Now, Before I even get into this post, there is something I’d like to say. Minimalism looks different for everyone and the whole idea is to find what works for you and suits your needs.
You do not have to live in scarcity as a Minimalist and you certainly don’t have to get rid of all material possessions you have. There is no need to go that extreme, unless you are taking on a challenge. And even then It’s best to take it in small steps. You don’t want to be getting rid of something only to buy something similar a few months later.
And yes, you can be a minimalist while still having a lot of the stuff you have right now. The idea is not to throw away things, but to remove things from your life that don’t bring you joy, so that you have more space in your life for things that actually matter.
And I always say that the best way to get started with minimalism is probably to stop buying more things. Well of course, unless you absolutely love and need something.
But, needless to say, the best way to get into minimalism is to stop buying things. These are essentially things that do not bring you joy or do not serve a particular purpose, but you often still buy. Often in a spur of the moment or because you do not give a lot of thought before buying things. Here are some things that I stopped buying when I started my Minimalism Journey:
Things I stopped buying as a minimalist:
This was probably the easiest thing for me to do. My wardrobe and dressers were already overflowing with clothes already. So I did a big closet clean out in Marie Kondo style and got rid of a lot of things and swore to not buy another piece of clothing for a year.
And that’s something that worked for me. I really enjoyed all the free space in my drawers and also the fact that I could actually see all the clothes in owned.
If you do not want to do a clean out right away, that’s perfectly okay, Girl. I understand. You just need to stop buying more. So take it on as a challenge for a month or 3, depending on how much you shop right now.
And whatever you do, do not reward yourself with a shopping day once you are done with the challenge. You see how that’d be a problem, right?
Again one of those things that you don’t really need buy you end up buying, because there is a great sale going on or because those heels are really trendy.
I took this as a part of my no buy challenge as well. And throughout the year, I only bought a new pair of trainers when my gym shoes were literally torn and I couldn’t wear them anymore.
#3: Coffee mugs:
This was a tough one for me, because when it comes to coffee mugs I am a hoarder. I definitely have way more than I’d ever need, and I still can’t resist buying a cute one.
So I made a compromise. I only ever buy a new one, if any of the current ones gets chipped or broken or if I am willing to donate one. That ways the total number of mugs I own remains a constant. It’s a pretty difficult thing to do, buy way worth it.
Again, it was a tough one for me. I can’t resist pretty notebooks. And I have so many in which I have written absolutely nothing.
So I stick to buying only 1 or two each new year as a present to myself but never in the middle of the year. For my bullet journals that I regularly use, I get a new one as and when I finish one.
#5: Linens & Throws:
I have more throws that it’s legal to own. Not even kidding. So I went Marie Kondo and decluttered my entire linen and throws closet as well.
I donated everything that I hadn’t used in a year. I also threw away one that were ripped or stained and I couldn’t use anymore.
#6: Make up:
I do not wear makeup on the daily but I still used to buy lipsticks and glosses every time we went to the mall. So I completely stopped. I decided that I’d only ever buy another one if I really plan on using it regularly. Buying something just to put in your vanity and never using it, makes no sense, does it?
I also no longer buy a make up remover. Because I use so little make up and on most days no make up, I don’t see the point. I use coconut oil as a makeup remover and it works wonderfully.
No I didn’t stop buying groceries all together. But groceries is something that a lot of people waste a lot of money on. And in general, it is one of the biggest expenses in any household. And you can save a lot of money on groceries while adapting minimalism.
I watched carefully, which groceries end up going to waste. Or which ones do we not end up using before their expiry dates. And I struck them off the grocery shopping list or made it a point to buy them in smaller quantities.
If you are more mindful of the waste you are creating, you’d be able to find such patterns and then you can avoid buying those things in the first place.
I used to buy a lot of books because I love reading. But they take up a lot of space and also cost a lot of money. I have made it a point to either find ebooks or to borrow books from friends or participate in book exchanges. I still prefer exchanging or borrowing though, because I love the touch and feel of a physical book.
#9: Single use Plastic water bottles:
Single use plastic bottles are probably one of the biggest contributors to the plastic waste created by households. And I have always been keen on avoiding my plastic usage. I have completely stopped buying plastic water bottles.
I make sure I always take a refillable bottle with me whenever I am stepping out of the house. It’s pretty simple actually and so much more convenient too once you get used to the habit.
#10: Shampoo and conditioner bottles:
Again because of the plastic waste that’s created because of the shampoo and conditioner bottles. I found it super easy and much more eco friendly to switch to shampoo and conditioner bars.
#11: Seasonal Decor that lasts only 1 season:
I have completely stopped buying seasonal decor items that last for one season only. I no longer buy seasonal decor items that I know won’t last me at least a couple of years. No matter how much I love the decor items, if it’s not good quality and if I can’t store it properly, I won’t buy it.
#12: Single purpose cleaners:
I hate having a zillion cleaning supplies especially when I use them once a month or so. I loved switching to a more natural cleaner that’s multi purpose. That means using a single cleaner for all surfaces and it works brilliantly for me. For most of the house hold cleaning I find the combination of vinegar, baking soda and limes works perfectly, so I simply use that.
I have always been pretty good at this. Even when I started filming videos for youtube, I knew I didn’t want to buy a lot of camera gear, so I started with my phone.
I also don’t see the point of getting a new iphone every year or two. I still have my iphone 7 and it works perfectly well for me.
And if you want to use something just once or twice, it’s best to borrow it from a friend or rent it, instead of buying it.
Especially when it comes to kitchen utensils or equipment. You do not need 5 different pans or 20 spatulas. Neither do you need cookie cutters in every shape possible. I no longer buy things that will serve as a double. If I have something that already serves the purpose, I am going to keep using it and not buy more.
I used to buy magazines just to flip through. I never actually got around to reading them. I no longer do that. Such a waste of money and not good for the environment as well. So I completely stopped buying magazines.
#16: Plastic razors:
No, I am not asking you to stop shaving. But what you could avoid is buying plastic single use razors. Plastic single use razors are not good for the environment and are such an easy thing to replace.
Try replacing them with stainless steel razors. They are durable, last a long time and all you need to do is replace the blade, which generates a lot less plastic waste.
Another thing on the same list is shaving cream. If you shave regularly, chances are you are going through a lot of tubes each year. I find that using bathing soap bars works perfectly well as well. So you could do away with buying shaving cream separately.
Alternatively, you could look into epilators as well. Make the investment and be sorted for a long long time. It’s perfect if you find shaving to be a hassle. I have been using a Phillips epilator for more than 3 years now and it works perfectly for me.
#17: Sanitary pads:
I can’t believe how much waste I used to create each time during my periods. I stopped buying sanitary pads and tampons all together and switched to using a menstrual cup instead. And I love how eco friendly and easy to use they are. I regret not making the switch earlier.
If you are skeptical as well, take my word for it. They are far more comfortable than using pads or tampons and are great for the environment as well. So win-win.
That’s everything for this post. What lifestyle changes did you make when switching to minimalism? Do let me know in the comments down below. See you in the next one! 🙂