If you’re intrigued by the concept of minimalism, or are already a minimalist, one of the hardest things to deal with aside from the decluttering is to rewire your buying habits. How many times have you decluttered your home and proudly told everyone you know, only for the mess to be back within a month?
It’s like cutting off Hydra’s head only for more to sprout back in its place. How exhausting!
You see, it’s one thing to declutter your stuff and make new space, but resisting the consumer itch is another beast entirely. Everywhere we go we’re bombarded with marketing, and it’s cleverer and more subtle than ever.
It’s on every device you own, every street you walk down, and in your subconscious.
The people who make these ads know exactly how to manipulate the human brain and how to make a raging inferno from the smoke of your desires:
- You’ll be smarter and more efficient if you buy this.
- Sexy and irresistible if you wear that.
- The envy of friends and strangers if you upgrade.
- You’ll be happy. Finally, you’ll be satisfied.
Except…you won’t be. Not ever.
Stuff and the marketing techniques used to promote it deliver empty promises while emptying your wallet.
It wouldn’t matter if you bought a mansion in LA, you’d still be the same old person who handed the money over. No matter what brand of phone you own or which brand of clothing you wear, you’re still the same person inside. And when you’re long gone from this Earthly plain…who were you really?
Certainly not your stuff, that’s for sure.
So how do you rewire your desire, exactly?
You can start by asking yourself 7 simple questions every time you’re considering buying something new.
1. Will I use this?
If you have to think about what you would use the item for, it’s highly likely you don’t need it in the first place.
2. Do I really want to keep organizing?
If your stuff is overflowing at home and you’re looking for more/bigger boxes and baskets, you don’t need more organizing solutions, you need less stuff.
3. Do I own something similar?
Before you buy that potato peeler or another cable or device, think if you already own something which performs a similar or identical function.
4. Is it a bargain desire?
If you buy something just because it’s on sale, you don’t need it.
5. Is it trendy right now?
If you buy something to keep up with trends, you definitely don’t need it. Trends change faster than the British weather and are often made using unethical practices in developing countries. They also contribute to destroying our beautiful planet in landfills.
6. Have I had a few drinks?
I know this one is a bit controversial, but if you’re considering buying something after a few wines or beers (I’ve been there several times) hold off for at least a few days after.
7. Did I want/need this before I saw it?
If you see something and you didn’t need it before, chances are you don’t need it now either. Remember, shops are set up to stoke your desires whether online or on the street.
Ask yourself these powerful questions every time you feel the urge to buy, and learn to live happier with less.
About the Author: Emma Jayne is a UK minimalist mother of 2 who loves nature photography, simple living, and videogames. Find her at Green Clover Minimalism.