How to Think Like a Minimalist
I’ll start off by saying that I don’t consider myself a “minimalist.” I simply enjoy owning less stuff and am hyper-particular about what comes through my door. The Guardian of Entry, if I may. In fact, I think “minimalism” is a dirty word that people don’t like to hear since it starts activating those stress hormones and awakens the defensiveness in us. We suddenly want to protect our belongings and keep everything to avoid falling into the culture of people who someone manage to own one cooking pot, two pairs of shoes, and live in a tiny house. But I say,
Everything in moderation. Including moderation. Real Life Tidy.
But for the sake of getting my message across, let’s think like minimalists today. Let’s close our eyes and imagine being surrounded by only the things that we love and need and then cut that in half so we can never cook pasta and soup at the same time because that one pot can only do so much. Because in our culture of excessive consumerism, sometimes we have to think like the other extreme to find a happy balance.
Here are the five questions to ask yourself next time you’re about to make a purchase:
1) Do I need it? Ah, how simple! Take a moment to consider your needs instead of urges. This will help you avoid impulse purchases and become a more conscious buyer. Think about the purpose that said item will play in your life and if it doesn’t have much of one, walk away.
2) Do I have something similar? If the answer is “yes,” then maybe-possibly-perhaps that similar item can step up to the plate and be enough to cover your needs. We tend to develop a style and feel attracted to things that look alike, but that doesn’t mean that you need a stockpile of them! One is enough.
3) Will i hate myself if I get rid of it in three months? Here’s a good game: before you even buy something, think about how you’ll feel when you let go of it. Will you feel oh-so-satisfied because you used it to its core or will you hate yourself because it got no wear and tear? Have confidence in the things you buy and how much they’ll benefit you!
4) Would I rather stare at the money in my bank? Sometimes it’s more fun to save than to spend. Eh? Taking a moment to consider the money you’re about to spend is a good shopping exercise. That could be collecting interest!
5) Is it better than going to a Broadway show? Whether you keep strict budgets or not, think about whether your desired purchase is equal or better in worth than a wonderful experience. It may not stop you from buying what you want, but it’ll help put things into perspective and add a pause. It’s all about avoiding those impulse buys.