Happy April Fools Day! & Welcome to another 20 Questions Minimalist Style! As always, I am excited about today’s post! [I don’t know if I will ever not be excited to share with y’all!] She is not only a Minimalist; she also believes in Zero-waste. Her name is Candice, and she is the founder of Baby Steps Going Green. On her blog you will find lots of information about her lifestyle, and a new announcement I just read about! In the short time I have been able to read through Candice’s blog, I realized there is a lot to learn with living as simple of a life as possible. This woman has given me new life goals to work towards, and I bet she will give you some as well!
20 Questions Minimalist Style:
1. Tell me about yourself. Who are you? What do you do?
Hi, I’m Candice. I’m twenty-three years old and a certified teacher, who is currently job hunting. But in my spare time I blog about my journey towards minimalism and Zero-waste.
2. What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about a lot of things. Art, music, my pets (I have 2 cats as well as 2 birds who I adore), Minimalism of course, Zero-waste ideas and practices….also just living life to the fullest and making every day count. I’m all about taking the time to enjoy the small stuff, like a great book, or the sound of an incoming thunder storm…stuff like that 🙂
3. What was your life like before you became a minimalist?
My life was similar, except for the fact that I had a lot more “stuff” and less time because I spent most of it taking care of my “stuff”. I happen to be a bit of a neat freak, so I did have a lot of items but I also had to have them organized and alphabetized, etc. Safe to say it was a lot of work compared to how little time it takes me to do the same chores now.
4. How did you discover minimalism?
Those who know me know that I am an avid book lover, and I happened to come across a book called Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson, who is both a minimalist as well as a zero-waster. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Zero-waste, it is a practice where I try to send as little to the landfill as possible. I buy from bulk bins and apply the 5 R’s in order. I Refuse things I don’t need, Reduce what I do need, Reuse what I have, Recycle what has been Reduced and Reused, then Rot/compost the rest.)
Once I read her book I was inspired, and so what did I do? I went back to the library and found more books on minimalism, I also went on YouTube and found videos…I probably consumed hours and hours on information on the topic.
5. Did you start shifting your life towards a minimalist lifestyle immediately, or was their hesitation?
I was pretty immediate. I saw the pictures of different minimalist spaces and just loved how open and clean they were, so I grabbed a box and got to work culling my items.
6. How did you begin the transition to a minimalist lifestyle?
I started with physical possessions. I went through my room first and got rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff, specifically starting with my wardrobe….seriously, I still had my prom dress and graduation gown stuffed in my tiny closet. I went through and donated anything that was not working for me anymore. They say that we wear 20% of what we own 80% of the time, and it is incredibly true. To date I have narrowed down my wardrobe to 25% of what it used to be, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Every piece I own fits me and is something I love to wear, and the best part is that it is a very colorful/pattern filled wardrobe…no black and white boringness for me!
After tackling my stuff I thought about other ways I could incorporate minimalism into my life and found that my chores and routines were good places to go to next. I consolidated everything and now have a lot more free time to do what I want.
Even now there are still things I am working on, like minimizing my internet things and logins, I don’t know about you but I have easily over fifty different logins for sites I don’t even use anymore…I need to go and delete a few accounts.
Recommended Post: 5 Easy Swaps for the Zero-Waste Beginner
7. What does being a minimalist mean to you?
It means focusing on experiences instead of physical tangible things. So instead of getting random items for my birthday or on the holidays, I ask for experience gifts instead. I would much prefer tickets to a concert or a show than another random decoration for my dresser.
It’s about taking time to enjoy the little things in life. As a new part of my routine I make my breakfast and sit down at the kitchen table with it on my fancy plates. I then take a good fifteen minutes to really ENJOY my food. That means no cell phone or distractions, it’s simply me, my food, and perhaps watching a few rabbits hop across the back yard.
For me, minimalism is getting back to the basics so I can really be happy with my life.
8. Where are you currently with your minimalist journey?
Currently I would say that I am on the tail end of culling my possessions. I find that I am pretty comfortable now with the amount of things I own.
I am now focused on bringing minimalism into other areas of my life. I have a minimalist diet of fruits/veg/meats/nuts and seeds (Basically a Paleo diet).
I am working on minimizing my social media time as well as time spent with the television. I have a few shows that I watch religiously, but for the most part the television is excessive…I only have it on a couple of hours a week.
I have almost completely minimized the harsh cleaning chemicals/synthetic fragrances/ yucky stuff I don’t need out of my routines as well. I now use vinegar and baking soda for most of my cleaning needs.
I also am working on minimizing my errands, though I still find that there is always at least one day a week where some random things pops up and has to be done. But I am trying to make it where I only do errands one/two days a week.
Other than that I still do random checks of my possessions to see if there is anything else that I don’t need/want. But I am really happy with my progress so far.
9. Where do you hope to be in the next 6 months with your journey?
I hope to achieve all of the things I am working on currently, as well as to perhaps schedule a few more fun experiences, especially for the summer time.
10. How has minimalism changed your life?
It has opened up so much time that I didn’t have before. Where it used to take me a half hour in the morning to get dressed and ready it now takes less than 10 minutes. I am down to three loads of laundry a week max, as opposed to the five or six I used to do each week. All of those little bits of time that I have freed up add up until there are now hours of time that have become available for other things.
I now have time to paint and sketch, I have more time to spend with my pets as well as family. I now have the time to get around to all those “someday” things that have been sitting on my to-do list for ages.
Minimalism has given me my life back, instead of being owned by my things, they are now simply things that I own.
11. What things have you changed in your life since becoming a minimalist? Examples: becoming a vegetarian, less waste, using no plastic, etc.
I have mentioned it already but I am also on a journey to Zero-Waste. I have phased most of the plastic out of my life as well. I also experiment with fermenting and making different things from scratch like apple cider vinegar. I even have my own garden with tons of herbs and veggies.
Recommended Post: There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Zero Waster or Minimalist
12. What is the biggest obstacle you have faced? How are/did you overcoming/overcome it?
I guess the biggest obstacle was dealing with other people’s opinions that I had gone off the deep end, so to speak. My grandmother for example came into my room recently and looked around before her jaw dropped and she remarked “It’s so naked in here, what happened? Where did all of your clothes go?”
Once they saw that this was a lifestyle change for me and not just a fad, they started getting used to it and now even support me…though they still think I am a bit crazy 🙂
Recommended Post: Living with Non-Zero-Wasters and/or Minimalists
13. Explain your current wardrobe. Are you following a specific capsule wardrobe project? If, not what guidelines do you use [if any]? What color palette would we see? How many items do you have in your wardrobe?
My current wardrobe has many colors and patterns in it. It is a minimalist wardrobe though I wouldn’t define it as a specific capsule wardrobe. It is more or less just the items that I enjoy wearing, and enough for all four seasons here in the states. I’m not entirely sure of the specific number of items, but it is a comfortable amount for me.
14. What is/are your favorite Minimalist Blogger(s)?
15. What is/are your favorite book(s) on Minimalism?
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
16. What is your favorite part of your day?
The evening when I can sit in my pajamas and read a good book 🙂
17. What is the last thing you let go of?
A shirt that wasn’t being worn enough for my liking. It was a beige cami that almost matched my skin tone exactly, which made it look really weird when I wore it.
18. What is one thing you wish you could let go of, but haven’t yet?
Plastic credit cards/store reward cards. They drive me nuts, but unfortunately are a necessity at the moment.
19. What is the number one benefit you have received due to becoming a minimalist?
More time….It is a precious commodity.
20. If you could give advice to someone who wants to start their minimalist journey, what would you say?
Start small, keep a box or bag near your front door and fill it up throughout the day/week when you see things that you don’t need anymore. When it is filled take it to a donation center and replace it with another box/bag.
For more information about Candice, please visit her blog Baby Steps Going Green. If you have any questions for her or myself, leave them below in the comments!
If you would like to become a participant of the 20 Questions Minimalist Style, visit my introduction post for the how to! See you there!