One month of no shopping. Reflections.

It’s the end of January which means I’ve (almost) passed my first month of no shopping. I have eleven more months to go and I’m just as excited as during the last days of 2017 when I decided to take this challenge.

Why is it that I’m still excited? I have so many reasons!

To be honest I never would have imagined that giving up on shopping as activity (including, of course, the exhausting window shopping while surfing on the internet) will free up that much time, as well as that much space in my mind. I might sound crazy and/or  I might lead you to believe that I spend all my free time shopping. This is not true! However, it has become easier for me to focus on many other things I would postpone, and I’m also better at time management.

First, it took around two to three weeks to 100% stop checking online stores. In the beginning, I must admit that I would use my phone to visit the websites I have been using for my shopping (mostly clothes and accessories). I would extensively check these websites to see what their sales look like, for example if there’s some good discount on classic items I’m missing.  However, this is where I would stop. I didn’t do any shopping, obviously. I didn’t even pretend to shop: select clothing items, add them to the cart and then just disappear, delete the cart or simply just disappear, close the page and that’s it. It’s funny how many people do this actually. By using social media I’ve been learning a lot about how similar our behaviour is. I often had the impression that I might be the only one doing some weird or quirky thing, and then suddenly people are posting about it and others comment on how they do the exact same thing.

Anyway, so I am so happy about not shopping. I know I have self control and can act very responsible, but I have to say there a certain satisfaction in knowing that even if I get extremely bored, I don’t go online window shopping.

Since I’m no longer buying clothes and stressing about what’s missing in my wardrobe or when will I eventually find some item from my wish list, my mind I as peace. This is what happened in such a sort amount of time:

  1. I gave away all the things from my wardrobe that I know I will never wear/wear again (as part of one of my every three month decluttering session).
  2.  I feel content with what I kept. 
  3.  I care a lot more about what fabrics my clothes are and should be made of. 

Points 1 and 2 helped me find time for the other things that I value more, such as spending more time on my hobbies, my Japanese studies, and reflecting on what I want from my life in the near future.

Donating clothes always feels good. I’m not the type who gets emotionally attached to them, but more of the type that saves for that occasion that will never come or for the magical moment when certain items will fit me perfectly. I even keep backup clothes or outwear, which is never going to be used. Now I gave it all away. They say one should only own what brings them joy and actually need and use. I kept repeating this to myself, and decluttering went great.

The second point from above is a feeling that’s new to me, and it’s definitely the goal of any no shopping project or challenge. I’ve always found myself in between repeating certain outfits and feeling stressed and anxious about not having some of the trendy pieces, not having a good outfit with that item I bought that doesn’t match anything else I own and other such scenarios.

2018 is the year I’m wearing only what I currently have in my wardrobe and I feel content and peaceful. Luckily, I have many wardrobe staples that I can mix without getting bored, as I am able to play with accessories.  I am also ‘forced’ to use all the clothes and shoes I have. Some things I own are still brand new, so I don’t risk using my favourite clothes until they become to damaged or unwearable.

Knowing that I have limited outfit options, I no longer stress about what to wear (which would often determine me to buy more) and I save time in the mornings. I’ve had several mornings dedicated to training at the gym or studying Japanese, while having more than enough time for breakfast and skincare routine.

When it comes to the time I’ve been allocating to my hobbies, things have absolutely improved. This month I read three books, I started drawing again and I have covered half of my 200 pages Japanese study book. I’ve used the remaining time for watching series and movies with my boyfriend.

I still feel quite surprised about the change in my lifestyle and how it’s due to stop thinking  about or doing shopping. This month I’ve also decided to experiment with zero waste living, but I will save this for my future posts.

Happy Sunday afternoon!