Tips for Mindful Consumption.
Mindful consumption helps keep clutter away.
When you practice mindful consumption, it makes it easier to be more satisfied with what you do have, helps you get rid of the things you don’t really love, and keeps clutter away for the long-term.
Here are 6 tips on how to become more mindful about what you consume.
Consciously decide to become more intentional about what you purchase. This seems so obvious, but it’s too foundational to skip over. Write down your intention to consume more mindfully and define what that means to you.
For example: I will only buy things I truly need and love for the next 3 months. I will be thoughtful about the way it was manufactured, the quality of the item, and the number of times I will be able to use it. I will focus on spending my time writing or playing music rather than shopping, because I know it will make me happier in the long-term.
It doesn’t have to be that heady - but you get the idea.
2. Ask yourself why you need it.
Are you wanting to buy something because you actually need it or are you feeling unfulfilled in some other way. Asking yourself, “but why” a million times can really help get at the root of why you feel you need to buy something.
3. Distract yourself.
Similar to the ding of of dopamine we get when our phone buzzes. We literally become addicted to the feeling of getting something new. You can replace that good vibes feeling by doing something else that gives you a rush of endorphins — you might go for a walk, a run, explore a new area, or read a new book — anything to help distract you from being influenced to buy stuff you really don’t need.
Needless to say that also means avoiding browsing. If you’re not needing to buy anything, don’t tempt yourself by going shopping.
Pro Tip: If you’re really struggling with needing that quick hit “buying” something. Go to the grocery store and buy A fruit or vegetable you’ve never eaten. Or maybe it’s something small and consumable like a new bar of soap.
4. Make a list, check it twice.
Make a list of the things you want to buy, but wait at least 30 days before you buy anything. This doesn’t mean spending all your time browsing (see tip above). It just means if it occurs to you that you might enjoy owning a new pair of clogs, you write exactly the kind of clogs you’d want to purchase and then think about it. Most of the time, those items we want to buy will still be available in 30 days, so you don’t have to ‘worry’ about it not being available later.
5. Write down things you own and why they’re so great!
Becoming more mindful about what you consume has a lot to do with appreciating what you already own. Every time you add something to the list that you want to purchase, write down what you already own and why you love it so much. You might even spend a little time fixing the older item up, buffing leather shoes, getting new shoe laces, getting them re-soled.
6. Quality Counts.
Be extremely picky about what you buy, who you buy it from, and the actual quality of the item. Spending more does not necessarily mean you’re getting a better deal. When buying clothes, choose natural fabrics, they tend to hold up longer and are less likely to shed tiny plastic particles that are bad for our oceans and our skin. Most second-hand stores don’t separate clothing by material and because of this, I’ve snagged a couple of 100% silk shirts for less than $10 each. Buy boots that can be resoled. Buy decorative items that your actually love.
It’s much easier to mindfully consume when you follow these 6 tips!