On My Way To Minimalism: 7 Things I've Stopped Buying
Minimalism is such a vast and trendy topic nowadays.
Now before you roll your eyes and think "Ughhh, another one who's jumping on the bandwagon!" let me explain myself…
Losing my little boy completely turned my world upside down. Needless to say that this is an understatement. I quickly realised that material things didn’t make me happy.
Don't get me wrong, I always knew it. My children, hubby and family have always been my #1 source of happiness but I’ve truly realised how much I got sucked into consumerism, especially since 2007 when I discovered the beauty community on Youtube. That was the trigger factor for me.
I've been raised in a very humble family, my brother and I never lacked anything but we didn't have a lot of room for the unnecessary. Our habits were also very different back then. We would only go shopping twice a year for things we really needed. A new coat for winter, a pair of sneakers for the gym, a new school bag… you get the idea.
Like everybody else the explosion of social media really exposed me to a lot of temptations. Too many temptations! I started to crave things I didn’t need. I wasted so much money, it makes me sick just thinking about it…
Anyway, it’s never too late to change bad habits and today I feel like a smarter, more responsible consumer. As a mum it’s definitely a value I want to pass on to Amélie as she grows up.
I've started to watch documentaries and educate myself about minimalism three years ago. It was the biggest eye opener and really got me thinking…
Do I really need all that stuff? As Mary Condo would say 'Does it spark joy?' Most of the things I owned didn't. All this makeup, all these clothes, none of it brought any value to my life. I had a huge clear out last year when we moved back home and I’m so glad I did.
Obviously it doesn't mean I got rid of everything that I owned. Being a minimalist doesn't mean that your house is empty. It simply means that you have only what truly matters to you.
If reading is your thing for example, there is nothing wrong in having two bookshelves full of books in your living-room. You know what I mean? As long as it brings you joy, value and purpose to your life then by all means go for it! It's a misconception that minimalists own nothing (or close to nothing). I couldn't personally switch to such an extreme way of living to be honest. Decluttering my life has had a real positive impact on me though. I want to own things, I don’t want things to own me!
I've realised that the older I get, the less stuff I want. I would rather have a few nice pieces than a lot of cheap junk. I really plan my purchases now and think ‘long-term’ instead of ‘instant gratification’.
So what did I stop buying?
LIMITED EDITION MAKEUP & BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Now before you think I'm nuts let me be clear, obviously I still buy makeup and beauty products. I just don't fall into the hype anymore.
I've done so many mistakes in the past, buying the wrong shades, the wrong textures, things I didn't need. I mean, how many coral blushes does a girl need? I only have one face, right?
I'm digressing but what I'm trying to say is that now I know what I love. I know what works for me and I only buy things I know I'm going to enjoy. Of course I make mistakes once in a while and things might end up not working sometimes but I'm not into the makeup-buying-craze I used to be in a few years ago. And you know what? It feels good to use products I truly enjoy. Ohhh the satisfaction of an empty foundation or a lipstick that runs out... :-)
I've never been a super trendy person anyway. My style has always been very classic but I don’t buy trendy stuff anymore. I used to wear them once or twice and forget about them. I believe in classic, timeless pieces you can wear over and over again. I'm an outfit repeater and proud of it!
Of course I still love places like Zara or H&M but I don't fall for hyped up pieces you see everywhere on social media. I focus on quality rather than quantity.
PADS AND TAMPONS
This is something I've talk about in the past (see post here) but I wanted to mention it again in case you missed it. Pads and tampons create such a waste for the environment, they are expensive and unhealthy. I've been using a menstrual cup for years now and would never go back to disposables. Since I wrote that post a few of you came back to me with positive feedback and it makes me happy! Using a cup is the best decision I made and I hope you will give it a go as well.
WATER IN PLASTIC BOTTLES
Again, such a big waste of money (without mentioning the terrible consequences for the environment). I'm so anti-plastic now!
I bought two glass bottles for my husband and I a couple of years ago and it's all we use when we go out, go to the gym or go to work. Our tap water is super nice here and I don't see the point of buying overpriced bottled water anymore. We do love sparkling water as well and when we fancy some we make our own with our Sodastream, easy peasy! I also got myself a Keep Cup very recently to reduce my consumption of paper cups when I go to coffee shops. In addition to be kind to the environment you will also save a few pennies. Most places will offer a small discount (usually around 10%) when you show up with your own reusable cup! It might not sound like a lot of money but if you go on a daily basis it’s still a little saving at the end of the month.
I’ve also ditched plastic straws and replaced them with these stainless steel straws from Amazon. Every little helps!
These are small gestures but they would actually make a huge impact on the planet if everyone jumped on the bandwagon!
I used to have monthly subscriptions but never had time to read them. Well, I had time but I never took it! They used to lay around the house (ahem the toilet), unread. Big waste of money! There is so much information available on the internet nowadays that I don't feel the need to buy them anymore. Most of them contain more ads than valuable articles anyway so I would rather read my favorite blogs online or go on Pinterest if I need some inspo.
Now again, before you think 'awww poor Amélie!'... of course she has toys. But to be honest most of them have been given to her as gifts by family members. Even with Benji we never did the mistake to fill up his room with unnecessary stuff just for the sake of it. If you have kids you know how they play with everything but their toys. Any mum feeling me here? :-)
It always makes me angry inside when we go to relatives/friends houses and I see bedrooms filled with so much junk, un-touched most of the time.
GIFTS THAT MEAN NOTHING
No I'm not a selfish bitch, let me explain… :-)
I've learned the hard way that time is the most important thing we have in life. I would rather create memories with my loved ones rather than giving them things they don't need/want/like just because I have to come up with something in my hands at a birthday party!
Last July it was my godson's birthday. He turned 17 and instead of buying a random pair of trainers he will appreciate for a month (then proceed to trash at a festival) we had a fun afternoon of indoor skydiving. It was his first time doing it and let me tell you, it was a huge surprise! We had fun, took pictures, created memories that will last forever and made our bonds even stronger. Of course I'm not saying to go skydiving with your grandma on her next birthday but maybe take her out for dinner? Go to a nice exhibition with her? Organise a surprise picnic in the park? She will definitely remember these moments more than a pair of shoes!
I hope you got my point and that you liked this post. It's a bit different from what I'm used to talk about but it's something that's very close to my heart now.
Let me know if you are embracing minimalism as well and what kind of things you've stopped buying. I’m very interested to read you!
Until next time guys...