Author Topic: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful  (Read 1962 times)

kaypinkHH

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Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« on: August 01, 2017, 01:06:33 PM »
After travelling/living away from home for work for the past year, I have finally settled back home, and I'm faced with a mountain of stuff.

Somehow my DH and I have accumulated 17 bottles of shampoo and conditioner at various states of use. We live a pretty small house, and we don't have room for all of these products. I also have a staggering makeup, and hair/skin product collection, considering that I don't use any of those things on a regular basis. Living away from home has reminded me that the small amount I took with me on my travels is what I actually use, and the pile on my dresser I haven't touched in over a year.

I have been reading through the MMM forums related to this and have previously delved into minimalist blogs and articles. From those sources minimalism the answer is easy: Throw it out.

But...isn't it wasting? I feel bad throwing out half used products!! Anyone have any advice on how to purge your things without being wasteful?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 01:20:37 PM »
I wouldn't throw them out. I'd put them in a box or basket that has a lid or could be hidden easily, then store them under the bed or couch or wherever I could find out of sight and use them up. Combine as many bottles of shampoo together as possible, same with conditioner, etc. Likely would reduce the amount of bottles right there and honestly who cares if one brand is mixed up with another? Reduce their footprint, then use them up.

In the case of makeup, I'd remember that if you haven't used it in well over a year, it likely should be tossed anyway due to hygiene, but shampoo or hair products? You'll save money in the long run by just stashing it and using it up. And going forward, if you find you took a year to use up the hair gel or something? Maybe you don't really need to buy any at all in the future.

Being a minimalist should be about making do with less, which should also mean reducing the amount of things you buy, and not being wasteful. Items that can be used up... should be.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 01:57:04 PM by Frankies Girl »

SisterX

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Re: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 01:32:35 PM »
I agree with Frankie's Girl. However, if you really, really feel that you don't have room to store even a reduced number of bottles, or you're worried that things will go bad before you get around to using them, do you have a Buy Nothing Group in your area? They're usually organized via Facebook. You'd be amazed at what some people will gladly take.

Hotstreak

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Re: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 01:36:12 PM »
I just went from ~8 bottles of shampoo/conditioner/body wash in the shower down to 3, by combining them as Frankies Girl suggests.  Same idea goes for things like lotion or cleansers, assuming they are made with similar ingredients (e.g. I wouldn't mix a light lotion with a heavy one, or mix an SPF containing lotion with anything else, that defeats the purpose).

Besides that, I think you need to reframe how you are thinking about this.  You have a house full of stuff you haven't used in a year of travels, meaning it's been a mess for a while and you didn't clean it before you went away.  If today is the only time you're going to be strongly inclined to clean out the products, then feel free to throw them away.  Combine what you can, or pick the most full container to keep, and toss the rest.  It's honestly not that much money, and it's only "wasteful" if you don't get benefit from it - I think you would get a lot of benefit from cleaning this stuff out.

galliver

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Re: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 02:15:06 PM »
Ditto on stash the shampoo/conditioner/anything shelf-stable that you will use, but toss anything that's likely expired/germy (mascara!) or anything you tried and didn't like and thus won't use, etc. I've occasionally combined the dregs of lotion from near-empty bottles in a wide-mouth jar and used the mix on my feet. I don't know if I would necessarily do that with any old set of products, but nothing exploded ;)

marielle

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Re: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 02:58:04 PM »
I've had a similar problem, but not quite that excessive. I considered possibly calling a women's shelter and seeing if they would take it. Never did though because I had so little and only threw out one thing (some mousse, no idea why I even had it).

kaypinkHH

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Re: Balance between being minimalist and being wasteful
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 05:34:20 AM »
Thanks all!

I think I will take this weekend and go through my stuff! I agree, ideally this means I just don't buy any of this stuff for the next year plus!