There are plenty of things we don’t need, but society makes us believe that those things are more than necessary. Or we force ourselves to believe we need them because we’re used to having certain things in our lives. This time, I’m sharing with you 10 things I stopped buying as a minimalist. And hoping to inspire you to think about the stuff you own and look at them from a different perspective.
1. foreign currency
Here’s what’s going on now, currently I live in Croatia where we use Croatian kuna. In about 2 weeks I’ll be in the Czech Republic where the currency is the Czech crown and a couple of days later I’ll be in Austria where the currency is Euro. In order to avoid coming home with a wallet full of foreign currencies, I’ll be using my card instead. Sure, I will exchange some smaller amount of money in crowns and euros, but mainly I will pay with my card just to make my life easier.
I’ve been wearing pajamas my whole life, until about a year ago when I realized how unnecessary and uncomfortable they are. We all toss and turn in bed at night and upon waking up I would always find myself getting out of bed with sleeves rolled up to my elbows and the bottom part rolled up to my knees. Also, pajamas often stretch out and they can be quite expensive for what we are using them for.
I enjoy wearing lounge clothes around my apartment and that’s something I’d invest in. But pajamas that we wear for only a couple of hours in bed… In my opinion, quite unnecessary. And they take up a lot of space in the closet. (If you have more than 2, which I think you do. I don’t know…)
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3. watches and clocks
We always check the time on our phones, so watches are used more as a jewelry nowadays and personally, I don’t buy them. And clocks, I had an alarm clock until a few months ago when I got rid of it. Because, again, I have an alarm on my phone. So the point is, you don’t have to collect things that serve the same purpose. And clocks have somehow become just a home decor, but more on that later.
4. laundry hamper
Since I travel quite a bit, I always bring an additional plastic bag or two for clothes that I’ll need to wash. And that way I completely forgot about hampers, so that even at home I have a big bag that I use as a hamper. It doesn’t take up space at all. You can put it in the back of your closet (or on top, or wherever) and you’re good. Also, if you live with more people, each of you can have their own bag for clothes to wash. It doesn’t cost a cent and it actually looks good (depending on which one you choose. I have one that I got when I bought a big item in Mango so it’s even aesthetically pleasing). You don’t have to buy a new hamper for the rest of your life… I mean, not bad at all, right?
Once you start buying them, you have to have them all. Every scent, every brand, everything. It’s not like you’ll buy one and it’ll be enough, but the next week you’ll see a discount on really pretty ones so you’ll HAVE to add them to your collection. And then they burn out, you throw them away and continue the circle. My advice is, get a diffuser if you enjoy your place smelling of some certain scent and buy a few essential oils. Sure, they will run out, and you’re going to buy some again, but they last longer when you use a diffuser.
They don’t just sit around and collect dust and they don’t take up much space. Admittedly, I don’t own one because I still haven’t found one to purchase where I live, but I’ve heard only the good things about them.
Side note: be careful with essential oils if you have kids or a dog because certain scents could be bad for them. So research a bit before.
We don’t have Starbucks in Croatia so I bought a big Starbucks cup in Prague which I use almost daily and I have 0,5 l mug from Budapest which I also use daily for lemonade and beverages like that, and other than that I don’t buy any souvenirs. I did manage to collect some magnets for my fridge over the past couple of years. But since the one from Vienna broke and this January in Timisoara I forgot to buy one, I don’t really care about keeping collecting them so much. I take pictures when I travel, post them to Instagram and that’s it. Those are only ”visible” memories I’m willing to have. But a bunch of items specific to a certain city or oversized T-shirts from various countries I don’t even plan to wear… Yeah, I don’t buy those.
If you want to declutter and consider some souvenirs sentimental items, check out this article of The Minimalists explaining how to detach from material possessions.
7. newspapers and magazines
Why do you need them? Every magazine has its own website. And newspapers… If you want to know what’s happening somewhere or if you want to read your horoscope, Google is your friend. The only magazine I used to occasionally purchase was Cosmopolitan a couple of years ago. I would buy it if the cover was interesting enough, or to reward myself for I don’t know what (probably something I should’ve done anyway), read it in a day or two, gave it to my roommate to read it and after two months sitting in my drawer, got rid of it. Every time the same story. Fortunately, they have a website. And fortunately, I’m not interested in that kind of a content anymore, so there’s that…
But there are some magazines more on a spiritual side which I would now enjoy. But they also have a website so there is no need to buy any of those.
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8. home decor and festive decor
Not only do alarm clocks collect dust (as I mentioned before), but everything else you purchased because it looked nice at the moment but now, a few months/years later, you don’t see any value in it. I went a step further and I don’t buy any festive decorations neither. I mean, there’s Christmas – you put up all the decorations, you get stressed out in the process if it doesn’t look as you wanted, and God forbid your cat breaks something, you find yourself cursing the whole month of December and the day that cat came into your house. You know it’s Christmas even without spending a fortune on Christmas tree, decor that has to be different every year so that people see and recognize the effort. And a few days later, it goes back to the storage until the next year’s scenario.
Also, fake plants, wall art, some home decor item you don’t even know what should represent, but it is in some interesting shape, so the only logical thing is to buy it.
If I know I’m not going to use it or need it, it doesn’t deserve my space or my time spent cleaning it. I enjoy when space looks nice so in my room, I put my perfumes and makeup on shelves so that it looks more interesting. And in the kitchen, I have a bunch of fruit on my table instead of constantly buying flowers or having fake plants.
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In the best case scenario, you read the book and put it on the shelf thinking: ”What am I going to do with this book now?” I mean… If you’re going to do that, might as well start visiting your local library. Same with CDs and DVDs, they are just an additional clutter. Especially now when we have Spotify (not in Croatia, but oh well… I’m not complaining) and Netflix. If you want to support the musicians, think about some other ways.
For instance, one of the bands I like has a Patreon site so I pay every month a certain amount of money (it can be as little at 1$) to support them because I’m not a fan of owning physical copies of CDs or buying oversized band shirts… But I have a couple of friends that collect vinyls so if that’s a hobby of yours and you enjoy it… Keep doing what makes you feel good.
What do you have on TV? News and movies, the same thing you can find on your laptop. In my opinion, TV and radio are just an additional clutter that you own probably because you’ve owned one (or more) your whole life. But they are very expensive and so unnecessary now that we have laptops, tablets, smartphones… Do you really need all that? I don’t think so. They cost a lot and eventually you’ll need to buy a new one (if you want to have one). So why not save that money and go on a trip somewhere?
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And that’s it for now. Those are the things I stopped buying as a minimalist and that’s what saves me plenty of money, space and time. This is just my lifestyle and I’m not telling you to get rid of those things just because I find them unnecessary. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. My goal here is to inspire you to look at things from a different perspective. From your own perspective.
Just because probably everyone you know owns a TV doesn’t mean that you should too. Bring value into your life by owning things you love and use. Live your life to the fullest and stop cluttering your life and mind with things you don’t care about.
Check out my ”100 Steps Closer” eBook filled with motivational quotes, affirmations, journal prompts and action steps to get you 100 steps closer to the life you want.
Have an amazing day,