15 Gift Ideas for Minimalists

As someone who is striving to live a more meaningful, more minimalist lifestyle, gift giving/receiving is always something that can cause some confusion, especially around the holidays. Many minimalists will tell friends/family specific items they may want/need and others may say they don’t want any material gifts. So– what do you get a minimalist? If you’re still wanting to show your affection by gifting a minimalist, here is a list of some gift ideas.

  1. Tickets (Concert, Movie, Show, Zoo, Sports, etc.)
  2. Massage
  3. Dinner (Homemade or Restaurant)
  4. Wine/Beer Tasting
  5. “Coupon” to Babysit, Clean their House, Dog Sit, etc.
  6. Day Trip to Beach or a Nearby City
  7. Bake them Something (Pie, Cookies, Treats)
  8. Consumables (Wine, Beer, Liquor, Food)
  9. Bowling
  10. Gift Cards (Gas Station, Restaurants, Stores)
  11. Year Subscription (Magazines, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Gym)
  12. Camping
  13. Golfing (Putt Putt)
  14. Manicure
  15. Hair Appointment

If you can think of any more ideas, please leave them in the comments below. It’s always nice to give gifts to those you care about. These are just some ideas for those that may have too much clutter already (in your opinion) or those who are trying to reduce the amount of material items they already have. I hope this list gives you some ideas!

 

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Where to get FREE Food on Birthdays!

Lucky enough to be off work/school on your birthday? Well, make it a special day. Get free food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert at these amazing places!

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BREAKFAST

Denny’s

Score a free Grand Slam just for being born, no email signup required!

Dunkin’ Donuts

Sip on a free beverage of choice on your birthday as a member of DD Perks.

IHOP

Join the Pancake Revolution for a free full stack of pancakes on your birthday.

Krispy Kreme

As a friend of Krispy Kreme you get a free donut on your birthday.

Starbucks

Starbucks Rewards members get a free beverage of their choice for their birthdays.

 

LUNCH/DINNER

Au Bon Pain

Lunch is free on your birthday when you join the eClub.

Hooters

Hit up Hooters for 10 free wings as a member of the Hooters e-club.

Steak ‘n Shake

You should certainly sign up for Steak ‘n Shake’s email club before your birthday, because you’ll be gifted a double-steak burger with cheese fries.

McDonald’s

You can pick up a free Happy Meal on your birthday if you sign up for McDonald’s email newsletter. Oh, and also — you have to be a kid.

Noodles & Company

If you become part of the Noodles Family, you’ll get a free bowl of noodles on your birthday.

El Pollo Loco

When you sign up for its rewards program, you’ll get free chips and guac on your birthday.

Fuddruckers

Join the Fudds Club for a BOGO birthday burger.

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

Birthdays are tasty at Club Baja, where you get a free burrito on your birthday with membership.

Benihana

Membership to the Chef’s Table grants you a $30 gift certificate to be used anytime in your entire birthday month. If there’s any time to get filet mignon hibachi, that time is now.

Red Robin

Feel like Royalty with a free burger during your birthday month.

Ruby Tuesday

Stay oh So Connected with a free burger on your birthday.

Johnny Rockets

Stop into Johnny Rockets the week of your birthday and grab a free burger with the purchase of an entree and drink as a member of the Rocket eClub.

Red Lobster

Fresh Catch Clubbers get a birthday freebie chosen at random. 

Buffalo Wild Wings

Snag a spot in the Buffalo Circle to enjoy a free snack-size order of traditional or boneless wings with your choice of sauce during a two-week window around your birthday.

Joe’s Crab Shack

You’ll get one free appetizer on your birthday if you sign up for the delightfully named “Joe’s Catch” newsletter.

Whataburger

On your birthday, get one free Justaburger justby signing up here.

 

SNACKS

 

A&W All American Food

Sign up for the Mug Club to get a free root beer float on your birthday.

Wendy’s

Snag a free Frosty when you sign up for WendyMail. French fries for dipping not included.

Jamba Juice

Be an insider so you can sip a free juice or smoothie on your birthday.

Arby’s

Sign up for Arby’s Extras and excitedly check your mailbox for a free shake coupon sent a week before your big day.

Auntie Anne’s

Signing up for Pretzel Perks gets you a BOGO (buy one, get one) pretzel on your birthday, so bring a friend!

Checkers

The ever-benevolent Checkers will grant you one free small milkshake on your birthday if you are a member of its “Flavorhood” email club.

Cinnabon

Club Cinnabon gives birthday revelers a free coupon for a “birthday treat.” Word on the street is the treat varies, and who doesn’t love birthday surprises?

Dairy Queen

Everyone loves Blizzards, so you may as well join the DQ Blizzard Fan Club for a BOGO deal on your birthday.

Del Taco

Snag a free premium milkshake on your birthday when you join its Raving Fan eClub.

Quiznos

Q-Club members can stick a candle in a free cookie.

DESSERT

Applebee’s

Dessert‘s on the restaurant for members of the EClub.

TGI Fridays

Make even a Tuesday birthday feel like Friday with free dessert during your birthday month. Just ask for more stripes.

Baskin-Robbins

Enjoy a free scoop of ice cream on your birthday as a member of the creatively named Birthday Club.

Bertucci’s

You’ll get one free dessert when you sign up for the brick-oven pizza chain’s email club.

Bonefish Grill

Free dessert when you become a Bonefish Grill Insider, and frankly, who wouldn’t want to be a Bonefish Grill Insider?

Outback Steakhouse

“Let’s go Outback tonight,” is what you should say if it’s you birthday — because it’ll give you a free kids-sized vanilla sundae.

Orange Leaf

The Ounce Back program at Orange Leaf gets you $3 off frozen yogurt for your birthday.

Olive Garden

Unlimited breadsticks and a free dessert as a member of the eClub? This almost justifies Olive Garden as an acceptable decision.

Sonic

My Sonic rewards get you a free birthday treat, usually chosen as random.

Boston Market

Call yourself a VIP at Boston Market for a free dessert with purchase on your birthday.

California Pizza Kitchen

Save your birthday dough as a member of the CPK rewards program and enjoy a free dessert during your birthday month.

Cheesecake Factory

Tell your server it’s your birthday and you’ll get a free bowl of ice cream (and a song!).

Chili’s

Chili’s email club dishes out a coupon for a free brownie sundae, good for two weeks.

Cold Stone

 Join the My Cold Stone Club and collected your BOGO offer. Bring a friend!

Cracker Barrel

Free dessert and a song? What more is there for your birthday?

Pizza Hut

All you have to do is have an online ordering account with Pizza Hut to get delivered free hot, fresh cinnamon sticks on your birthday.

 

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So, there ya have it. A way to get FREE food all day long on your birthday. Take advantage of it, it only comes once a year.

Oh– and happy birthday!

How to get FREE Food at Restaurants

Do you remember that episode of Friends where Joey, Phoebe, and Rachel are invited out to a celebratory dinner and they’re broke so they can only afford the cheapest items on the menu (that are still expensive)? Well, that sort of thing can happen real life. It can be a bit embarrassing. But, what if there was a way around it?

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Sure, these may not be expensive or fancy restaurants– but if you can suggest one of these places for your next outing, you may be able to score a free meal.

How, you ask?

These restaurants give you free food just for signing up by email or downloading their app. I’m not sure about you, but free food always tastes better!

Here you’ll find a listing of the reward programs you can join that will give you some free food with no other purchase required.

  1. TCBY – Download the TCBY App and you’ll get a free treat up to a $5 value.
  2. Dunkin’ Donuts: Get a free coffee when you enroll, on your birthday, and for every 200 points spent when enrolled in the DDPerks Rewards Program.
  3. Chili’s: Join the Chili’s Rewards program and you’ll get 60 free points just for joining, which is enough to get a free menu item.
  4. IHOP: Join IHOP’s Pancake Revolution, and you’ll get a free Rooty Tooty Fresh N’ Fruity stack of pancakes for signing up, on your membership anniversary, and on your birthday. You can also get free pancakes on IHOP Free Pancake Day.
  5. T.G.I. Friday’s: Get a free appetizer or dessert just for joining their Give Me More Stripes rewards program. You’ll also get a free dessert on your birthday.
  6. Krispy Kreme: Join Friends of Krispy Kreme and you’ll get an email for a free doughnut of your choice. There are plenty of other times during the year you can get free Krispy Kreme donuts.
  7. Panera Bread: Join MyPanera and you’ll get a free pastry item just for joining. They also give out tons of other freebies when you’re a member.
  8. Bob Evans: Sign up for the My Bob Evans email list and they’ll email you a coupon good for a free stack of hotcakes.
  9. Qdoba: Get a free order of chips and salsa or regular drink when you sign up for Qdoba Rewards.
  10. Buffalo Wild Wings: Jon the Buffalo Circle and you’ll get a coupon for a free shareable side.
  11. Cinnabon: Sign up for Club Cinnabon and you’ll get a free minibon roll at participating bakeries.
  12. Joe’s Crab Shack: Get a free appetizer when you join Joe’s Catch.
  13. Del Taco: Get 2 free grilled chicken tacos for signing up for Del Taco’s raving fan club. You’ll also get a free premium shake on your birthday.
  14. Buca di Beppo: Join the Buca eClub and you’ll get a coupon redeemable for free small pasta.
  15. Backyard Burgers: Sign up for the Backyard Burgers Clubhouse and you’ll get a coupon for a free burger emailed to you in a few weeks.
  16. Dunn Brothers Coffee: Download the Dunn Bothers Coffee Rewards App and you’ll get a free $3 credit.
  17. Moe’s Southwest Grill: Get a free cup of queso when you sign up for their Rockin’ Rewards program.
  18. Bravo! Cucina Italiana: Just for joining myBRAVO! you’ll get a free appetizer.
  19. Panchero’s Mexican Grill – Download their app and register with Facebook and you’ll get a free burrito.
  20. Golden Corral: FREE buffet on your birthday. (Or if you’re desperate, put in your birthday the day before you sign up and you’ll get the coupon within a day or two for the free buffet.)
  21. Penn Station:  FREE 6″ Sub when you download the app.

You’ll get a very good coupon redeemable for some free food with these programs, but you’ll need to make a minimum purchase to get them. Free with purchase.

  1. Arby’s: Sign up with Arby’s and you’ll get a coupon emailed to you that can be redeemed for a free roast beef classic with the purchase of a drink.
  2. Famous Dave’s: Join the Famous Nation and you’ll get a free burger or sandwich with any $5 or more purchase.
  3. Pizza Hut: Get free cheese sticks on your next online order when you sign up for Hut Lovers.
  4. Auntie Anne’s: Download the free Auntie Anne’s My Pretzel Perks app and you’ll get a free pretzel after your first purchase. They also give away a free pretzel as part of National Pretzel Day.
  5. LonHorn Steakhouse: Get a free appetizer with the purchase of one adult entree when you join their eClub.
  6. Coldstone Creamery: When you join Coldstone Creamery’s eClub,  you’ll get a coupon for a buy one creation, get one creation free.
  7. Biaggi’s: Join Club Biaggi’s and you’ll get a coupon for a free appetizer with purchase of a full-size pasta or entree.
  8. Village Inn: Sign up and get a free slice of pie with an adult entree purchase.
  9. Fazolli’s: Get a free build your own pasta with the purchase of any adult entree when you sign up for Fazoli’s efamily.
  10. Backyard Burgers: Join the Backyard Burgers Clubhouse and you’ll get a coupon for a free burger with the purchase of a burger.
  11. Dairy Queen: Get a buy one, get one free Blizzard treat coupon when you join the Blizzard Fan Club.
  12. On the Border: Sign up for Club Cantina and you’ll get free guacamole, queso, or sopapillas with a purchase of an entree.
  13. PretzelMaker: Join the PretzelMaker fan club and you’ll get a free pretzel when you buy one.
  14. Orange Julius: Get a buy one drink get one free offer when you join the Julius League.
  15. The Melting Pot: Join The Melting Pot’s Club Fondue and you’ll get a free box of chocolate-covered strawberries with a purchase of $60 or more.
  16. Bakers Square: Sign up for Bakers Square eClub and they’ll email you a coupon good for a free entree with the purchase of another adult entree and two drinks.
  17. Great American Cookies: Sign up for emails and you’ll get a coupon for a free regular cookie with purchase of a regular cookie.
  18. Black Angus Steakhouse: Join the Prime Club and you’ll get a coupon for a free dessert with purchase of an entree. You’ll also get a free steak dinner with entree purchase for your birthday.
  19. Boston Market: Join the Boston Market VIP Club and you’ll get a coupon for $3 off a purchase of $10.
  20. Johnny Carino’s: Each month you’re a member of Pasta Points, you’ll get a free offer of your choice at Johnny Carino’s that includes a free appetizer, dessert, kid’s meal, or Italian wedge salad. A purchase is required for the freebies.
  21. Checkers: Sign up for Checkers’ Flavorhood and get a coupon for a free large fry with any purchase.
  22. Johnny Rockets: Join the Rocket eClub and you’ll get a coupon good for a free burger with the purchase or any entree and drink.
  23. Chevys Fresh Mex: Join Chevy’s eClub and you’ll get a free appetizer with two adult entrees.
  24. Culver’s: Culver’s has two offers – join the eClub and you’ll get a free value basket with a purchase of a value basket, or join the text club and get a free scoop of frozen custard with any purchase.
  25. Country Kitchen: Get a free short stack of pancakes with a minimum purchase when you join their eClub.
  26. UNO Pizzeria & Grill: When you join the Uno Insider’s Club, you’ll be emailed a coupon to get a free mini-dessert with the purchase of an entree.
  27. Juice It Up: Sign up for the Smooth eClub and you’ll get a free juice or smoothie with purchase of a medium or larger juice or smoothie.
  28. Friendly’s: Join the Friendly’s BFF Club and get a buy one burger get one free coupon.
  29. First Watch: Join the First Watch Sun eClub and you’ll get a free entree when you buy one.
  30. El Torito: Get a free appetizer with two adult entrees when you sign up for their eClub.
  31. Gold Star Chili: Get a free regular 3-way when you buy one for joining.
  32. Acapulco: You’ll get a free appetizer with the purchase of two adult entrees when you sign up for their eClub.
  33. BGR The Burger Joint: Get a free burger with the purchase of any side and a fountain drink when you sign up for their eClub.
  34. C.B. & Potts: Sign up and you’ll get a free burger or chicken sandwich with purchase of a second burger or chicken sandwich.
  35. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop: Join their CapAddicts eClub and you’ll get a free upsize from a 9″ to a 12″ sub.
  36. Duke’s Chowder House: Sign up for Duke’s VIP Club and you’ll get a buy one get one lunch or dinner entree offer.

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Hopefully these will be useful to you, I know they have been for me.

 

Fight Club – Was Tyler Durden a Minimalist?

If you’ve ever seen the movie Fight Club (which, I hope you have – if not, go watch it right away), then you’ve probably noticed a thing or two about Tyler Durden.

Warning: Spoiler Alert –

According the the Fight Club wiki fan page, “Tyler Durden is the Narrator’s split personality. He was created by the perfect storm of the Narrator’s insomnia-induced insanity and his frustration with a hollow life of wage-slavery and consumerism. He is the manifestation of the completely free person the Narrator wishes he could be.”

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Here are some quotes from Fight Club. I’ll let you decide if he was a minimalist.

  • The things you own end up owning you.
  • If you are reading this, then this warning is for you: Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think everything you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity, you will become a statistic. You have been warned.
  • It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.
  • You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.
  • Fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns. I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let’s evolve—let the chips fall where they may.
  • Reject the basic assumptions of civilization—especially the importance of material possessions.
  • The liberator who destroyed my property has realigned my perceptions.
  • Do you know what a duvet is? It’s a blanket. Just a blanket. Now why do guys like you and me know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. What are we then? We are consumers. We’re the byproducts of a lifestyle obsession.
  • Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. Goddammit, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables—slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man: No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war; our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
  • We’re consumers. We are the byproducts of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty—these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra…fuck Martha Stewart. Martha’s polishing the brass on the Titanic. It’s all going down, man. So fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns.
  • What do you want? Wanna go back to the shit job, fucking condo world, watching sitcoms? Fuck you—I won’t do it.
  • Explaining consumerism: We are all part of the same compost heap.
  • A metaphor for the modern consumer-driven lifestyle: How embarrassing—a house full of condiments and no food.
  • Hitting bottom isn’t a weekend retreat. It’s not a goddamn seminar. Stop trying to control everything, and just let go! LET GO!
  • Only after disaster can we be resurrected.

 

We should all learn something here and start ridding ourselves of corporate, consumerism, and cultural influences that control our lives. “Our lives are ending one minute at a time.” Do what makes you happy. Don’t let third parties dictate what we want and feel. Be you, not your things.

 

 

What is a Packing Party?

If you’re unsure what to keep and what to donate/toss try having a Packing Party!

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What is a Packing Party, you say? Well, keep reading.

The basic idea is to invite some friends over, have some snacks, listen to music, maybe drink a little wine (this is the party part) and pack everything you own into boxes. Obviously, this isn’t for those not ready to jump in completely because it will take some time and effort. However, this is perfect for those who have already downsized and bit and want to declutter even more but do not know how to do so.

You should probably warn you friends beforehand that they will be helping pack your entire life into boxes during the party, but most good friends won’t mind giving you a hand.

Once everything you own is packed (organize and label these boxes- it will make your life much easier) over the next 3 to 4 weeks (or longer, depending how quick you want to do this) you will take out things as you use them. For example, the very first night you will probably pull out your toothbrush, bed, couch, bedding, pajamas, etc. Once you have taken something out of the box and used it, place it where it belongs in your home.

The Minimalists created the idea of a Packing Party. Here is an excerpt from their blog on the topic:

“You see, I didn’t want to spend months slowly paring down my possessions like Josh had. That was fine for him, but I needed faster results. So we came up with a crazy idea: let’s throw a Packing Party. (Everything is more fun when you put “party” at the end.) We decided to pack all my belongings as if I were moving. And then I would unpack only the items I needed over the next three weeks.

Josh came over and helped me box up everything: my clothes, my kitchenware, my towels, my electronics, my TVs, my framed photographs and paintings, my toiletries, even my furniture. Everything. We literally pretended I was moving.

After nine hours and a couple pizza deliveries, everything was packed. There we were, sitting in my second living room, feeling exhausted, staring at boxes stacked halfway to my twelve-foot ceiling. My condo was empty and everything smelled like cardboard. Everything I owned—every single thing I had worked for over the past decade—was there in that room. Boxes stacked on top of boxes stacked on top of boxes.

Each box was labeled so I’d know where to go when I needed a particular item. Labels like, “living room,” “junk drawer #1,” “kitchen utensils,” “bedroom closet,” “junk drawer #7.” So forth and so on.

I spent the next twenty-one days unpacking only the items I needed. My toothbrush. My bed and bedsheets. Clothes for work. The furniture I actually used. Kitchenware. A tool set. Just the things that added value to my life.

After three weeks, 80% of my stuff was still in those boxes. Just sitting there. Unaccessed. I looked at those boxes and couldn’t even remember what was in most of them. All those things that were supposed to make me happy weren’t doing their job.

So I donated and sold all of it.

And you know what? I started to feel rich for the first time in my life. I felt rich once I got everything out of the way, so I could make room for everything that remains.”

You can read the entire article here.

  • If packing up your entire apartment or house seems too overwhelming, which it will to those who have quite a bit they’re wanting to downsize, then I suggest to try doing a packing party with individual rooms. For example, do your bedroom and write on the calendar when it’s been 4 weeks so you’ll know your deadline. You can pack up more rooms within those next few weeks or literally just do one at a time and wait until the 3 or 4 weeks is up before starting on another room. This is the easiest way to do the Packing Party. But, I wanted to give you all the backstory of the Packing Party, especially for those who are ready for that big change and don’t want to wait.

I hope this has inspired you. If you have done something similar to downsize your own items, how did you do it?

 

 

Steps & Tips to Declutter the Bathroom

The bathroom was one of the hardest places to declutter when I first started my journey. With bath & beauty products, I always feel like I may use it one day. “But, what if….” or “But, when I…” It was a never ending cycle of bringing in new things to try, keeping the old, and never purging because of those “buts.” However, I finally allowed myself to get rid of everything except those items I use regularly or know I’ll use within the next 30 days. A good rule of thumb is the 30/30 Rule. “If you haven’t used it in the past 30 days and won’t use it in the next 30 days, then toss it.” It has worked wonders in how I decide what I should keep and what I shouldn’t. Though, if the 30/30 Rule makes you a bit nervous, feel free to expand it to 60/60 or whatever makes you feel a little more comfortable. Just be honest with yourself.

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I have come up with a few steps to get you started on purging those items you no longer need or use and a couple tips of how you can store the items you decide to keep.

  1. Remove items: First things, first. Each section of your bathroom will be done individually, or if you’re feeling extra motivated you can do the entire bathroom all at once. You are going to take out EVERYTHING from that section of your bathroom. For example, medicine cabinet, under sink, makeup, nail polish, closet, shower, etc. I do this one at a time, but feel free to completely clear your bathroom if it’ll help keep you on task.
  2. Clean, clean, clean: When you have that space emptied out – scrub! You have no idea how much better your bathroom will look if instead of just throwing stuff out, you literally take everything out and clean the space it will be placed back into. Also, everything you are deciding to keep – clean those too. Bathroom items get hair spray, water spots, tooth paste, makeup, and all sorts of things on the containers. I suggest picking up some of those generic cleansing wipes and wiping them down before placing them back into the freshly cleaned space. Or, to save even more money just fill a bowl with some soapy water and use a wash cloth!
  3. Throw away ALL expired items: Don’t try to convince yourself it’s still good, just toss it. If you need it again one day then you can go out and buy it. More than likely if you have items that are expired, you don’t use them much. This includes, medicines, lotions, creams, face wash, anything that has an expiration date. They put that date on there for a reason. This also includes just items you know to be really old. Doesn’t have to have a date. If it’s been there for a couple of years or more, go ahead and get rid of it.
  4. Separate what is left in four piles: Trash, Donate, Sell, Keep. You will use these four piles in every room in your house. Bathrooms may, or may not, have a lot to put in the sell pile so I typically stick to the remaining three. The donate pile can be separated as well. I usually make one charity pile (Goodwill, Salvation Army, Homeless Shelters, etc) and another pile is a donation to friends/family whom I know would find joy in the items. If you’re planning to donate the items to charity, be sure they are unused (if it’s an item that shouldn’t be shared) or mostly full.
  5. Only keep the items you actually use: Remember to think back to that 30/30 Rule. Clean off the items you’re planning to keep and start putting them back in an organized fashion– like items with like items, used most, etc. You can find your own unique way to organize your items. Also, a good idea is to go to a Dollar Tree near you and grab a couple organizational bins/trays that you can keep certain items in to make it look nice and be more efficient. Loose items, like bobby pins, hair things, etc should all be placed in a container for easy access and to keep the clutter from forming elsewhere in the bathroom.

 

A FEW TIPS: 

  • Keep bathroom decorations to a minimum. You already are placing quite a bit in a small area. Decoration will just make that space seem cluttered.
  • Try to keep countertops and flat surfaces clear of items. If you want to put something on there, I suggest putting something on there that is used daily– handsoap, toothbrushes, etc. I’ve been to so many bathrooms where they have some sort of decorations on the sink/counter just to have something there. Believe me, your bathroom will look much neater and clean without it there.
  • Do NOT purchase more of an item that you already have. Use the item you already have until it is completely gone. This will not only save you money, but it will save your bathroom from getting cluttered again.
  • When in doubt of whether or not to purge an item, ask yourself these three questions. 1. Do I like this? 2. Do I use this? 3. Do I need this? If you answer no to any of those questions, you should consider parting with it.
  • If an item is discolored, separating, or has a foul odor – dispose of it, regardless of time kept. Bath, body, and beauty items stay good for a while, but not forever.
  • If you need to organize a bathroom drawer, consider purchasing a cheap silverware or other drawer organizer.
  • Spice racks work great within cabinets or on wall for those with very limited space.

 

I hope you have found this information beneficial in some way! Consider doing this in the bathroom at least a few times per year to keep it clean, organized, and clutter free.

 

Saturday is EARTH DAY! (4/22)

This Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day! What a perfect opportunity to share how, and why, we recycle with your children! Make it a fun game for them!

It is also a great opportunity for all of us beginning our Spring Cleaning to gather all of our recyclables to take them to the recycling center. Not only will you be doing Mother Nature a favor, but you’ll be doing yourself a favor by ridding your house of some clutter!

WHAT CAN BE RECYCLED? 

  • Metal (cans, foil, bakeware, appliances)
  • Paper/Cardboard (paper, magazines, cardboard, newspaper, phonebooks)
  • Glass
  • Plastics (make sure it’s clean)
  • Batteries/Bulbs (car batteries, household batteries, rechargeable, LED bulbs)
  • Electronics (computers, office equipment, TVs, consumer electronics, phones)

For more information on what can be recycled and how to recycle it, check out the Waste Management website here.

If decluttering your home isn’t on your to-do list, there are some ways you can enjoy Earth Day without spending a dime!

Life is about experiences, not purchases. Remember that.

My favorite thing to do on Earth Day is to take a hike or walk outside. There are plenty of areas you can do this. You can take a walk in your neighborhood or walk with some friends on a hiking trail. If you Google your area along with “hiking trails,” I’m sure you’ll find some great places to go.

Another great way to enjoy Earth Day is by visiting a lake, ocean, or river. Anywhere that brings you closer to Mother Nature. Breathe in the fresh air and just enjoy being outside. We find ourselves bustling about and never truly stop and “smell the roses.” Try to do that this Earth Day. You’ll enjoy it, I promise.

BONUS EARTH DAY FREEBIE: 

If you’re lucky enough to live close to a National Park–

Earth Day is FREE admission to National Parks!

See a list of National Parks participating in the FREE admission here.

 

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Try to find something positive to do this weekend that will benefit our planet.

 

Minimalism: A Documentary

If you’ve been into minimalism for a while then you probably already know about The Minimalists. Two amazing guys who travel the world sharing their stories on how, and why, they gave up their six-figure careers, fancy cars, and large houses. They were reaching the age of 30 and realizing that their material possessions weren’t making them happy. They had a void in their life and didn’t realize why. They do now. They are probably THE most inspiring group of minimalists that I’ve come across on my journey.

You can read about them and their stories here.

MinsPodcastCover-1500x1000-500x333.jpg

But, I’m getting a little off topic. The purpose of this post was to introduce you to their documentary, “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.” Lucky for us, their film can be seen on Netflix. Sure, not everyone has Netflix but I’m sure everyone knows at least one person who does that may let them use their account for a night. If not, you can find the documentary online, including renting it on Amazon.

You can watch the trailer here.

“How might your life be better with less? MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.”

If you haven’t seen the documentary — it is a MUST WATCH.

If you are inspired by what you see and don’t know where to begin your own journey, you should check out my post about the 30 Bags in 30 Days Challenge.

Also, be sure to check out The Minimalists website. They have several YouTube videos and even a Podcast called, The Minimalists, that you can find on any Podcast site/app. If you have a job that you can listen to headphones at, my suggestion is to start at the beginning of their podcast and just listen through them. However, they are also named so if you’re only interested on minimalism with children, their stories, advice on letting go of sentimental items, then you can pick and choose based on your preference.

I hope you find The Minimalists to be just as inspiring as I have!

 

 

 

Cheap & Healthy Breakfast Idea

I used to be the type of girl who would just skip breakfast everyday. I know, I know. Shame on me. But, I just wasn’t hungry when I woke up so I would just wait until lunch. However, now that I’m older I’m realizing that saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” may actually be true. Ok, it is true. So, I’ve been forcing myself to start eating breakfast these past several months. Who would’ve thought, I feel better and I actually wake up hungry now. [insert pat on back here]

All that being said– I don’t have much money, nor time in the mornings (I like my sleep) to make breakfast for myself. The only way I will eat breakfast is by having it ready to go in the morning which means — meal planning. The two words that make you feel like you may actually be “adulting” right.

I have a few go-to breakfast meal ideas, but for this post I’ll be sharing my current favorite…

OVERNIGHT OATS

Overnight-Oats.h

(Image by HoosierHomemade.com)

It is seriously the easiest, cheapest, healthiest breakfast I make for myself. It is also so versatile. You can literally put whatever you like into it.

The Basic Recipe: 

Any small container will work – I prefer glass tupperware or jars.

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats (not the instant kind)

1/2 Cup Milk of Your Choice (almond milk is my favorite)

Next–

Add in any fruits, nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, etc you like into it and give it a shake and place in fridge before bed so it’ll be ready to go in the morning.

You can eat this cold or warm it up in a microwave for a minute or so.

Easy, right? 

You can also prepare these for the entire work week. Five days maximum in fridge is my suggestion. However, I typically just make a couple days in advance. They’re so quick that I don’t mind making them the night before if I have to.

A couple of my favorites: 

  • Banana & Peanut Butter
  • Strawberry & Banana
  • Blueberries & Banana

 

As for the price–

I purchased my oats, frozen blueberries, and frozen strawberries from Dollar Tree. Yes, Dollar Tree. ($3)

Peanut butter, I typically always have on hand. But, it all tastes the same to me so I always just get the cheapest, generic brand at whatever store I am shopping at the time.

Almond milk is what costs the most and it was still under $3 at my local grocery store.

This all lasts me more than a week. But, roughly I managed to only spend about $6 to give me breakfast for an entire week. Now that’s cheap! With a little math it equals about 85 cents a day for breakfast.

If you have a Pinterest account, feel free to type in “Overnight Oats” to see all the different varieties other people have come up with. People are pretty creative with it.

 

If you already make Overnight Oats, what is your favorite things to top it with?

 

 

 

Where to Begin?

It can be extremely overwhelming to begin the journey of decluttering your home. Believe me, I know. One look in that bedroom closet or living room and — nope, no way. Maybe next week. I’ve been there, done that. But, after researching online I found a great way to start the process. This can take as much or as little time each day as you’d like. It’s called…. 30 Bags in 30 Days Challenge. I did this challenge after already having downsized by at least 50% and still managed to find 30 bags worth of junk in 30 days.

The 30 Bags in 30 Days Challenge was created by the YouTube Channel My Great Challenge. That link will send you straight to her playlist of her decluttering her home for the 30 day challenge. I binged watched the entire playlist in just a few days. If she doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know who will.

The rules are simple:

  • Go through your home filling at least ONE bag per day of things to get rid of. These things can go into one of four categories – Trash, Donate, Recycle, or Sell.
  • The bigger the bags, the better. However, you can choose whatever size bag you would like for the challenge.

WORDS OF ADVICE

  1. My advice for the first day is to go from room to room gathering all the visible trash or things you know you want to throw away. That is a great way to get the actual trash out of the way so you can start purging other items later.
  2. Another piece of advice is to put your bags of donation items in the trunk of your car immediately after filling it. This will help keep the temptation of going back through it to a minimum and will also keep you from forgetting it at home. That way when you’re in town close to wherever you choose to donate, you can drop it off quickly and on your way to your next destination.
  3. As for the recycling pile– be honest with yourself. If you don’t think you will ever make it out to that recycling center then just trash the items and maybe start incorporating recycling into your routine later. The main purpose of this challenge is to rid your house and living space of the clutter, not just move it to another part of the house.
  4. That being said, same goes for your Sell pile. If you don’t think you will ever get to listing those items online or having that yardsale, then donate the items or find someone who may be willing to help sell them for you. If you are able and willing to actually sell your items, you can sell them on your town’s Yardsale pages on Facebook, eBay, or even at an actual garage sale.
  5. As for makeup, bath, and body items — if it’s expired, toss it. No question. However, if it something that was maybe given to you or you’ve had a while that you never use, try checking out your local women’s shelter or homeless shelters. A lot of times, they are more than happy to take them off your hands and the people at the shelters will be ecstatic about getting some new items they can use.

 

I will be writing more blog posts with my advice and some tips and tricks for decluttering your home. This is just to give you some of the basics that I’ve learned and help you find a starting point.

Here are a few more YouTube Channels that decided to do the 30 Bags in 30 Days Challenge, in case you need a bit more inspiration:

deelovelylife

Transforming Melody

Living With Less

If you have started your decluttering or minimalist journey, how did you start? How did you get past that sense of being overwhelmed?

Good luck, everyone! Happy decluttering! Believe me, you’ll feel so much better after this challenge. Like a breath of fresh air!