Minimalism is a fairly recent movement that focuses on owning less in order to find freedom in today’s society. The hope is by freeing up your space you allow room to focus on more important things like nature, personal relationships, and even your health. Minimalism encourages its followers to rid yourself of excess in hope of finding happiness and purpose. Cory, and I were intrigued by this idea after watching The Minimalist documentary and have since worked hard to continuously cleanse our space. While I’m nowhere near a minimalist I believe there is a lot to learn from this philosophy especially when it comes to making purchases.
Don’t buy anything you don’t need or love.
Our brains have been trained to purchase things that aren’t good for us, that we don’t need, or even sometimes things we don’t like. As consumers we are stimulated into “impulse buying” and find ourselves with a cart full of items we don’t even remember picking off the shelves. The first step in shopping like a minimalist is to write a list prior to heading to the store and making sure you stick with it. Put the emphasis on what you truly need (not what you convince yourself you need) and start rewiring your brain to recognize necessity over impulse. Do you need the peanut cups or did you just see them while you were checking out and decide it was a good idea? Or how about the mugs you just found - are they going to break on the car ride home and do you already have enough mugs? Make sure you question your purchases and are only buying things that you need or love.
Minimalism is all about simplifying things. We have been taught that things are more complicated sometimes than they actually are. Essentials have become laundry soap, scent pods, fabric softener, dryer sheets and that’s just for cleaning clothes. It doesn’t have to be that difficult. There are dozens of bulk laundry detergent recipes that utilize simple ingredients that are better for your health, and the environment. Dryer sheets are a toxic commercial product that we have been told are important to the laundry process but wool dryer balls actually work better and last 3 years while reducing drying time. Always seek natural alternatives, or make your own products whenever possible.
Shop quality over quantity.
When we first started Millennial Currency we had feedback on the prices of some of the products, and I completely understood. The handmade products in the shop weren’t inexpensive, and I started looking for other options for our customers. I immediately got discouraged by what I was seeing at a less expensive price point and Cory actually stopped me and said, “We aren’t focused on quantity we are focused on quality.” I realized in that moment that he was right. We don’t want our customers to buy ten handbags - we want them to buy one beautifully handmade bag that will last for years to come. In minimalism it’s okay to make meaningful purchases, but be mindful of what the quality of the product you are purchasing is. It’s better to buy one bag at a higher price point than five mediocre bags at a lower price point. When it comes to purchasing items you love (versus need), research where the product is manufactured and try to find something artisan made to ensure the best quality possible.
Say hello, and say goodbye.
When you do add new pieces to your home it’s important to clean out any items you are no longer using or wearing. Reducing clutter in your home has immense health benefits, and can be a massive stress reducer. If you no longer love or need something consider donating or repurposing it. As hard as it is to part with some of our belongings think about whatever it is finding its way to someone that will truly enjoy it.
Millennial Currency is going to start offering a program for anyone interested in reusing their purchase shipping box so that you can fill it with gently used clothes or items for donation. We will donate the items locally, and give you a gift certificate for the shipping cost.
Do you shop like a minimalist? Let us know in the comments!