Lifestyle capsules: 4 ways to live intentionally with less
Capsules aren't just for your wardrobe anymore
If you've followed Joon + Co. for a bit, you'll know that we used to curate modern 10x30 (10 pieces that combine to make 30 outfits) responsibly made, pre-made capsule wardrobes. If you're asking, "what is a capsule wardrobe?", we have plenty of resources on our site, as well as a tutorial for how to build your own capsule wardrobe. They are a great place to start if you're looking to make the move towards sustainable living, and save a ton of time in the morning. But why stop at our wardrobes? At Joon + Co., I've become so engrossed with the capsule concept that I even release content in "capsules." If you take the concept of fewer, better things that mix and match to make something beautiful (and useful), and apply it to other areas of your life, like home goods, technology usage, and even scheduling, it's exciting to see how this approach can ease the decision fatigue that hits us so hard when life gets busy. It let's us achive more use with fewer items, allowing us to minimize the waste produced from our lifestyle. most of all though, it's a fantastic way to really focus on and enjoy using what we love the most.
Our style is an easy place to start because there really isn't a right or wrong way to do it. Just as in clothing capsule wardrobes, it's about usefulness without sacrificing expression. So whether it be through our wardrobe, beauty routine, or decorating skills, there's always a way to get more use from fewer, better things. You just have to get organized.
home decor capsules
If you've ever decorated a house, you'll know that feeling of excitement of getting to make the space yours, and you'll also know the feeling a few weeks and about 100 mistakes later when you can't make one more decision...about anything...to save your life, and you just want to hire an interior designer to finish. Well, I've thought up an easier than the DIY and less expensive than either option. Make a home capsule.
It's not much different whether you're re-decorating, or starting from scratch. If you're buying anything new, follow this criteria; it fits within your color scheme, it makes you feel how you want to feel, it fits your style, and it accomplishes a functional or stylistic goal (ie: it serves a purpose). If you're working with things you already own, run them through that criteria as well, and sell, donate, or store anything that doesn't meet it.
Now with what's left in your home, think of these items as clothing items in a closet. If you're buying new things, as you would do with a capsule wardrobe, make sure they go with a significant amount of pieces already existing in your closet, or in this case, your house.
So assuming now that you have the things you need and you've gotten rid of what you don't, you are going to divvy them up into "capsules." Just like you'd have a workwear capsule with clothes suited for going to the office, you'd have a "kitchen" capsule with items suited for the kitchen. Please trust me when I say you don't want to do an entire house at once. Take months, years, whatever suits your schedule to do you best making your home home.
Capsules are definitely not just for physical things. Like I said, I'm using them for releasing mix and match content. Another great application for capsules is the software we use. Now days, we use so many apps, computer programs, smart-home devices, and many many maaaaany more, that it's hard to even keep track. If I asked you to write down every single piece of software you used, most people wouldn't be able to do it without missing a few...or a lot. Most of these tools are designed to make our lives better in some way, whether that be by making us laugh, letting our minds rest and play a game, inspire us, or improve our quality of life.
if you think of each piece of software you use as an item of clothing in a capsule wardrobe, every single one of them should have a purpose, and that purpose should be an alignment with your personal values. If the only "purpose" you have for using Facebook is to compare yourself to others, or to check up on gossip, hopefully that is not in alignment with your values, and thus doesn't get included in the list of necessities. The whole point of a capsule is to figure out what you need, how to mix and match for maximum versatility, and to do that all with pieces that allow your self-expression to not be lost in the process.
Even us enneagram 1's (the reformer...aka, the type A's of the type A's) with our military-rivaled daily routines and hyper-organized pre-planning of the plan to plan the planning session don't have the same structure to each day. There are days when kids need to go to pre-school, the dog has a vet appointment, the girls are meeting up for brunch, so why plan each day the same when it's not?
Along with different activities, we have different mood fluctuations and energy levels. There's a reason why the afternoon slump is so common. Some people are morning people who can go running 10 minutes after getting out of bed....and then there's the night owls who have trouble going to bed before midnight. My point is, acting like we can operate at the same energy and focus levels throughout the day is useless because it's pretty much impossible. So why do we plan our days that way?
If you break your day down into functional blocks like "work/SAHP (stay at home parenting, which anyone with kids knows is a full time job if there ever was one)," "family time," and "me time," and then determine at which points in the day are you the most focused vs the most drained, you can piece together a schedule (ie: capsule) to fit your natural rhythm as well as your specific lifestyle. Do you experience the dreaded 3 o'clock slump? Well that's probably not the best time to schedule your team meeting that you lead. For example, I have a tough time getting myself to do any kind of cardio in the morning...i just don't like it. Also, I seem to get gradually tenser throughout the day, and have a hard time transitioning from work to personal life because I work from home, so a 4:30pm workout is perfect because it relieves the stress and takes my mind off work enough to transition smoothly to family time.
If meal planning is either a major pain point in your week or you are staring blankly at the screen like, "meal planning.......?" than this one's for you. As painful of a process as meal planning can be, for my family (ie: me), going without it makes life chaotic to say the least. I like to have the clarity to know what I'm goign to make for dinner at least at the beginning of the day, and in order to do that, I need to know that I have the groceries to make said meal, and in order to do that, unless I want to make a daily trip to the grocery store, I need to have shopped for what I needed, and in order to do that, I need to know what to buy, and finally, If I need to know what to buy, I need to know what I'm goign to cook - hence, the meal planning.
When it comes to planning meals, I think there are two types of people; the over-planners who use apps, calendars, alerts, grocery deliveries, etc., and the under-planners who make 3 trips to the grocery store each week because a craving set in. We are going to aim straight in-between those two.
While we're over-generalizing, meals, in my world, are typically one of the following; under 30 minute quick meals, easy but take-forever-in-the-oven meals, great-grandma's I-could-make-it-with-my-eyes-closed meals, or at least an hour, complicated-AF-meals that look great on Pinterest, but have about a 5% success rate. Again, we're going to shoot for somewhere in the easy-to-mid complexity range unless you actually enjoy and/or are good at cooking...which I am not.
So, take the meals you make the most and make a list. Now at the top, make give columns, ease to cook, time to cook, enjoyment to cook, enjoyment to eat, and a "total" column. Now for each column, rate each item according to the legend:
- complexity - 1 (easy), 2 (medium), 3 (difficult)
- time to make (don't include oven time) - 1 (<30 min), 2 (30-59 min), 3 (60+ min)
- enjoyment to cook - 1 (I'd love to), 2 (I will), 3 (If I must)
- enjoyment to eat - 1 (delicious), 2 (not bad), 3 (meh)
Once you've rated and totaled all items, anything with a rating over 10, cross of the list completely. This is just a general number, but depending on your cooking abilities, available time to cook, degree of foodie-ness, you can give or take a few in either direction.
This step will only have to be done once, and then line by line whenever you add a new recipe, so don't fret if it takes a bit. Adding one or two as you find recipes will be a cinch.
Now let's take a look at your week. Of the next 7 days, how many days do you have (and are willing to) cook for <30 min, 30-59 min, 60+ min? Pick that many recipes in that timeframe, and you have your meal plan. Keep all your recipes in one place (even if they're just crammed into a binder), and then you'll be able to pull the groceries from there.
Just like when planning a capsule wardrobe, you determine what you need it for (streamlining meal planning), you evlauate what you have (existing recipes), you determine if you need anything new (how much is left after elimination step), and you curate the pieces for the capsule, each one serving a unique purpose (the meals in and meal plan). You could do the same thing for drinks, snacks, lunches, and breakfast, but I typically buy similar groceries each week for those and just work off the same list each week. This is based on a weekly grocery ordering schedule, so if you get groceries every 14 days or any other variance, it's easy to adjust.
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