These days, birthdays and holidays are all about “what you got” and spending an obscene amount of money to make sure the birthday person feels loved. Somehow, we’ve evolved into a society that associates money with love: the more you spend, the more you must love them. I wholeheartedly disagree. Instead, we’ve opted for spending less money and focusing more on the quality of our things and our time together.
With that in mind, I want to share some of our favorite fun traditions to ensure that the birthday person feels extra important on their special day, without breaking the bank or going overboard on anything.
I did it! 3 months wearing only the same 33 items. It was definitely a learning experience but I'm excited to share what I learned with you.
The idea of being "zero waste" seems difficult, expensive, time consuming and arguably "not worth it". I know because when I first started looking into it, that's all I kept thinking. "Oh my god. They want that much for straws?! They must be out of their damn minds." Or "Yeah, composting seems great, but it also seems like a lot of work."
A little over a year ago, I switched from cloth to full time disposables. It wasn't a decision I was thrilled about, but our cloth diapers were really nearly 2.5 years old. The elastic was stretched beyond usefulness, and the inserts were no longer doing their jobs. I was annoyed with their failure to last as long as I wanted (although they did last for a long time, I just had unreasonable expectations) and I was frustrated. Instead of replacing the cloth we had, I decided it would just be easy to by disposables. I wish I hadn't done that.
It seems drastic to cut down the amount of clothing and shoes you own/access to only 33 items. When you stand in your closet, looking at all the dozens of shirts, dresses, and skirts, you might even think "This is insane. Why would I limit myself like that? It's a choice. Why would I force myself to do such a crazy thing?" Not to mention all the cute pairs of jeans and shorts you have over in your dresser. Is a capsule wardrobe even a viable and realistic option?
This has been the internal debate in my mind for the last few months and I have to be honest, the more I think about it, the more I think "Eh, it couldn't hurt, right?" I mean really, where is the harm in having less stuff? Less decisions to make. Less laundry to wash, dry and put away. Less clutter and physical things to deal with.
Since beginning our minimalist journey , I've been looking for creative, cheap, and easy ways to celebrate holidays without bringing in a bunch of excess and useless, one-off toys that will just be messy and take up space. Less clutter, more fun times. That's the goal, right?
If you Google or Pinterest search for "newborn must haves" or registry ideas/suggestions, you will find literally hundreds, if not thousands of things you "need" before you bring your baby home, and hundreds more things you "need" to get through the first year with your new babe. I'm gonna simplify all this for you right now and give you a very short list of the things you actually need for your baby.
We all know that the holiday season can be very stressful and very expensive. I know some families that spend thousands of dollars just on their own 2-3 kids, then add to that their extended family and friends. That is outrageous to me. This year, I spent approximately $150 on both of our boys and that feels like too much.
I have been told that I am a very "crunchy" momma. While, yes, I do subscribe to some of the crunchy momma choices, I never considered myself crunchy. I'm not trying to be eco-friendly. I'm not overly concerned or aware of the chemicals in processed baby food or disposable diapers. I'm not concerned that formula feeding isn't as good for my babies, or that "breast is best" as they say. I'm cheap.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community