9 Things to Stop Buying If You Want to be a Minimalist
Whatever being a minimalist means to you, there is one thing everyone has in common, we all crave a life filled with less clutter. We often surround ourselves with mounds and mounds of material possessions that slowly consume our homes and our minds.
If you are on a journey to find a more minimalist lifestyle then you probably have done everything you think you should get yourself there.
You probably decluttered your homes, you bought matching containers, and you made multiple trips to Goodwill.
If you have gotten this far, kudos to you!
Sometimes this step alone can be daunting, but if you made it there, or want to get there you need to stop doing this one thing.
Buying more stuff.
Retail therapy is a real thing and what happens is you’re setting your newly decluttered life up for failure…which will make you need to reach back out to therapy… retail therapy…
What a vicious cycle! We purge stuff, we feel better. We buy stuff, we feel better.
So this is a rather difficult thing to balance, but it can be done more easily thank you think.
Your desire to want to be more minimalist has to outweigh the need to buy more items.
The benefits that come from living a simpler, decluttered and minimalist life are too good to ignore. If you want a clear mind, a clean home, and a more balanced life then you need to stop buying the following things!
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Some of the amazing following photos are not my own, click on them to head straight to the source!)
01 | CLOTHES
You have got to learn how to respect the clothes that you have. I know that may sound odd, but we end up wearing the clothes we respect again and again for a reason.
They make our bodies look more attractive, they are made out of better quality material, they make us feel good about ourselves.
This type of relationship does not develop with cheap T-shirts that stretch out in one wash or a pair of pants that you constantly have to adjust.
There is a reason why you stick with certain pieces in your closet. Remove all the clothes you do not respect even if that brings you down to a closet filled with less than 20 pieces.
Only buy new clothes that you know you will love for years to come, that will last, and that will respect you back.
So put down that five-dollar tank top and stop buying clothes just to buy them. Start making thoughtful buying decisions to compliment your newly established minimalist lifestyle.
02 | GIFTS
OK, not all gifts, but physical gifts. We often feel the need to buy tons of material possessions for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc.
Instead of buying clutter that you are now going to pass on to someone else, think about giving people experiences as gifts. It is a minimalist concept that yields huge results.
The obvious gift card is a good one, but you could give people vouchers for massages, rock climbing, golfing, kayaking, movie tickets, or concert tickets, etc.
Pass on memories and an experience that will enrich your loved one’s lives, versus buying a new shirt they may or may not wear.
03 | DUPLICATES OF SELF CARE ITEMS
If you want to practice minimalism you need to get in the habit of using one self-care product completely before you pull out another.
For example, use up the entire bottle of lotion before buying a new one.
We tend to stockpile supplies, and this comes in handy, but there is a difference from having one extra toothpaste on hand versus ten.
We also hold onto a lot of items in our bathroom for that “one day.” One day I might crimp my hair, one day I might use this fancy hair clip. Many times that day never comes, so only keep around what you actually use.
04 | HOME DECOR
No, it’s not like you shouldn’t buy new items for your home. What needs to change about buying home decor is that you’re buying something with purpose and thoughtfulness.
If you know you want a new comforter set, then go buy a comforter set.
Just don’t walk by a new comforter set at Ross and on a whim decide to buy it if it was never an intentional purchase.
As you buy new things for your home, replace it with something old that you can let go of.
05 | ITEMS ON SALE
We get suckered into good sales and unfortunately bad sales.
Good sales are the ones that actually saved you money and you got what you needed.
Bad sales are when you end up spending way more money than you wanted for an item you never were going to buy, just because it was on sale.
Sales have a way of convincing you that you are ignorant to pass up this opportunity, but be careful of that trap!
If you truly want to practice a life of minimalism, you are going to have to look past sales on items that will just become more clutter in your home.
20 Simple Ways to Live a Simpler Life
06 | EXTRA FOOD
I don’t even need to find a study on how much food we waste, because it is common knowledge.
We end up wasting a lot of food in our lives.
We overbuy, we don’t end up eating what we bought, and then in the trash, it goes.
I know this isn’t always on purpose, maybe we were hungry when we went shopping that day. Whatever the reason, if you are finding you end up throwing away a lot of food every week, you may be simply buying too much.
Really examine your next week of groceries.
Do you never finish all the herbs you purchased before they go bad? Maybe you could grow some instead?
Maybe you never can finish all the veggies you bought. Make sure you incorporate these specific veggies into your meals for the entire week, not just one meal.
Try not to create such radically different meals for every day of the week. Instead of Tacos and then Lasagna. How about Tacos, and then a Mexican salad? How else are you going to use up that bundle of cilantro?
07 | SINGLE-USE KITCHEN GADGETS
There are some cool kitchen gadgets out there, but many of them are bulky and unnecessary.
Try to find multi-function kitchen appliances that can save you tons of space in your kitchen.
Instead of a small bullet blender, a real blender, a chopper, and a salsa maker; one good blender can perform all of these functions.
A waffle maker can also make toasted panini sandwiches! No need for a panini maker.
A toaster oven can make your toast! No need for a toaster.
Think about reducing the number of kitchen gadgets and think twice before you buy something that maybe something you already own can handle.
08 | CONTAINERS, PURSES, & BAGS
Unless it is for a purpose, we often go crazy with buying things, to put things in. We buy containers on a whim, and often they do not fit the space we wanted to use it for.
Without a plan, buying containers and hoping they will work under our sinks and in our pantry end up just being extra clutter we use somewhere else.
We also collect, purses, backpacks, bags, grocery bags, canvas totes, extra coolers, travel bags, makeup bags, etc.
Try to limit yourself to only the essential bags you will actually use.
If you find a life-changing beach bag or a new makeup bag, remove the old one to make room for the new, instead of stockpiling.
09 | ITEMS YOU COULD MAKE
Of course, this category is not for everyone, but there are many things we do spend money on and bring into the home that we could have easily made with the ingredients and supplies we already have.
01 | Cleaning supplies. You can make any household cleaner with vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils nowadays. Check out recipes on Pinterest!
02 | Cards. If you have crafting supplies, make a birthday or holiday card with the supplies you already have in your home.
03 | Throw pillows. Instead of buying a new one, take a shirt or an old sheet you no longer want and cut, wrap, and sew a new cover bringing an old throw pillow new life.
04 | Clothes. There are hundreds of tutorials on how to turn your existing clothes into T-Shirt bags, tank tops, shorts from jeans, etc. Reinvent the clothes you have instead of buying more.
05 | Paint your furniture. If you really are craving white for that clean minimalist feel, then paint what you already have white. Don’t rush out to buy new furniture or worse, just add in more to what you already have!
Becoming more of a minimalist takes practice, patience, and self-awareness. We are no longer just trying to declutter our homes, we are trying to declutter our lives and in the process becoming more fulfilled with what we already have.
Contentment is not easy, especially in a day and age of intense consumerism. Yet it can be done!
Remember that you are in control of what you buy, you are in control of what you spend your money on, and you are in control of what comes into your home.
So be thoughtful about your purchases and know that the benefits from this type of lifestyle will outweigh that novelty coffee cup you thought you just HAD to have.
18 thoughts on “9 Things to Stop Buying If You Want to be a Minimalist”
Thank you so much for what you write! It’s honestly life changing. I loved what you said about respecting your clothes, so true. I think you are awesome!
Thank you so much Jenny! I try to dig into the real stuff and hopefully useful stuff 😉
Thank you for sharing this article! I have been trying to declutter and minimize for six months. It has been a journey that I am still battling a little each day. It is sad when you don’t realize how much “stuff” you have until you have to move! Talk about wake up call! You know you have too much stuff when, you have 8 different bath & body works lotions, a shower tub full of 15 different facial washes & scrubs, 6 different shampoos & conditioners in your bathroom as well as 4 others in your kids bathroom, a storage room full of empty boxes filled with more empty boxes, and 5 different clothes full to the brim.
After reading this article I felt relieved that I am not alone lol! I am not where I need to be, but will try these 9 things everyday!
Thank you so much Tiffany for your kind words! Decluttering is a never-ending cycle but once you finally get going on it it’s pretty addicting. I run an entire decluttering blog and I still am decluttering my home all the time. You would think I would have nothing left… but lo and behold I find more! I think the bathroom products is such a great place to start to help anyone face their own reality of how many things they truly own! 30 nail polishes later I realized I had a problem. Happy Decluttering to you!
Enjoyed your article!
I realized I’d rather enjoy less with greater appreciation than more with much less enjoyment.
Now to purge out the unnecessary things that I’ve accumulated through the years. I can’t wait to reach my goal of minimalist farmhouse style.
Thank you so much J! We must be on the same journey I am moving this weekend and minimalist farmhouse is exactly what my psyche is ordering for me. Good luck and Happy Decluttering!
Wow! Awesome article. Can I get a copy of this article other than on Pinterest without all the ads. I would like to post a link to this. Do you have a website.
I know with the virus shutdown, now is the perfect time to spring clean, organize and get rid of clutter, but I’m so bored and in a lack motivation slump, I can’t get moving. Suggestions please.
I totally get it. I was laid off temporary due to the virus and I thought that I was going to be bursting at the seams with energy to clean, declutter, and organize my home… but I wasn’t. So I came up with a system that worked really really well for me. I wrote a single task on a piece of paper, folded it up, and put into a large bowl. Every morning I pulled a task from the bowl and no matter what it said… I did it! Clean the toilet. Done. Re-organize the dresser. Done. Move the pile of boxes from the garage to the shed. Done. It was easy and made everything feel a lot less overwhelming. Give it a try and see if that gets some more things accomplished! Even just one extra thing a day is better than nothing! Good luck!
I never realized how many duffel bags I have stocked up! What a great point. Thanks!
Great advice! Having traveled throughout the world and observing the minimalist lifestyle of family and friends abroad I have learned not to be wasteful. Live and love it! It’s a way to treat Mother Earth kindly. Doing even one or two things on your list will make a difference. Thanks for spreading these simple living tips!
Thank you so much Carolina! Even the smallest change can make a world of difference!
I love your comments, Iam a declutter freak.Their simple and effective. I have been doing that for long time.Thank you for the reminder to be kind to my self.
This was a great article Jes! I’ve been keeping it simple for a long time but sometimes we take for granted what we are doing. I never realized how little I shopped for these things till the pandemic when everyone was worried about not shopping and I was just fine!
I especially like the one about respecting clothes that respect you because I do tend to keep clothes because they are “good enough” but then never wear them! I’m going to be on the look out for rebellious and disrespectful clothes now!
It’s so funny you mentioned how during the pandemic we all shopped less and we obviously survived! That’s how I felt, I took that time to focus on enjoying the things I already has purchased that I didn’t even give the time of day. I’m glad my article resonated with you and go don’t be fooled by those trendy clothes!
Very Awesome tip & points and Help full blog. It really helps me.
Iam really trying to declutter my home since my husband has passed away 9month ago. I am finding that it’s really hard to do. But I am getting there thou. It isn’t a easy process in doing. My husband was a hoard on many thing and food was the biggest thing. I have been getting rid of the items slowly but surely. I throw out food that has expired by three years ago and I keep finding more that he had already had. I am doing one room at the time that way it doesn’t get to so bad. I am also going to therapy for this also. My therapist is very good and I am very thankful for her help that she has been able to give me. I have 1 room done. And I am working on the second one now. I have 4 more rooms to get thru once iam done with my utility room. The next one will be my kitchen.. Thank you for your article in decluttering it was very helpful to me.
Hi Nona, losing some is hard enough, and then having to handle their items after is another overwhelming task to handle. I am so happy that you found a therapist that is helping you through this difficult transition. I have always been a huge believer in the power of talk therapy and group support. Keep on working on those spaces, every step you get through is one step closer to a bit of calm and peace that we all so rightly deserve. Let us help in any way in your decluttering journey.