I’m always grateful to have extra space for other necessities in my suitcase.

Packing Cubes vs. Rolling

I actually have never used packing cubes but have noticed from other people, they are VERY helpful in condensing space. I on the other hand, love rolling my clothing & or putting certain categories in zipblock bags. The way you organize & store your items in the suitcase makes all the difference. The reason I like the zipblock bag method is because I can release the air from the bag to make it very flat. I will admit this hack can seem rather wasteful so if you have any reusable methods [ besides packing cubes ] that do the same affect, let me know.

Travel Size Is Your Bestfriend

When it comes to makeup products or toiletries, having the smaller counterpart is the smartest move. Not to mention, TSA has certain regulations anyway. As a makeup lover, I try to only pack my smaller eyeshadow palettes during travels such as these. And in some cases, I will invest in travel size products like setting spray, shampoo, body / face wash & even mascara. Every space counts so you want to be efficient. Even when choosing purses for vacations, I lean towards small cross body styles or even clutches.

When in Doubt, Leave It At Home

I mentioned this in my older packing guide, which you can read here. But if you are questioning any item too hard, chances are you don’t need it. Really ask yourself why you want to bring / wear something before packing it. I can’t tell you how many times I would bring more clothing than necessary & only wear a quarter of the items. And if you DO end up needing something or forgetting something, you can always purchase it at your destination.

Choose Clothing Pieces That Are Versatile

If you already have a capsule wardrobe like me, you are already there in having clothing pieces that pair in multiple ways. For example, I packed a light grey t-shirt that I could wear with black shorts, white shorts, denim shorts or even jeans. Always start with your basics & work from there. Any additional or unique items can be added later. When it came to the honeymoon, I knew I wanted a few unique & tropical looking maxi dresses for dinners or the luau. I didn’t go overboard with this idea though & only packed two – a black & purple flower maxi dress I’ve had for a few years & a white floral maxi dress I found on Amazon.

Check Out This Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went

Conclusion:

When seeing the world, you don’t want to feel weighed down by stuff. Although it can feel rather challenging at first, overtime it will become second nature. You’ll enjoy returning home to less laundry to do & you’ll quickly realize you don’t need much to enjoy yourselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to the point all you need is a backpack.

Where are you traveling to next?

Up for an even bigger challenge? watch me pack all of these items in a backpack in this IG REEL

-B