A few weeks back I had a most interesting video-chat with an internet friend of mine, a lady I met in a stoicism discussion group, and she told me about her plans for 2021.
One of the things she has planned is making 2021 a year of minimalism. I.e. no purchases of things she does not absolutely need, only replacing stuff that breaks or wears out. So for example, do not buy a new pair of pants unless you have to replace one you already own. Also: Only replace it if it is absolutely necessary.
I decided to join her in this endeavor and for me this would mean:
I own four identical pairs of 501 Levis jeans which I wear in turn. I could do with three, obviously. If I wear one out, I will not get a new one. But if the machine spirit of my computer decides to join the Omnissiah (in case of confusion and unfamiliarity with Warhammer 40,000, go here), I may replace it.
So, the following rules apply for me in 2021:
- No purchases of new items that do not replace existing ones. The replacement has also to be necessary.
- This absolutely includes electronic gadgets of any kind (my main weakness).
- If I have to replace something, I have to choose the exact same thing or a simpler/cheaper alternative (if quality standards are comparable). So, if my Kindle should break down, I have to replace it with the same model (which will be more modern anyway) and not get an Oasis instead.
- I also will make an effort to weed out superfluous items in my wardrobe, cabinets and closets.
- I will also refrain from purchasing expensive foods and stick to the basics instead. This should be easy since I mostly do that anyway.
- Books are specifically excluded (but I will not go on a book buying spree instead, now).
- Computer/console games are technically excluded, but I will aim to purchase no more than 4.
- I will also not subscribe to new streaming services and/or websites. I may decide to become a patron to somebody.
- Should I travel and/or attend concerts, I will not buy souvenirs and always choose the cheapest tolerable option for transport and lodging (and this does not mean that only the best hotel and first class travel is tolerable, in case you wonder). I guess COVID will delay any travel plans until the summer at least, anyway.
- All replacements have to come from local sources if available and, if possible, not from Amazon at all.
The list is not exhaustive, but you get the idea. A little minimalism and anti-consumerism will do me good, and who knows, maybe the habit ingrains itself and I simply carry on.