Ever since finding out we were pregnant I have become much more aware of how much money I spend on unnecessary things (like eating out and shopping) and also how much “stuff” we have that we don’t need or use. With the help of our families we have started to organize and get the house ready for the arrival of Baby Cannon and while doing so I have started to feel a weight lifted off my shoulders as if all of the unnecessary things we owned were weighing me down.
These small changes have motivated me to prioritize a “less is more” philosophy this year. There are so many areas that I want to cut back on like shopping, eating out, and coffee runs. One of the biggest ways I’m hoping to accomplish this is by attempting a “shopping detox” this year. This had been on my mind for quite some time when Meg Hall shared she was setting a “No Shop ’19” goal for this year. I definitely wanted to get on board, but if I’ve learned anything from this pregnancy it’s that if you tell me I can’t have or do something I want it even more (hello soft cheeses and lunch meat…). So instead of no shopping in 2019 I am making it a goal to shop smarter. Here’s how:
First I started by getting rid of a LOT. From cleaning out our toiletries/medicine cabinet, donating clothes/shoes, and cleaning out the kitchen (everything from pantry items to tools/gadgets we don’t use). I still have more I want to do – mostly closet wise, but it’s hard to get rid of things at 8 months pregnant when I can’t really try clothes on. So cleaning out clothes will be a project throughout the year that I tackle a little at a time.
After cleaning everything out I organized what we had left so that things are tidy and easier to find. The more organized everything is the easier it is to find and take note of what we are actually using.
While organizing I took “inventory” of what we had and noted any holes that need filled. I tried to be very mindful while making this list of what we actually needed keeping in mind that something that we got rid of may need replaced or if there are any items that we “need” or are lacking.
After taking note of the things that we “need” I made 2 lists. One list of items that we are lacking or need replaced (ie: baking sheets for the kitchen, kitchen towels, spare sheet set, etc.) .
The second is a list of a few basic/simple pieces that I would like to have in my wardrobe. These aren’t necessarily needs, but while making the list I limited myself to basics and pieces that I know I will keep/use for years (ie: no trendy pieces). This doesn’t mean I can go crazy and buy everything on my list. I am hoping to instead use this as a guide to help me shop smarter. If it isn’t on the list then I probably don’t need it.
Like I said above, if I were to set the simple rule of “no purchases” I would lose my mind (silly, I know). But its good to know that about myself so instead I have a few other rules/guidelines that I have set for myself.
- Stick to the List: In terms of household items and clothing, only items that are on the 2 lists of “need” and “wardrobe staples” can be purchased unless something wears out and truly needs to be replaced.
- No Impulse Purchases: Even if I think something qualifies as a “need” I am going to wait before purchasing. Take a few days to think it over. Most of the time after a few days pass so will the desire to order whatever it is.
- Determine What Counts as a Need: Obviously purchasing household necessities like cleaning products, toilet paper, etc. won’t really change. But I do want to be more mindful about personal care products like skin and hair care by sticking to the basics and only buying new when I run out of what I already have. No new products for now.
- Purge throughout the year: I am hoping to do another “purge”/cleaning spree sometime in late spring/early summer. Not because I will have acquired more to get rid of, but sometimes after a few months have passed it is easier to let go of certain things or realize that you still haven’t used/worn something.
How I’m Staying Motivated/Inspired
- Meg Hall created a Facebook group “Fewer, Better” for those who want to join her in her ‘no shop ’19” or just take a more mindful approach to what they are buying.
- I’ve started reading a few different books to help me stay motivated to organize, create less clutter, and be more mindful.
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
- A Life Less Throw Away by Tara Button
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: This is actually a re-read for me but when I read it 5 years ago it really helped me to focus on the more important things in my day to day life. Hoping this will help to remain focused and mindful and less concerned about shopping/buying new things.
- Sharing my goal with others. I’m blogging about this partially to inspire others to take on a “less is more” philosophy and also to hold myself accountable.
- Unsubscribing from emails. There are certain retailers that I decided to unsubscribe from emails entirely. Some retailers I just couldn’t bring myself to unsubscribe from so I instead changed the settings for the number of emails I receive from them each week. Emails about sales and good deals often lead to impulse purchases so cutting back on those will hopefully lead to less temptation.
What This Means for the Blog
I never really intended for Living Taylored to be a ‘fashion/style blog”. In fact, I really created it for the exact opposite reason (which you can read about here). I am hoping that this goal will help me get back on track with my original intention for the blog. I will still be posting but I am hoping to take a different approach to what I share style-wise (more capsule wardrobe posts, highlighting staples and sharing multiple ways to wear one piece). Overall I want to focus more on positive and inspirational lifestyle posts.
Since the beginning of this new year I have noticed quite a few people setting a similar intention to embrace the “less is more” philosophy this year. As I mentioned earlier I am also hoping to cut back on eating out and coffee runs as part of my goal so I will share more about that in future posts as well. What are your thoughts on the less is more approach? Is there anything specific you would like to see more of regarding this goal on the blog?