Things Minimalists Don’t Buy to Live a Simpler Life

What things do minimalist not buy?

Minimalism definitely looks different to different people.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few guidelines you can follow to help you get started.

Since minimalism is all about ditching the idea of consumerism to be more focused on gratitude, one of the first things you can do to enjoy your new lifestyle is to stop buying things.

And with the help of this list of things minimalists don’t buy, you’ll be on your way to living a simple, clutter-free life in no time.

50 things minimalists dont buy

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Things Minimalists Don’t Buy

Figuring out what to stop buying as a minimalist isn’t always easy.

That’s because minimalism means something different to everyone.

The key to determining whether or not you need to buy something will ultimately depend on your own situation.

But there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you understand whether you really need to buy something new, like:

  • Do I really need it?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Does it serve a purpose?
  • Will it bring value to my life?
  • Will I like/need it in the future?
  • Where will I put it?
unnecessary things to buy

These simple questions are a great starting point because they help you look at everything with a critical eye.

That means that every time you consider buying something new for your family or your home, you should take a minute to think about the answers to these questions.

But even after answering these questions, you may be wondering what you can stop buying after you begin to live a minimalist lifestyle.

Although every household is different, there are a few things that most minimalists choose to do without.

Consider ditching these unnecessary items from your daily routine to help you declutter and simplify your life.

1) Single-use items

On top of allowing you to keep your home clutter-free, minimalism is also great for the environment.

That’s because most minimalists avoid purchasing single-use items because they’re wasteful and take up too much space in your home.

As a minimalist, you should try to avoid buying these things you can use only one time:

  • Plastic water bottles
  • Paper towels, napkins, and plates
  • Disposable utensils
  • Plastic and paper grocery bags
  • Plastic wrap and storage bags
  • Dryer sheets
  • Disposable wipes and cleaning wipes
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Disposable razors
  • Candles
  • Air fresheners
  • Plastic straws
  • Disposable feminine hygiene products
  • Gift wrap

Instead of purchasing these single-use items, consider how you can replace the disposable items with reusable ones.

For example, paper towels can be replaced with microfiber cloths.

Reusable food wraps can replace saran wrap broken Pyrex lids.

I love using reusable cloth pads. They’re actually more comfortable than disposable pads and environmentally friendly.

2) Home décor with no purpose

Making sure everything in your home has a purpose is one of the key tips to becoming a minimalist.

And that means eliminating items around your house that aren’t useful.

There are so many different decorations that serve absolutely no purpose, which means a minimalist would never buy them!

Instead of trying to fill your home with unnecessary décor, think about ways you can simplify and modernize the look of your home.

As you’re working your way toward minimalism avoid buying these home décor items:

  • Decorative knick-knacks
  • Faux plants
  • Holiday themed and seasonal decorations
  • Decorative furniture that doesn’t serve a purpose
  • Souvenirs
  • Scented candles
  • Decorative pillows and blankets
  • Storage containers that hide clutter
  • Excessive wall décor

One of my favorite decorative items is an aloe vera plant.

things I don't buy as a minimalist

It’s beautiful and useful.

I use the aloe vera plant primarily to soothe sunburns, but it has many other helpful uses.

3) One-use kitchen gadgets

If you take a look in your kitchen cabinets, you’re likely to find a variety of items that can only be used to do one thing.

To help minimize the amount of stuff you have in your kitchen, consider discarding all those gadgets that can only help you accomplish one task, like:

  • Apple slicer
  • Garlic press
  • Ice cream scooper
  • Rice maker
  • Lemon squeezer
  • Zester
  • Potato masher
  • Egg cooker

Consider replacing these items with things that have multiple uses.

For example, you can replace your rice maker with an Instant Pot as it’s not only a rice cooker, but also a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, you can use it for sautéing items etc.

I use the Instant Pot for most meals. It saves me so much time and money!

4) Extra kitchen items

In addition to clearing out your kitchen of unnecessary gadgets, it’s also a good idea to avoid adding extra items to your kitchen that you don’t need.

Start by thinking about the items you use regularly in your kitchen each day, then begin to pare back the rest of the items in the room until you’re only left with the things that are essential.

After that, avoid buying these items to keep your kitchen minimal and clutter-free:

  • Extra sets of dishes and cups
  • Extra utensils
  • Excessive pots, pans, and baking dishes
  • Cookbooks
  • Unneeded appliances

By the way, you can always get the ebook version of cookbooks.

5) Unnecessary beauty items

Keeping your bathroom clutter-free doesn’t have to be difficult.

Just avoid buying unnecessary toiletries and beauty items!

As you’re working your way toward a minimalist lifestyle, consider skipping these beauty purchases:

  • Nail polish
  • Extra makeup aside from what you normally use
  • New face or skincare products you’ve never tried before
  • Anti-aging products
  • Extra hair gadgets you don’t normally use
  • Expensive hair products
  • Perfume
  • Shaving cream
  • Makeup remover
  • Spot treatment
  • Foot cream
  • Cotton balls and rounds
  • Cotton swabs
  • Self-tanner
  • Face masks
  • Body scrub
  • Lip scrub
  • Primer and setting spray
  • Lip gloss and lipstick
  • Contouring products
  • Eyelash curler

If you have coconut oil, you can use it as a lip balm and makeup remover.

Instead of getting cotton rounds, you can use reusable makeup remover pads.

6) Name brand items

Purchasing something specifically for the name brand on it isn’t something a minimalist would do.

As a minimalist, it’s important to remove value from the material things in your life, which means name brands don’t hold as much weight as they once did.

Before purchasing something with a name brand, ask yourself if the item is something you need – in spite of the name on the tag.

7) Entertainment items

Since there are so many clutter-free ways of entertaining ourselves, there’s no need to add any new entertainment items to your home.

Movies and TV shows can be watched through streaming services and books can be borrowed from the library, so why invest space and energy in owning and storing those types of things?

As a minimalist, consider skipping these entertainment purchases:

  • DVDs and DVD players
  • CDs and CD players
  • Books and magazines
  • Cable TV or satellite
  • Gaming devices and games
  • Pet toys
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • The latest phone/gadgets
  • Phone accessories
  • Cocktails
  • Takeout coffee
  • Calendars
  • Craft supplies
  • Movie theater tickets
  • Novelty gifts
  • Birthday or holiday cards
  • Extra games and apps on your phone
  • Expensive haircuts and styles
  • Fast food
  • Lottery tickets
  • Notebooks
  • Planners
getting rid of stuff

8) Things on sale

Practicing minimalism is a great way to save money, so if you’re hoping to live a frugal lifestyle, minimalism is a great option.

But one aspect of frugal living you’ll need to reconsider is buying something just because it’s on sale.

Even if something is a great deal doesn’t mean it needs to be bought!

If you’re tempted to buy something just because it’s on sale, take a moment to ask yourself if you really need that item in your life.

9) Excess clothing and accessories

Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great option for keeping your closet from filling up.

And that means you’ll need to cut back on the amount of extra clothing, shoes, and accessories you purchase for yourself and your family.

things minimalists don't own

Once you build a basic wardrobe, try to avoid purchasing extra clothing and unnecessary items, like:

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Sunglasses
  • Purses and wallets
  • Belts
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Holiday or seasonal-themed clothing and accessories
  • Hair accessories
  • Shoes
  • The latest trend
  • Extra jackets and coats
  • Special occasion clothing

Here’s my guide on how to build a minimalist wardrobe so you have only the essentials in your closet.

10) Excessive cleaning supplies

Keeping your home clean is a must, but that doesn’t mean you need to invest in every cleaning solution and tool on the market.

In fact, there are just a handful of cleaning tools you need to ensure your home is clean and germ free.

After you have an all-purpose cleaner, cleaning cloth, scrub brush, vacuum, and mop, you can discard most other cleaning items around your home.

You can skip these cleaning items the next time you go shopping:

  • Glass and window cleaner
  • Fabric softener and dryer sheets
  • Single use-paper products, like paper towels
  • Expensive cleaning gadgets
  • Cleaning tools that require disposable items (like Swiffer mops and dusters)
  • Dishwasher rinse aid

11) Extra office items

Whether you work from home or head out to work every day, chances are you have a few office supplies stocked up at home.

But most of those items are probably adding unnecessary clutter to your house.

Avoid buying these home office items to keep your home neat and clean:

  • Paper clips
  • Thumbtacks
  • Extra pens and pencils
  • Excess paper, notebooks, and notepads
  • Calendars and planners
  • Extra cords and cables
  • Computer software and apps
  • Desktop decorations
list of things not to buy

12) Children’s toys and gear

Having kids means you’ll need a few extra things around your house.

But that doesn’t mean you should go overboard when it comes to getting things for your children.

While it’s fine for your kids to have toys to play with and books to read, keeping those items at a minimum is essential.

Instead of purchasing your kids the latest toys and games, consider buying open-ended toys that they can enjoy for an extended period of time.

Open-ended toys are things that can be played with in different ways. They’re often played with independently without parents to guide them.

Here are examples of open-ended toys:

Investing in quality items will ensure your kids enjoy playing with the toys they have instead of constantly asking for something newer and better.

What Things Do Minimalists Own?

Now that you know what to stop buying as a minimalist, you may be wondering what minimalists do buy.

Since minimalism means different things to different people, there is no set list of items you must own to live a minimalist lifestyle.

The key to understand what you should and shouldn’t buy depends on your own lifestyle goals.

The most important factor to consider when figuring out what you keep, what you throw away, and what you purchase in the future is whether or not you need that thing.

Narrowing down your possessions to items that are essential to you and your family is the key to living a minimalist lifestyle.

And that means taking a hard look at which things in your life are “needs” and which things are “wants.”

Once you understand the distinction between those two concepts, you’ll be well on your way to living a simpler, less materialistic life.

But if you’re having a difficult time figuring out what to keep and what to toss, consider these different types of items that most minimalists keep in their home:

1) A place to sleep.

The place you choose to sleep will depend on you, but at a minimum, it will consist of a bed, mattress, pillow, and blanket.

9 things a minimalist would never buy

2) A place to eat.

Since you’ll need to feed yourself several times per day, your home should also consist of items you’ll need to cook and eat food.

That includes pots and pans, basic utensils, and enough dishes for each member of your family.

3) A place to work.

Even if you work outside of your house, there are still a few work-related tasks that need to be handled at home.

That means you’ll need to keep a few things around your home to make home management a little easier, including a computer (or tablet), cell phone, and a few basic office supplies.

4) Cleaning and organizing items.

Keeping your home clean and clutter-free may be easier when you’re a minimalist.

But there are still a few supplies you should keep on hand to ensure your house stays neat and tidy.

Basic cleaning supplies, trash cans, a laundry basket, and cleaning appliances (like a vacuum and iron) are all items to consider keeping in your minimalist home.

Here’s a list of all the essentials for a minimalist.

How to Stop Buying Things You Don’t Need

Once you understand what to keep in your minimalist home and what items to avoid purchasing in the future, you’re probably wondering how to curb your urge to buy something new.

Fighting the desire to make a purchase isn’t always easy – especially if you’re new to the minimalist lifestyle.

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help you stop buying things you don’t really need.

1) Make a list.

One of the easiest ways to avoid buying things you don’t need is to start with a list.

Whether you’re heading to the grocery store or shopping for new clothes, this tip can come in handy.

Before you head out to the store, take a few minutes to write down the things you need to buy.

Once you’re in the store, stick to the list and avoid buying anything that you didn’t write down.

2) Wait a day.

If you see something you think you need, give yourself time to think it over.

Take a mental note of the item and its price, then put it back on the shelf.

Then, give yourself 24 hours to consider the purchase.

Ask yourself whether the item is something you really need, whether or not you can afford it, and what purpose it will serve in your life.

When you’re satisfied with the answers to those questions, you’ll be able to more easily determine whether or not the item is something you need to buy.

3) Avoid the stores.

Avoiding shopping is difficult if you constantly put yourself in a place where there are temptations around every corner.

So, if you find it hard to control your spending when you’re inside a store, simply avoid going into the shop in the first place.

Thanks to curbside pickup and delivery services, there’s no need for you to step foot inside most stores.

Simply place the order online and pick up the things you need when the order is ready.

4) Make a budget.

For long-lasting success, taking control of your finances is a great idea.

And that means creating a budget.

Outline your monthly income and spending, then go through each spending category line by line to see where you may be overspending and where you can make cuts.

After that, you can use your budget to help you stay on track and avoid overspending on things you don’t need in the future.

If you’re looking for a done for you budget, here’s a monthly and annual budget spreadsheet that’s easy to use. It also has space to track your bills.

things minimalists don't buy

5) Declutter and organize your home.

Often, we find ourselves buying new things because we don’t realize what we already have at home.

Taking the time to declutter your house and take inventory of the things you already own will give you a better idea of what you really need in your life and what’s just clutter.

The process of decluttering is a great way to help you determine what is truly important in your life, allowing you to better grasp the repercussions of buying things you don’t need in the future.

Here’s a 30 Day Declutter Challenge Checklist so you don’t forget any important areas in your home!

6) Challenge yourself.

One final way to help you stop buying things you don’t need is to challenge yourself to a no spend week (or month).

During that time, don’t allow yourself to spend money on anything (other than essential bills that are due during the time period).

Instead of buying new things during this time, you must force yourself to make due with what you have.

This exercise is a great way to help you understand that most of the things you perceive as “needs” probably aren’t as necessary to your life as you think.

Related Ideas for Things Minimalists Don’t Buy:

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