I’ve been reading about minimalism for a long time now. There are so many ways to start your minimalist journey and quite a few of them involve a shopping fast at the beginning of the plan. It makes sense because in order to remove the extra stuff and clutter in your life, the first step would be to stop bringing things in.
In my case, the opposite was the case. I started my minimalist journey this way:
- Firstly, I removing the things that I didn’t use regularly and that seemed to be in the way of my visual peace, mainly in the living room where we spend most of our time at home.
- Then I went into more other rooms and removed things that we didn’t use regularly and that had stopped meaning something to me.
- I went into cupboards and wardrobes and removed duplicates.
- I opened the toilet cabinet and removed everything that was expired and things that I hadn’t used for a while. Either I used them fully or I dumped all together.
- I checked the storage areas, such us under the beds and under the stairs for forgotten items.
- I realised at this stage I was permanently scanning the rooms in order to spot dormant stuff that I wasn’t using anymore or I didn’t love anymore.
- I donated 70% of all my clothes and only kept what I loved the most, the most comfortable and practical clothes.
- The place became easier to tidy up and clean and there was more space in wardrobes and cupboards. Everything had a place now. Everything was functional and practical.
- And then I realised that I had already started my Shopping Fast without realising it.
If you are aware of what is important, useful and beautiful in your life, why would you go back and fill the spaces again with things that would satisfy temporarily a desire to have something new?
If I was removing all the clutter to only have the wonderful and useful things that I needed every day to make my life peaceful and stress-free, why would I buy something that I was sure it was going to go to the ‘donate’ box in a week or so?
So I went a step further.
Ways to a successful shopping fast:
- Avoid shops all together
I stopped going to the shops unless I was absolutely sure what I was looking for and I knew exactly where to find it
- Have a list
I made a shopping list with the necessary groceries needed for our weekly consumption
- Allow a quarantine
If I felt the need to buy something, I would allow 15 to 30 days to consider the purchase and make sure it wasn’t an impulse.
I unsubscribed from any social sites or mailing lists that would send me publicity or reminder emails about their products.I also unsubscribed from ‘Groupon’, ‘LivingSocial’ or any other deal sites. If I needed anything, I could go looking for it myself.
- Consider secondhand shopping
If I absolutely needed something, I would always consider secondhand shopping first. Your money can always help a charity or someone else selling their stuff rather than a big corporation.
- Record your spending
Another useful tool to stop shopping compulsively is to make a record of your purchases and then assess which ones are needs and which ones are wants.
- Delete credit card details from shopping sites
1-click shopping is so convenient that you might act on an impulse and not have enough time for considering if the purchase is a want or a need. If you need to get your credit card and put your details into the site, you might get a few minutes to reconsider.
A minimalist life is a more intentional one. And saving your money for more important things rather than impulses is very rewarding.