Can You Shop Your Way to Minimalism?! Becoming a Minimalist Through Shopping
Yes, you can shop your way toward becoming a minimalist! BUT, you can’t buy your way toward becoming a minimalist. At least not without going broke. Don’t believe me? Keep reading to hear my argument and comment if you disagree.
It’s been quite a minimalist journey to arrive at this realization. Becoming a minimalist did not happen through shopping for me. Although, I would have preferred that route.
Becoming a minimalist… my story
I was introduced to minimalism through YouTube. I watched as a YouTuber packed her entire wardrobe into a single suitcase. And I thought to myself “this bitch is crazy.” However, at that point in my life I really needed minimalism.
After a breaking and entering + burglary occured, I found myself in on the other side of the globe with none of the possessions that mattered to me. No one was hurt thank god, but my opinion on possessions has forever changed!
Living with nothing from my previous life and with little sense of community to support me, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.
Then I saw said “crazy bitch” on YouTube and felt a little better. I realized that people work tirelessly to minimize their possessions so that they can travel the world. My circumstances allowed me to be possession free abroad without sacrifice. I was living someone else’s dream.
Since then I have read thousands of Pinterest articles on minimalism and practiced decluttering on purpose. I never thought I would become a minimalist but here I am.
Related post: Minimalist Secrets to an Organized Closet
I never thought I would become a minimalist but here I am.
After much contemplation on the questions below, I managed to define what minimalism means. Or at least what minimalism means to me. I think these questions will help you understand why minimalism isn’t simply decluttering. And how shopping can play an important role in becoming a minimalist.
Q1: Is minimalism a frugal life choice?
Minimalism can be a frugal life choice. For me, minimalism is a frugal life choice! But minimalism is not a requirement of frugality, nor is frugality a requirement of minimalism.
Minimalism is not a requirement of frugality, nor is frugality a requirement of minimalism.
First let’s examine evidence that pertains to the first part of this statement. You don’t have to be a minimalist to be frugal. Have you ever watched the show Hoarders?
Some people dumpster dive and clutter their homes with trash. FREE trash that is. This is extreme frugality but the opposite of minimalism.
Q2: But… I thought minimalism saves you money?
Now let’s examine the second part of the above statement. You don’t need to be frugal to be a minimalist. This concept is a little more complex.
Generally minimalism equals frugality. You will save money if you’re not buying every consumer product that is advertised on Facebook, or fast fashion which permeates the mall. However, there is no guarantee that becoming a minimalist will save you money.
Becoming a minimalist means only owning items that bring you joy. The items that bring you joy may be very expensive.
For example let’s say home ownership is a dream of yours. Is there anything more expensive that a down payment?!
Q3: So… I can buy what I want and still be a minimalist?
Yes, purchasing what you want is okay! And spending money on what you want is okay… so long as you can afford it.
News flash! Minimalism isn’t about barren bedroom’s and cupboards. It’s about having goods that fulfill your personal needs and meet your desires.
Some people practice extreme minimalism. They focus on a decluttering their possessions to a number of objects. But minimalism isn’t about restrictive living. Minimalism is a means to a more intentional lifestyle. Decluttering doesn’t have to be a path to austerity.
Related Post: Minimalist Secrets to a Spa Master Bedroom
Minimalism is a means to a more intentional lifestyle. Decluttering doesn’t have to be a path to austerity.
Minimalism is about freedom from the burdens of possessions. Only you can decide when your possessions become a burden.
Only when an item burdens you should you purge it from your lifestyle. The real minimalist question is, how much space do you have for stuff in your life?
Q4: So… what’s the deal with decluttering?
We all have different tolerances for how much stuff we want to take care of. Only you can decide how my much decluttering your home needs.
I don’t have room in my life for ill-fitting, wardrobe malfunctioning, waste of space items in my closet. And I don’t have room in my life for items that are burdensome to launder.
Related post: Minimalist Secrets to an Organized Closet
That being said, I also don’t believe in donating items I wear regularly for the sole purpose of having less than 30 items in my closet. However, if 31 items was my laundry threshold I would start working toward that.
Q5: So… minimalism isn’t about austerity?
Minimalism isn’t about rejecting consumerism. On the contrary, minimalism is about consumers having access to differing products that provide value to differing customers. Minimalism is the junction of frugality and hedonistic living. It’s about stretching your dollar in order to obtain what brings you pleasure.
Minimalism is the junction of frugality and hedonistic living. It’s about stretching your dollar in order to obtain what brings you pleasure.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Minimalism is about shopping!
Minimalism is about taking the time to evaluate what is available to meet your needs. And determining if what’s available will satisfy your desires at your price-point.
Q6: Then… how do I balance minimalism with consumerism?
If you want to avoid spending tons of money on crap that won’t make you happy, then your going to have to learn to shop. That is, your going to need to learn to shop without buying, at least until you find a product that you are confident will work for you.
Go ahead and browse! Stroll the mall looking for clothing that matches your Pinterest lookbook. Scour Amazon reviews until you’ve determined whether the product speaks to you. And for the love of minimalism, check the return policy!
And for the love of minimalism, check the return policy!
We’ve all fallen for marketing magic. Maybe it’s a product that looked high quality from the Photoshopped pictures featured online. Maybe it’s an outfit that looked so becoming under the florescent lights of the store.
If what you bought doesn’t still bring you joy post-check-out, then RETURN IT!
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!
Do you now agree you can shop your way to becoming a minimalist?
Do you have more questions/arguments that I haven’t discussed?