Make a change

Everybody can profit from a minimalist lifestyle. You do not have to sell your whole household and quit your job. Small changes can lead to more satisfaction, freedom, clarity, and a healthier life. Be brave and try something new.

Often things we assume are necessities are not necessarily so. The problem is that we categorize things as necessities because we are used to them, and we cannot see how to live without them.

It is difficult to make big changes. Start small. Below you will find a list of things I do for your consideration to save money, time, resources, and energy. All minimalists are different in their approach.

  • Use organic coconut oil as body and face cream, waterproof eye and makeup remover, lip balm, and against split ends
  • Make your own deodorant and toothpaste. Do it yourself (DIY).
  • Cook every day with fresh ingredients
  • Check for price-reduced vegetables and fruits
  • Only travel with carry-on luggage
  • Have less possessions
  • Bring your own food from home to work and heat it up
  • Spend your time with things you love that cost little or nothing (e.g. a walk in the nature, read a book, play cards with friends, go camping, build an igloo, paint, treat yourself with a bath and candles, or do yoga)
  • Grow your own vegetables and fruits. Also possible on a sill or a balcony (no packaging and no transport)
  • Reduce your belongings to a minimum and bring them to a second-hand (thrift) shop (e.g. clothes, books, shoes, cosmetics) Less clothes = less time thinking what you want to wear. Gain time.
  • Settle something when you already have it in your hands (e.g. answer an email after you read it, pay a bill after getting it, and wash up after dinner)
  • Keep similar things at the same place
  • Work less. Retire earlier. Buy fewer things.
  • A smartphone without contract. Only use internet when you have Wi-Fi. Or no smartphone at all
  • Spend less time in front of TV. Meet friends instead or take time for yourself
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, magazines and newspapers you rarely read
  • Take a (cloth) bag with you when you go shopping (e.g. food, clothes). No single-use bags.
  • Do not throw away food. Fill it up in a box and eat it the next day or use Foodsharing. And do not buy too much.
  • Safety razor (wet shave): This razor you can keep forever. You only need to buy razor blades (cheap). E.g. Mühle R89 Double Edge. Check amazon
  • Organic soap (e.g. flaxseed, curd soap, olive oil: Aleppo or Native American soap) for hair, body, face, and shaving. Try which one works best for you. Wet your hair. Stroke the soap over your hair. Rub the soap, sluice, finito!
  • For women: use a menstrual cup (e.g. Me Luna Size L). Menstrual cup
  • Go for quality, rather than cheap. It will last longer (e.g. food, clothes, bicycle, tools)
  • Eat less unless you are underweight. The Okinawans stop when they are 80% full. They are known for their incredible health and longevity. The trick is to slowly cut back on your portions a little at a time, and your stomach slowly grows smaller. Do not starve yourself, but learn to eat until you are almost full. It can take up to 20 Minutes till you know if you are really full.
  • Sleep on it for a night before buying something new
  • Share your lawnmower, wok, sewing machine, or newspaper with your neighbour or friends
  • Only give meaningful and beautiful presents (e.g. time, food, a massage, a museums ticket, self-made and important things). Check out this website for inspiration: http://www.zeit-statt-zeug.de/en/
  • Just buy a new cloth if you want to replace it with your favourite trousers or shirt. We do not need to constantly buy clothes to stay fashionable. Buy quality and timeless clothing
  • Try to repair things (clothes, electronic equipment)
  • If you want something check out second-hand (thrift) shops first (e.g. craigslist, eBay, Facebook marketplace)
  • Preferably no finished products (food) and canned food
  • Use google calendar instead of a paper calendar
  • Eat sustainably. Less meat, dairy products and eggs (less cruelty, better for the environment and healthier) Healthy travel recipes
  • Save water (tooth brushing, shower, do the washing-up)
  • Stainless steel drinking straw instead of a plastic straw
  • Digitalize your music, use Spotify, stream in good quality. Less CD’s.
  • Waste separation (recycling): metal, glass, organic waste, paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, batteries and electronic equipment
  • Make a big compost (if you have a garden). Great soil for your garden. Less rubbish.
  • Drink more tap water unless it is undrinkable
  • Use rainwater for washing your clothes and the toilet (hard to change in a rented place)
  • Heat with renewable energy (e.g. pedestal, wood, heat pump)
  • Use electricity from renewable energy (own electricity production or buy it)
  • Use cloth diapers for your children
  • Reduce your plastic consume (e.g. less packaging)
  • Travel your own country
  • For the creative ones: Make your own clothes. Colour them.
  • For brave people: build your own ecological house (e.g. a tiny house)
  • Use more often a pressure cooker (e.g. potatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas) and a lid. Possibility to use less heat
  • Turn off the light and music if you do not need it
  • Use LED, no stand-by
  • Pull out your charger from the socket if not using it
  • Surround yourself with people you feel comfortable with and separate from relationships that take too much energy from you. A few close friends are enough
  • Try to buy most of your food local and seasonal and in small local organic food markets (open sell) instead of supermarket chains (less transport)
  • Use your car less. Go by foot, bicycle (healthier) or public transport instead. Or sell your car and use car sharing if you need one
  • 19-20 °C (66.2- 68 °F) are enough in a room. It is also allowed to wear warm clothes inside in winter 😉
  • Start your washing machine (not too hot) and dishwasher only when full
  • Iron as little as possible
  • Dry your clothes on a clothes rack rather than a tumbler. Letting some air in helps against humidity
  • Insulate the walls and the roof of your house (if possible)
  • Live one day without electricity. Go camping. Get up with the sun. Wash yourself in a river (please only organic soap). Read a book. Enjoy a talk. Go for a hike. Eat warm next to a self-made fire. Play a musical instrument, sing, and cuddle if it gets cold.
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