8 Reasons We are Choosing Minimalism

We didn’t set out to live our new life minimally. It started about a year ago when we decided we wanted to be debt free in 22 months. When you have a goal like that you start considering everything you spend money on. It makes it so much easier to say no to something if you know the pay off means no debt! So we stopped accumulating things and started cleaning out about 9 months ago.

Second, we had talked for two years about our house being more than we needed and each time we came home from the Baby House in Mesa it became clearer that we didn’t need that much room. Then, floating in the pool, we decided to sell.

And then it was just time to commit. We were not just downsizing, we were truly minimizing. And with that understanding and commitment we took the leap.

Here are a few of the things we have discovered along the way and reasons why minimalism is appealing to us:

  • We don’t want to leave our kids having to sort through our stuff someday
    MP and I often discuss what aging might look like and what we want it to look like. We’ve both seen people age and continue to gather things along the way, only to pass away and leave the entire clean out process to their children. This seems incredibly unfair since we have a choice to take care of it now. So we started the process early and plan to stay downsized to ensure our children aren’t left the unpleasant task of having to go through and dispose of our stuff. This article, posted by the Minimalists, shines a bright light on this subject.
  • We are frugal and enjoy saving money.
    Ok…I confess. I love a good spread sheet. I’ve been known to play with the monthly budget numbers for hours just to see what tweeking one bill or another would do to the savings. The idea here is pretty simple. If you spend less then you make, you can save more. And saving more means we get to realize our dreams sooner. We have our hearts set on a week on a catamaran. I’d like to do that within the next couple years. Check out MP’s blog for photos of this dream!
  • We eat very healthy and minimizing our shopping saves time, money and energy
    We eat at home most nights. On occasion we have a date night and go to a local place for a cocktail and dinner, but we usually cook at home. Eating healthy is a high priority for us, so we often purchase similar items for meals each week. For more on this topic check out my blog on grocery shopping minimally.
  • We were tired of spending a whole day of each weekend taking care of yards, pool, hot tub and house
    Ok, truth be told MP spent more than one weekend day a week taking care of the House of Wales. Between the pool, hot tub, yards and upkeep he was putting in 20+ hours a week to keep it looking beautiful. That is a great thing if you enjoy it and you want to do it, but when it was just the two of us and we could find all the same amenities without the responsibility, we opted for the Condo! We’re loving our downsized life and can’t wait to see what it affords us in time, dollars and energy.
  • We really like a clean house
    The minimalist lifestyle offers a way to live with less and in so doing it creates a place of peace to come home to every night. Less stuff means less stuff to clean, pick up and keep organized. Since we both really like to live in a picked up and clean home this lifestyle choice just adds to our contentment and peace.
  • We want to travel…a lot of places.
    One way to help make travel more enjoyable is to not have to worry about what’s happening at home while we’re away. By choosing to live in a place without outside doors we know our condo will be safe. By adding the Dwelo feature, we can control lights, heat and locks from where ever we are so not only do we feel secure when were away, we can be frugal with our utilities too.
  • We want more time with our kids and grandkids
    We really like our kids. They are all really cool, adult humans. So hanging out with them is not only fun but very fulfilling. We have soon to be three of our grand children living within just a few miles of us. By downsizing our expenses and needs we hope to have more time to spend with our kids and their adorable teacup humans.
  • Less stuff means less stress.
    We both work high pressure jobs. Our home needs to be our haven of peace and calm. Not having clutter equates to less stress. Not having as many things to maintain, means less stress. Having time and space to do things we care about, like meditating and working out means less stress. As you can see….less stress is VERY important to me and living minimally perpetuates that.

These are some of the reasons we are choosing to live minimally. I’m looking forward to this journey and seeing how these changes effect our future choices and adventures. What area’s of your life have you minimized and how’s it working out for you?

More on our adventure soon. Stay tuned!

~rache

Grocery Shopping Minimally

Years ago, I knew someone who went out every Sunday morning and bought a Sunday paper. Not for the articles or the weather updates, but for the coupons and adds. He would then spend the better part of the morning pouring over those adds and clipping coupons while at the same time making a grocery list for that week.

The list usually had 3-5 stores listed, with that stores sales items and coupons grouped by store to make sure they were used at the right places on the right items. The weeks meals were then planned based primarily on what was on sale or had a coupon.

The shopping would happen on Monday. It would take about 5 hours with each store being mapped so there would be no backtracking and the required cooler in the back to ensure nothing got too warm during the outing.

Don’t get me wrong. I think this is probably an extreme, albeit real, example. I think truth be told most people plan a weekly or bi-weekly trip to the grocery store, buy what looks good and sadly according to CBS news, wastes an average of 30% of what they buy. Groceries account for 71% of all impulse buys.

About a year ago MP and I signed up for Instacart. It’s a grocery delivery program, that lets you choose from the stores nearest you for grocery delivery to your home. The cost is about $100 per year. I won’t go into all the details of the program, but I will say it has cut our grocery bill and allows us to stay out of stores that not only take time but encourage spontaneous and often unhealthy buying.

We no longer get up on Saturday morning and make the run to Winco. We don’t battle crowds to get the crackers we love and we don’t spend time debating new products that are strategically located in the center isles. Instead, I make a menu most weeks, figure out what we need to have for those meals and order just what we need.

No more weird snacks that looked good in the store going to waste on my shelf. No ice cream in the freezer that I don’t want to have to decide every night not to eat. No throwing away veggies found in the bottom of a crisper having gone bad. Instead, we have healthy dinners with lunches made each night and while we do still get a treat now and again, we mostly have healthy options to choose from when a late evening craving wins out.

Lastly, because a personal shopper does all the shopping, I no longer need to keep up my Costco membership just for groceries. Instacart makes sure the shopper has the membership and I can still get the deals and products I’m used to.

Instacart has been a fabulous option for us. We save time, money and energy to use on the things that matter most to us. And for those of you wondering, I do still go to the store for special occasions to buy something specific. Instacart may not be for every day, but it can be for most days.

Minimalism. Its about trading the things that fill our time and space and take our focus off the things that matter for what’s really important. For me, right now, one of my top priorities is time. Time to do the things I love. Time to be with those I love. And I don’t know about you, but grocery shopping doesn’t fall on either list.

Let me know if you’ve used this or another service and how it helped you realize a more stress free or minimalist life.

~rache