There is no harm in having some stuff—if you use it, love it, or need it, then possessing it may cause no harm. In the first half of 2019, the Konmari method for minimising our hoards became very popular. Maybe you gave Konmari a go or maybe you’re just happy with what you have. Now what? It is human nature to want to treat ourselves after a job well done, tackling a daunting task such as tidying and getting rid of things we’ve had for years is one such task. The satisfaction of seeing a long-lost surface is unbeatable to some. So why buy more?
The more we buy, the more things gets made, and therefore, the more resources that are used for more to be thrown away. This is not only bad for the planet, but if uncontrolled, it can become bad for our health. As such, here are some tips on thinking like a minimalist. Thinking like a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to be a minimalist. Yes, having/ buying less is good for our well-being and bank account but so is purchasing a long-desired item (more so for our happiness than our bank account).
Imagine the situation. You enter a shop, any shop (food, clothing, furniture, etc.). After looking around, you find something you just have to have. Now, before you add it to your basket, stop. Really look at the item—pick it up if you can. Turn it over in your hands and look at its condition. Is it marked in any way? Does the pattern or design look right i.e. is it misprinted or upside-down? Having picked it up and looked at it closely, do you still like it? Now think about where you would put it—consider each room as well as who lives with you. If you cannot find a place or you have someone living with you who could potentially damage or be harmed by it, then reconsider. If the item passes these questions, think about whether you can afford it. Consider any bills or grocery shopping for the next month. So far, so good—the item is winning. But, what about the month after that? Remember that as obvious as it may sound, the item won’t just disappear when you no longer enjoy it. You will have to get rid of it or repurpose it. Doing so takes time and effort, so consider your usual week and see if you will have time to take it to a charity shop or upcycle it at home. Even putting it in a cupboard or bag to go at a later date should be considered. Could you handle the “clutter”?
All these considerations probably sound like they’re going to take forever to do when all you want is to go in and buy what you want. It can always be taken back later. Yes, asking yourself these questions for every item, food, or clothing item could take a while. Soon it will be second nature though, an inner feeling of “I don’t need that” or a “Yes, I will enjoy or use this for many years to come”. Thus, you will be able to save money, have less stuff, be able to clean easier, and do your bit to help the planet. Best of all, you’ll feel better—tidy home, tidy mind!
Do you have any of your own techniques for reducing how much you buy?