Tag Archives: minimalism

Minimal Minimalism

Minimalism has gained popularity and got me interested. It blends well with environmental consciousness.

I do have minimalist characteristics.

I don’t like multiple frames on a wall. Some of my walls are bare.

My home decors are simple like for Christmas I only have the Belen/Manger and my litte live Christmas tree as I posted here https://joyfullplace.wordpress.com/2022/12/24/my-little-christmas-tree/ I do have a Santa Claus when my young nephews and nieces are coming over but they have celebrated in the province since the pandemic.

I only have one TV unlike my friends who have a TV in the family room and another in their bedroom.

I avoid multiple items and generally buy replacements only or items I do not yet have.

But there are minimalist characteristics that I don’t have or practice.

I still can’t let go of items with sentimental value to me easily. Like our antique furniture. It’s not really that functional and I suppose minimalists would have sold or given it away. But it had been with our family for more than 70 years. I only have 2 pieces which were brought here because they have to be repaired and there were no good restorers in the province. The oval table and other chairs are in our ancestral home in the province. I also keep some greeting cards from that time , long ago , when sending cards was the way to greet and express our feelings. I still have old postcards when pictures of places we went to were shared via mail instead of emails and social media.

I keep my mini library. I’ve given away the textbooks I used in school for the younger generations to use, but I’m keeping the rest. It’s just a mini collection so it’s not a big violation of the minimalist code I suppose.

Minimalists advocate having a few items in our wardrobe, the more similar the better. I’m not ready to have uniform-like clothes, though I buy more mindfully.

I haven’t emptied my closet or given away half its contents. I’d like to make sure that items will find a new home as I’ve written in Mindful Discarding https://joyfullplace.wordpress.com/2021/04/11/mindful-discarding/ . I also think that discarding for the sake of decluttering might not help if the items will be discarded mindlessly and end up as garbage and be an environmental concern.

Minimalism is a continuum. The extreme ones are the ascetics which live with bare essentials. I still think I’m practicing minimalism even if I’m at the other end of the continuum. I’m a minimal minimalist.

A Year of Frugal Living

I could have titled this piece as my No Purchase Year like I see in You Tube videos of No Purchase Year or No Spend Year. However, I viewed a couple of these videos and it turned out they were Low Spend Year than No Spend Year because they bought essentials like food.

Last year , I did or came close to doing that because of the pandemic and lockdowns.

My purchases were limited to the following:

  1. Food – only the essentials for meals. At the start of lockdowns there were those who stocked a lot for provisions to the point of panic buying and hoarding. I tried not to give in to the fear of supplies running out and I bought just right.
  2. Cleaning or sanitation items. – I did purchase a little more than my usual stock of alcohol that I didn’t buy more for the whole year.
  3. Replacements for essential items – I had to buy a replacement for our stove .

The things I did not buy/spend on:

  1. Clothes – we were not allowed to go out during the quarantine so I only wore house clothes most of the time. There were few times when it was necessary to go out like when I had to buy replacement items so I got to wear some of my weekend clothes to the mall/grocery . I also wore nice tops for Zoom meets, but I only rotated my present clothes.
  2. Accessories – we’re always covered in a face mask and a face shield when we go out so accessories are unnecessary.
  3. Gasoline – there were few trips so my gas lasted. It helped that there’s a small grocery nearby and I just walked when I had to buy essential items. There’s also a fruit stand within walking distance. It also helped that my brother who was stranded here (he’s now US based) borrowed my car to go to his in-laws a few times and he gassed up full tank before he left. That was in June last year and I still haven’t bought gas as of this writing.
  4. Face Masks – our municipal government gave out disposable masks, a religious organization gave washable cloth masks house-to-house and a friend gifted me with face masks.
  5. Face shield – another gift from a friend
  6. Make up- I didn’t go out and I put just a little lipstick during Zoom meets.
  7. Lotion- I have enough in store from gifts from friends and “pasalubongs” from balikbayan friend and relatives. Pasalubongs are gifts from people coming from a trip or another location. Balikbayans are countrymen who are now based in other countries and are returning for a visit or for good.
  8. Slippers – my current set ( one each for the bedroom/inside the house, for the bathroom and for the yard) lasted for a year.
  9. Shoes/sandals – I wear these for going out so I only used a few for the few times I went out. I wore my rubber shoes more often , when I walked to the fruit stand to buy fruits and walked to visit our church. Rubber shoes are really designed to last.
  10. Haircut in a salon – I cut my own hair.
  11. Other salon services. I didn’t go to salons for facials. In lieu, I steam my face to clean my pores. I think it’s not really an equivalent/ a substitute but I thought it was the more prudent option because of the pandemic.
  12. Plant pots – I recycled some pats and old containers.

I also did not buy these items last year but I usually don’t buy them even before the pandemic so I list them separately:

  1. Garbage bags – I recycle shopping bags from department stores and supermarkets.
  2. Kitchen counter tops wipes – I make rags from old towels/ hand towels or T-shirts.
  3. Mops – I make them from old clothes.

There are fruit-bearing small trees in our yard so they lessened my purchase of fruits. We have mangoes, papaya, balimbing and guava. I had a good harvest from our mango and papaya trees and I was able to give away some.

Wikipedia -Balimbing or Averrhoa carambola

My neighbor has a santol tree and she gave me some of her harvests.

Sandoricum koetjape - Wikipedia
Wikipedia -Santol or Sandoricum koetjape

In addition to the fruits that the trees give, they also help in cooling our house during the dry season. They also attract birds because of their fruits and their shade which make mornings more beautiful with their playing and chirping.

The past year has demonstrated that we can indeed live on less. This will help our finances and in a bigger view, this will help the environment , this will help the earth.