Why You Should Consider Adopting Minimalist Principles

In the last few years, there has been a lot of interested in the idea of minimalism. The idea that you can do with less in your life is a powerful one. How many of sometimes wish that our homes and our lives were a little less cluttered?

The good news is that you don’t have to reduce your belongings to 100 of your favorite things, and you don’t have to move into a tiny house to adopt a few minimalist principles. Adding a few minimalist principles to your life can have the following benefits:

Help the Environment

By definition, living a minimalist lifestyle has less of an impact on the environment. If you live in a modest home (one that meets your needs, but isn’t ostentatious), you will use less electricity and water. That means a smaller footprint. Some minimalist principles that involve transportation can be good, since the use of public transit, or riding your bike, also reduces environmental issues.

Plus, the less you buy, the less packaging there is to throw away. There are numerous environmental benefits to minimalism. If you are interested in reducing your footprint, even just changing a few of your habits to be more in line with minimalism can help.

Save Money

Many of us like to know how our habits will affect the bottom line. Since one of the principles of minimalism is to learn to be content with less, it means that you won’t be spending as much money on items that you don’t need or maybe even want. Minimalism isn’t about never buying anything; it’s about consciously choosing to buy items that have value to you. This means carefully thinking through a purchase before making it, and ensuring that it is either truly necessary, or that you truly believe it will enhance your life in a meaningful, long-term way.

Limiting your possessions means that you free up your finances to prepare for the future, or to enjoy experiences. On top of that, many of the things that are good for the environment, such as living in a smaller home or changing the way you use transportation, can also save you money over time. You’ll have a fatter wallet, even as your life is a little more minimalist.

More Time for What You Want

Part of minimalism is avoiding being busy just for the sake of being busy. Take a look at your calendar. Are you over-scheduled? Instead of saying yes to everything that comes along, or feeling as though you need to attend every meeting, or have your kids in several activities, consider cutting back.

Figure out which items are most important to you, and which offer the most fulfillment. Those are the activities you should focus on. Really think about the two or three things you find most fulfilling, and then de-schedule the rest of your life. You’ll have more time to enjoy the things you like best, as well as more time to build relationships with friends and family.

Adding a little minimalism to your life makes sense if you are looking to live a little more fully, and if you hope to create a life that you particularly happy with.

5 Ways to Stay Cool without Turning on Your Air Conditioner

Summertime is hot. As a result, it becomes necessary to cool down. If you want to avoid turning on the air conditioner, there are ways to keep cool. And you don’t need to resort to going to the mall, either (although a trip to the swimming pool or an air conditioned store can take the heat off).

Here are 5 ways to stay cool without turning on your air conditioner:

1. Use a Low-Energy Fan

One of the best things you can do is get a low-energy fan to help cool you off during the summer. Try to find one that won’t drain your power, and that is energy efficient.

You can make your own low-energy air conditioner by setting a bowl of ice in front of the fan. Setting up a fan can help circulate air and keep you cool, without the need for air conditioning.

2. Windows Open at Night; Shut During the Day

Open your windows at night, allowing the cooler breeze to bring down the temperature in the house. However, once the sun comes up, it’s time to shut the windows. This way, you keep the hot air from outside from coming in.

You can boost the ability to keep the temperature down by using white window treatments to reflect the sun out of the house. If you like natural lighting, you should open the window treatments on the side without the sun. This means you might need to move to the other side of the house as the sun moves to avoid having the sun come in the house and heat it up.

3. Remain Hydrated

One of the most important things you can do is stay hydrated. Proper hydration will keep you from feeling as hot. Cool drinks can help, but be careful about what you drink. Coffee and alcohol can further dehydrate you, and keep you from staying cool. Make it a point to keep with water, and other non-dehydrating drinks.

4. Go Downstairs

If you have a downstairs to your home, head a little lower. Since heat rises, staying upstairs is hotter than heading downstairs. If you can spend more time downstairs, try to do so. From work to play, setting up downstairs can help you stay cool enough to avoid turning on the air conditioner. Bring your water downstairs and have your low-energy fan circulating air, and you will likely remain cooler.

5. Avoid Using the Stovetop

Summer is the perfect time to try new meal planning techniques. The stovetop and oven will heat up the whole house. To stay cooler, change your menu. You can use the microwave or slow cooker to keep things from heating up the whole house. There are a number of great recipes that can provide you with good food without turning on the stove or oven. And, of course, you can grill outside.

Another possibility is to try raw foods. There are a lot of ways to boost your health with raw produce during the summer. You might be surprised at how many meals you can enjoy without cooking a thing.

With a little planning, it’s possible to keep cool during the summer — without turning on the air conditioner, and while keeping your energy consumption low.

What’s your favorite strategy for keeping cool?