Minimalism Ruins Shopping – Part 1 of the Minimalism Ruins Series

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Hi friend! Today, we are starting a new series, “Minimalism Ruins”, that will carry to the end of the year, and I am super excited!! It is a spin off of my most popular post 10 Ways Minimalism Ruined My Life. We’re starting with how minimalism ruins shopping, but before we dive into that, let me give you some background first.

It is a humorous post that receives hundreds of page views daily and a post that people want to comment on more than any other post I have published.

To be honest, I am surprised that it is as popular as it is. However, that opened the door to this new series, so I am thankful that so many enjoy it!

What to Expect with the “Minimalism Ruins” Series

You will gain an understanding of how minimalism can transform your life. The more your mindset shifts; the more your life changes.

These shifts may not be the same as mine, and that is perfectly okay! I hope that this series opens you mind up to the possibilities of what your life can become by simplifying it.

Consumerism is a terrible mentality to have when you want to live a simple lifestyle. Transforming your mindset to think “less is more” is not as easy as saying it. The closer you get to living the minimalist lifestyle you crave, the more you will ruin any previous mindset you had.

In most cases, using the word ruin would be a bad thing. However, this is not one of those cases. I promise!

While my original post contains a bit of sarcasm, this series will focus on the actions you can take to transition your life and how these actions will shift your life to the life you desire.

We are going to dive as deep as possible in this series to set you up for the success you crave!

A minimalist lifestyle changes lives. It saves you from some things, and ruins others. Specifically minimalism ruins shopping, and this post explains how.

Minimalism Ruins Shopping

Shopping is something many do as a hobby, when bored, have time to kill, or need a temporary pick me up from something that happened that day.

Odds are you fit into one of those categories. Purchasing things to fill a void of any kind can have long term consequences.

For example, you walk into a store looking around a bit. Something catches your eye, and you just cannot live without it! [Let’s say it is a golden pumpkin, because who does not want a golden pumpkin for fall decor?!] Two minutes prior, you were just “browsing”, and now you are walking out of the store with a $10.99 golden pumpkin.

Two things happened here:
  1. You fell prey to a consumerism mindset and marketing scheme.
  2. You spent money on something you were not in search for and probably did not need.

Now you have to decide where to put your new pumpkin, and hopefully you will not have to create a space for it.

Taking it a step further, let’s discuss what a potential next move could be. Say you get home, find a space for it, and then you need to balance your checkbook.

Once you get a good bit through your checkbook, you realize you did not have the money for that pumpkin, so you borrowed from your grocery budget to get this pumpkin. You justify keeping it, and you go on about your day.

The problem with this entire example is the mindset.

I like to call it “Squirrel Brain”; others call it “Shinny Object Syndrome”.

You see something that catches your eye, and automatically make up your mind that it is coming home with you. Never once did it cross your mind that you did not have to have it.

Being unconscious about the things you buy leads to many things, and most of them are not so good. But how do we change? How do we gain a conscious mind when it comes to shopping? And why do we want to?

I am glad you asked! Let’s start with the WHY to make more sense of the other!

Why do you want to become a conscious shopper?

Becoming a conscious shopper has several benefits. These benefits will roll over into other areas of your life the longer you practice being a conscious shopper.

1 // You spend less money.

This one is probably the most obvious. By asking ourselves a few questions to determine the value that object brings for your life, you can make a better decision that ultimately saves you money.

Within the last question, I will share with you some examples of the questions you may ask yourself.

2 // You automatically live with a bigger purpose.

Becoming aware of what is a need versus a want allows a special purpose to enter your life. You feel in control of the things you bring into your home, and lack the guilt associated with not shopping with a purpose.

3 // Your home feels a bit bigger.

Conscious shopping gives you control of the things that enter into your home. When you are not bringing in things you really do not need, your home does not clutter up like it did previously.

4 // Your closet is not bursting at the seams.

Hobby shopping may result in bringing home 2-3 more items that you already have within your wardrobe. When you shop consciously, you stop shopping for duplicates as often, because you know what your wardrobe has in it and what it lacks.

5 // You spend a little longer deciding if you really need something.

When you take a week or month to determine if you need an item, two things will happen:

  1. You will forget all about it and reap the above benefits
  2. You come to find out that you really do need it.

More times than not, you will end up in the first outcome, which shows you first hand what being a conscious shopper is all about.

These are just a few examples of why you want to become a conscious shopper. Of course there are many more, but we have a lot to cover within this post.

How do we change our ways?

The first thing you need to do is STOP shopping as a way to pass time. Find another hobby to take part in that does not involve looking at things you do not need. Find something to do that gives you purpose, like starting a blog! 😉

When you remove yourself from old patterns, new ones will take its place. But decreasing your time shopping is not going to fix your mindset. Changing your mindset starts with identifying your shopping habits.

Start with asking yourself a couple of these questions:
  • What do I tend to buy when I am out and about shopping?
  • Why do I buy these things?
  • How do I get distracted?
  • What are my weaknesses when it comes to shopping?
These four questions will open your eyes up to a pattern. When you identify this pattern, ask yourself these questions:
  • Why do I want to change my shopping habits?
  • What can I do to prevent mindless shopping?
  • How can I gain control when I feel like I am getting sucked into buying something I really do not need?
  • Do I have a purpose for going into certain stores?

By the end of these questions, you should see a game plan to change your ways. If all else fails, find an accountability partner to help keep you focused. The most important thing to remember is why you want to change.

How do we gain a conscious mind while shopping?

Identifying why you want to change and what your weaknesses are will go a long ways into gaining a conscious mind. There is still one more step you can take.

Below is a list of questions to ask yourself when you feel “Squirrel Brain” kicking in and causing you to add things into your buggy you do not necessarily need.

Asking yourself any of these questions will help you clarify if it is worth the splurge:
  • Do I really need this?
  • What value will this add to my life?
  • Is it worth the hours I worked to earn the money to be able to buy this?
  • Am I taking money from important expenses to buy this?
  • Do I have something like this or identical to this already?
  • Is this versatile enough for me? [Best to ask when concerning wardrobe pieces]
  • Is this worth the space it will take up in my home?

If you answer “I do not know” or “no” to any of these questions, you do not need it! You can safely put it back on the shelf and soak in a proud moment, because you just saved yourself money and space!

Convinced that minimalism ruins shopping yet?

I did not think so! Let’s take this one final step, because minimalism ruins shopping. However, it allows us to let go of it to enjoy it and other things in different ways. These are based on my personal experience and why I no longer care for shopping.

  1. I do not enjoy browsing stores, because I see no value in things I do not need.
  2. I set boundaries with purchasing non-necessity items, and half of the time I forget what I wanted.
  3. My sensory does not go into overload as often, because I do not go into crowded stores [unless shopping for groceries during the holidays… YIKES!]
  4. I have so much more money than I used to, and am able to save more!
  5. Overthinking an item is a big downfall. In addition to the above questions, I ask myself questions about my morals and values. Then shopping feels like a task!
  6. Shopping takes up time that could be spent more intentional.
  7. Marketing tactics always get me; so I avoid commercials, sales/ad papers, and clearance price tags at all costs!
  8. Learning a sale is only a sale if you were already going to purchase that item in the first place has changed my life! If you are only buying something because it was on sale, you are not saving anything! You are spending whatever the price tag was at the time.
Overall, shopping is something I do out of necessity.

I write down my focus, bring it in the store with me, and, when I start to deviate from it, I go through all the above questions to make sure I am shopping consciously. It is not something that happened overnight by any means.

You have to work at it every time you step into a store or online shop. BUT when you do decide something is not worth purchasing, you feel that win, and suddenly you know what you are doing is the right thing.

What do you gain when minimalism ruins shopping?

We can talk about how to change and why, but if you do not see a gain for changing, it is difficult to stick with it. Trust me, I have let my old consumerism mindset back in a couple of times!

Each time, I was returning all those things, because you are not stuck with shopping mistakes [in most cases]. You are stuck with the fact that you have to spend precious time undoing what you should not have done in the first place, which can be a motivator.

Here are a few things you gain by shopping consciously:
  • You get to keep your hard earned money!
  • Random things are not walking into your home and taking up space.
  • Duplicates are not popping up all over the place, because you were not acknowledging what you already owned.
  • You can afford better quality things, because you are not wasting your money on things you do not need.
  • Sensory levels are easier to stabilize when you are not always shopping. [At least that is how it is for me.]
  • You are no longer stealing money from an important expense to afford something you do not need.
  • Hobbies have the chance to become passion projects due to the time gained from not shopping as much.
  • You take better care of the things you have, because you notice their value in your home.

Again, I could continue, but this post is long enough. I hope you see that even though minimalism ruins shopping, it is worth the effort!

Let it ruin shopping that way you have an excuse to do something you have wanted to do for a while now! I bet you already know what you want to do, too!

Once this happened for me, I discovered more time for gardening, spending time with our animals, and enjoying life in a slower way. There is nothing like coming home to cook supper and enjoy the evening.

It creates white space within your schedule, and you need that more than ever! I know, because I was in your shoes.

Minimalism ruins shopping and other certain things, but enhances others.

Throughout this series, you will notice a transformation, and I pray you embrace it. Living simpler is all that it is cracked up to be. The hype is there for a reason, and I want you to experience that!

I hope you will join me in the Facebook Group to chat with me about this! It would be so much fun to have you!


  • Reply
    November 10, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I am in. My closetS are busting at the seam. I need help.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      November 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Yay!! Well this series is definitely going to help! Glad to have you on board, Sharon!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I agree!!! Minimalism has completely changed the way I shop. I don’t even like shopping but I used to come home with stuff I definitely did not need. Minimalism is so freeing because now I don’t feel that pressure to buy all that stuff. You’re so right! That consumeristic pressure is huge!!!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      November 27, 2017 at 9:11 am

      I am so glad you do not feel that consumeristic pressure as much, Carina! It is so freeing when you can pull away from the vicious cycle and be more intentional when you shop.

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