The guide to a smart life: How to make the most out of least

Exactly a year ago I was in the process of packing all my life in only two suitcases and moving across the country, and if you have a stable home and don’t need to move because of your or your spouse’s career, I really envy you. Every time I needed to move out and pack my things, I got rid of tons of stuff that I’ve been hoarding and I always thought that that’s it, I won’t be buying any more clothes that I only wear once or the tenth red lipstick because “this one is really different from all the other red lipsticks that I have”. Usually it really got better but only for the first month or two, after that I fell into my old habits of buying a lot of clothes, makeup, even food that gets thrown away. That time, however, I decided to challenge myself and stick to a few easy rules that would help me live a more conscious life.

  1. Stop hoarding food

When I was visiting my relatives that moved to France more than 10 years ago, I was really surprised to see that they didn’t have a pantry. Moreover, their fridge was almost empty and they went to the market every day so that they could get fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables. I was raised in a household where there were at least 5 types of breakfast cereal in the pantry (at least two of which always ended up in the trash because the boxes would be open for so long that they got flies and bugs) and for me that was obviously surprising to say the least.

I have noticed some great health improvement after only two weeks that we’ve spent there: my skin became clearer, I wasn’t as bloated as before, and I had a lot of energy. This had obviously a lot to do with the fact that we ate fresh food every day and there were almost no leftovers or refined sugars, so I decided to try and incorporate these changes into our lives when we came back. Thankfully, I live near a farmer’s market, so it was much easier than I thought it would be. The results were amazing: I’ve lost almost 20 pound, I’ve learned how to cook a ton of new recipes, I feel better, and our food waste level is at the lowest it’s ever been.

  1. Quality over quantity

Although I’ve heard this expression my whole life, it was only last year that I truly understood the meaning of it. When I was packing my bags I was looking at the multitude of the almost identical clothes that I had and I promised myself that this time I will create a smart and functional wardrobe without being a Level 7 susceptible to the targeted marketing. I got rid of almost everything I owned and started putting together a capsule wardrobe that would serve me for both official and informal events. I now only have two festive dresses and it is a wonderful progress compared to the at least twenty that I had a year ago.

My advice would be to go for basics made of high-quality fabrics instead of buying as much clothes as you can only because they’re on sale. I chose to invest in jeans, trousers, woolen jumpers, long sleeve tops, all of classic designs, neutral colors, and made of qualitative materials. I have a special love for sweaters, so I was extra careful about choosing the right one. I gave my preference to a white knitted sweater that I chose from this website, and I love every moment of wearing it, because it is made of 100% Merino wool, so it is extra soft and comforting, even on the coldest winter days.

  1. Less is more

I think that this final idea is actually the quintessence of everything I’ve talked about before: less is more. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a minimalist, as I still have some things that I don’t use in my home, but I got rid of a significant amount of stuff that was suffocating both my family and my house. I think that the key to success is to think outside the box and to try to repurpose things. I sold my toaster, the waffle maker, all the furniture that had no purpose in my house, as well as mine and my husband’s clothes that were in good condition, home decorations, and lots of other useless things.

We now think twice before making a big purchase such as a car and consider all the possible alternatives like getting an electric or a hybrid vehicle to minimize our carbon footprint. We also try to stick to the three Rs, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and to become as environmentally conscious as possible.

Now, am I saying that these rules apply to anyone and that all the people on Earth should live the way our family is? Definitely not, and we totally admit that we are privileged to have access to as many possibilities to live eco-friendly as we do, but I think that everyone can find some good piece of advice in my story and apply it to their own lives.