The Checklist of Things I Didn’t Need

The Checklist of Things I Didn’t Need

Posted By Tara Button

Last year I wrote a list of things I didn’t need. This year I want to see whether I stuck to it or not. My approach to minimalism isn’t just a toolkit to decluttering, but it is also about ensuring I’m not buying crap I don’t want or need. This list was the most powerful tool to stop those impulse buys.

The Kitchen

  • I do not need a bread machine
  • I do not need a waffle maker
  • I do not need more than four pots
  • I do not need more than one frying pan
  • I do not need matching mugs
  • I do not need a smoothie maker

I actually discovered more things I didn’t need in the kitchen. My fiancé and I had a glorious cutlery declutter, and now every time I open my cutlery drawer I feel a little rush of happiness. We got rid of all the wobbly stuff and the pieces with dodgy rust spots – all of the stuff that just got left in the drawer. We’d also managed to accumulate a distressing amount of disposable cutlery from the takeaway. I’ve since resolved to specifically ask for no cutlery or chopsticks to be put in the bag and it has kept my kitchen clutter free. 

I cut down hugely on the amount of baking items I had, which cleared out half a cupboard. I still have everything I need to make a decent cake; I just don’t have everything I would need to launch my own bakery.

Sometimes when you get into a hobby such as cake baking, you can go overboard with the gadgets and gizmos that go with it. Similar to buying an expensive set of golf clubs before the first lesson. To get around this, if at all possible, borrow the equipment you need for the first few months of your hobby. Only then make the expensive commitment.

We’ve recently had a coffee maker crisis. Our Tassimo takes these really non eco-friendly plastic pods that can’t even be recycled. I’ve decided to hold the coffee maker ransom until the company comes up with a better solution.

After saying I wouldn’t buy a smoothie maker, my flatmate was given a NutriBullet and we all got hooked on morning smoothies. When we moved out, my fiancé bought us our own. We know that we will use it because we have used it for several months now, so it’ll be a good investment going forward. When looking back on this list, I laughed because just last week I was thinking it would be nice to have matching mugs. Sometimes it can be tempting to buy things for a life you don’t really have. I might have friends over to dinner, but rarely for coffee. 

Clothes and Accessories

  • I do not need a watch
  • I do not need any more than eight pairs of shoes (trainers, summer flats, winter flats, flip flops, heeled, winter boots, hiking boots, wellies, slippers)
  • I do not need more than a capsule wardrobe

I’ve gained a ring (an engagement ring) and bracelet since writing this piece. My friends and family know better than to buy me bits of jewellery now, but when my sister-in-law saw a bracelet with the symbol of my new start-up on it, she rightly thought I’d love it.

These extra pieces add a little bit more stress (when I thought I’d misplaced the ring) and extra thought to my day. However, they represent my love and purpose, and they complete the button necklace I wear everyday which symbolises my identity. To have them on my person reminds me of what’s important.

I’ve been wearing my delicious winter boots every day since it started to get cold, and I’m so grateful for them. They go well with everything, have a heel high enough to give my short frame a boost, but I can walk for miles in them without getting sore. I used to have a real shoe fetish, so it might surprise some people to know that I’m not interested in having one in every style and colour; I just don’t feel that impulse anymore.

Technology

  • I do not need a games console
  • I do not need a desktop computer
  • I do not need a landline
  • I do not need any dvds
  • I do not need a sat nav

My technology use hasn’t changed at all in the last year, although my iPhone screen broke twice. Once was my fault, the next time it just died. My fiancé and I started debating about whether our future kids would be allowed a games console. I never had one growing up, but he did and he sees it as a bonding experience as much as an anti-social, brain-rotting escape. I’ll let you know what we decided in eight or nine years’ time.

Furniture, Leisure and Beauty

  • I do not need any more cushions
  • I do not need to change my interior “look” constantly
  • I do not need friends’ freebies that don’t fit in my home
  • I do not need decorative tat that has no meaning to me
  • I do not need any “seasonal” decor (e.g. Halloween cushions)
  • I do not need more musical instruments than my guitar and piano
  • I do not need any more gym equipment
  • I do not need any magazines (unless work related)
  • I do not need any massage, exfoliation or pampering gadgets
  • I do not need any makeup other than my staple five: mascara, eyeshadow, concealer, lipstick and perfume
  • I do not need any hair products other than shampoo, conditioner and serum
  • I do not need any nail care other than clippers, file, varnish remover and my favourite colour

I haven’t broken any of my vows on my furniture, beauty or leisure list other than borrowing a medicine ball from my sister-in-law. I have gone on to use it every week since so it’s a keeper. I’ve tried to go one step further and become more zero waste with my beauty regime. My deodorant, shower gel, face wash and conditioner are all unpackaged in solid form, and I now use bamboo flannel rounds to remove my makeup which work wonderfully. One side exfoliates while the other is silky soft.

So overall, not bad we reckon. Perhaps one or two slip ups at a push, and plenty of new things to add to the minimalist cart going forward. 

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