This is part of my Half-Assed Minimalism series, in which I share tips that have helped me curb my shopping addiction. I believe in not being bossy or preachy, but rather giving people the tools to take steps to improve their lives. I hope you will join me, and be inspired to find your own ways of embracing minimalism, whether that means being extreme or moderate. Good luck!
Note: I have included some links to particular products that I personally own. They are shown in bold/italic font below. These are NOT affiliate links. I do NOT earn any money from them. I will always disclose if I use affiliate links in the future, should I decide to do so.
A couple weeks ago, I touched on how to recognize and avoid triggers, which I feel is a valuable first step to clearing out physical and mental clutter. Today, we are going to build on that, and actually discuss items that add value to your life. I am someone who firmly believes that objects have their place, and there is nothing to be ashamed about in owning things, as long as we try to make mindful choices.
I will be listing some of my personal “added value” items here, but here are the guidelines I use when I’m trying to decide if something falls in this category:
|Quality||Is it made well? Will it last?|
|Use||Will I use this often, based on my lifestyle?|
|Price||Would I buy a replacement immediately if this was lost, etc?|
The goal for me is to have the majority of possessions fall into the category of “need”; these are things like food, a place to sleep, a toothbrush, and the like, with the remainder falling into the “added value” section.
My Added Value Possessions:
I’ve had a coffee maker for quite a while, but the electric kettle was a purchase I waited a long time to make. As someone who loves tea and owns many varieties, I know a lot of factors can effect the taste of the finished product. I use my electric kettle almost daily and it’s proven to be very valuable because I can set the exact temperature needed for whatever type of tea I’m steeping.
This one is pretty obvious, but I use so many different art supplies. Watercolors, brushes, fine-tipped pens, mechanical pencils, sketch pencils, Copic markers, just to name a few. I couldn’t do my favorite hobby without these!
This was a very pricey purchase, but my Wacom tablet has upped my art game considerably. It’s given me the freedom to try different styles and change what I don’t want to keep while preserving the original artwork. I also use digital software to finish the majority of my commissions.
This was a wedding gift, and you definitely don’t need the exact blender I received. There are many excellent kinds and I would encourage you to do some comparing to see what works best for you. I make green smoothies 3-4 times a week; they’re one of my favorite meals, so I was thrilled to be able to replace my (under powered) mini-blender with this.
I am mildly mistrustful of anyone who claims that all water tastes exactly the same, or worse, says water has no taste. I like my water filtered, and I like it very cold. I also prefer a leak-proof bottle, because I’m clumsy. I finally decided to forgo some very pretty, but less effective bottles, for this amazing, insulated Camelbak that keeps my water icy all day. Paired with my faucet filter, it’s completely eliminated my plastic water bottle use. It was worth the higher price tag.
I also own a stainless steel coffee tumbler because I prefer to make my coffee beforehand and take it to work with me. It’s vastly cheaper than buying coffee daily.
This Kindle is not the exact one I have. I actually own the model before this one, but it just shows as “unavailable” on Amazon; sorry! Either way, I enjoy my Paperwhite. Since it uses e-ink technology, I can read it before bed and it doesn’t interrupt my sleep rhythm the way other electronics would. I have slowly been transitioning some of my paperbacks and hardcovers to Kindle editions, which allows me to further clear out my bookshelves and drastically save space.
These vary in style and price, so do some shopping around and find one that fits your tastes and budget. I enjoy these because I don’t have to watch them the way I do with candles, and in my experience, the scent throw is better. It’s an easy way to make your home feel more inviting.
These are just some of my personal favorites; your own personal added value items may be different. I hope this gave you some ideas, and remember: small steps lead to changes, as long as you keep moving.