Simplifying life through owning less and how I achieved it. Something which you can do too!
From my college days, I wasn’t interested in buying too many clothes, shoes etc. I had a few clothes and 2 pairs of shoes, and I remember using my favourites more often. Almost 90% of the time, I end up wearing those. Keeping it less, I guess I inherited it from my father, who always kept limited items. I remember when we said papa buy this, his reply used to be, “Kya jarurat hai iski?” (“What is the need of this?”). That’s how he still is. But yeah, his time was different. People believed in keeping things less, holding them for long, and valued reusing and fixing. The world wasn’t introduced to fast fashion, cheap stuff, and a use-and-throw mentality.
When I became part of the corporate rat race, I felt that the surrounding pushes you to maintain the lifestyle, behave in a specific way, dress well etc. Because we want to leave a good impression, we tend to create an imaginary audience for ourselves. We feel that these audiences are always gazing at us, and if I repeat my clothes too often, what will they think about me? For me, it’s always been ups and downs when it comes to dealing with these audiences.
I’m not unique, and I have made many impulses buys just like others, especially clothes, watches etc. But after some time, I start not liking those buys, and naturally, I tend to go for what I love. I would call impulse buys ’thoughtless buys’, which I discard or donate after a few months/years. But, deep down, I always feel guilty about not using much, the environment, and I don’t know if the donation is genuine. This is because there are so many reports about donations being misused.
Do you know Globally, just 12% of the material used for clothing is recycled?
Here are a few reads/watch for you if you are interested.
- by Katherine Martinko
- by businessinsider.com
- by BBC Future
After lots of introspection, I was able to Identify my buying patterns which helped me to overcome impulse buying behaviour. Over time I have built a habit of deciding exactly what I want, why I want it, and where I can get it. I would say ‘targeted buy’. Sometimes, when I’m confused with options, I do more research and try to close on 1-2 or sometimes three possibilities. It helps me to do a targeted exploration of what I want to buy. It’s just more like comparing if I’m confused. It helped me a lot to keep my life simple and clutter-free.
Over time the more I think about this, I started to believe that this helped me keep things straight and simple. Today I can fit my life pretty much in this bag, except for my two boots and a jacket I love.
Okay, so the question is, how can you? I would like to share a few tips that I have been following when buying something that I believe might work for you!
I categorise my items into three buckets: need, want, and junk. What are these? In my case, I see
Food, clothes, pair of sports shoes, water bottle, meds, pen, diary, kindle, phone, travel and laptop bag and laptop (it provides bread on the table :)
My boots, a few extra pens, diaries, books (most of them I donated to the library but a few I’m still keeping :), 2 more laptop bags.
The list of items to put in these buckets will vary based on person to person. But I hope you get it.
Why do you need this?
Will it add value to your life?
Can you survive without it?
How long will it last? Can It be fixed?
What will you do with it at the end of the life cycle? Be cautious about mother earth.
Once all are checked ✓
Decide which brand
What are the alternatives?
Where can you buy it?
Last but not least is “One in, one out”. Let’s say If I’m buying a t-shirt, one must go out.
I hope this helps. If you are following minimalism or wish to start, feel free to connect with me. I’ll be happy to share my thoughts about it.
- Le Corbusier