Inside: Learn common things minimalists don’t buy or own to simplify their lives and homes.

In today’s world, the temptation to buy stuff is everywhere.

If you’re trying to embrace a minimalist lifestyle, it’s important to resist the perceived need those advertisements create.

Instead, prioritize owning the essentials and knowing how to say “no” to the rest.

But how do you know what to indulge in and what to avoid?

While every minimalist has a slightly different vision of what’s truly essential and what isn’t, there are a few common things that most minimalists don’t own.

If you want to live a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle, here are a few guidelines to consider following.

things minimalists don't buy

What are some things minimalists don’t buy?

Even though I don’t consider myself a minimalist, I share many of the same values. Minimalism is all about simplicity and the idea that less is more.

By focusing on the things that truly matter and bring joy, and getting rid of the rest, we can live a less cluttered and more fulfilling life. 

So, what are minimalists not buying to keep their lives and homes simpler? Here are 10 of them.

1. Minimalists don’t buy knick-knacks and needless decorations.

Some people find joy in decorating every square inch of their space with tchotchkes, knick-knacks, and other bits of home decor. 

But minimalists? They would rather avoid the clutter that tends to accumulate when you take a “more is more” approach to home decor. 

Instead of covering every shelf and surface with stuff, minimalists take a more thoughtful approach. They may opt for a single vase of fresh flowers instead of an assortment of picture frames and figurines.

And instead of collecting endless seasonal decorations to spice up your space and celebrate every holiday and shift in the weather, they choose to keep things simple, with versatile decor that’ll bring them joy all year long.

By resisting the temptation to excessively decorate, minimalists create a space that embraces calm and tranquility.

An added bonus? It’s much easier to keep things clean and dust-free.

things minimalists don't buy

2. Minimalists try to avoid buying fast fashion. 

Over the years, fast fashion has become the go-to way to dress for many people.

And in some ways, it’s easy to see why. It’s affordable. It’s accessible. And it makes it relatively easy to keep up with the latest ever-changing trends. 

It’s also an easy way to wind up with an overwhelmingly large wardrobe – and contribute needlessly to waste as that fast fashion rips, tears, and falls apart quickly.

Instead, minimalists extend their ‘less is more’ philosophy to their wardrobes and declutter what they no longer wear. They keep well-made, timeless pieces that offer versatility.

Minimalists are selective when buying new pieces. Those looking to save money and increase sustainability often shop at second-hand stores for clothing.

things minimalists don't buy

3. Minimalists often don’t own physical media.

Many of us grew up in homes filled with physical movies, music, and books. Depending on when you were born, you had stacks of VHS tapes or DVDs.

Records, tapes, or CDs were the only way you could listen to your favorite songs without hoping you’d get lucky and catch them on the radio. And your bookshelves were probably full of books that you’d only read once, collecting dust ever since.

Now? All of that media can be saved and accessed digitally. We no longer need entire pieces of furniture dedicated to storing those CDs and DVDs.

Streaming services allow us to watch our favorite movies and shows and listen to our favorite songs with the touch of a button, and e-readers eliminate the need to keep stacks upon stacks of books around our homes. 

And while some people still insist on buying physical media, it’s one thing that minimalists often categorically skip to have less stuff in their homes.

kitchen gadgets

4. Minimalists don’t typically buy single-purpose kitchen gadgets. 

There’s a kitchen gadget out there for virtually everything.

Avocado slicers. Apple corers. Garlic presses. The list goes on. For every task and item you can find in your kitchen, someone’s created something specialized that helps you prepare it.

But none of those things are really necessary. You can slice an avocado, core an apple, and mince your garlic with a single, multi-purpose tool – a good kitchen knife. So why buy all of those other things?

Instead of filling their cabinets and drawers with unnecessary kitchen gadgets, minimalists stick to the basics: versatile appliances, sturdy pots and pans, must-have utensils, and just enough dishes.

A minimalist kitchen that’s stocked with the essentials and well-organized makes cooking easier and more enjoyable.

things minimalists don't buy

5. Minimalists don’t own many duplicate items.

Sure, you can have more than one of something… but there’s a fine line between ‘just enough’ and ‘way too much.’

Some people like to keep lots of extras on hand – an endless pile of extra towels and dishcloths, six different sheet sets, a box filled with duplicate cords and cables just in case you ever happen to need them someday.

A stack of ten plates in the cupboard, more pairs of jeans than you could wear in a month, four different lotions in the bathroom…the list goes on.

But why?

Instead of owning all that stuff, minimalists would prefer to focus on owning fewer, higher quality items – a couple of good bed sheets, enough towels to get through the week, quality dishware, and clothes.

While they could overfill closets and cupboards with extra stuff simply because the space exists, they choose not to because they know they don’t need to. 

woman cleaning counter

6. Minimalists don’t buy lots of cleaning supplies.

There’s a product out there that swears it’s designed to clean everything – your stovetop, your kitchen sink, your hardwood floors, your mirrors, your toilets. 

But you don’t really need all of that.

Instead of splurging on endless sprays, wipes, and solutions, many minimalists know that you can stick to minimal versatile products and great cleaning tools to tackle every area in your home.

Once you find what works for you, there is no need to continue trying out the new trendy cleaning products.

Minimalists focus on their favorites and don’t constantly feel the need to change things up.

things minimalists don't buy

7. Minimalists don’t purchase souvenirs on every vacation.

Minimalists tend to place a priority on experiences and traveling to new places rather than acquiring more stuff.

One thing minimalists choose not to do when they go on vacation? Bring home souvenirs.

Minimalist travel focuses on packing light and being present in the moment. Taking pictures is a great way to remember places you have been and people you spent time with.

But souvenirs? They can end up becoming clutter and are unnecessary baggage.

While taking something home once in a while may be nice, they focus on consumables rather than items that would sit out collecting dust.

make do instead of buy new

8. Minimalists don’t make impulse purchases.

Another thing that minimalists do their best to avoid? They don’t get sucked into impulse purchasing.

Minimalists learn how not to get lured into buying something just because it’s on sale.

They’re intentional with shopping and are careful about what items they choose to bring into their home.

This saves them from experiencing buyer’s remorse often and helps keep clutter at bay while saving money in the process.

Minimalists put practices in place to help them avoid impulse purchases such as waiting for a predetermined amount of time before deciding whether or not to buy something.


9. Minimalists don’t buy typical gifts.

Minimalists have learned how to be intentional with their purchases and are careful not to add clutter to their homes.

In doing so, they’re also aware when buying gifts that they don’t want to contribute to the clutter in anyone else’s home either.

Because of that, minimalists tend to give clutter-free gifts. They focus on consumable items or experiences that they think the recipient would enjoy.

Minimalists tend to want to receive these types of gifts as well or may even opt not to exchange gifts during the holidays.

Does that mean they won’t buy you a different gift if that’s what you’ve told them you really want? No, but left to their own devices people do tend to give the types of gifts that they’d enjoy receiving.

things minimalists don't buy

10. Minimalists limit one-time use & disposable items.

Another thing minimalists try to significantly limit is one-time use and disposable items. Some of the items in this category include paper towels, napkins, plastic wrap, single-use water bottles, paper plates, and plasticware.

Many minimalists are more eco-conscious and would rather use more sustainable alternatives.

Thankfully there are a lot of great reusable options available thereby reducing waste while also decreasing the amount of things that need to be stored in the home.

Opting for fewer one-time use and disposable items not only keeps more trash out of landfills, but it’s also a great way to save more money.

Things I stopped buying

Decluttering was quite a learning experience for me. Through it, I learned how to be more selective with what I purchased.

I stopped buying these 15 things after simplifying our home as they were creating clutter.

This year I decided not to purchase these 27 things either because we already had enough or we simply didn’t need them.

Your lists will likely look a bit different from mine, which is completely fine. The most important thing is to be mindful of what you buy. It will save you money and prevent clutter from accumulating in your home.

What would you add to this list of things minimalists don’t buy? Leave a comment and let me know!

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