How to Shop Like a Minimalist: When to Buy New Things

Shop Like a Minimalist – A Simple Guide for When to Buy New Things as a Minimalist

By Cora Gold, Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist

Minimalists take pride in having fewer material things to focus on what really counts. While keeping this lifestyle can spark joy, you may have second thoughts and feelings of guilt when buying new items as a minimalist. But the reality is that you are allowed to make purchases. It’s just key to recognize the moment when you should.

Should Minimalists Buy New Things?

Yes, there are definitely instances where you simply need to buy something new. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that you’re no longer a consumer. It just means that you have a different approach when it comes to reviewing your spending and possessions.

For those who want to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, it’s important not to buy new things just to follow trends. It’s key to be more conservative and mindful of what you’re spending your money on and bringing into your household.

While some people argue minimalism may have dire consequences for the economy, it actually makes a positive impact. Rather than blind consumption, this lifestyle generates a demand for quality and durability in the market. A more conscious version of consumerism can help businesses shift gears to manufacturing.

A minimalist economy can also contribute to a greener economy. Some evidence suggests minimalist consumerism may lower greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. This is no surprise, seeing as these two ideologies agree that less is more.

Recognizing When to Buy New Things

Minimalists should be critical when it comes to purchasing new items. These points and examples can help you pinpoint the moments when it’s understandable to make a purchase.

1. When You Conduct Enough Research

Various products on the market can seem similar with little to no differences. However, it’s important to check the specs and review the item you’re eyeing. Conducting research ensures that you’re making a well-informed decision to purchase a product.

For instance, maybe you’re looking for a new face cleanser to add to your skincare routine. An online search will let you confirm whether the product suits your skin type. That way, no item will go to waste and you get the best effectiveness out of your product.

2. When Your Old Items Are Worn Out

Some minimalists may keep certain items for a long time, but aging can cause some wear and tear. If a particular item in your home is broken or falling apart, buying something new may be high time. Just remember to dispose of it properly.

For example, maybe you have had the same bath towels for years. Even if they still look alright, the fibers can start to break down after years of use, making them less absorbent and rough on your skin. It’s completely normal and it warrants a replacement afterward.

3. When You Find an Efficient Version

Speaking of replacements, you can also buy new things if they find a better alternative to an item. If you own a particular product but realize it’s doing more harm than good, it only makes sense to find a more efficient item to replace it.

For instance, older windows might be less energy efficient than other modern variations. If you’re moving to a fixer-upper with such apertures, consider getting new ones. It’s an excellent opportunity to better your household. Plus, they’re much better for the environment.

4. When You Have New Needs to Meet

Life can be unpredictable and new problems can arise from day to day. If you find an item that can meet a unique need and make your life a little easier, get it. This is especially important if you’ve been dealing with this issue for a while.

For example, maybe you’ve started to notice your skin getting drier than usual. Rather than letting it get worse, purchase a humidifier. This can add moisture to the air and improve the atmosphere in your household.

5. When You Save Enough Money for It

Minimalists prioritize quality over quantity, but most premium products may have a higher price. While this can be a more general piece of advice, it’s still worth remembering to only buy new items when you have the money for them.

If there’s something you’re eyeing to get, make a habit to save for it first. That way, you can also sit on the decision and figure out whether you want a certain item.

6. When You Will Find Joy and Function in It

Minimalism emphasizes determining and keeping what sparks joy in your life. It’s okay to treat yourself occasionally, especially if it’s with an item you will actually use. For instance, maybe you find a sweater you love while shopping. If you feel like you’ll wear it throughout the years, it’s a reasonable purchase.

Street of Armchair Books used book store - How to Shop Like a Minimalist
Armchair Books, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

Extra Tips on Making Your Buying Approach Sustainable

Eco-minimalism is a lifestyle that melds simplicity with sustainability. It can be a great consumer approach to adopt in the long run. If you’ve finally figured out when to buy a new item, here are some additional suggestions for making your purchase more eco-friendly.

1. Buy Secondhand

Purchasing secondhand items from thrift shops and similar stores can help you save money. Aside from keeping your wallet intact, shopping for pre-owned items can also minimize your carbon footprint in the long run. Just remember to prioritize quality over quantity and only get the pieces you really need and want.

2. Purchase in Person

If you want to be sure about what you’re buying, it’s best to shop in person. Apart from seeing things in person and assessing whether you like the product, you can minimize cargo movement. Shipping and returning products accounted for 37% of total GHG emissions in 2020. Minimizing your personal impact can help you buy in good conscience.

3. Find Sustainable Brands

If you can’t find an item you need secondhand, look for a sustainable brand. From clothing to housewares, there are companies out there doing great things for the planet. Instead of going straight to Amazon or the mall, do some quick research to look for an eco-friendly option. Do this in cases where you need to buy something that’s good quality or hard to find at thrift stores, such as formal clothing to attend a wedding or furniture pieces that you plan to keep for decades.

Shop Like a Minimalist

Buying as a minimalist can raise a few questions from yourself and others. Take a deep breath and find your answers to it. As long as it’s rational and fits your lifestyle, you can check out your cart.

Cora Gold

About the Author

Cora Gold has a passion for writing about life, happiness and sustainability. As Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, she loves to share her insights and find inspiration from others. Follow Cora on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

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