Minimalism. That’s probably a word everybody is aware of these days, you see it all over Pinterest with minimal wardrobes and minimal decor etc. I admit it wasn’t really something I paid that much attention to, until earlier in the year.
I’ve spoken a little bit before about hoarding tendencies, like this post where I talked about how I declutter when I tend to hold onto things I don’t need or use. I’ve read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up and it really did help me to de-clutter items in my home that didn’t bring me joy. But I quickly found myself purchasing unnecessary items again as her concept teaches you how to declutter and how to organise the belongings you have, not how to reduce the number of items you buy as such.
But that was until I discovered The Minimalists. You’ve probably heard of them already, they are the minimalism pros. Their documentary became available on Netflix and the internet kind of went a little bit crazy about it. There were lots of different opinions on my Twitter feed about the documentary, some good some bad, but I found it really useful and has impacted my life quite a bit.
I’ve always been somebody who has enjoyed buying things, and I can admit I am prone to impulse buys. I am always going to be somebody who enjoys clothes, they do bring me joy and I love expressing myself through fashion. So I am in no way the perfect in terms of minimalism, but since watching the Minimalist documentary earlier in the year, and reading their book (I’ve still got everything remains on my to-read list) I’ve found myself acting differently when I’m out shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I still do buy clothing and beauty items, but I am trying to be more conscious of the amount that I am consuming and where I’m consuming it from.
Over recent months I’ve been trying to make little changes in the way I consume items and taking the time to think a little more before I make a purchase. I am in no way the worlds most ethical consumer and from time to time I do buy items from fast fashion stores like Primark, Zara and New Look, but nowhere near the amount I had previously. Nobody is perfect, but I am trying to be more conscious of how I shop and I’m trying to make little changes where I can.
Joining my local library.
I am a huge lover of books and you’ve probably seen pictures of my colour co-ordinated bookcase in our living room. It is pretty full even though I do regularly go through my bookcase and sort through any books I’ve read and know I won’t read again or books I’ve picked up a while ago and don’t have the interest in reading any more. Even though the majority of the books I do buy have been purchased at charity shops for less than £1, they all add up pretty quickly. So a couple of months ago I made the decision to join the city library in the hope to use that more than bookshops and charity shops. Why am I spending all this money buying books just to then donate them to a charity shop when I’ve read them when there is a huge building sitting there in my city centre full of books I can read for free.
I’ve never been a huge beauty fan, but I did have a rather sizeable make-up collection. Earlier this year I began slowly making the switch to cruelty-free beauty, replacing items as they ran out with products that hadn’t been tested on animals. At first, I found this quite difficult as finding a foundation that was pale enough, cruelty-free and within my budget became quite difficult. But I am now at the point where my entire make-up bag – yes that’s right it all fits into a bag. Is now cruelty-free. I’ve found myself being a lot more aware of the beauty items I’ve picked up because I’m having to research them beforehand to check they aren’t tested on animals, and therefore buying less. I did end up with a huge bag of non-cruelty free products that I’ve gotten at events in goodie bags, have been sent my brands which I have given away. Whether that’s to members of my family for those items that have been lightly used, or to give all the unopened products to my local charity shop.
Choosing secondhand clothing over fast fashion.
Like I said earlier I am not perfect and have bought items from fast fashion retailers recently. But when there is a particular item I am after I first hunt through my local charity shops to see if I can pick up something similar there. The items may not be the exact same as those you see on your favourite blogs and Instagram accounts, but chances are you’ll be able to find something similar that nobody else has and at a fraction of the price.I’ve also started going shopping with a list on my phone and trying to stick to just those items on my list. This helps to stop me buying items impulsively, which often results in me having a wardrobe lacking good basic items. My most recent purchases have included a pair of black trousers, long-sleeved tops and basic t-shirts. How adult of me.
So there are a few ways I am trying to shop more consciously and buy less. Do you have any tips and advice on living a more minimal life?