Maintaining Our Minimalist Home.

Recently, a friend of ours brought up an interesting point on minimalism…

He asks, how do we maintain our minimalist home in the long-run? When people give us gifts and we can’t find a functional use for it in the house, do we just give it away?

These are probably questions that you may have as well and we’d like to do our best to answer it.

Maintaining a minimalist home:

  • Firstly, boy is it so much easier to clean than a cluttered home. On average, we take just 2-3 hours to finish doing a rough-clean of our entire house. This includes sanitizing door knobs, windows and cleaning our table-tops, chairs, toilets, sinks, and floor.
  • Secondly, a minimalistic house motivates us to take baby-steps in maintaining our home on a daily basis. This is why we need only 2-3 hours for the above point.
    • After showering daily, we squeegee our glass panels, walls and wet areas on the floor. This prevents soap scum and stains from building up. This means less scrubbing and harsh chemicals when it’s time for a deep toilet cleanse. Every little step goes a long way.
    • We do not allow for any moisture nor ponding of water on our kitchen tabletop. We see some droplets, we clean. This prevents staining and the growth of mold/mildew.
    • We keep our table top areas as bare as possible and our cleaning cloth nearby. This removes any inertia for wanting to keep the space airy and to minimize dust building up.
  • We are recently trying out a DIY all-purpose cleaner and it’s been working out well! (2 cups water + 1tsp dish soap + 10 drops of tea tree oil)
    • This saves us some money/space by using resources that we already have (tea tree oil is a great way to kill mold by the way)
    • It is more ecofriendly (you can reuse your squirt-bottles) and it doesn’t use harsh chemicals such as bleach (which we still use on tough stains)
    • We’ve used it so far for our counter-tops, kitchen wall tiles, the sink, water faucets and surface cleaning for the toilet-bowls.
    • Let us know if you’d like more details on this! 🙂

 

The next point is…

What do we do with gifts that we can’t find a use for?

We are broaching a pretty sensitive topic here because I mean hey, it “ain’t nice” to let the gifter know that you can’t find a use for his or her gift, right?

  • It took us awhile to see things in our current perspective, but we realized that true friends who want the best for us, would not make a big deal out of this. Of course, we do not openly share that we don’t have a need for their gift (basic general knowledge and EQ still applies).
  • When we get a gift that we have an abundance of or can’t find a use for, we’ll both think carefully if there’re anyone in our lives who may have a use for it at this present moment. Thereafter, we’d ask that person if they are open to receiving that item. If they say yes, we request for them not to openly say that it is from us. If not, we ask another person if they’d like the item, and so on…
  • Very rarely, for selected items, we may even sell it to someone who would find a use for it.
  • If we have friends who ask us what we’d like as a gift, we usually request for a token sum, a treat to a meal, or vouchers – this is definitely a win-win situation!
  • Ultimately, it is truly the thought that counts and for anyone who has ever gifted us anything, we are so thankful.

To some, this is pretty extreme? But for us, it has come to a point where ‘stuff’ matters less and we are clearer about the things we really love. Also, being self-professed clean (more of the husband) and neat (more of the wife) lovers, and being somewhat “OCD” in that – this lifestyle has become somewhat habitual to us for now.

We hope to keep this up simply because of its practical benefits. In the long-run, we see ourselves with less things to maintain and more time to maintain the things that matter and time to enjoy the things we love!

Would you take a step towards minimalism too?

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