Like many before me, I first got acquainted with the term minimalism, and minimalist lifestyle, on Instagram. I stumbled upon a post from Marie Kondo who talked about “discarding things that do not spark joy” and it got me curious. I started researching and found out that Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, TV show host, and author. Her catchphrase “spark joy” has become immensely popular after the success of her Netflix show, “Tidying up with Marie Kondo”. Her whole philosophy teaches us to get rid of excess clutter and put away all the things from the past that do not contribute to our lives anymore.
What is minimalism?
A minimalist lifestyle is a lifestyle of living with less and being happy with, and more aware of, what you already own. For the past few years, I was trying to adopt healthier and more manageable habits and minimalism looked like a great place to start. My spending needed improvement and streamlining as I wanted to save more money. I was eager to ensure that I was actually using the things that I was buying. I was (and still am) on a journey to understand what brings me genuine value and joy. Minimalism had the answers to all of those questions!
How to stop buying unnecessary things?
The key value of minimalism is not to stop buying altogether. It’s more of focusing on whether this new thing is actually necessary for you or not. I don’t hold a magic formula how to stop buying unnecessary things but I have a few questions that help me in the process. Ask yourself those questions the next time you are about to purchase something new.
- Do I really need it?
- What purpose does it serve me?
- Do I shop out of boredom?
- Do I often purchase unnecessary items?
- Am I buying things to impress others?
These are all difficult questions but I make myself answer them in any moment of doubt. It is a slow process – you don’t just wake up one morning and tell yourself, that’s it, I am a minimalist now. But the process is so worth it in the long run. So don’t be afraid to put in the work now.
Today I am no longer buying 10 things that used to take up a great amount of my budget. Now please keep in mind that I am in no way saying that you need to eliminate these things from your life. These are just what I’ve found don’t fit into my current lifestyle. Everyone has their own needs and preferences so your list might look completely different from mine and that’s okay. There’s no one-size-fits-all in minimalism. Just continue to live your life authentically, intentionally, and mindfully. That, in my opinion, is what minimalism is all about.
It feels great to smell nice, there is no doubt about that! At the beginning of the year, though, I realised that my perfume collection has grown quite a bit. All of my perfumes have been gifted to me by family and friends. And I cannot think of the last time that I intentionally bought a new scent for myself. So, I have decided to use up my existing perfumes before buying a new one myself.
I stopped getting my nails professionally done at a nail salon at the beginning of the pandemic. Ever since, I have been taking care of my manicure at home as it brings me an immense solace. This, however, meant that my nail polishes collection grew a bit. I usually prefer nude nail polishes which resulted in a big collection of very similar nuances. I don’t need 10 nuances of blush pink and I definitely cannot use them all up. So, I have stopped buying any new nail polishes until I use up the ones I currently have.
Hair Styling Products
I’ve tried using hair styling products on a regular basis a few times before. All of those attempts failed. I just don’t bring myself to using hair sprays, mousse, or pomades. My hair doesn’t feel nice with any of them and I have tried A LOT of brands. These products just sit around at home and I end up throwing them away because they have expired. It’s not worth it at all for me.
I used to try a new lipstick every other month only for it to end up forgotten shortly after. I have found my all-time-favorite lipstick shade and I’ve decided to stop experimenting with any other brands or shades. It works for my makeup routine and the majority of my outfits. So I will buy the same lipstick once I have finished up the one I currently have.
This is a difficult category for me because I love my bag collection. I used to change my bags almost every day and it brought me so much joy. But despite my love for bags, I cannot deny that I don’t need 20+ bags. I have started bringing my collection down by selling some of the bags that I don’t wear that often. I am still getting there but hopefully I will be fully satisfied with my collection soon.
I think it’s time to admit defeat – I am just not a jewelry person so it’s no use to give my money to something I won’t be wearing every day. I have a few watches that I love. Some basic earrings finish up an outfit every now and then. My Pandora bracelet is the perfect addition for any special occasion outfit. And, of course, my engagement ring which is one of my most valued possessions. That’s all that I need.
We are currently renting our place but eventually we will buy our own property and move out. So I don’t want to clutter my space anymore and make the whole move any more challenging. New home décor will need to wait for the moment we buy our own home.
I love reading a physical paperback book but, unfortunately, my bookshelf cannot hold any more. It is currently filled to the brim with my books. Every book that I own, I genuinely love and I am not ready to get rid of just yet. So by the time I get to have my dream big library, I will need to limit my book purchases and focus on audio or eBooks.
I stopped buying grocery bags a few years ago if I can avoid it. I carry a textile bag with me almost on the daily so I am prepared for any purchase on the go. It is not only better for my budget, but also for the environment. And it is an extremely easy change to make right now.
I no longer feel the need to purchase seasonal items simply because it’s a certain time of year. I’m not just talking about Christmas or Easter décor here. I’m talking about all the seasonal items that come to the market, even the ones that seem so insignificant. I used to feel like a lot of my seasonal purchases were justifiable simply because it was a certain time of year. I had to have that Fall scented candle, that new summer lipstick shade, or that wintery hot drink when I really didn’t need them at all.
Are there any things that you have already stopped buying? Or do you plan on making the change to a more minimalist lifestyle? Let me know in the comments.