Why I'm doing this
Ever since I started traveling frequently, I noticed how light I've packed no matter where in the world I went. I never pack more than 3 outfits whether I'm going on a weekend trip or 3 month long trip. Not once during these trips did I need something that I didn't pack. That's when an idea hit me: I can live with A LOT less!
With a goal of living less in mind, I started doing some research online. This is what I found....
- Materialistic people are usually less happy
- Experiences make people happy not things
- Experiences keeps people happy for longer
- Clutter in the house stress people out ( true at least for me)
Another reason for this resolution is...I'm actually ashamed to say it...I saw the mess and clutter in my house. When my husband and I moved into our current house, we moved in with a total of 10 boxes. But now I hardly doubt we can move out of here without a 40 feet container. And as I cleaned out the stuff we no longer needed, I realized how wasteful we've been living. All the money we spent on this stuff that I'm throwing away could have paid for a round the world trip for a year! And unlike materialistic items where I would have to organize constantly or throw out when it's no longer needed, traveling creates experiences for the family to remember for the rest of our lives. So I've made up my mind. A lifestyle transformation is in order.
How I'm doing this
Believe me, the idea of buying less clothes still makes me cringe a little but I know the results will be rewarding. In order for my plan to stick, I'm not going to be too drastic in my efforts to reform our lifestyle. I'm not going to put myself in a position where I deprive myself and end up over indulging in the end. Here is my approach:
- Allow only 2 items per season: by allowing myself only 2 items per season, I will become a more rational buyer. By 2 items I mean anything from clothes, shoes, to beauty products and gadgets. Now I really have to choose wisely.
- Buy toys for the kids only on Christmases and Birthdays: this is actually an easy one because kids are not born materialists. I know my kids would rather go to the park or the beach than to stay home and play with toys all day long.
- Don't buy it just because it's on sale or it's cheap: A lot of us are guilty of this but do ask "do I really need it?" or "How often will I use/wear it?"
- Limit on guilty pleasures: We all have guilty pleasures. For some it might be designer bags or new high tech gadgets but for me...books. I'm a book worm who is not only anal about not bending corners of pages and covers but I like all the books I've read or would like to read sitting prettily on my book shelf. I now visit the library and book stores to read instead of adding to my collection with book purchases. I only allow myself to buy a book only if I know I will be reading it over and over.
- Less trips to the mall: I'll still allow myself some online shopping once in a while. I know every online store these days offer free shipping but I'll be less inclined to buy if I've never seen, felt or tried on the item in person.