I am super pumped and also kind of scared to tell you that I have embarked upon a no-buy challenge! I sort of made an off-the-cuff announcement about it the other day on Instagram and the response was overwhelming. People were wondering why, and how, and if they could join, and if I could just share more about it. And the answer to those last two things is yes! So here we are, and I’m about to break it down for you. Basically I have just been feeling for some time that I’m drowning in an excess of stuff. And I wanted to do something about it.
In this line of work, one really fun perk is that companies often send you samples to review and share with followers. And I get to share my favorites with you guys. That also means that we have a huge number of boxes coming and going from our house, with a constant influx of stuff. Add on to that the fact that I definitely enjoy shopping, and it all just started feeling too much. Silly, almost. I try to give lots of it away but that doesn’t help with the waste that it all makes (yeah, there’s a little bit of an environmental perspective here, too). Boxes and packaging and plastic and all that. It just feels like I need to pump the brakes. Here are a few other things I had been noticing over the last few months.
+ I had been going on mini sprees, shopping from my phone for things like J.Crew Factory shirts that were almost exactly like things I already owned but had forgotten about.
+ My cabinets were cluttered enough that I couldn’t see what was in the back of them any more, even though what was in the back of them was really great stuff.
+ I would buy a little tchotchke from Target or somewhere similar, and get it home and then truly have nowhere to put it.
+ I just started feeling swallowed up by stuff.
+ There was a craving in my heart for simplicity. Well, something a little more simplistic than the path that I was on.
And there was lots more, but I’ll spare you. You get it. So I decided to try this whole no-buy thing, and give it until the end of the year to see what shakes out. I know on a no-buy challenge, the parameters can be all over the place, because basically if you decide to embark on one you can set your own guidelines for how it will apply to your life. So here’s what I’m doing.
+ No purchases for myself that are non-essentials. This means no clothes, shoes, accessories, non-essential toiletries (i.e. nail polish or hair product), home decor, stationery, and so on.
+ No purchases of photoshoot props, with the exception of fresh flowers (and only if needed). Anything else that I need I will source from items I already have, or borrow and return.
+ No purchases of excess crafting materials beyond what is needed for a specific blog project.
+ No purchases at coffee shops unless I’ve been invited to one for a meeting, or I’m having a date with my kids.
+ Things that are allowed: consumables, essential toiletries, replacements for broken household items, anything that my kids or husband need (they didn’t sign up for this! 😉 ), travel items like plane tickets and hotels, gifts for others, occasional meals out, and so on.
I know I’m probably going to come up against a million questions as I get deeper into this (what about souvenirs for the kids on vacation?), and I figure I’ll just work through them as we go. But truth be told, I’m super excited.
I’m about two weeks in right now, and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t miss buying things one bit. In fact, it almost takes a lot of pressure off. Over Labor Day weekend a couple of weeks back, I had almost 40 emails come through, all screaming at me about the huge sales that were going on at this or that store. And for once, I didn’t feel stressed about combing through each and every sale looking for something that I just HAD to have. I didn’t spend hours scrolling those sales. I just deleted the emails and remixed an outfit from my closet that I hadn’t worn in forever. It felt awesome.
The one regret I’m finding that I have about this whole thing is that I LOVE to support my friends with shops, and this stops me from doing that. I’ve been thinking about that conundrum a lot lately and wondering if there’s a way to reconcile it. If you have any thoughts there, I’m all ears.
So that’s my no-buy plan! I’ll be checking in monthly on it until the end of the year with my thoughts and progress. And now I have to know, would you like to join me? Does it sound interesting to you, or like torture? Would you like to just try it for a month and see? Let me know in the comments and we can check in with each other!
UPDATE: Want to see my progress on the challenge? Check out these posts:
- My No-Buy Challenge // Six Week Update
- My No-Buy Challenge // Ten Week Update
- My No-Buy Challenge // Final Update