Beginning of last year (2018), I was compelled to challenge myself to a ‘Less is More’ mission. One year is done, I made it you guys! I moved to a new flat, have my own bedroom (hallelujah! as it’s impossible to pay for something cheap when you live in Sydney). Apart from buying a few essentials for my new room, I still did not shop makeup nor clothes! The temptation has now far long left me, and I have realized it is not easy but it is possible! My main purpose in this endeavour is to discipline myself and prove that materialism is not the answer. I want to share 5 tips on what helped me. (if this doesn’t interest you, feel free to skip along)
FIRST. TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT.
It sounds crazy but who doesn’t talk to themselves right? Believe me, it works. One month in and I eased into a somewhat regular habitual conversation in my head every time I was faced with “needing to buy something”. I asked myself “do I really need this?”, most often the answer is “NO”.
Do it often and after one, two, three weeks, you’ll find you said no! It’s like when you’re changing your diet, cutting off sugar, it’s hard at first but soon you’ll find yourself not craving for sweets anymore.
TWO. STOP HOARDING.
If you’re like me, I like stocking up on stuff I use all the time- facial wash, moisturizers, lotion, makeup I use up fast like eyebrow pencil, lip balm, and powder. Whatever beauty products you buy as long as you see the RED SALE flag up on the shopping centres. Don’t even get me started on Sephora VIB sales!
Anyway, we don’t need to SATISFY that demon compelling us to buy MORE than what we need at a time.
Read this story:
One night, when I was washing my face with my facial wash. I said to myself “this tube will probably last me another two months if I ration it carefully… Then I still have one other facial wash I still have to finish (I stock up remember lol), which will probably last four months for both. Then I would need another one for the last part of the year! So that means I have to buy for that!” But lo and behold the angel Jenna in my head comes bouncing off with this defence “No Jenna! You challenged yourself- no buy this year right? not until you really need it.” So that part of me won! ha.
THREE. SHOP FROM YOUR OWN CLOSET.
Have that dress from ’05 still hanging in your closet? If you’re like me, I do have some clothes that I bought hoping I’ll fit into them or fall back in love with them someday. WELL, that SOMEDAY has finally arrived! Haha! More often than not, when we’re looking for something to wear, we already have that in our closet. Learn to shop from your own stash. Or borrow from a friend.
Clean those shoes. Sew the buttons and ripped articles of clothing you have. The number of times I actually picked up my needle and thread to sew simple loose buttons or ripped parts of some shirts, then it looked good as new! I also washed my worn out white shoes, used bleach mixed with water and an old toothbrush. You can also use baking soda mixed with vinegar and water. Who said that only works for cleaning bathroom tiles? It’s natural and highly effective.
FIVE. CARING IS LOVING.
This sounds very easy but actually simply taking care of the actual items you have HELPS a lot.
For example, doing your laundry. Separate your hand wash only clothes from the rest. Separate the whites from the coloured ones.
How about choosing to fold the delicate items instead of hanging them. Or hang your dresses or clothes.