Ever think living a simpler, more ethical and minimalist life is just too hard? Today, I’m starting a series to prove that you can totally do it. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There are plenty of other modern parents making small changes and big shifts to bring more balance and conscious consumption to their everyday lives.
In my new Modern Parent interview series, I’m highlighting some of these moms and asking them to share their strategies and ideas to help all of us find the intersection between ethical and minimalist values and mainstream family living.
Up first, Landen from Measure Whisk. A mom to one super cute little guy she calls Fox, Landen decided to try a more minimalist lifestyle before her son was born. Along with really great, wholesome recipes (many of which are vegetarian and vegan), Landen writes about her adventures learning to pare down her belongings and keep the clutter out of her small apartment.
Share with us a bit about what inspired your move toward more intentional living?
Having a baby. My husband and I lived in a small one-bedroom apartment at the time and knew that if we didn’t begin living intentionally (especially with our belongings), that we would be overrun by baby items, and other home stuff.
Landen shared more about her shifting focus to a more minimalist lifestyle before her son was born.
What are a few of your most favorite benefits of this lifestyle?
Living intentionally makes me feel like I have control over my life (whether I actually do or not…). I make choices to propel my life and my lifestyle along in a specific way, whether that is buying more local, organic food, shopping secondhand for clothes, or living in a smaller apartment so we can afford to travel.
Landen also noted that more intentional living can have a beneficial impact on your bank account as well.
Tell us about one or two of your biggest challenges (as it relates to ethical and/or minimalist living), and how you have or are working to overcome them?
I still really like to buy stuff. That makes minimalist living hard. I definitely try to channel my desire to buy stuff towards very specific and intentional purchases like groceries and clothes for my growing baby.
Ethical beauty and apparel brands seem to be flourishing, and new ones join the market each day. But finding more ethical options for home decor, everyday supplies, and other non fashion and beauty items seems to be a bit more challenging. Do you have any favorite brands or channels for non-apparel ethical products or services?
Sadly, I am haven’t found much in the way of ethical home products (at least, options that don’t cost thousands of dollars). I am still on the lookout for some good options. For now, I go second hand as much as possible, which is an okay option, but sometimes you just need to get a new couch (because I live in constant fear of ending up with bedbugs in my house from a secondhand couch…ew!).
Despite not having any favorite ethical brands, Landen has shared some great tips on making a small space work for your family. She also has an entire series, The Minimalist Baby, with ideas about what you might really need with a baby in the family (and what items on a “baby registry wishlist” are not all that necessary.)
Additionally, Landen has a knack for re-purposing things from nature to make something fun and unique for her home. Earlier this year, she was a semi-finalist for the Mrs. Meyer’s Maker Contest. How cool right?! In her video, she turned some tree branches into a cake stand for her son’s first birthday. I thought this was a pretty resourceful idea! You can check out how she made the video below and see her full Mrs. Meyer’s Maker submission here.)
Pick things you like, not necessarily what everyone else is doing. Just because other people like something, doesn’t mean you have to like it, too. This applies to clothes, decorating, cooking and lifestyle in general.
Spend your food money with purpose. If you can, make a list of things you actually want to eat (maybe more fruits and veggies, less soda, more organic foods, etc), and only buy those things at the grocery store. If you are a big advocate of fair trade, organic or whole foods, make an effort to buy those things. Put your money where your mouth is.
Check out how Landen allocates her grocery money with purpose in this post she wrote about feeding her family on $40 per week. Seriously?! We are not even close to that. #GroceryShoppingGoals
Live the way you want to live. I always feel a stab of jealousy when I see photos of gorgeous, tidy houses on Pinterest. Then I remember that my home isn’t always tidy because I often don’t put my stuff away. I am remedying that, and have to make a constant effort to make it happen every day. If you want to have a clean house, make it happen. Live the way you want to live.
Want to see more from Landen?