Stuff I no longer purchase
The biggest struggle when you decide to become a minimalist is changing your mindset. If you, like many of us, have spent your life purchasing without a second thought and garnering things, you know it is not easy to stop this behavior.
In the world that we live in today, there is so much advertising to buy just about everything you can imagine and more. Everywhere you go there’s a push for us to purchase something new. However, we as minimalists have to decide what matters and is necessary to us and what doesn’t. And if it doesn’t matter to us we don’t need it in our lives.
Now I will admit it is not easy to block all this advertising telling us we need something more. Sometimes you are just sitting on the couch and you mention something and there you have all these ads popping up on your cellphone. You sit asking yourself how did your phone know what you were talking about but that’s a conversation for another day or a topic for another blog. The point is that advertising is everywhere and it can not be avoided.
Fighting our urges to purchase and consume in a world where consumerism is so prevalent is hard but it is not impossible. When you decide to become a minimalist one of the things that you have to do is stop buying by impulse and think about the WHY behind every purchase.
Another point to keep in mind is that when you buy things you do not need you are wasting your money. It is better to save the money from these impulse buys and attach it to something that matters and will bring joy to your life. An example of this is travel. When you travel you create memories and that is so much better than an item that is just stuffed somewhere collecting dust.
Now travel may not be important to you. Maybe you just want to save, or you have been hoping to take a class or start a hobby that requires a little investment. Whatever it is, put your money into something that will better your life in some way.
With this new mindset, I have made changes to my purchasing habits. I’m not perfect but there are some items that I don’t buy, or in some cases, if I do buy them, I limit the amount because there is no need to have multiples of them. This is an ongoing struggle, I have to constantly ask what needs to be bought and what is more of a whim or just nice to have.
I’ve decided to list below some of these items that I find that people sometimes purchase without really giving it thought. Of course, this will not apply to everyone. I cannot tell you what you need and what brings joy to your life. However, this list can give you an idea of some items I do not need and it may help you start looking at some of the items you don't need as well. So keep on reading and see some of the stuff that I’ve stopped purchasing.
Water bottles- save the money and the planet and invest in a reusable water bottle. I own a stainless steel water bottle that I carry with me to stay hydrated without having to purchase plastic water bottles throughout my day.
Cleaning products- when I started to DIY cleaning products I was not sure if it would work. However, I am happy to say that it works and ever since I started I have not purchased any other cleaning products. Even if you do not want to DIY your products, look for multipurpose cleaning products so you don't have to buy as many.
Extra dishes and silverware- I do not own extra dishes, silverware, or glasses that I only use on special occasions. I have the everyday set that I use no matter what day it is. If I am feeling fancy I just set the table a little differently than usual using what I own.
Single-purpose kitchen items- I do not own any single-use kitchen items. I am talking about the apple corers, avocado slicers, and ground beef smashers. Sure, these items can serve a purpose but they are not needed in your household.
Cellphone accessories- I do not purchase accessories for my phone. I own one biodegradable cellphone case. I purchased it when I got my phone and for as long as I have the phone that will be its case and only accessory.
Calendars- I do not buy yearly calendars or planners. I find that I can be just as organized with the app on my cell phone. It is one less thing to store and one less thing to bin at the end of the year.
Souvenirs- when we travel we usually think of buying something to bring home to remember the location. I have stopped doing that in my travels. This is not to say that you can not buy an item that you actually need in another country but your memories and pictures should be enough to remember the vacation.
Items on Sale- walking into a store and seeing the word sale usually will trigger a need to purchase because we all want a bargain. But if I do not need the item or even worst if it is not something I would usually buy I steer clear of sales and you should too. Otherwise, you are just adding to your clutter and spending money, even if the item is cheaper than usual.
Excess food- how many times do we have so many items in our pantries that we forget them and they sometimes even expire before we get to them? I meal prep and purchase mainly what is on my list for the week. It saves me from wasting food and frees up space in the kitchen by not having to store extra stuff.
Newspapers and magazines- nowadays you can read the news and just about everything else online and that is what I do. I do not purchase magazines or newspapers that I will need to bin after I read it.
So there you have it, a few examples of items I do not purchase. The list will be different for everyone but the idea is the same. If you do not need it, do not buy it. Look at the stuff you buy and figure out if you will use it multiple times or if it is a one time only type of purchase. Try to find alternative ways to have the same results using what you have without buying something new. These are tricks that you can use to minimize what you purchase, save your money, and reduce the amount of stuff you have at home. Sometimes, just by changing your mindset you will see the difference it will make in your life and the clutter around you.