To fully simplify your life, you’ll need to rid yourself of consumerist ideas…in the way of consuming materials at least. Just flush them down the toilet, because they are dookie anyway. If you want to buy gas, hotel rooms, and experiences, then by all means, do that. If you struggle not to buy the latest televisions, makeup finds, styles, or toys, then this is for you. Tell yourself that those “things” do not apply to you anymore. You do not need them.
The simplest ways that I’ve found to avoid purchasing things I don’t need are these: 1) Ignore advertisements or letting your kids see many toy commercials 2) Don’t go into the stores or on shopping websites unless absolutely necessary 3) Consume things with simple ingredients (such as food or body products).
Ignoring advertisements is difficult. I can’t lie. They’re obviously everywhere and some are certainly enticing. Set rules for yourself. If you can skip or turn off commercials in front of your children, that is also good. I feel like they’ve been marketing basically the same circle of toys since I was a small child in the 90’s. While I do think children need a few toys, I do not think it’s a good idea to constantly let them be wowed by all of the new ones on commercials. Most are overrated and unless it’s something your child is already obsessed with and willing to give up other toys for, I wouldn’t encourage it. As far as you, the adult, are concerned, just make a rule for yourself that you will steer clear of anything you have not already written down as something you “need.” For example, if you have dish soap on your grocery list and see an ad for Biokleen dish soap then okay, go for it. Click the add and order if you want. But if you see an ad for Seventh Generation laundry soap and it’s not on your list, just do not click on it. Don’t go there. Don’t buy anything not on your “list” ever. It is probably just excess.
And whatever you do, do NOT go on Amazon’s interesting finds page. It will make you want everything that you do not need. Even I stare longingly at the many pretty decorative objects every once in a while. Don’t do it. I know what I just did is really messed up, but seriously don’t. Just stay off amazon or target.com altogether if you do not have a very specific reason for being there. The same applies to going into stores. I buy my groceries online and do grocery pickup, so I can’t just randomly throw things into the cart that I don’t need. I hardly ever actually enter any stores. If you’re into shopping but want to simplify or become a minimalist, just find a new hobby or give gifts. Meal planning and going to the store once a week to PICK UP groceries if possible really helps. If not then going once a week and ignoring what you don’t need helps (and don’t go hungry). You can also order your groceries online. As far as stores like Macy’s or Sephora go…just forget about them. You probably don’t actually need anything they have. If anything you’ll get some overpriced clothing you could have bought later for much cheaper and hurt your budget, or if you buy perfume or makeup, you could potentially hurt your body. Which brings me to my last point…
Learn to love things with the simplest of ingredients, and that will kill a lot of the temptation you face in conventional stores. For example, swapping conventional makeup for stuff that is completely chemical free, completely eliminates any desire I would have to purchase something from a department store makeup counter. Most makeup you find in Macy’s or Sephora or Ulta is at least somewhat harmful. Just forget about it. Why put something on you that can up your risk of cancer, screw with your hormones, or even cause damage to your reproductive system? At that point, you’re seriously spending money to harm your body. Think that way and those makeup counters or isles of chips in the grocery store will look a lot less attractive.