With just a few supplies and a few minutes, you can plant your favorite herbs in a jar. You’ll quickly grow a kitchen herb garden that’s as hardworking as it is pretty.
Supplies for Your DIY Herb Garden
Mason jars/glass jars
Fresh herb plants or seeds
Chalkboard or other labels
Line the bottom of your jars with pebbles. This will ensure proper drainage and prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged.
Add potting mix to your jars, making sure you leave room for the plants.
Place your herbs into the jars, taking special care to ensure the herb plants aren’t overcrowding the container.
Using chalk labels or any other label, write down the name of each plant and affix. While this step isn’t essential, it may save you from grabbing cilantro instead of parsley!
Display your jar herb garden! There’s no limit to the options—try mason jar hangers or a vintage milk carrier that lets you move seamlessly from windowsill to sink for easy watering.
Caring for Your Mason Jar Herb Garden
With a few simple tips, your DIY indoor herb garden will help you add flavor and interest to your recipes for seasons to come:
Don’t overwater. If the leaves begin to yellow, scale back. Frequent small waterings will help keep your herbs happy.
Prune regularly. Cutting leaves from the top of your herb plants on a regular basis will help promote a fuller, healthier plant, and keep limbs from becoming too leggy.
…but don’t cut too much at once. Aim to never remove more than a third of the plant at any given time, or it may struggle to rebound.
Cut correctly. When harvesting your herbs, be careful not to tear the stems. Use your fingers or a kitchen scissors to make a clean break.
Provide ample light. Most herbs love sun.
Keep it hot. If you live in a colder climate, don’t let your herbs touch a frozen window, and watch for signs of distress if they’re placed in a windowsill during the winter months.
Repot any bigger plants. If you’re doing it right, your herb plants will eventually outgrow their mason jar homes. When the roots reach the bottom and begin to become impacted, move the plant to a larger container on your porch or patio and replace.
I’m sure by now we’ve all heard about the benefits associated with scaling down our possessions and simplifying our lives. Everything from your finances, to organization skills, aesthetics, psychological clarity and the environment can benefit from a minimalist approach.
But what does a simplified life look like in practice?
When you’ve committed to paring down your belongings and de-cluttering your living space, the things that you do choose to keep take on greater importance. Here are five minimalist habits to bring more order and efficiency into your life:
1. Dress with Less
In a world filled with choices, the need to make lots of small repetitive decisions day after day is a drain of your energy.
You can avoid stress and decision-fatigue by automating your daily processes as much as possible. Particularly with deciding what to wear. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama are known for their very limited wardrobes, which reportedly helps them save brain power and maintain focus on the important things. Minimizing your wardrobe will make for a more efficient lifestyle.
2. Plan and Repeat Your Meals
Food is a great domain for enjoying abundance and variety. But constant attempts at creativity can be a drain on your time, energy, and resources. To solve this problem, many minimalists commit to a simple and repetitive meal plan, which automates the shopping process and removes a lot of routine decision-making from the day.
Deciding what to eat can be deceptively exhausting, especially if you’re dieting. By creating a meal plan, you’re limiting alternatives and options. Your mind can relax. Plan ahead of time your meals for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner; or all three. Stick to it during the week, or for your particularly busy days. And save your more ambitious or spontaneous cooking projects for the weekend!
3. Rethink Your Space
Walking into a room in your home, and being overwhelmed by the clutter is not a good sign. Every room in your house should serve a purpose, and no, a junk-room doesn’t count as ‘a purpose.’
Creating more space is not the solution; Americans are building bigger homes than ever before. When you have too much space, human tendency wants to fill it, and usually, we don’t fill it with things we actually need.
To become a minimalist at home, begin “The Great Purge.” Gather boxes and trash bags and go through one room at a time. Have three piles: 1) keep 2) throw away 3) donate/sell.
Anything to be thrown away, take out to the dumpster or trashcan immediately. Don’t let it linger so you can second-guess yourself! Any items to be sold, snap pictures of and set a time limit on how long you’ll keep it posted on Ebay or Craigslist before you donate it. Two weeks is a suggested amount of time. For items being donated, load them up in your car and get them out of your place ASAP.
Once you complete “The Great Purge,” you’ll have much more room and storage than you originally thought. You can also check out these tricks of the trade designers use to make spaces seem larger and more functional.
4. Minimize Debt
It might not be a physical hindrance in your everyday life, but debt will be a looming black cloud of frustration following you everywhere. Part of being a minimalist should be studying how to pay off any debts you have, especially bad debts, like credit card balances.
One suggestion is to take a small amount each week — around $20 to $40 dollars — and slap it onto payments you already make. It won’t hurt as much to part with a small amount of money. If you can make the payments automatic or a direct deduction from your paycheck, go that route.
It’s also helpful to have an “emergency fund” to minimize any bad financial surprises. The same principle applies – take money each week and set it aside in an account. If you can forget it exists, do it.
5. Life in Digital
Receipts, bills and records have a place, but it’s not on your counter scattered everywhere. A great way to de-clutter is to digitize your important documents, and have them ready for printing if needed in physical form.
Photo quality is just as good as scanning nowadays. Once you’ve uploaded all your documents, keep a bin by your computer and upload new items each week. Don’t get too far backed up, or you’ll feel overwhelmed. Invest in a hard drive or cloud space so you won’t lose anything should your computer fail.
There are many more steps you can take toward becoming a minimalist, but baby steps are important in any major life transition. As long as you are motivated and driven toward creating a simpler lifestyle, you’ll get there. Celebrate small victories (but not by buying more things!)
Do you have any tips for living a more peaceful and minimal life? I’d love to hear!
If staying inside makes you feel restless, tired, or unhappy, there’s a chance your indoor air quality might be to blame. The Environmental Protection Agency has defined “sick building syndrome” as the result of inadequate ventilation, chemicals, and biological contaminants that can affect your physical comfort, concentration, and energy levels.
Try tossing these things from your home and see if it solves the problem-
1. Household cleaners made with synthetic ingredients
Common ingredients in household cleaners like aerosols, all-purpose cleaners, and detergents include VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like benzene, formaldehyde, tetrafluoroethylene (aerosols), phenols, ammonia, and propylene glycol.
According to the New York State Department of Health, when these VOCs enter the body, they can cause damage to tissue and organs. Additionally, short-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs can cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, and eye and respiratory irritation. If you want a clean home and body, avoid cleaning products with these chemicals and consider switching to natural alternatives.
2. Petroleum-based scented candles and incense
Filling your home with different aromas can create an inviting environment and cozy mood. However, a study by the EPA found many risks associated with burning candles and incense. When heated, products with petroleum, additives for color, and synthetic fragrances can release potentially harmful chemicals such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and acrolein. Candle wicks can also contain lead in some cases, and almost all of them produce soot and other fine carbon particles that can affect the respiratory system.
Knowing this shouldn’t stop you from filling your home with pleasing scents. Instead, look for products made with natural essential oils like peppermint, ginger, or frankincense. Or better yet, make your own candles!
3. Dusty furniture, curtains, and floors
What exactly is dust? It can be a host of things, like soil, pollen, insect waste, pet dander, and even human skin. In fact, human skin is thought to make up 80 percent of all dust in our homes. When inhaled, dust can irritate the tissue in the lungs and bronchial tubes. Dust and dust mites are also the primary cause of allergic reactions. Dust mites thrive inside the home because skin cells contain proteins that are their primary source of food. When these microscopic insects eat, they release an enzyme to make the protein in skin cells more easy to digest. Contact with these enzymes can result in mild symptoms such as a runny nose or sneezing, or in more severe cases, congestion, facial pressure, or a severe asthma attack.
Hundreds of thousands of dust mites can live in bedding, mattresses, furniture, carpets, curtains, and other fabrics. To reduce the risk of exposure to dust mites, create a weekly cleaning schedule that includes among other things, dusting furniture, curtains, and floors every week and more often if you have pets!
4. Carpets and rugs that don’t wear a “green” label
Environmentally friendly carpets can greatly reduce your exposure to air toxins. One study evaluating the “new carpet smell” found that certain carpets emit chemicals like formaldehyde, vinyl acetate, and isooctane. Over time, these chemicals escape into the air. In some cases, vacuuming or using professional cleaning equipment might not even be enough to suck them up.
If you’re looking for a carpet that is made with fewer chemicals, the Carpet and Rug Institute created a certification program called Green Label Plus that tests carpets for benzene, chloroform, formaldehyde, phenol, and many other potentially harmful compounds. When shopping for carpets, simply ask to see products that have Green Label Plus certification and always looks for ones made without synthetic fibers. Opt for cotton, bamboo and other natural fibers.
5. Air filters older than 90 days
Consider your heating and cooling systems the lungs of your home. When air is inhaled through the return air vent, it enters the heating and cooling system before being exhaled through vents or registers. Just like our nasal passages have mechanisms to trap allergens before they reach our lungs, our homes use air filters to stop pollen, dust mites, and more from reaching the heating and cooling systems. And since we breathe what the home breathes, we need air filters to help reduce the number of allergens found in the air.
Air filters use woven fibers that allow air molecules to pass through but trap microscopic particles such as pollen, mold spores, pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens. Over time, as these particles fill the gaps in the filter material, airflow will diminish and the filter will be less effective at improving air quality. You can prevent this by replacing air filters every 90 days. You may need to replace them sooner if you have pets, use your stove and oven often, or experience frequent allergies.
What can you add to your home to clean out the air?
We spend a lot of time indoors: about 90 percent of the day. As research has found, levels of indoor air pollution can be two to five times higher than outdoor air. Indoor pollution can be the result of everything we have already outlined above and a few other sources such as pets, things kids track indoors, cooking, and more.
While you definitely want kids, pets, and food in your life, the best way to deal with your remaining indoor air-quality problem is to add plants around the home that absorb harmful chemicals over time. You should also open your windows at least twice a month to allow fresher outdoor air to replace the stale indoor air. To make this process more effective, set your thermostat to the “fan” setting to speed up the circulation of air to other areas of the home. During the winter or summer months, this step might sound unpleasant, but the difference it can make might make the brief discomfort of hot or cold air worth it.
Creating a beautiful, minimalist home can be done in one fell swoop with the help of some major de-cluttering, but maintaining a minimalist home is a whole different story. Clutter is an inevitable part of life. It tends to accumulate rather quickly, which is why implementing a few mindful habits at home—like these five below—is essential for preserving the minimalist look and functionality. Whether you’re a seasoned minimalist or just want to dip your toes into the minimalism movement, these easy habits will keep your home looking its best.
Mindful Habit #1:
Wash Your Dishes as Soon as You’re Done Using Them
The Minimalist Result: It’s safe to say, no one particularly likes washing a sink full of dishes. By washing your dishes immediately after using them not only does it become easier to maintain a clean, clutter-free kitchen, it also means you’ll need fewer dishes to begin with.
Mindful Habit #2:
Sort Through Mail as Soon as You Receive It
The Minimalist Result: Mail is another one of those things that tends to pile up fast to clutter your clean aesthetic. Instead of sorting through a massive pile of bills and junk mail at the end of the month, it’s way easier to do it on a day to day basis. It literally takes just a couple of minutes. Immediately trash or recycle any papers you don’t need and scan and save digitally any important documents that you might need to reference later.
Mindful Habit #3:
Clear Off Counter Tops Every Night
The Minimalist Result: No matter how neatly lined-up your appliances are on your kitchen counter are or how organized all of your beauty products are on your bathroom sink, if there’s too many things on your countertops your home will look very visually cluttered. Make it a point to store things away into cabinets and drawers when you’re not using them.
Mindful Habit #4:
Be Very Strict About What You Bring Into Your Home
The Minimalist Result: Maintaining a minimalist home isn’t just about keeping organized the things that are already have in your home, it’s also about keeping out things that you don’t really need. Be more mindful about what you say yes to. Your space is precious. Only take in the things that you absolutely love and know you will use. Don’t let family members unload their junk on you and give yourself at least 24-hours to think before you hit confirm order on that online purchase. You can further minimize unwanted clutter by sharing wish lists with loved ones for birthdays and other special occasions or by asking for experiences instead of material things.
Mindful Habit #5:
De-clutter Little Spaces on a Regular Basis
The Minimalist Result: Although doing a major cleanse of your home in one fell swoop is ideal, finding time to do so is tough, so don’t let that deter you from minimalism. By de-cluttering one little space of your home at a time you can still achieve minimalism bliss. Make Sundays (or any other day of the week) your de-clutter day and tackle just one junk drawer, kitchen cabinet, or closet shelf. It doesn’t have to take long at all. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done in a short 15-20 minute time frame.
Do you have any tips for keeping a clean and tidy home? I’d love to hear!
I love my new essential oil diffuser necklace from DeBellaBoutique on Etsy! It is made of maple wood which works so well for diffusing oils since it can hold them for a very long time. Plus the oils turns the wood a slightly darker color which gives it such a rich, beautiful color. And don’t forget the engraving which is found on both sides of the necklace and says “Be Still & know that He is God”.
It’s cute right?!! And it’s really good quality too!
There are some oils that I use daily and I love to have that scent hanging on a necklace so I can smell it all day long. It’s especially good for those energizing oils! There are also times when the bugs are so bad where I live that I cannot go anywhere without my Citronella oil or my Purification oil.
There’s lots of options out there for diffuser jewelry but I think you’d really like this one. It’s only $20 and the shipping was super fast and she has lots of other awesome stuff like home decor and other jewelry. So go check out her shop!