My name is Sandra and I have a shopping problem.
I like to buy stuff. Mostly it’s clothes, cheap clothes. But If it’s not clothes, then I’m usually buying something new and useless for my house. Like new place mats even though mine are still usable. Or a new knife set because I can. I also give away a lot of stuff I get bored of, again, mainly clothes.
"I never throw away, I always give away. I tell myself it's okay, but when I give my clothes away, I secretly pray, that they don't end up in a landfill, far away." (sometimes I do poetry and dat)
Maybe you shop a lot like me, and you’re thinking – what’s the problem in that?
The thing is, I’ve reached a stage in my life where I want to focus on bettering myself and achieving my goals. To do this, I needed to remove the static/noise in my life.
And not buying new clothes in 2018 is one of the ways I am doing so. I’m currently on day 42 of 365, and already, not having to think about buying clothes or buying stuff for my house has lightened my mind. There are fewer distractions. When I’m bored, instead of online shopping, I’ve found myself picking up a book or writing a blog post. I went into JD the other day because a friend wanted to, and I flicked through the racks of clothes without feeling any longing emotion.
By saying no to new clothes in 2018, I am forced to confront the materialistic aspect of my personality and say ‘well, what’s that about?‘. My psychology lecturer would probably say I am taking on a humanistic approach to my ‘problem’.
We are constantly told, through not-so-subtle adverts, and trendy bloggers and Instagram personalities, that we need stuff to make us happy. From technology, to clothes, nothing is exempt from the rule. And I think it’s time we all took a step back from what society force feeds us via billboards and television, and start thinking for ourselves more, by questioning our actions, needs and thoughts.
So if you feel my vibe and like me you want to remove unnecessary shopping from your life, I have outlined a few steps and rules to follow for the next 365 days (or however long you feel life).
1. Figure out why you want to do this challenge
What are you hoping to accomplish by doing this? Are you looking to increase your savings this year for example? Or want to become more grateful/content for what you have? Perhaps you just like a challenge?
Having a reason or goal behind your motivation to quit shopping, will ground you when you feel tempted. In turn you are more likely to stick to your action plan.
2. Out with the Unworn
Once you have a goal in mind, it’s time to clear the clutter from your closet.
I know this sounds counter intuitive, because you won’t be shopping again for a really long time. But if you have a shopping problem, then it is very likely you have a lot of clothes in your closet you don’t wear because you don’t like them or they don’t fit you well. So you always end up with the ‘I have nothing to wear’ feeling, even though you probably just bought a bunch of new clothes a few months ago.
So go through every.single.item in your closet. Try it on if you haven’t worn it in a long time. If it doesn’t fit you well and you know you won’t wear it, put it in the give away pile.
For the love of the environment, please do not throw away your unwanted clothes. Give it to friends, family or your local charity.
What you should end up with is a closet of clothes you actually wear and love! This has made it a lot easier for me to pick out outfits on the daily, and I find myself trying new outfit combos I really like.
3. Out of sight out of mind
It’s unrealistic to say you won’t go into a clothing store for the whole year. You might have to take a friend shopping for example, or get a birthday present for your significant other.
But I would advise to stop looking at online shops, or going to clothing stores ‘for fun’.
4. Exception to the rule
You can tailor the challenge to suit your personal needs. For example, one exception to my rule is that If I need something, I need to get it second-hand or in trendier terms ‘thrifted‘.
Key word – need. For example, if my only pair of black jeans rips, I will need to replace them. BUT I can only get it second-hand.
Another of my exception to the rules is that underwear does not fall into my no-new-clothes challenge, because it would be impractical (and I don’t hoard underwear so I don’t have a problem with that).
And If you can’t do a year, why not try 6 months? Just challenge yourself.
So If you decide to try this out for yourself, leave a comment down below and share some of your exceptions to the rule 🙂