When I got my pet bunny Yoda, I was just starting to get into the idea of minimalism and of living with less. I wasn’t yet deep into the decluttering process and wasn’t yet aware of how much my mindset was about to change.
Having him has been a wonderful experience so far, and I even brought him with me when I moved to another state. Still, it does take up some time and space. If you’re new to minimalism or new to pets, you might not be sure if it’s possible to be a minimalist with a pet.
It definitely is possible, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions on having a pet and living a minimalist lifestyle.
Don’t get a pet if you don’t have the time/space/resources. As much fun as pets are, they’re also a responsibility. Don’t get a pet unless you know for sure that you’ll be able to afford it. Make sure you not only have the funds for the type of pet you’re getting but that you have the time and energy as well. Also, keep in mind that a pet shouldn’t be a nuisance. If having one doesn’t provide some amount of amusement or comfort but instead causes consistent frustration, it might be better for you and your pet to part ways.
Figure out which kinds of toys your pet does or doesn’t like. Odds are your pet won’t like absolutely every toy you bring home – and that’s okay. Take note of which ones he or she uses most frequently and which ones mostly get ignored. You’ll hopefully start to notice what kind of taste in toys your pet has. Get rid of the toys that don’t get used, and stop purchasing items similar to these.
It’s okay to buy food in bulk. This isn’t an area in which I try to buy smaller packaging because usually I can get the most bang for my buck by getting the larger bag of food. A large bag of rabbit food or bedding doesn’t take up that much space, and these products are constantly getting used anyway.
Find ways to lower your expenses. Compare prices between different brands. Figure out if there are any subscriptions you can get or coupons you can use. If you can lower your expenses, even just a little bit, it’ll make a difference. One thing I found was that purchasing bedding for my rabbit at a regular grocery store was cheaper than going to a pet store, even though I was getting the same brand in both cases. Pay attention to these kinds of details so you can save up if possible.
Figure out how frequently items run out and need to be repurchased. This will especially come in handy if you do go the route of using a subscription service. Figure out how often items run out on average so you don’t buy them too early or too late.
If possible, designate a space for your pet. Depending on what kind of pet you have, you might not want him or her roaming around your entire house. Decide which rooms you are or aren’t okay with your pet going into. Or you could decide you want your pet to always stay outside. This also applies to your pet’s things. Try to keep the storage of toys and food consistent and to just overall keep everything in the same space.
These are just a few tips to help you get started if you’re thinking about getting a pet but want to maintain that minimalist approach to life. What about you? Do you have a pet? And if so, what are some habits that have helped you out along the way?