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Last sync:2024-06-25 10:30
In this episode, one woman shows us how she started to leave behind her minimalist ways after she started practicing social distancing.

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Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Video narration by Katie Emery

Video by Grace Lee

Based on an article by Keertana Anandraj

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Start rebuilding your credit today. Like many others, I jumped on the minimalist bandwagon when it blew up.

I've enjoyed embracing my capsule wardrobe, whittling down my grocery list to the absolute essentials, and surviving on a few extra loads of laundry a month to keep my space clean. But in quarantine, I've grown tired of looking at the same bed sheets, wearing the same rotation of clothes, and simply having fewer choices. I embraced a minimalist lifestyle in part to cut down on decision making.

But during quarantine, I found myself stuck inside with more time on my hands, which somehow made minimalism less appealing. Like many others, I'm experiencing quarantine fatigue. And my minimalist lifestyle only seemed to be contributing to that.

Quarantine forcing me to slow down a bit, think about how I spend my time more mindfully, and appreciate some of the habits that I threw out during my minimalist makeover. I've also discovered more joy in cooking and so many other things now than I ever did before. For example I used to be a huge fan of meal prepping.

It allowed me to save money, save time, and eat healthy. But this was all during a period when I was trying to maximize the amount of time I had. Now cooking has been a welcome distraction.

As such, I've taken to experimenting with new recipes at least every other day and taking my time with cooking, instead of meal prepping my breakfast as my batch lunch cooked on the stove. While this has meant that my grocery bill has increased, it's been largely offset by the lack of dining out during quarantine, and allowed me to introduce something new, exciting, and challenging into my daily routine. I'm not a particularly good cook.

But I've enjoyed experimenting with new spices, foods, and recipes and having the time to devote to more complex dishes too. Moreover, I've grown to appreciate the warmth and comfort of a warm meal. I typically batch prep overnight oats for my breakfast, simply heating them up at my office when I need to.

But I've wound up really cherishing the short amount of time it takes for me to make my oatmeal every morning. It sets the tone for my day when I take time to cook myself a nourishing meal. And it allows me to reset to when I do the same for lunch and dinner.

Prior to quarantine, I constantly start cooking as exhausting, frustrating, and taking up too much of my time. In embracing a more maximalist lifestyle, though, I've discovered more joy in cooking and so many other things than I ever did before. And then there's my closet.

I enjoy my minimalist wardrobe, especially for the office. But I've grown tired of wearing the same items of clothing day in and day out. Usually, my minimalist wardrobe allows me to look polished and stylish in minutes.

Now however, I've grown exhausted of the infinite ways in which I am able to pair my clothes together. During a time when nothing is new or different, my wardrobe stagnancy is an added layer of frustration. As such, I took advantage of Memorial Day and quarantine deals to pick up a few new items, particularly colorful ones.

Usually minimalist capsule wardrobe stay away from too much color as neutrals are the easiest to pair together. But I'm not looking for easy right now. I'm looking for outfits that can boost my mood or allow me to spend a few extra minutes trying out new pairings and styles.

Of course, this may not be the best for your budget. And it's tough honestly a privilege to be able to save money and time during quarantine. For me, there's simply a guaranteed mood boost from retail therapy.

And sometimes when quarantine fatigue is really setting in, it can be nice to just embrace a quick jolt of energy. Finally, quarantine has made me aware of my minimalist mindset when it came to my own neighborhood. I love the area of the city I live in.

But I especially adore frequenting my grocery stores, restaurants, and bars. This has especially helped me save both time and money in our pre-COVID world since I knew exactly when to grab the best happy hour deals at my favorite rooftop restaurant, or I knew exactly what time to shop at my go to grocery store to avoid the crowds. But with half the stores and restaurants I used to visit closed temporarily, I've begun to re-explain the neighborhood I live in.

I shop at different grocery stores every week and try new takeout restaurants that I'd previously never had the time to stop in. My minimalist lifestyle has bled into a minimalist mindset, which I loved, especially because it offered me comfort and didn't force me to spend too much time thinking or researching a new spot to visit. But with nothing but time during quarantine, I've enjoyed pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying out new businesses, foods, and grocery patterns than ever before.

Minimalism is about intentionality. It's about letting go of the idea or concept that you need more in life to keep you happy. It's about feeling freedom through a more simplistic lifestyle, whether that be a shorter grocery list or a smaller wardrobe.

Right now though, our lives already feel simple. There's a distinct lack of everything, from the hustle and bustle we used to curse to the in-person relationships that made up such a big part of our happiness. As such, I found myself turning away from minimalism and embracing more, more groceries, more recipes, more clothes, and more time consuming tasks.

I'm still doing this in an intentional manner. But I'm intentionally opening up more than I did before. If you're one of the millions of Americans with an inaccurate or unfair credit score, think about working with Credit

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