When you create a WordPress account, they ask you to write a little bit about yourself. One of the things I wrote about myself is that I am a wannabe minimalist. Yes, an even more sustainable lifestyle! Because minimalism can be sustainable. Life without trash, on my way to vegananism, more volunteering, working on my carbon footprint and minimalism. Yes, I’ve changed a lot since I started this blog. For me it all feels like personal progress. In my head most has changed, my mindset is different. And mindset is the thing I want to talk about today. Valuing experiences over stuff.
Experiences over stuff (or things), I’ve mentioned it before in some of my weekly diaries. That’s because it’s mostly applicable for birthdays and other occasions where we gift things. I always tell people to not gift me stuff, but it does not always work. People are used to giving stuff and I’m new to minimalism. In the past, I had to have everything. I was the opposite of a minimalist, I could spend 200 euros in one day at the Primark. It seems weird to even write this down because my mindset had totally shifted. I don’t want stuff anymore, only when I intentionally buy it myself.
Alternative to Stuff
Instead of gifting nail-polish, books, clothes or any other type of I-don’t-know-what-to-gift-so-here-is-this gift, I ask for someone’s time. I ask an experience. A day to the spa for example, a meal in the city center or a ticket to the movies. Anything, you can get really creative with experiences, you can make them as crazy (or not) as you personally like. You can make it as expensive or cheap as you want. The movies can be replaced by a movie night at someone’s place with homemade popcorn or another free event. Be creative! Gifting stuff is a nice gesture, but it’s meaningless. If you gift someone your time, you create memories together. And memories are the things you want to remember, not nail polish.
Works both Ways
This trick works both ways. You can gift someone experiences, but you can also ask for them. Speak the truth. Say you’re trying to live more minimalistic and that you’ll not appreciate getting new stuff. And then give an alternative by asking for an experience. People usually want to gift something so if you don’t come up with an alternative you’ll get stuff anyway. One of my best friends wanted to go to a Bastille concert and so we gifted it to her with our friend group. Memories! I gifted my boyfriend a day in Disneyland Paris and that is a day I will never forget. Just give a piece of yourself, your time. By gifting or receiving it.
Experiences over stuff, it’s a mentality I’ve accepted and I feel like I’m doing well already. And I feel like a shift in mindset is most important. This way the strategy works best and then you can apply it all the time. With Christmas (if you celebrate it), sugar feast (if you celebrate it), birthdays, anything. It has given me a lot of beautiful memories already!