Do you ever find yourself getting stressed just thinking about the piles of unused items in your home? If your answer is a tired but resounding “yes,” then you probably already know that minimizing your belongings to only the essentials is the best solution. And nowadays, less really is more since there’s no denying that everything we do—down to the way we shop—makes a huge impact on both the environment and the people around us. As parents, you always want to do what’s best for your kids and that has to include not just shopping less, but also shopping better. So how can you start being both a conscious and a minimalist shopper? Read on to find out!
Adopting both conscious and minimalist shopping habits doesn’t have to mean ditching everything you own. It can simply mean knowing the difference between your essentials and the things that won’t actually enrich your life. So think Marie Kondo: Take a look at the things you have and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” Start by categorizing the things in your house (e.g. clothes, books, toys, skincare, etc.) and then work your way through them one category at a time.
If the answer to Marie Kondo’s golden question is a “no” for certain items, organize them into “to sell,” “to donate,” or “to recycle” piles so that these items won’t have to go to waste and can go to those who need them most. Getting your kids involved in this clean up may even give them a better sense of which things are useful, which things still make them happy, and how they can give back. And for those oldie-but-always-goodie items that you just can’t get rid of, try to come up with ways you can repair them or give them new life. This way, clearing out your belongings will also bring you and your family a few fun and productive D.I.Y. projects!
Now that you’ve gotten rid of all the nonessentials, can you still go shopping? Of course! But, remember to always consider what is practical, budget-friendly, and what will really make you happy in the long run. So take a look at your budget, ask yourself “Do I need it?” and think over the item’s cost per use too! It’s best to plan your purchases for the quality staple items you know you’ll be using often. Doing so could also help you make saving goals and improve your spending habits.
And why not try a one-in-one-out policy when shopping? Think about the space you have in your house and consider what you can give away before you think about buying something new. If there’s no room for it or you can’t find anything you can give away to make room, then reaching for your wallet may not be a good idea. Shopping this carefully will really help you cut down on any clutter at home and setting this example of planning ahead for your kids could even teach them to be less wasteful, to appreciate what they already have, and to get creative with their own tastes and styles.
With fast fashion culture still going strong, new products are being made at alarmingly fast rates and often in unnecessarily large quantities, which can be incredibly wasteful and bad for the environment. So choosing to shop for quality second-hand items that inspire you is a great way to stay on top of trends and still do your part in lessening the waste that ends up harming the earth. And when it comes to your baby must-haves like cribs, toys, and clothes (which are things your kids can easily outgrow), opting to buy pre-loved items and donating or selling them when you don’t need them anymore will also help you lessen the things piling up at home.
For things that you’ll only need to use for short periods of time like formal clothes and even some types of baby gear, renting from trusted rental companies or borrowing from your friends are also helpful, money-saving alternatives that will surely keep clutter from building up in your house and from harming Mother Earth!
A huge part of improving your shopping habits is understanding where your items come from and how they’re made. Sticking to brands that champion the same values you do will also help you make sure that you stay minimalist by not spending your money carelessly on things that are useless or that take up space in your home. So start doing your research! Look for stores that make use of sustainable production processes and that are actively trying to make a positive impact on our communities. And pay attention to the materials being used and how companies package their products too so you can avoid adding to the things polluting the earth.
It’s also always best to support small businesses in your communities as well as our local artisans to make healthier, more authentic purchases, to help out our fellow Filipinos, and to make smaller carbon footprints. Being more informed and deliberate about your purchases is a small but meaningful way you can improve both your spending habits and the lives of those around you!
To keep up your newfound minimalist lifestyle, it’s especially important to make sure that you’re properly handling the things you already have to avoid letting things you no longer need pile up in your home or in the trash. Taking care of the things you own will also make sure they stay useful for much longer. This way, you’ll be able to make the most out of your items and skip out on spending for replacements.
So know the materials you’re working with and how to keep them clean and well-maintained! Understanding how certain materials need to be cared for will also help you on future shopping trips too. When you learn how they might affect your body, what will happen if they end up in the trash, or how much effort it takes to look after them, you’ll be able to make informed buys that work best for you in the long run.
While all this may sound like a lot to think about and a ton of hard work too, there’s no need to worry! You can always focus on accomplishing one thing at a time. When you start with little things like clearing out your closet or even just spreading the word about small local brands, you’ll be making simple but effective steps toward bigger changes in your shopping habits and in the community around you.