I started to write this list, thinking I'd share ten things that I no longer buy, but then the list grew. It seems that once you start, it just gets easier! It's rather a random list...but then again I don't think there's a "right way" of trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle, no list of items that you should or shouldn't have. Like most things in life, it's just personal choice. So this is how the journey's working out for me and these are some of the things that I no longer buy....
Window/mirror cleaner, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, handwash. This one was super easy and started off by wanting to save money, as well as space. I still clean - obviously - I just use a multi-purpose product. I chose a liquid castile soap - diluted with water. It works great and I spend about £1 a month on all the cleaning needs as listed above.
Magazines, books & newspapers - don't they just clutter up your home so fast! Anything that I want to learn about, I can look up online. And as for celebrity news, and glossy mags, I'm afraid they just wind me up.....I've no desire to know what the Kardashians or the Beckhams are doing, nor do I want my kids to think they're great role models....I want them to tread their own path.
Christmas/beauty gift sets - It's taken me a while to give up on these. It's so easy to get wowed by those half price offers, those free items, that extra mirror/hand cream/lipstick (in a shade you'll probably never wear). And years after buying or being gifted one of these sets....here I am with those "free" items. They don't get used and I feel too guilty to toss them. Now, if I want to treat my daughter I'll pay for a professional manicure or spend time with her choosing make up in a perfect shade for her.
A tumble dryer - a dehumidifier in a small room works just as well. Plus it's cheaper and is great for making sure there's no damp in the house.
Vitamins. This might be a controversial one - and they're definitely something that I used to buy when the children were younger. I'm no expert - clearly - just a mum. There's no medical conditions in our family - so no doctor's advice to take any medications/vitamins. My ethos is, if the kids are under the weather, then I try to bolster them with extra fruit and veggies...other than that, they seem to do just fine 🙂
CDs & DVDs - replaced with radio, YouTube, Netflix & podcasts. Who knew there were so many great, free podcasts out there? I'm clearly behind the times, but I've been amazed by what's available if you do a quick search from comedy to music, to documentaries and sport.
Pens, sellotape, pencils - honestly, once I started to clean up and sort out, I was amazed by just how much stuff I had! I don't think I'll ever need to buy a pen again, just how do we accumulate so many? And sellotape - it seems that I must have bought a roll every time that I bought a gift. I found 9 rolls. Ridiculous.
Patterned wrapping paper - I have so much...why, oh why, did I buy different rolls for different occasions? I'm going to try and keep it simple from now on. My most recent purchase was traditional brown paper with gold stars, it's so pretty and does so many occasions. It's even unisex and will work for Christmas, too.
Items that are on sale/coupon shopping. This week...I've had no less than 24 coupons given to me. Once upon a time, I would have used them all....now, I'm a bit more cynical. These stores aren't giving me these coupons to save me money - right? They want to encourage me to spend my hard earned cash. I prefer to make my own choices, spend only when I need to and save money in simpler ways, such as home cooking. Plus, it's satisfying seeing my savings build up as I buy less!
Paper towels/napkins - I buy regular cloths and wash them. Saves money and is more eco friendly, too.
Cheap shampoo/conditioner - this was false economy. Buying decent products means it's better for my hair in two ways - it contains less nasties (read the labels) and I wash my hair less.
Fruit sqaushes/cordials - having gone from having kids who wouldn't drink plain water, to ones who now do so regularly, this was a good one for me. I always worried about the big list of ingredients on these diluted drinks; now I just buy fresh juice or water.
Take- away coffee. Not only is there so much negative press about take away coffee cups right now (sign the petition here) but where's the luxury in take-away coffee? Take time out, take a seat, watch the world go by and enjoy your coffee at a table, in a cup.
Alcohol - having shared my life with someone who would rather drink than spend money on things that mattered and were important in life, this was an easy thing to give up.
School photos - don't get me wrong I love photos of my kids. However, there's so many beautiful locations to take photos, and smartphone cameras are so brilliant these day, that these are the photos I want to frame.
Fitness equipment - my Fitbit has gone and now that my garage is almost cleared, I've come across another item - my long lost treadmill. I brought it into the home, thinking it would be great for winter but who am I kidding? I've walked precisely 2 km...it' taking up too much space and it's going on eBay this weekend.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about things that you no longer buy....or perhaps things that you just couldn't live without. Please comment below, I love reading each and every comment.