15 Items That I Have Stopped Using to Start My Minimalism Journey 



Noa Noh, Editor-in-Chief

A few years ago, I decided to welcome minimalism into my life. Minimalism is more than decluttering the boxes of unused items that have been sitting in the corner of your closet for years. It is a mindset that will influence your lifestyle. Several things that I have learned when adopting minimalism into my life is that I have become more productive, I have realized trends are always temporary, it has become more important on why I am buying something rather than what I buy and I have found more purpose behind the things that I do. Along with a few important lessons learned, there are several items that I realized I do not necessarily need in my life.

  1. Artificially fragrance products: Many candles, air fresheners, room sprays, and the majority of Bath and Body Works candles include artificial scents that are very toxic to the air and harmful for you to inhale. If I plan to get a candle, I would rather get a non- toxic candle that is natural and safe to inhale.
  2. Bodysprays and mists: I used to have many body sprays and perfumes from Bath and Body Works and Victoria Secret. Now, I tend to move on to a new one after I finish a bottle. I realized that it is better to invest in a high-quality perfume because the scent will last longer and quality is better.
  3. Plastic water bottles: I have a water filter in my house and a hydro flask, so there is no need for me to use plastic water bottles. According to The Water Project, U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone, it takes over 1.5 millions of barrels of oil to meet demands of U.S. water bottle manufacturing, which exceeds the amount needed to power 100,000 for a year, and it is estimated that 3 liters of water are used to package 1 liter of bottled water. Plastic water bottles are harmful to the environment!
  4. Plastic bags: I always make sure that I have some sort of reusable cloth bag on hand so that I could use it when I help with grocery shopping or buying things.
  5. Plastic Straws and Utensils:  Especially if I am just getting some take out, I try to reject plastic utensils- especially straws. Period.
  6. Physical planners: Every single year I used to buy a new planner thinking that I would commit to it and use it for the rest of the year every day. It would never last longer than the first couple of weeks of the year. I know many people who absolutely need planners and some who use bullet journaling as well. However, since I do not use them, I decided not to spend money every year on a new planner. Instead, I use a digital planner called Notion.
  7. Expensive trendy clothes, thrifting, color theory: I am glad that some brands have been taking strides moving towards sustainable and ethical clothing which makes it easier to produce even though it’s not very wallet-friendly. However, I would rather invest in a slow fashion brand. Otherwise, I am a very big fan of second-hand clothing/ thrifting, it allows me to find my personal style and it is more interesting to shop in my opinion. I have become comfortable in wearing items and falling in love with essential clothing items that I could wear again repeatedly.
  8. Uncomfortable shoes: Heels, flats, or any type of uncomfortable shoe. Heels are only a necessity for some formal occasions, and for special events I have a few pairs of heels.
  9. Athletic wear: Of course, this depends on the lifestyle you have, but I am not a professional student-athlete so I do not need multiple pairs of leggings or sports attire. A handle of pairs is enough for me and I will wash them and wear them.
  10. Souvenirs: Instead of buying a sweatshirt that says “I Heart NYC”, I have learned to find something more special to that place’s culture. I believe that the best souvenir to take home are photos. But if I feel like I need to take something home, I tend to choose only one thing that I will collect from every place I go such as postcards- which are very easy to store away and are very cheap! Another thing to take home, would be that culture’s food.
  11. Decoration: These are filler decoration items that I will purposefully seek out just to hang up on my wall to use as decoration. I try to only use decorations that I could make or use.
  12. Extra makeup: Although I hardly use makeup unless I feel like it or if it is a special occasion, I will only buy one of each product that I need. At the maximum, I will have two of something such as colored items like blush or eye shadow. I love the satisfaction of using up a product and buying a new one. Also, makeup does expire, so it is hard to keep track if you have multiples.
  13. Apps: I am not on my phone a lot. I only use my phone for phone calls, sometimes face timing, taking pictures, and looking through memories on my photo roll. But other than that, I never ever buy apps, I don’t use game apps as well.
  14. Phone cases: I only have two phone cases for my phone. I don’t use my phone as an accessory, it is only a functional piece for me.
  15. Chocolate, Candy, Soda: Fortunately, I have never had natural cravings for these sorts of foods. I consider chocolate to be a luxury item that I am fine with receiving as a gift but I would never buy them for myself. I would much rather eat fruits. I have always preferred drinking water and the last time I drank soda was 3 years ago!