I will not call myself an outright Minimalist. Not yet. I’m a beginner, somewhere in my journey to simplify my life. I have a long way to go. But I’ll have to say that I have started to like and enjoy the sense of freedom that comes with owning less material things. I’m almost an year into this journey, and I can already see the changes around me, more importantly in my wallet!
Some of these habits are really personal to me and you don’t have to follow them at all. It’s just what I prefer and a lot of these things I think will be beneficial for a lot of people. So pick and choose which ones you like.
Here are the 10 things that I have stopped buying or owning ever since I began my Minimalism journey:
The first thing I’ve absolutely stopped buying or owning ever since I’ve started my Minimalism journey is high-maintenance items or habits. So, I no longer go for a professional manicure to get my nails done. In fact, I don’t do my nails at all. It’s been over an year that I stopped doing it and this year I got rid of all my nail paints. I don’t like maintaining my nails in the sense of having to paint them and then take it off and then redo them. For me, it’s something I really don’t enjoy. I just keep my nails clean and trimmed.
I also don’t own anything that’s super large, cumbersome to move and frail. For instance, any big glass objects, because they are large, bulky to move and fragile and I’d like to have the freedom to get rid of stuff without feeling guilty or attached when I have to move to a different city or country altogether especially since I don’t have a permanent home.
Special Occasion Clothes
I don’t buy any special occasion clothes – things like heels, dresses, “going-out” outfits, wedding outfits. I like to keep things minimal in this department. I have one business suit for interviews, and I have one nice dress that I can wear to formal celebrations or for formal nights when I’m cruising. I found this a little tricky when I had to attend a cousin’s wedding in India because of the sheer number of events that make up an Indian wedding. Of course, I didn’t repeat the same outfit for the four days but I did make sure that I shopped mindfully. So instead of buying outfits that are trendy right now, I just invested my money in silk sarees because they never go out of fashion and I know I can keep wearing them for years to come.
I used to spend a lot of money on special occasion clothes that I wore once or twice in my lifetime vs spending a lot less money on things that I wore every single day. And so my spending on those things has flipped a lot.
I no longer buy things in bulk or multiples of any item. For instance, candles, shampoo, toiletries, food products, cleaning products. I just buy one at a time and I don’t have lots of back-ups or multiples or I don’t buy more of something when it’s on sale. I don’t feel the need to buy four or five of those things, in order to save money. I still like to shop, so I use those times when it’s time for me to shop for those items to quench my shopping urge and thirst a little bit. So usually every grocery trip, I’m looking for a new body soap or a lotion or something like that. And that kind of keeps the shopping urge at bay.
Meaningless Mass Produced Art Or Home Decor
I no longer buy any mass produced art (you know, like those London red telephone booth canvases!) or home decor pieces that mean absolutely nothing to me. Also, no trinkets or stuff that has to be put on top of a coffee table because it’s annoying to dust around and clean. Both my husband and I like our table tops to be completely clear of clutter. So no more decorative items that take up surface space on a counter top or a table.
The only things that decorate my home are things I have picked during my travels, photos, candles and plants. All of these items serve a purpose – plants purify the air inside the apartment and make us closer to nature, the candles replace the artificial light from lamps and fill the apartment with a lovely smell any time of the day, the photos and travel souvenirs remind us of all the good times we’ve had. That’s why I don’t feel the need to buy decoration pieces that don’t serve a purpose. Because something that “just looks good” is not good enough for me.
Trendy New Technology
I don’t own or spend money on trendy new technology like an Apple watch, Fitbits etc. Especially something like an Apple watch that’s always asking for your attention. I’ve seen people constantly looking at their Apple watch even when they have company, and I find that super annoying. Such is the device!
I don’t like to spend money on single-use items. For instance, buying bottled water when I’m out and about. I like to carry my stainless steel sipper bottle and keep refilling it wherever possible. This doesn’t just save money but is also good for the environment.
Another example of expensive one-use items that I don’t like to spend money on is things one buys for special events like a birthday party for instance. I’m not willing to spend a bunch of dollars on something you’re going to use for one day, for example, party hats, and then just throw them away. I think it’s really wasteful but also it’s a waste of money.
I don’t buy Cable TV, or subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Both my husband and I are not big on watching TV. Over the years we’ve realized what a colossal waste of time it is. So now we just find things we want to watch on YouTube. The time we save by not sitting on the couch watching episode after episode of sitcoms, is rather spent on reading, working on our side hustles, or being outdoors. It’s been over an year without Netflix and we don’t miss it terribly.
Things For My Fantasy Self
I no longer buy things for my fantasy self. Your fantasy self is what you imagine yourself to be and that fantasy self is very different from your reality. I really like the whole chic, ultra-feminine look – bodycon dresses, evening gowns and heels etc. but these things are not a part of my day-to-day life. In fact, they are just not who I am. I don’t like to buy heels because they are uncomfortable for me and I hardly wear them. Comfort is a lot more important to me.
No Impulse Buys
Usually when I go to the grocery store, there’s always something I see and say to myself, “Hmmm…this sounds good” and I’ll put it in my cart. But right before I’m about to check out, I’ll go through my cart and I’ll be like – “How many of these items are impulse buys?” I make myself get rid of at least a couple of them. Also, one important lesson I’ve learnt is to never go grocery shopping with an empty stomach!
I’ll be soon writing a post on the blog about my natural home-made cleaning products. You’ll be saving on plastic, money and you’ll have a chemical free home. It will also save a lot of space in your house because you’ll already have the ingredients at home. You just need to mix them.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if there’s anything, any tips and tricks that I didn’t list here and that have helped you a lot, let me know in the comments below.
If you believe in decluttering, getting organized, and living a better life with less, here are some great books (Kindle and Audiobook versions also available) for the aspiring minimalist in you.
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