Before I get all preachy, here is a little disclaimer. I am not totally immune to consumerism. I try to only buy things that I need and not just want but occasionally (and that has happened far too often lately), I give in and dive head-along into the black hole of consumption. So why am I writing this post? To remind myself of all the good work I had been doing and to continue in the same vein. If, like me, you find yourself swayed by Instagram and YouTube into believing you ‘need’ a certain piece of clothing, a pair of shoes, that new book, that highlighter everyone’s wearing and looks oh-so-luxe etc., I hope this will help you get your minimalistic mojo back on track.
Here’s a list of 5 things I no longer buy:
1. Trendy clothes/Clothes that might look good on me in the future – If something is red hot right not, it’s a ‘bye’ not a ‘buy’ for me. Ditto for clothes that don’t fit or will fit if I get lots of work done to them. If it doesn’t fit or isn’t something I can wear next year without the fear of being obviously last season, it’s not right for me.
2. Duplicates – Three pairs of slim-fitting black trousers, 4 button-down white shirts, two palettes of neutral matte eyeshadows, more than one creamy nude blush, a couple of white fluffy bunnies for baby? Sounds familiar? Certainly does to me! Thanks, but no thanks.
3. Exotic ingredients – That barely-used miso paste I bought for a certain recipe is still occupying space in my refrigerator and will continue to do so till it goes off and I throw it out half-heartedly. I could have hunted for recipes that call for miso so that it got used up, right? Wrong! Chances are, those recipes would have called for some more offbeat ingredients. Greens, beans, fruits and other traditional ingredients in the pantry get used up and result in delicious fare so why not stick to them?
4. ‘In case of’ items – This used to be my favourite category to shop for. For example – I should buy this eyeliner in case I lose the current one. This perfume might be good in case I start liking floral scents one day. This dress would look so pretty on Ginny in case she has to attend a wedding this year. Let’s stock up on quinoa in case my husband develops a taste for it. At any given point, my online shopping cart would always have at least a few of these ‘in case of’ items. Not anymore.
5. Deals and Sales – We have all been sucked into the ‘buy two get one free’ or ‘buy one and get 50% off on the next’ schemes. While they look great on paper (or on your screens), are they really useful? Do you seriously need duplicates? Is that cleansing balm so good that you need a whole army of backups? Are those toddler trousers so good that you need to buy them in 3 different sizes? Would you really consider buying it if it wasn’t on sale? These are some of the questions that you need to truthfully answer before handing over your credit card details. I know I do.
I am not perfect, nor are the things that I do. If I take one step towards minimalism, I take two towards consumerism. It has been a learning curve but I am determined to keep moving in the path that I have chosen for myself. Being in my 30s has helped me gain a new perspective on what I want and how I want it. This is a step in that direction. Do you agree with my 5 points? What are yours?