How I'm Balancing Minimalism With Consumerism

How I'm Balancing Minimalism With Consumerism

I love to shop, there’s no denying that. Actually, what I like the most is to collect things that are meaningful to me in some way. They either make me feel better about my appearance, liven up my living space, or offer some sort of aesthetic utility to my every day life. I tried the whole minimalism thing for a while, and even though some practices are very helpful and important, I couldn’t help by feel guilty every time I wanted to buy something new. I had fallen into the trap laid out by our current western society which is that you either subscribe wholeheartedly to consumerism, or completely forgo that lifestyle and dumpster dive for food in order to be no-waste.

Surely there is a middle ground somewhere, but most people who are on either end of the spectrum will have you believe it’s all black and white—either you hate the environment or only want the finer things in life. I’d like to thing I’m neither of the two and so, have spent the past few years trying my best to balance minimalism with consumerism and find a space that I snuggly fit into.

Here are a few practice I’ve implemented to help me through this journey of being mindful of my purchases, but also letting myself have a bit of fun:

  • Really questioning whether I actually need/want the product I’m coveting or if I’m falling for good marketing and persuasive influencers

  • Looking for alternative options that cost less and are more sustainable. This isn’t always possible, but it’s a good practice to look first.

  • Make a list of the items I want and look back on them from time to time to see if I still feel as passionately later as I did initially. More often than not, there will only be a few that I actually need/want.

  • If I do have something specific in mind I always try to thrift shop for it first

  • I don’t get rid of an item unless it’s completely used up/broken/not a good product to begin with

  • Limit how often I buy something from my wish list unless isn’t absolutely necessary to buy it right away

  • Take out is a very bad habit I have, not only for my health, but also for the environment, so I’m trying to set limits on how often I order in and try to make food at home instead

  • Doing a fair amount of research on the products I want to buy to be sure that they will be durable and long lasting so that I won’t have to replace them any time soon

  • Rediscover old wardrobe favourites that I might have ignored or forgotten about