Jun 8, 2015

Minimalistic lifestyle - a new series

It's strange that I haven't written much about one of my core guiding values of my life - "minimalistic living". Though I have been practicing many of the principles throughout my life, I never consciously thought about a minimalistic lifestyle or tried to improve upon it until a few years back. Now that I see the need and importance of such a lifestyle in today's world that promotes consumerism, let me share my thoughts around how I go about adopting minimalism across various aspects of life.

Yesterday evening, my daughter wanted us to take her to a mall nearby. I hate visiting malls, especially on weekends and tried to divert her attention through many ways, even by tempting her with some ice-cream. Nope, that didn't work. She was persistent that we go to the mall. As we entered the mall, I noticed shopping carts with loads of bags (more plastic….sigh!). As we reached the first floor, I noticed there was a flea market happening. There were stalls with people selling cotton kurtas, sarees and other knick-knacks. "No bargain" was clearly written in big, bold fonts. I didn't venture into the clothes stalls but couldn't help hearing the conversations with prices of cotton kurtas being quoted from 600 - 800 bucks. I had to buy a couple of hair bands for my daughter's bushy, untame-able hair :-) Got a good deal, bought 2 pieces and I left the flea market.

The second floor was even more crowded, with more discounts on home furnishings and kitchen items, conveniently labeled as "home-makers festival". 5 years ago, I would have jumped at the deals on plastic boxes and grabbed a few for my kitchen. But not now. Deals on cheap plastic boxes, melamine cups and plates are no longer attractive to me. I'm transitioning over to glass and ceramic in my kitchen. Will talk more on that later.

We didn't bother checking out the rest of the section, as we didn't plan for anything to buy. Our weekly grocery list - the must-haves are ordered online. I took a walk on Saturday morning to a local vegetable market with a jute bag and got my weekly requirement of veggies. Jumping at deals/discounts and unplanned shopping have reduced to a great extent in our lives these days. Thankfully, my husband and I are in it together in adopting this lifestyle. And it really makes a big difference.

Hoarding, excessive consumption, impulse purchases, shopping being treated as a "therapy" or relaxation - these behaviors are turning our homes into cluttered spaces, leading to stress and anxiety. Through a series of blogposts, I hope to share my experiences on
- how we are reducing clutter,
- how we are cutting down on unnecessary expenses,
- how we gravitate towards richer experiences than materialistic things
- experiments and projects towards adopting a minimalistic lifestyle

I'm very much excited to kick-start this series. Hoping it would help someone in similar paths to get some ideas.

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