Archive for the Minimalism Category

Practical Tips For Downsizing Everything….Part I Forget

I have written several posts on how to downsize and eliminate lots of things in your life.  Whether it getting rid of physical things or clearing your day planner for time with yourself, it’s all important.  Today I wanted to share an awesome little tip that I found years ago.  What am I talking about?CIMG1163 I am talking about all those club cards that you have to keep on your keychain.  They annoy the heck out of me, the idea that they pretend that they are giving you discounts off your groceries irks me, but the point is they make your keychain huge.

Maybe it’s just me but I try to keep my keychain as small as possible, because you pretty much carry it with you everywhere.  So Just One Club Card is a great website which allows you to combine your club cards into a single business card size card.  I keep this in my wallet and my keychain free of these silly things.

Check out Just One Club Card

Homemade Cleaning Products

I admit when it comes to my kitchen and bathroom, I am a Germaphobe.  Its true, my friends make fun of me, but they sure as hell have never got sick off of my kitchen counter!  That said I was very skeptical at homemade cleaners, would they really work all that well and more importantly, will they kill the germs?  The Answer is yes and no.  Studies from several big universities have found that while commercial cleaners kill 99% of bacterial, homemade ones kill 90%!  That’s not a heck of allot of difference.

Now I don’t think I will stop using my Clorox wipes when it comes to raw chicken and the like, but for most other cleaning tasks, I have decided to make the switch and save allot of money in the process.  Not to mention that these.  Sandra Snow Sums up most of the information nicely:

forget the products because there are a number of kitchen staples probably already in your pantry that will do a number on even your toughest cleaning challenges. And the best part is that they’re natural and non-toxic. Baking soda is an excellent scouring agent, while tea tree oil (you’ll find that among the supplements in your natural foods store) naturally inhibits bacteria, mold and fungus growth.

For an all-purpose cleaner, fill an empty spray bottle with equal parts white distilled vinegar and water. This can be kept on hand for all-purpose cleaning around the home: use on countertops, glass surfaces, and tile. Combine two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice for a natural furniture polish. An old t-shirt makes a perfect “recycled materials” housecleaning rag for dusting and polishing. Mix a small amount of baking soda with liquid castile soap to get your countertops, sinks and tubs shiny. For a ‘fresh smell’ try adding a few drops of an essential oil like rosemary, orange or lavender. And a half-cup of distilled vinegar in your washing machine’s rinse cycle will work like a natural fabric softener.

A Slight Departure From Our Regular Content…

I try to keep most of the content a least loosely related to Tiny Houses and Tiny Living, but I found this to be very note worthy and thought I would share. cignalogo001So today I came across these two videos about a Former CINGA Insurance Executive coming out and talking about some of the industry secrets and his comments on the movie Sicko by Michael Moore.

If you haven’t seen the movie, Michael Moore has posted the video to watch for free here.

Please share your comments and thoughts on the matter in the comments section!

Practical Tips For Downsizing….Everything Part 3

Just Say No!:

This is your brain, this is your brain when you have so much stuff to do that you literally can’t do it all.  That where saying NO comes into play.  Saying no is harder than you might thing, try it.  Someone asks you to join in on some committee for a volunteer organization, your church needs a Sunday school teacher or you are asked any number of things which add strain to your life.Busy_Woman

It’s not that you don’t want to do these things, it’s not that you are lazy, it is the simple fact that there are 24 hours in a day and at a point you are booked solid and you didn’t leave any time for you.

You need to factor in time for you, again it’s not selfish, its not greedy or lazy.  It is taking time for you to take a break and unwind a bit.  You aren’t any good to anyone if you can’t focus, you are always tired or you are running late to everything.

But how to determine what to say yes to and what to say no to?

 

First Schedule 1 hour of time for yourself, odd huh?  You don’t let anyone know that you are free during that time, you don’t give it up and you take time to be alone for a little bit.  Once you are on YOUR time, you start to think about what you want in life, what are your goals?  See my post about this.  I do my best thinking in the shower, I can beat my head against a keyboard and then get into the shower and find instant clarity.

Now that you have determined your goals, you write down every commitment that you have and go through the list and ask yourself “does this get me closer to my goals?”  If the answer is no, put an “x” next to it.  There are those things like eat or sleep that are nonnegotiable.  Of the things that put “x’s” on go through and determine how much time roughly you spend doing that thing during the week.  The one that takes the most time take it and drop it!  That’s it Drop it.  Send an email saying that because of time constraints and responsibilities you have to your family etc. you need to stop doing whatever it is.  Remember that with big commitments, you might have to phase it out, but you can get there.

Many of you at this point are saying I can’t do that!  Its not possible!  No I WILL NOT!  Haha  Now if this is one of those things like eat, sleep, take care of your child, then no, of course.  But what would really happen if you said no (politely of course)?  If you went to those people at the meeting that you have built a relationship with and said to them, I need to step back because I need to focus on my family, my relationship, my education.  A true friend would see your good intention, listen to them and back you 100%.

Now I really encourage you to eliminate your most time consuming thing that doesn’t work towards your goals, but reality dictates that you have to eliminate the 2nd or 3rd instead.   The end result is that you have just freed time to work towards a goal and also time for yourself, so protect it by just saying no.

Practical Tips For Downsizing….Everything Part 2

Goals:

Knowing where you are going can be an immensely freeing thing.  While you should always leave room for some spontaneity and sometimes we just need to let life take us where it leads us.  There are times where a plan is good.  We all have dreams and it’s never a bad thing to do our best to get to them.goals The empowering thing about goals is that from them we can determine what actions we need to take to get to them.  We can change our behavior now to get to the goal later.  It doesn’t mean that we drop everything, it doesn’t mean these goals can’t change or be replaced, but we only have so much time on this earth and its good to make it count.

How do you figure out your very top level, most important things to you?

If you were at the end of your life looking back, what would you want to have achieved?

What would make you a better person?

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