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!
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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.