On wanting less

After staying in my perfect little Paris apartment (and it really was tiny, at 30 sq meters) I came home in awe – and horror – of how much stuff we have.

From living with four bowls, plates and forks for over two weeks – where everything has a place, with functional storage and nothing unnecessary…I looked in horror at my kitchen filled with bowls that we might use when we maybe host people. At the half-broken broom we’ve hung on to. For absolutely no reason at all.

While my kitchen cupboards – and general assortment of bits, bobs, knicks and knacks that have found their way onto shelves across the flat – are somewhat easily tackled, I’ve realised that my clothing rail is where my true demons lie.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise – but, my love of dresses, pretty clothes and sparkly things has always been there, but has gotten progressively worse since I’ve lost some weight – as quite simply, I can fit into more clothes as a size 14, than I could as a size 18 or 20.

A combination of simply buying pretty things because I can fit into them, and because – who doesn’ t love the dopamine hit of a new package being delivered – my cupboard has been growing at an unsustainable rate.

I noticed I was browsing Superbalist, Poetry and Forever New mindlessly in the evenings, not because I needed anything – just to see if anything caught my eye. “Add to cart” in one click. “Pay” in another. Couldn’t be simpler.

So, what does this mean for me now?

I’m holding myself accountable in three key ways:

One: No more mindless browsing online

Instead of browsing through my favourite sites for what’s new or on sale…pick up a book (well, Kindle). Read. Paint. Do something else.

Two: Only buying things that I actually need

Ok, this one has taken a little more work to figure out – it involves Pinterest, a colour analysis chart and a spreadsheet – but, I only look at stores if there’s an actual item I’ve decided I need in my wardrobe e.g a deep burgundy skirt.

Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested to know how I’ve done a closest audit and streamline?

Three: Only buying one item a month

And, if all else fails…I can only buy one item a month (not including underwear). Whether it’s a sports bra, a dress, a pair of heels: I can only buy one item a month. This also helps me decide how much I actually want something – if I spot it on the 3rd of the month, will I be happy saying “no” to everything else for another 4 weeks?

This was my item for February – it’s beautiful, makes me feel great – and I’d absolutely regret not buying it. Get the skirt / top.

For almost all items that catch my eye – and would have historically bought on the spot – I leave the page open on my browser, and pop back in to look at it a few days later…and then a few more days later…and find what felt like an immediate “oh my goodness I absolutely need this” dilutes to a “that’s nice, but maybe wouldn’t wear it as often as I thought”. This dress and this necklace are both examples here.

I don’t have a neat, quirky end for this post – as, it’s definitely not the end of this journey for me – but, instead – would really love to hear from you in the comments with your thoughts – do you have the same struggle? Do you find you’ve formed a similar habit? Tell me!

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What do you see when you look in the mirror?
On wanting less