Minimalism means something else to everyone, but when people ask me what it means to me, my answer is very simple: quality over quantity. In all aspects of life. Investing your time, energy and money in things that matter to you, that make you happy, that ‘spark joy’. And limiting everything else.
I used to spend so much time, energy and especially money on things that, in the end, didn’t really make me happy. 2 euros for a shitty coffee, 5 euros for a shirt I’ll probably never wear, that take away lunch that doesn’t taste good.
So obviously, I wasn’t always a minimalist. People who don’t really know me well might not even know or notice my ‘minimalist’ lifestyle. But I know that right now, my life is way more simple and I enjoy it way more.
I stopped buying take away coffees every day. Now I just bring some tea from home. It doesn’t cost you nearly as much AND you can make it exactly how you enjoy it most. When it comes to food, I try to pack lunches when I can, but I admit that it’s not always easy and it is so easy to get carried away and just buy something on the go or order something on Deliveroo. Nobody’s perfect. I also became vegetarian, which is an extra incentive to bring my own food sometimes, since vegetarian on-the-go options aren’t always that tasty, in my opinion.
When I do buy a juice or go out for a meal, it so much more enjoyable, because I go for higher quality options and it’s a way better experience than buying a cheap and not yummie sandwich for lunch every day.
In high school and in the beginning of my college years, I used to go shopping ALL THE TIME. It was almost a hobby. It’s what my friends and I did when we hung out. I spend hours and hours of my life browsing fast fashion stores and buying poor quality clothing. When I decluttered my wardrobe, I realised how little of my clothes I absolutely love. And the items I did love, where very beaten up, because they were poor quality and had been worn a lot.
I still like clothes and fashion, but don’t spend every spare minute going to the mall. I really started to curate my closet and am even testing out the capsule wardrobe system. Now I think about every item I buy in advance and I ask myself some questions. Ever since educating myself more on the fast fashion industry and watching the documentary ‘The true cost’ I can’t buy a cheap fast fashion item anymore without feeling guilty. I’m not there yet, so I still buy from fast fashion brands sometimes, but I try to look for sustainable materials and be very intentional about my purchase, making sure I will wear it for a long time to come.
I try to shop at and support sustainable and local brands. This is still a bit challenging for me, because they are often more expensive, since you pay a fair price for what you get. But since I buy way less clothing now, I can invest that money in a few higher quality and more sustainable pieces. Buying a five euro t-shirt every week costs you the same amount in the end and you have nothing to show for it, because chances are the piece won’t last very long. Trend pieces are another thing I don’t buy anymore. Investing in high quality basics is definitely the way to go for me.
When choosing quality over quantity, you can slowly start to improve your lifestyle without spending more money. This way you’ll end up with things you absolutely love.