Today, I am starting a journey towards minimalism. I want to live a life of travel. I want to reduce my bills, free up my time and ultimately downsize my home. My mission statement is simple: I will keep only those items that I love AND will use.
The road to minimalism is different for each person. There are no written rules or requirements. You don’t have to commit to packing the contents of your life into one suitcase (although some have) or bet the proverbial farm. Some will place a moritorium on new purchases. Others will limit their book budget (egads). I just want to own less, so I can relax more.
In my limited research, two starting options appealed to me: 29 x 29 or Project 333. Project 333 simply requires you to limit your wardrobe to 33 items of clothing and footware for 3 months. Essentials such as socks and underwear don’t count towards your 33 items. Theoretically, neither does jewelry! Although I love the sound of this option, my closet overwhelms me! I want to begin minimalizing immediately, so I will hold this option to a later date.
The 29 x 29 plan has two components: 1) no new purchases for 29 days. For me, this means any subscriptions, preorders or purchases yielding new things must be canceled if they don’t meet my mission statement. Bye bye audible.com, bookofthemonth.com and about half my preorders. Total savings so far approximately $250 and we’re off to a good start. For now, I’m keeping my photoshop and iMusic subscriptions on the basis of usage but I suspect they will go too.
2) Commit to donating or trashing 29 items per week for 4 weeks (29 days). This weekend, I did just that. Added bonus – today I trashed over 50 items. I’m not exactly following a system, just collecting giveaways as I see them. And I must say, it feels fantastic. I think I’ll make myself a pot of Dad’s Chili and go to a Halloween Festival to celebrate!
- 1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked per instructions
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ tablespoon butter
- 2/3 lb lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tomato on the vine, diced
- 1/2 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 (15oz) can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon masa harina mixed with 1/3 cup water
- Shredded cheddar, diced scallions, fritos or jalapeño chips, for serving
- Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle with oil and add 1/2 pound dried spaghetti. Cook until al dente.
- Melt the butter in your favorite chili pot over medium heat. Soften the onion and garlic in melted butter. Add the ground beef and break into small chunks as it browns. Add the diced tomato, tomato sauce, pinto beans, kidney beans and 1/3 cup of water stirring until incorporated. Finally, add the spices: chili powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon masa harina with 1/3 cup of water, add to the chili, bring to a simmer and cook till thick and bubbly!
- Chili is the perfect excuse for leftovers. This recipe yields 3 servings.
- If you don't mind, feel free to add a full can each of kidney and pinto beans. Waste not, want not, right!