“A Life Filled With Beauty, Not Possessions.”
Since starting our journey to a more minimalistic family life there are a lot of items I have just stopped purchasing. One of the most important things I have learnt in the process is how to be mindful when making a decision and I want to share with you my tips. Creating your very own ‘buying criteria could potentially save you thousands of pounds and crazy amounts of space. Below is what mine looks like but this can easily be tailor made to suit you and your family.
My simple living buying criteria looks something like this:
Do I love it?
Is it Vegan?
Is it ethically made?
Is it great quality?
Will it be used often?
Is it good value for money?
Not every item will be a perfect fit with all of this criteria but these are simply the questions I consider.
I will not knowingly buy a product that includes animal products, we still have some things in our house that do but once these have been used up or worn out they will be replaced.
Mass produced clothing and products made in factories with potentially low standards are something I aim to avoid and instead I tend to opt for smaller brands and businesses with fantastic ethics. They are often more unique, great quality and made with love.
If something will be stuffed in a cupboard, out of sight and not used then I don’t need it in my house. Fullstop. This is how we all end up with far too much stuff in our house due to mindless purchases we forget we made.
Value for money? – NOT CHEAP!
I always search for good value for money – this will rarely be the cheapest option and many people will be shocked at what we may pay for an item but cheap is hardly ever good value for money. Many people are under the false illusion that we have a lot of disposable income which is not the case at all, we merely opt for purchases that offer us the highest necessary quality, longevity etc and ultimately often spend less overall than other people. It is all a case of priority and I for example would prefer to spend more money on something involving my child’s safety such as a high quality car seat with great test results and surrender getting my nails done in order to pay for what is more important. Not that I do ever get my nails done but it makes a good example of how you can usually stop buying something you actually don’t need for something you do or something that will bring you a ton of joy.
So what have I stopped buying so far while on our journey to a more minimalistic family lifestyle?
Books – I actually have a pile that aren’t yet read and have been clearing out all of my old books. From now on libraries are my friend. If you love reading a Kindle could be a great choice to cut down on the clutter plus they have lots of free reading material available.
Toys – We are currently in the process of selling the children’s toys. Too many toys are totally overwhelming and I prefer to encourage more imaginative, exploratory methods of play.
Junk Food – We are trying to eat clean and why waste money on something that is bad for the body, mind and soul.
Unessential Beauty Products – I literally never have time to paint nails, moisturise etc and used to have a pile up of items in our cabinet that would expire. Now I only buy what I need and neutral makeup I know I’ll use.
Clothes for myself – I’m not yet in the shape I’m aiming for so have little desire to buy clothes. I never shop for fashion and just buy items that can easily match one another and suit me.
Items for the house – We are drastically minimalising our possessions and ‘knick knacks’ are one of the most unnecessary things to go. We won’t be buying any more!
This list does not include every purchase I haven’t made, as mentioned above I aim to make every purchase from a mindful place. I am also not suggesting I never buy anything from this list as I occasionally will if I deem the purchase to fit the above criteria.
Mindful Purchasing Hack
Lastly I have one really important thing to consider and an awesome hack that may just stop you buying that new pair of Kurt Geiger shoes (even though you love them, they’re beautiful, obviously good quality and you’ll wear them a ton etc. blah blah blah) You should try not to forget those trainers you’re wearing at the moment are doing a great job and have a lot of life left in them.
Here is the hack question set to test your mind.
Would you still want to buy them if they were double the price?
Would you still want to buy them if they were in the supermarket for a fraction of the price?
Would you pick them out of a lineup with twenty other pairs of shoes in an instant?
If you answer No to all of these don’t make the purchase.
If you answer No to one of them at least go away and think about it.
If you answered yes to all three then enjoy your new shoes.
This method doesn’t work for everything but does challenge your mind to think outside the box of price and lust then send you deeper into what the purchase actually involves. If the shoes are that good value and you love them you should truly know. You can always think on something and return to a purchase knowing it is a good one.
Quitting mindless purchasing takes time and commitment but it gives you opportunities to challenge yourself and the freedom to think deeply about your choices. I am not quite there yet and it will take a while to change my mindset and lifestyle but I’m getting there.
What could you cut back on? Is there anything you can’t resist buying?