10 Things I stopped buying since becoming a Minimalist

One year after becoming a minimalist and I can already see the changes around me, especially in my wallet! So here are 10 things I stopped buying:

hutomo-abrianto-576207-unsplash.jpg

Magazines

After studying journalism and doing a few internships at Fashion at lifestyle magazines, I learned all about the production of these. I was fascinated by the design, copy, photography, etc. So, as you can imagine, I bought a lot of magazines and my collection was very extensive. I even had a wall in my room covered with Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Elle best designed and unique covers. After joining the minimalism journey, I quickly notice how much of a waste of paper this was and how much space it would take in my home. And let’s not even talk about all the dust it collects! I’ve started reading the online versions and I might borrow magazines from friends sometimes, but once read, I immediately pass it over to the next person.

Clothes for special occasions

It’s not the first time I mention this on the blog. Buying a specific dress for a specific event is a waste of your money unless it’s a dress that you can adapt and use it more often. We tend to spend a lot of money on outfits for special days and go to Primark for the clothes we use on a daily basis. Shouldn’t we invest our money and taste in something we wear every day and needs to be of a higher quality than a dress that is worn maybe once or twice, and then spends the rest of its life in our wardrobe?

DVDs

One word, Netflix. And yes, I do complain about the fact that they don’t have all the shows and series I want to watch and if this happens, there are so many other online platforms where you can watch it. Just like magazines, you watch a film once, maybe twice if it’s really good and then, why keep the DVD at home? To collect more dust? Or so you can spend more money on IKEA furniture to have the space to keep these?

CDs

The same as above, just a different word – Spotify.

Loads of pairs of shoes

I only need one pair of shoes for each type – a pair of high heels, a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots… and you get the point. I used to have a huge collection of sandals, for example, one of each colour so I could match with different dresses. I ended up just buying a neutral colour and now it matches everything. I’ve also made sure, the quality of these was very good so they last longer and I’m comfortable at all times.

House decoration items

Plants, candles and photos decorate my home and create a very cosy feeling. All of these items have a purpose – the plants filter the air inside the flat and make us closer to nature, the candles replace the artificial light from lamps and give the flat a lovely smell at any time of the day, and the photos remind us of all the good times and good people we have around us, even when we had the most stressful day. That’s why I don’t feel the need to buy decoration pieces that don’t serve a purpose. Because for me “just looks good” is not a purpose.

Cleaning supplies

I’ll be soon writing a post on the blog about my natural home-made cleaning products. You’ll be saving on plastic, money and you’ll have a chemical free home. It will also save a lot of space in your house because you’ll already have the ingredients at home. You just need to mix them.

Storage containers

I have only 3 at home. One for our bathroom products (my boyfriend’s and mine), one for our camera, mobiles and computer cables and one for Olivia’s toys. Every time I feel the need to buy more I reconsider and realise that what I have is too many things and it’s time to get rid of the extras.

Loads of makeup

All I use is mascara, an eyeliner and sometimes eyeshadows. The more natural the better. And by taking care of your skin on a daily basis you won’t need more than that.

Anything on sales

I noticed that only the bad quality products or clothes go on sale and that we end up buying stuff that we actually don’t need. Smart shopping will save you more money than sales and promotions.

Untitlgkjed-1

Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash

Moving like a Minimalist| Minimalism Series

We finally moved to our new flat! It has been very busy lately, but the concept of minimalism helped me deal with the stress of moving. Of course, it will always give you a headache but having less material possessions to move to a new place makes the process so much easier.

kirill-zakharov-630681-unsplash

So, I will be sharing a few tips to make the moving process easier and quicker, based on my experience.

Make a list of everything you have, organise it by categories, colours, numbers, whatever you think is logical. Here’s my list so you can use it as an example:

  1. Kitchen (Objects and food)
  2. Bathroom (Products and towels)
  3. Bedroom (clothes)
  4. Living room (cables and PC)
  5. Plants
  6. Olivia’s stuff (Olivia is my cat)
  7. Big stuff (This includes a bed, a dining table, two chairs, a wardrobe and a TV)

We don’t own books, DVDs, magazines or any type of collection, apart from my plants, so if your list is longer than ours, don’t panic, it’s totally normal.

You can then use this list to label your boxes and it will be so much easier to unpack on the new house, because you know where everything is and where everything goes.

Make a second list with all the places and companies you need to contact in order to replace your old address with your new address. Things like your bank, workplace, medical centre, car insurance, etc. Some of them will let you do this in advance, which means that you will save the money of having to redirect all your mail from your old house to the new one. I took this opportunity to also go paperless with the last few companies and services that I wasn’t yet.

Visit the new house and take all measurements before moving in. This will make sure that you can get rid of everything that doesn’t fit or is not needed in the new house before you start packing. I moved to a smaller flat, so I gladly donated so many things to charity.

Don’t buy anything right before you move. Wait to live in the new house for a few weeks to make sure that what you’re about to buy is really necessary. If you don’t have a something essential, like a bed, for example, and need to buy one, of course you must buy it straight away instead of waiting. But it’s always better to get it delivered to the new house, so it’s one less thing to move.

Move on the right day. If you have the option to choose when you can move, I would advise you move on a day when you’re not working the following day. You will feel so tired and because it won’t give you time to organise everything in your home, it will take ages for you to find something before you leave the house! I arranged to move in a bank holiday weekend. Even though I didn’t get to choose the weather and it was raining a lot, at least my boyfriend and I had the day off of work the following day and we took the day to unpack and rest before going back to the normal routine.

Keep in mind that in a few days everything will be over. All the struggle and stress will disappear once you move to the new place. So if you feel like you’re reaching a breakdown with all the things you need to deal with and you haven’t yet, remember that it will all be over soon and imagine yourself enjoying a nice drink on your new living room.

Untitlgkjed-1

Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash

5 challenging things about Minimalism

Simple living is not always so simple. Especially when you’re right at the beginning and it seems like the world is against you for following something that makes you feel so happy.

www.tigeronagoldleash.com (2).png

Never ending clutter

When you start de-cluttering your life and especially your house you can feel quite overwhelmed realising all the things you own and you don’t need. You will also feel like you keep getting rid of things but other things keep coming back and it’s a never-ending circle. Keep in mind that after a period of time you’ll be able to look back and see a difference. This might not happened straight away because it takes time for us to change a habit, but once it’s done you’ll be able to see the results.

Being judgemental while listening to compulsive buyers

This is something I struggle with and I tend to not express my opinion too much, so I don’t end up offending anyone. But the truth is, people who keep saying “I need to buy this” when they clearly don’t, people who spend their lives scrolling on online stores and people that complain because they spend too much time organising and cleaning the house but they don’t look for a solution to the problem… those people need help. Keep in mind that just because we live in a society where buying “stuff” is the main goal and doing it constantly is considered normal for a lot of people, that doesn’t make it okay.

People that think Minimalism is just a phase

I wish your compulsive buying behaviour was just a phase. Just like being Vegan, being a minimalist or follow a minimalist lifestyle is seen as something very hipster that millennials do and after a while it will just vanished. Keep in mind that the world and the planet as they are, aren’t in very good conditions and if there are lifestyles that help making it better, even though you don’t follow them, respecting it would be appreciated.

Receiving gifts

This is a big struggle for me. I love receiving gifts, especially the well thought ones, but I hate receiving clutter and sometimes people buy you stuff just because it’s your birthday and they have to. Then you end up having things you don’t need, but at the same time you don’t want to give them away because the person that offered it means something to you. Keep in mind that sometimes letting your friends and family know what you like and need is a great way to save them the trouble of searching for a gift and saves you the trouble of not liking it. There are ways to say it that won’t offend anyone.

You’re not as Minimalist as you should be

Minimalism is a lifestyle just like any other lifestyle. There aren’t rules, only inspiration, tips, advices and then you get to pick what’s most suitable for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you own too many books for example, therefore you’re not a minimalist. If books are your passion you can have as many as you want. Just like my house is an urban jungle and I have plants everywhere! No way I’m getting rid of them to fit a specific rule of minimalism. There’s no such a thing. Keep in mind that Minimalism is a lifestyle you can adapt to your daily basis in ways that make you avoid stress, make you more organised and with more extra time to do the things you love. As long as you’ve obtained this you’re on the right path and you should be proud!

If you struggle with anything else that is not on the list, please leave it in a comment below. You can also read my Minimalism Series to get a bit more inspired.

Untitlgkjed-1

Follow me on:

Instagram: @melissadesousanunes

Twitter: @melisssadesousa

Facebook: Tiger On Gold Leash