Saturday, September 01, 2018

Could You Do a Year of Less?

Do you often buy a specialty coffee on work days? Get a manicure as a pick-me-up? Purchase new clothes because you're going to a wedding? I recently read The Year of Less by Cait Flanders in which she not only purged and decluttered over 50% of her household items but she decided not to buy anything new for an entire year unless it was consumable or on the "approved list" such as one new sweatshirt because she didn't have one. I've written about decluttering several times before specifically after reading Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book gives some food for thought and here are some of mine...

The Year of Less book by Cait Flanders

I know that a little retail therapy is often what I turn to when I'm feeling a little glum. If I can find something for a great deal it makes me even happier. I do tend to do a lot of secondhand shopping but still, that is just bringing more stuff into my home. For six people in our household, I do need to buy the kids new shoes and pants but often I do find myself buying extras. Going through their drawers and closets in preparation for back to school showed me that they have more than enough. Why do I need to buy them a fresh new outfit when they already have waht they need? Is it just so they can look snazzy in their back-to-school photo?

I am starting a new job this week which means two things:

1. I wanted to buy new clothes even though I have a closet of clothes that would likely work just fine. I won't talk about how they are all a touch too tight.

2. My personal income will be tripling which means I feel like I have the option to buy more things.

I don't want to bring more things into our home though because this summer we spent hours going through everything and decluttered an embarrassing amount.

From going through each and every closet to finally tackling the garage, we not only organized but purged vanload after vanload of items in our home. It feels so much better to have less to keep track of and also while going through it all I could see how much we already had.

One of the "problems" with fostering is that we had held on to boxes and boxes of clothes for potential children and I finally had to just let it go. We said goodbye to many baby items (like our crib that we've had since Kai was a baby!) and bigger toys that the kids have used over the years.

In her book The Year of Less, some of  the main steps she encourages in order to go for a period of time without buying anything are:

1. Purge and take inventory.

2. Decide what is on your "allowed" and "not allowed" list for purchases for the next year (or however long you choose).

3. Unsubscribe from all those mailing lists and also shops you follow online.

4. Let people know what you are doing for accountability.

I'm hoping that although our income will be increasing I won't feel like I am suddenly able to increase my spending. There are certain areas that will increase including some housecleaning services and child care but we hope to put money aside in a new savings account so that we can buy a new-to-us vehicle once our van is no longer working and pay off our mortgage six months earlier.  I'm not planning on trying to avoid buying anything this year (although I did consider it) but I do appreciate the idea of thoughtfully considering each purchase.

Do you think you could benefit from reading this book? Have you tried to buy less before?

Could you go one year without buying anything new other than consumables? Could you purge 50% of your household items?

No comments:

Post a Comment