Minimalism changes your view on things. After going through the decluttering process a few times, you realize that you buy a lot of things you don’t need. I found I was only using certain items because I had them, and not because I actually found value in them. I discovered the zero waste movement at the same time I stumbled upon minimalism, and so my values drastically changed. Minimalism urged me identify what no longer served me. These are 5 things I’ve stopped buying as a minimalist.
#1 Nail Polish
I used to have a large collection of nail polish. It was excessive and wasteful. I let so many (nearly full) polishes go bad before I realized it needed to stop. After a few years of having such a large collection, I discovered minimalism and was able to declutter about 1/4th of my collection. Over the next year I minimized it to just 8. This past week I minimized even further, bringing down my collection to just 6 color polishes. What a difference! I feel so much freer having less and don’t feel guilty about harboring unused polish. Since I don’t believe nail polish is good for my body or for the environment, I will not be purchasing any more when my current collection either goes bad or runs out.
#2 Cheap Clothing (& Clothing on Sale)
I used to love shopping at Forever 21 and H&M, and even allocated $50 every month to use on new clothes. I loved spending hours browsing websites and trying to find the best deals. Unfortunately, cheap clothing is cheap for a reason. Fast fashion items are usually made in sweat shops and with low quality and harmful materials. Though it took me a while to change my habits, I am finally done giving my money to Fast Fashion brands. I now only buy from thrift stores, ethical brands, and high quality brands. I know that some high quality brands have questionable ethics as well, but I think it’s ok if the item will last me for years.
#3 Cheap Jewelry
I used to love going to Charming Charlie and Kohl’s to search for inexpensive, minimalistic jewelry. I would always find at least one thing, but that thing would end up turning my skin green because the varnish wore off so quickly. Since the piece looked gross without the varnish, I would end up throwing it away. I haven’t purchased any cheap jewelry in a few months and I don’t plan on ever going back. I would rather support artists on Etsy or local artists, even if it means it will cost me double or triple what I’m used to paying.
#4 Makeup Remover
Instead of buying makeup remover, I now use coconut oil. At the moment, I only apply eye makeup, blush, and lipstick, so I am not sure how well coconut oil would remove foundation.
I love that I’m able to use coconut oil for makeup removal as well as for cooking and as a hair mask. It’s more minimalistic to have multi-use items instead of items with only one purpose. Coconut oil is also usually sold in glass and it’s more natural than drugstore makeup removers.
I love notebooks, but I’ve realized that I love hoarding them more than actually using them. Whenever I received a beautiful notebook or journal, I never wanted to ruin its perfection by writing in it. Unfortunately, that meant it ended up sitting in a drawer, empty and useless. I decluttered about half of my notebooks and have kept the rest for morning pages, planning, and journaling. I assume I will need to buy a few more notebooks in the future because I have started morning pages, so I will be looking for more high quality or eco-friendly alternatives. (So this one has a little exception!)
Those were the 5 items I’ve stopped buying since discovering minimalism. I’ve also created a video on the subject: