My Zero Waste Journey So Far

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My zero waste journey began on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019. That day my husband and I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. We were shocked at how much we ended up throwing away in the clean out. It really opened our eyes to how much waste was going on in our own kitchen. There were too many things in the fridge, so we would forget we had them, so they would go to waste. We would buy too many condiments that we didn’t use on a regular basis and so they would be outdated as well. In the freezer similar things happened. We overbought, stocked too much and as a consequence ended up having to throw too many things out. Have you had a fridge/pantry clean out like this? I also ended up going through the spices/dry goods in a similar fashion.

We are on a journey towards zero waste since this day. After that clean out I knew that I needed to really stick towards menus of dishes that I knew we would all eat, and only cook enough for us to use up that week. We also like to go out to eat on the weekends, so I mainly plan to make 3-4 meals a week at home and we usually have 1-2 leftover nights where we eat up leftovers. We are not perfect, but now I clean up the fridge on a more regular basis and yesterday there were only 2 outdated jars. That’s great progress & it was wonderful that they were glass with metal lids so it was easy to recycle them.

I also began to think about the packaging we were bringing home as we shopped both at the grocery store and for other items. I have cut way back on buying things online and try to find more local alternatives. This really saves on boxes/ packaging that ends up in our home. Some of it is recyclable and some is not. With materials that are not recyclable, I try to reuse those as much as possible.

We have started to shop every week at the farmer’s market on Saturdays. This really cuts down on packaging, bringing our own bags to the market and to the grocery store really helps.
The market also has minimal packaging for fruits and veggies. I have found one store- New Seasons Market who will allow you to bring in your own containers to buy items in bulk like: olive oil, coffee, dry goods like rice, flour, nuts, dried fruits, spices and more.

I am happy to say that last week our recycling was not overflowing and our garbage can was only about 1/8 full. Amazing! Every day and every week we learn more and I will be sharing more details in further posts. How have you reduced waste in your home and lifestyle?

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

Trust

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Trust. We must trust in life daily even when our trust is challenged.

Have you ever had times where things seemed to really be sailing along in your favor and you felt on top of the world; then out of the blue some things cross your path and seem to create obstacles to the life you are seeking?

This of course has happened to me. I am learning that the most important things is to build up your trust in life. The phrase that is important to remember when a challenge or an obstacle comes up is:

Life is always working out for me

This is a phrase that I need to remind myself of from time to time. Life can cause you to make detours into the realm of fear, just as in the sign pictured above. We can allow ourselves to sink into despair when things aren't working as we expected them to. Or, we can learn to trust that life is always working out for us. There are many mysteries that we do not understand. That is why: cancellations, deals that don’t work out, clients not following up and so many other things are actually things working out for us IN DISGUISE.

We can use obstacles as a gift or we can choose to be negative about them. The choice is ours. Of course it is very normal and natural to be unhappy about them for a short time. We can allow ourselves to have feelings of anger, upset or annoyance for a short period of time. Then, we can let go of it and realize that life is always working out for us.

Many times I have had cancellations or meetings not working out due to one circumstance or another, but then even better things come along later that fit better into the lifestyle that I am seeking. Sometimes opportunities that seem great don’t work out because they truly aren’t for us. Believe it or not, life is really looking out for us and making sure we stay on the path we are truly meant to walk on to be our best selves, to create win-win situations for ourselves and others.

What ways can you see that life really was looking out for you in the end?

I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

How Much Clothing Do Kids Need?

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How many outfits do kids need compared to adults? It is a very interesting question. As adults of course since we are not growing anymore, we can keep our clothing and shoes longer as we are not outgrowing them. Kids are different since usually we need to buy clothes for them around 2 times a year or sometimes more often if they go through a sudden growth spurt.

How much is enough and how much is too much? I used to buy a lot more clothing for my son when we was younger. Of course his clothes got dirty faster when we was a little guy, and of course there were diaper explosion accidents. Fast forward to now when he is 10 going on 11 and now I’ve gotten much more minimal when it comes to his wardrobe. I also used to buy special outfits for Easter and for Christmas. Now, I just buy two “nice shirts” in the fall that can go for any winter/spring holiday and then one “nice shirt” in the spring/summer. Those are more than enough for any occasion we may be attending- and for picture day too! I am aware that girl’s clothing presents more of a challenge because there are more choices/accessories. However, I do believe that a similar effect can be achieved.

For fall/winter here is what I usually get for my son:

5 or so long sleeved shirts

2 collared shirts

5 pairs of pants

7+ pairs underwear

7+ pairs socks

1 pair of shoes (I only buy him 1 pair of shoes at a time. I never really buy formal shoes unless they are really needed)

3-4 pairs pajamas

1 coat

For summer:

5-7 pairs shorts

5-7 short sleeved shirts

1 collared short sleeve shirt

1 pair sandals/flip flops

1 pair swim trunks/swim shirt

underwear/socks/pajamas as needed

I think that this minimal wardrobe works really well. His closet is not stuffed with clothes and he can easily find what he needs. When he outgrows his clothes I can just pass it on to others. That’s great!

We are going on vacation this summer and I know that he has 7 days worth of clothing, then we will do laundry. This way we can pack light, but still have a very enjoyable trip.

I would love to hear from you on how much clothing you get for your kids each season and also how much you buy for yourself each season!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Future Decluttering

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As parents we often think that our children will want to inherit our things. We keep lots of things to one day pass on to them. However when it really comes down to it, your children only want time & memories with you. The present moment is all that we have and all that we should be concerned with giving to our children. The rest is really just stuff that they may or may not want.

If we are hanging on to things only because we think that our children or relatives may want it one day when we downsize or when we pass away, we need to rethink things. It is so very important to keep only things that: we enjoy looking at, we use on a regular basis. All else can go. We can let go of it. Our children and relatives will have their own things that they love to look at or use regularly.

We owe it to our future to de-clutter now, pare down our things so that our children and relatives are not saddled with the large task of deciding what stays and what goes. Of course, there will be plenty of things still left, even in a de-cluttered household. However, if we minimize what we keep now, it will be so much easier when an eventual change of home or downsize happens and your relatives need to help you with the process.

Think not only of today, but of the future when deciding what things to keep in your home. I think it’s important to not only enjoy the results of minimizing your things now, but to enjoy them in the future too because you will have fewer things to move and deal with later on.

When you focus on living in the present instead of saving too many things for the future, you will be leaving a legacy of fun memories and love instead of too many things to go through. I urge you to minimize your things now and instead of acquiring more things, acquire more memories by: taking days off, spending time with friends, inviting people over for a meal, planning a vacation and more! The future really is now in this moment and it is ours to enjoy with freedom and peace in our homes and lives.

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services