8 Things I No Longer Buy
Minimalism can sometimes be misunderstood get taken to extremes. If we went solely by Instagram, we might think that minimalism means emptying out our homes and living with the bare minimum.
At least not for me.
I’m all about simplification, essentialism and being more purposeful. That’s why I try to be intentional about the things I purchase and allow to take up space in my home. They have to serve a specific function that’ll make life easier, or they have to be so beautiful they’ll make life better.
Are you thinking, “Easier said than done?”
I hear you. It takes practice! And we don’t have to be perfect.
For me, it started with being intentional about 8 categories of things that I vowed to no longer purchase. I actually wrote them down on a list. If you choose to do this too, it might look different than mine and that’s great - we all have different lives and different priorities.
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8 things I no longer buy that help me live a simpler life
1. Cheap crap that doesn’t last
I have to admit this is a tough one for me when it comes to clothes. I tend to go up and down in sizes and I hate buying new expensive clothes that I may not be able to wear next year. However, I’ve come to realize that I fluctuate between two or three different sizes, and so I’ve invested over the last number of years in quality classic pieces in each size (at the time I’m at them). Things like a great white blouse, a good suit jacket, and soft wool sweaters. I feel better in them and they look better on me. And they simplify my decisions in my closet each morning.
Saving up to invest in a few quality items - whether that’s clothing or items for your home - instead of a bunch of cheaper items will simplify your life because you’ll be sure to love them and you won’t have a ton of stuff crowding your space. You’ll also feel great about being environmentally conscious.
2. Physical entertainment items
I no longer buy magazines, DVD’s, CD’s or the like. With Pinterest, Instagram, HGTV, Netflix, Prime, Spotify and the like, there’s no need to spend money or space on this kind of entertainment any longer. I thought I’d hate giving up magazines. In reality, it’s a relief not to have them hanging around the house (I keep one basket of old favourites to go to for inspiration once in a while). Plus, it frees up funds for more social entertainment experiences like going out to dinner and shows with friends. That’s a purposeful move on my part.
3. Really cute things I’ll never use in real life
I love purses and bags so much. At one point I hoarded them. But I rarely, if ever, used any of them except my one or two favourites. So now I’ve vowed not to buy more bags. It’s not that I’ll never buy one again. It’s just that it will have to be very intentional because mine’s not working for me any longer and I’m searching for the one I’ll use most days.
Beautiful scarves are another of these things for me. I love how they look on other people. But I just can’t seem to pull them off when I try them on myself. I don’t feel comfortable in them so I don’t end up wearing them. Alas, no more buying scarves.
4. Household cleaners
My mom has a whole shelf in her broom closet dedicated to different cleaners. One for the floor, one for the bathroom, one for the kitchen, one for wood, one for windows, one for pots and pans…. the list goes on and on. I decided years ago to switch to simple water and vinegar cleaner - partly to get rid of the chemicals in my home that comes with commercial cleaning supplies, and partly because I wanted one bottle under my sink to grab for all my cleaning needs. I’ve got to say, it does the trick (sorry Mom). Once in awhile, I need a little baking soda for tough scrubbing on some things, but other than that, I’ve never needed anything else. Get my complete formula (with optional essential oil) here.
5. Cheap fake touristy trinkets
The plastic bobblehead from my trip to Mexico really doesn’t spark the fond memories I have of that trip. The glass jar of beach sand and shells does. Now I’m very purposeful of bringing back something from my trips that’s truly meaningful, instead of junky stuff from a souvenir shop that I’d never display out in the open anyway. Check out this post on how to create a meaningful home.
6. Big box art
Those giant canvas paintings for $50 can be tempting, but they’re not terribly meaningful. I’ve switched to investing in small artists on Etsy or at my local craft show, or using vintage pieces as art, or making my own. If I do buy a canvas at a big box store it’s because it’s cheap and I’m going to paint my own masterpiece over it. I’ve curated a much more interesting, simple and meaningful home because of opting out of dime-a-dozen art just to fill the walls.
7. Office supplies
I work from home, but I don’t actually have much for office supplies any longer. When I last moved, I got rid of a ton of pens, paperclips, loose paper and envelopes that I hadn’t used in years. I don’t even own a printer any longer. On the rare occasion when I need to print something out, I run with my thumb drive to the nearest print/office shop. It’s freed up a ton of space and feels much less chaotic in my office now.
8. Stuff that doesn’t have a home
Whenever I see something that I fall in love with at the store, I have to first map out exactly where it’s going to go in my home. Do I have the plant to put in that beautiful pot? Do I have a spot for that new basket to go and to actually hold something? Where will that antique crate actually be used in my home? If it doesn’t have a good home, it doesn’t get purchased.
So, what will your list be?