Since I am constantly trying to get rid of unnecessary stuffs in my life, purchasing and adding new things have become something that I only do mindfully. Everything I decide to buy will have a major impact on the environment, state of mind, as well as my personal finance. So with hindsight, it now becomes a habit of mine to carefully choose things that are truly meaningful. Taking this minimalist journey for almost a year, I realize that there are several items on which I stop spending money. I didn’t plan on avoiding those things, but I no longer find any reasons to buy them.
One of my current favorite activities is surfing free e-books on amazon. I almost don’t understand why they would just put the kindle version there for free, especially after seeing that some of these books are of very high-quality. Also, opt for free online resources, journals, courses, and YouTube tutorials instead of paying for classes. There are so many things available out there for you to learn without having to spend a dime. Not to mention that libraries are always accessible when needed.
It’s okay to pay for some specific books or classes that relate to your work or study, in fact this is one of the best investment that you can make on yourself. What I am suggesting is that in this digital era, there are many affordable alternatives to study or learn new things so you don’t have to make excuses for slacking on it.
Decorations or Furniture
One of my goals with my minimalist journey is to create space.
Unless you cook professionally or feed a crowd, most of kitchen utensils are pretty pointless. They are hardly used and takes so much time and effort to clean. When you have too many of these, it can be a hassle for you to find them.
I haven’t been able to give up my make up entirely but I don’t want to have duplicates anymore. I would collect lipsticks (with slightly different shade) to the point where I had dozens of them. There was no way I could use them all up. It’s wasteful and it needs to stop.
Facial Mask, Hair Products, Scrubs, Lotion, Hand Cream.
All these come in different bottles and take so much space. Besides, they always come with plastic packages that I try to avoid. Using ingredients that you can find around the house is actually just as effective. Plethora of recipes for natural mask can be found online to match your skin type. Some of my favorites happen to be lemon+honey, turmeric+milk, white egg, coffee+honey, and charcoal. Aloe Vera, avocado, coconut milk, and egg yolks can also be used for your hair. I also love coffee ground+olive oil, oat + milk, or pumice stone to scrub and exfoliate.
Since I minimize my stuffs, buying containers to organize them has become a thing of the past. Besides, isn’t it ridiculous that you need to buy another stuff because you already have too much stuff?
I pick my favorite watch and pledge to not buy any extras. All other accessories are donated while precious metal jewelries are kept to glam up for special occasions. I don’t have anything against this type of jewelries since they hardly go out of style. Gold or platinum also do not rust, tarnish or corrode. In addition, you can always sell them again for when there is some urgent requirement of cash.
Facial Tissue and Cotton Pad
Facial Tissue can have an impact on the environment. Cotton is no better as it requires so much water to grow. Since I hardly use make up, they are almost never needed. And when they do, I substitute it with washable make-up pad, napkins, or handkerchief.
Cotton bud stems are made of plastic and often times ended up in our ocean. Sewage filter cannot remove them due to their minute size. Using this to clean your ears is also not recommended since it will most likely that the swab push the wax deeper, causing severe damage to your sensitive ear canal.
Globally, we consume the equivalent of 27,000 trees everyday to produce toilet paper. Invest in bidet/sprayer, and dry with towel.
Souvenirs and Collectible
I can finally travel lightly and enjoy the experience without the need of buying tacky/useless souvenirs.
New pants with different patterns or color, t-shirts, more cute socks, jackets, sweaters, patterned scarves. I want to have less clothes to avoid decision fatigue and organize less, not adding more. This also includes not having 12 different towels for different purposes: guests, fancy guests, face, beach towel, travel towel, bath, hand towel.
Use your container. Stop throwing so much single-use plastic!
Bottled juice or drinks
It’s obvious to some people that bottled juice seem like a healthier option. Made by little real fruit and so much added sugar, some of boxed juice is actually almost comparable to frizzy drink. Even when it claims to be 100% and has real benefits, the calories that it has outweighs this. You can easily squeeze the calories of 6 oranges into one glass and drink it up. When I am tempted to buy these luscious drinks, I keep thinking that I can always make some at home later with fresh fruits and ingredients. But I always end up being too lazy and just settle for water, which has tremendously reduced my sugar intake 😉