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Minimize, Simplify, Downsize
I don’t use a microwave. There are many reasons (or conspiracy theories possible) why I don’t use a microwave. But the biggest reason is space. My microwave takes up too much space. I’d rather heat leftovers (or anything else) on the stove or in the oven.
I only have 3 skillets and a saucepan, as well as a few other cookware items. Yes, this means constantly doing more dishes, but I find it worth the tradeoff. Meal prepping and eating the same food several times a week even eliminates the need for a microwave as well.
I don’t have a couch as well. Furniture isn’t very important to me. I don’t have tables or chairs, or even a proper dresser. Living in a smaller space, furniture takes up too much space for a necessary function.
Multitasking Is for Items, Not People
I learned, at least partially, how to cook by watching Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.” Alton stressed the importance of having multitasking items in the kitchen. He despised “unitaskers” or items that only served one cooking purpose and took up prime “real estate” in the kitchen.
I’ve started applying this concept around the house. I recently bought this Anker electrical plug that can hold two USB cords at once. This way my phone and tablet charge overnight using only 1 electrical outlet. The plug’s prongs fold into themselves and are great for travel as well as around the house.
Another recent around-the-house purchase I made is this travel case organizer. Or as the Pack Hacker Channel likes to say, tech pouch. I can grab this tech pouch and throw it in my car or bag when I’m traveling. I can even grab something in it around the house.
Other things around the house that I use for Everyday Carry (or EDC) are a small first aid kit, a day pack with a rain jacket, and other items. The day pack is great for when I want an early morning to write down by the lake. I can grab different pouches, packs, and items based on what I want to take with me or think I will need. Swapping is super easy when everything is in a case or pouch.
I also carry my usual wallet, keys, and phone. I simplified my keys with this interesting key organizer. Prior to Pack Hacker, I never even heard of a key organizer. It’s great to have my keys organized and can choose to use a carabiner or throw them in my pocket without scratching the pockets.
What About Clothing Without A Dresser?
I learned another trick through Pack Hacker. I rather enjoy (and feel relieved) saving space by rolling my clothes. It helps me find what I’m looking for quicker. Heavy shirts, pants, and heavy jackets are hung up in my closet. I use racks and cheap cube organizers to keep my clothes rolled. Simple, effective, and satisfying.
I’m also looking at putting my clothing to multiple uses. I found the combination of a capsule wardrobe with merino wool (no I’m not sponsored by Pack Hacker but maybe one day!) is not only great for minimal travel but everyday wear as well.
Minimalism & Intentionality
Combining minimalism with intentionality is great for those on a tighter budget. I’m quickly learning that quality over quantity saves money in the long term. I prefer a higher-end purchase that pays for itself out over time, rather than trashing things quickly.
On an ordinary or lower-income, I believe, intentionality is more important than minimalism. My partner does not identify as a minimalist, and I’m not asking her to get rid of her furniture or large (or small) items. I know of those on a lower income who don’t even know about minimalism. They are doing incredible things, however, with high-level intentionality.
Minimalism & Simplifying for The Future
I know I want to travel. This year I have gotten the itch to travel badly. I have a few events and travel opportunities coming up. I am slowly making plans on how to travel on a budget.
Minimizing and simplifying around the house is not only helping me for future travel but for moving as well. I don’t plan on being in my current space in the future. Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. If I can simplify into what some travelers live off abroad for multiple years, it will help alleviate some stress of having to move excess.
Simplifying also helps save money when upgrading piece by piece. I’ve been able to find things around the house that may be functional but of lower quality. I can slowly plan to budget for upgrades to better quality without breaking the budget. I’m happier when I can remove several items by upgrading to a single, multitasking item.
How can minimizing or simplifying (or both) help you now or in the future? Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Are you able to do incredible things with intentionality on your income?
Check out other posts in this series: An Extraordinary Life On An Ordinary Income