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HOW MINIMALISTS KEEP THEIR HOUSES CLEAN THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

Our lives are always rushed and we can’t seem to keep the house clean as we wished to. Kids are throwing things all over the place, spouse keeps leaving things around the house and it seems like the only thing we’re doing in the house is cleaning. Why is it that our houses are one big mess every single day? I got news for all of you minimalists out there! It’s not hard at all using these simple techniques.

Keep counters empty

Let’s start off with the kitchen, since it’s one of the most used areas in the house. We’re always preparing food to feed our bodies. Marie Kondo, the tidy expert, recommends keeping the kitchen counters empty. She recommends putting everything away into cabinets and drawers for a clean kitchen. I’ve found this to be an amazing transformation in my kitchen. I seemed to have items out like any other typical kitchen. Items like tea containers, cooking oils, fruit rack, tea press and other “essential items” that I thought needed to be out in the open for ease of access.

Once I put all those items in the cabinets I noticed that I quickly transformed my kitchen to an open and clear kitchen. Marie Kondo explains that keeping your counters empty will essentially be easy to clean your kitchen when you cook. Imagine this, it will take a quick swipe of your empty counters to wipe them clean instead of pushing things aside, wiping that area and putting the items back to place. In most cases, those areas with stuff on the counters don’t get cleaned regularly. It will collect water spots, dust, and splatters around those items that are left out.

Keeping the fridge sparkling

I would always get frustrated when I deep clean the fridge and then a week later it’s back to where it was. I would do this over and over again. I wouldn’t see an end to this cycle, and I thought this was the way of life… to deep clean the fridge a few times a month.

The key here is to dry off everything wet before putting items in the fridge. Glass jars, dishes, pots, anything in a container should be quickly dried off with a towel before placing it in the fridge. The main reason why the fridge gets really nasty fast is because of the water spots that are shown when we put wet items in the fridge. Take this extra step and you’ll have a sparkling, clean fridge every day!

Make your bed

Did you know it takes a whole minute to make your bed? It is quite soothing to the soul when you come home to a nice looking bed, instead of a bed that looks like a hurricane just came through.

If it takes less than a minute to do something – do it

This goes to everything from putting something away, wiping the counter top, dusting off the TV, putting your shoes away, putting your dish away after you’re done eating, etc. The house gets messy pretty fast when things don’t get put back to its’ place. When you come home and you change out of your work attire to your home attire, and you know it takes maybe a minute to put your clothes in the laundry hamper or hang them back up, then do it right away! After you’re done doing your makeup in the morning, it takes less than a minute to put your makeup, hair dryer, comb back into drawers. Even if you’re rushed, don’t dismiss this step because it will save you from having a huge mess at the end of the week.

Under 15 minutes a day

A lot of us go throughout our busy lives thinking that it’s a hassle and it takes too much time to do chores throughout the week. We tend to dismiss the clutter that piles up and wait till the weekend to do chores. Our house is roughly 1,300 sq. ft., and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It’s only my husband and I living at our house.

I wanted to put my chores to the test and see how long it usually takes to do chores around the house. Here’s a breakdown of how many minutes each chore took me.

So, putting some chores together like sweeping and mopping the kitchen floors will only take me 9:05 minutes! That means I can squeeze one more chore in there like sweeping the living room and it will put me at a 14:43 minutes.

The houses vary in sizes, so it might even take you even less time to do chores than it took me. If you have kiddos running around and destroying everything you clean, it might take you a little more time. However, this gives you a general sense that typically chores take up less time than you think! So, don’t put it off for the weekend, because it doesn’t take that much time to clean throughout the week.

I believe you can do accomplish a lot in 15 minutes. When you do 15 minutes a day, your house will be sparkling for any unexpected guest to arrive and be presentable.

Free printable

This is why I created an easy, free printable for you guys to enjoy. Print it out, time your chores and see how long it’ll take you to do the chores. Cross it off, personalize it and make it your own. Slap it on the fridge so it will be a friendly reminder to do those “time consuming” chores that we all dread doing throughout the week.

Download it here!

Make it fun!

Don’t make chores boring and strenuous. Make them fun, joyful and enjoy them with your favorite upbeat music. Dance around during your chores and you’ll be all done with your chores with a happy and joyful attitude.

Happy living, world!

 

 

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11 EASY WAYS TO A MINIMALIST PURSE

The minimalist purse

Women typically don’t see the impact of a heavy purse. We go about our days picking up our purse from the back seat of a car (shoulder impact), setting it down on the floor and picking it up (back impact) and carrying it all over the stores, malls, and anywhere we go (shoulder and back impact). Especially if we are wearing high heels, the weight is not proportioned and our bodies are unaligned. Although we might not notice the impact in the short term, it does affect us in the long term and then it hurts, like crazy.

The weight of your purse

Research says that a typical purse weight is averaged to be at 5.2 lbs. That means the weight can easily go up to 15.1 lbs. Can you image carrying a 5lb dumbbell, let alone a 15lbs dumbbell everywhere you go? No wonder it puts a heavy strain on our bodies.

Bigger is not always better

Although there is nothing wrong with huge, big bags that fit our styles they do tend to fill up fast and it’s no wonder we’re walking around with a 15lbs purse. What do we stuff our purses with? Well, typically it can be anything from diapers, nail polish (and remover!), memory cards, nail clippers, sun glasses, pepper spray, water bottles, books, etc. All the little things add up to 15lbs!

Items you really need in your purse

Go through your purse and pick out only the items that you use on a daily basis. Everything else should be put back to its place (either at home or in the car).

I used to carry around tea bags with me in my purse. I would buy several boxes of different tea collections and keep the tea bags with me.  I’m a tea addict and I love drinking tea wherever I go. This saves me money in the long run by not purchasing a $3 cup of tea several times a week but instead just asking for a hot cup of water (free!). I would be spending tons of money on tea if I didn’t go this route. Tea bags are not heavy, at all, but it brought extra mess to my purse that was unneeded along with tons of random receipts that I would keep. I now keep my tea bags in the car, that way I can grab it and go.

It might be hard to go through your purse and pick items that you only use on a daily basis and not keep everything else. In reality, do you really need to carry seven different types of lip glosses/lipsticks, all of that make up, several pens, markers and flash drives with you? Another way to think about it is: only keep items in your purse that you need to survive with. I know you can do this, and this will save you so much weight and it won’t affect your body.

You are free from clutter

Once you’ve cleaned out the purse, you will feel so much lighter. You will feel like you’ve bought a brand new purse and it’s beautiful. Your purse feels like a feather and you’re thinking, “why the heck didn’t I clear it out a long time ago?”

Ways to keep a minimalist purse

  1. Don’t say “yes” to the freebies at conferences, events, and stores and then shove them in your purse for later. You will never need them.

 

  1. Don’t save those coupons and flyers that you “might” need in the future. A lot of coupons are online, and most stores are now price matching items. I’ve found that being a cheaper route than using a coupon.

 

  1. Don’t save receipts unless they are neatly stored in your wallet, especially the ones from the grocery stores. Do you really think you’ll be returning that bag of potatoes that you’ve bought a thousand times already?

 

  1. Don’t keep business cards. Remember, it’s the 21st  century, everything is online.

 

  1. Don’t take off your jewelry and throw it in your purse to be put away in the future. I’m sure you can find jewelry in your purse from months ago. Now, it’s rusty and it doesn’t look sharp.

 

  1. Don’t carry around that pepper spray for 10 years and think one day you might actually need it.

 

  1. Don’t carry around your makeup. Makeup is sensitive to heat and other conditions. For lasting products, makeup should be kept in a safe place called home.

 

  1. Don’t use your purse as trash. The more you treasure your purse, the more it will retain its’ value. I’ve used the same purse for about a year and a half now. Don’t throw stuff in there for the means of tossing them later. It will look like you’re carrying around a nice bag of trash around with your keys and wallet hidden somewhere on the bottom of the purse.

 

  1. Try going smaller. I’m not saying to throw away your big purse, but next time you’re in need of a new purse, try getting a much smaller purse. That way, you’ll have no choice but to limit your purse belongings.

 

  1. Empty your purse out on a weekly basis. This will allow you to keep that minimalist purse that you’ve always wanted. Throwing away any extra junk on a weekly basis will give your purse a nice, clean and simple look on the inside.

 

  1. Don’t carry around your extra electronics (phone/laptop charger, batteries). Keep them at work, car or at home. One tip for your phone: don’t charge it overnight. Wake up in the morning, turn off your phone and plug it in while you get ready. It will charge super fast, and the battery will last longer.

What’s in my minimalist purse? 

Wallet, work badge, mirror, keys, cell phone, pen, hair tie, peppermint essential oil, and one chapstick.

 

Happy living!

 

 

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WHAT 30 DAYS WITHOUT INSTAGRAM DID TO MY LIFE

I initially got an Instagram page to be “connected” with my family and friends. What I didn’t realize is that slowly Instagram became my daily routine. I was hooked on knowing what other people were doing in their lives, and having “interactions” with peoples posts. Since primarily most of my family and friends are on Instagram I wanted to be in the loop of what was happening. It was a fun experience; however, I did not know what I was actually missing out on in real life.

I would have days where I’m checking Instagram when I wake up, before going to sleep, standing in line somewhere, having dinner with folks, etc. I felt like I had the need to check my feed every downtime I had. My husband would be driving and I would be on Instagram. Hanging out with family, friends, I would sneak in a few minutes here and there to check the feed. Everyday during lunch at work, I would be on Instagram.  I would always feel if I went a day without Instagram I was missing out on the news. Something was always happening, and I always had to post something about what’s happening in my life too (you know, to keep up to date). Going to the river, a picture post of the river #whatabeautifulday. The rain started, a cool picture of the rain drops was snapped and posted on my feed. Going on a road trip, I needed to let the world know that I was going out of town. #roadtrippin #gettingout #niceweather #awesomevibes

I do not have Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter so all of my social media was focused on Instagram. It consumed my life and I didn’t even know it. I felt like a robot following what the world is doing. The world is on Instagram — posting and following others. All 700 million of them are posting every day of their daily life routine. We surround ourselves with feeds that we want to see on our pages. Whether it’s bodybuilding, health topics, make up, fashion, motivational posts, etc. In reality, how many of the motivational posts do you see a day and do you act on? How many stories have you read on Instagram that completely inspired you in one way or another, and how many of them changed your life? How many posts transformed your life to become a better person?

I got to the point where I was spending over 2 GB of data a month on Instagram (too many videos — I know!). I realized at that point that I had to give it up. I needed to make a change in my life. I needed to get out of this robotic lifestyle that I felt I had with Instagram.

I woke up the next day, uninstalled Instagram and put reminders on my Google calendar to remind me not to re-install Instagram and to keep me on track for the next 30 days. I wanted to see what it will do to my life.

I realized a few things that changed in my life.

I had more time on my hands.

When I would come home from work, I felt the need to “unwind” and check my Instagram feed. Next thing you know, it’s time to wrap up the day, get my lunch ready for the next day and go to sleep. When I uninstalled Instagram, I would eat dinner and quickly found myself the need to clean the house, do chores, and do things that I would normally keep off until the weekend. I found that I had a lot more time during the week to get things done than ever before. I was able to keep the house clean throughout the week and focus on other things like gardening and reading books that were both productive and stimulating my brain. This gave me so much more pleasure and happiness than being stuck behind a screen.

Re-established better relationships. 

I noticed that on the car rides with my husband, I was there physically but not mentally. I remembered that all of our conversations in the car would be where he is doing all the talking and I’m just nodding and saying, “yes” to everything. I was disconnected from his conversations. Whether at dinner, or in the car, I was sitting on my phone scrolling through feeds,  catching up on other peoples’ lives or posting another random picture. Once I uninstalled Instagram, I realized that there are some great conversations that were happening on our car rides. I was intrigued by our conversations and learned a few things about him that were new to me. I became focused and realized that car rides with my husband is a lot better without the Instagram distraction and I began to cherish that.

I saw myself texting friends and catching up on life, rather than just seeing what they’re up to on to Instagram. These conversations opened up to meeting up with them and having face-to-face conversations. Which, in my opinion, is the best! The time where you can laugh till you pee your pants and share lasting memories is what I treasure.

My eyes were open to the clutter around me.

I opened the drawer underneath the kitchen sink and thought, what a mess?! I need to minimalize the clutter and get rid of junk underneath the sink. I acted fast, and cleaned it out immediately, instead of waiting for next day, or the following day which would probably be – never.

I even painted the bottom cabinet to get rid of all the water stains.

I regained clarity.

I became more focused in life.

I was called to jury duty, and sat in the lobby all day. Usually I would take my “free time” to catch up on Instagram feeds, and see what other people are doing with their lives. Instead, I grabbed my favorite book from home and was able to catch up on my reading. I set goals, and I would accomplish goals. In reality, we don’t have this “free time” in this thing called: life. Life is too short to waste time. Life is so precious. Every day is a time clock ticking away.

I now observe the human population with a different mindset. I see those 700 million folks all around me every day. I see how they are “programmed” and how I too was “programmed.” I see that they are not  actually there during their conversations with their families/kids, their interactions with loved ones, and even walking their dogs! Why in the world did you get a dog if you have no interaction with that little pooch?? It’s time to change that. Time to free yourself.

It’s now been 35 days without Instagram, and let me tell you.. I didn’t miss out on anything. I am free. My mind is not congested with other peoples’ lives and feeds. I don’t know if I will go back to my personal account, but I do know that I will advertise my blog on Instagram. Which will be only used for the means of advertising my blog.

I may be called the “odd” one in this world. But you know, the “odd” ones are the ones that get somewhere in life. Where are you going? How are you spending your precious time here on Earth? Why watch someone else create their lives on your feed, where you can be making your life happen with things you love and treasure.

 

 

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3 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT PERFUME

Let’s talk about perfume.

As we walk through the malls and big department stores, all of the perfume bottles look and smell so good. The magazines show us really good deceiving pictures of the perfume bottles. Perfume is being advertised to us on a daily basis. So much so that companies selling perfume spend around $800 million in advertising per year.

Women think that they need a perfume bottle for every day of the month. One for going out, one for work, one for date nights, one for church, one for sleeping, etc. We are being programmed by the society that we need and need more perfume.

In reality there are things that we don’t realize about perfume.

  1. They expire.

Have you ever realized that when you first buy the perfume bottle you get the most vibrant smell for a good month or so? Then the perfume smell dies out. Where does it go? Research shows, that perfume does expire, with a shelf life of 3 to 5 years. However, I tend to believe that it only smells really good for a good few months. I’ve noticed that on all of my perfume bottles. That being said, what happens if we have 10 bottles of big perfume bottles lying around? They don’t smell as strong, and they are probably really old. If you leave them in the sun or in the car, they will go bad faster.

  1. Bigger is not better.

 

Keeping one really big bottle of perfume does not mean it’s better than 5 little bottles. You’ve shopped around and decided to go with one big bottle of the perfume because it’s now you’re favorite one. By keeping the perfume bottle small gives you the opportunity to try out new ones more often when you run out. There will be another great perfume bottle just for your scent.

 

  1. Quality over quantity.

Don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to buying perfume. The perfume you wear is part of your identity. It gives you that confidence boost in the morning when you step outside of the house and ready to conquer the world. You are clean, fresh scented and people notice you by your scent. If you are in a professional environment, surrounded by people you want to be noticed by the “oh girl, what are you wearing, it smells nice!” and not by the person that people run from. Buying a very good quality perfume will get you remembered. Living a minimalist life doesn’t mean that you have to buy cheap items. In this case quality is always better than quantity. Get rid of all the funky dory cheap perfume and stick to one really good perfume. One that represents you all around.

So the goal is to go through your perfume collection and toss the ones that don’t give you that spark when you spray it. Keep one, small, fresh scent around and you will feel so much better after all that perfume clutter is gone. You will feel more alive and free from seeing that box of perfume. Free yourself and minimize your perfume collection. Be conscious.

Happy living!

Alina