One Empty Shelf began as a minimalism blog. I completed two separate years of buying nothing, back in 2012 and again in 2015, which continue to be some of the most-viewed posts on the site! For ease of reading, I’ve popped the links to all of the posts here on this page, along with some of the most viewed posts covering minimalism and simple living.
Writing this introduction at the end of 2018, the posts bring a lot of memories to the surface. I’ve changed so much – but my years of buying nothing were a huge contributor to the person I am today. They were important in ways I couldn’t see at the time – but now hindsight makes those lessons obvious. Consumerism as a crutch, an escape route. A need to feel in control of something in life. A side gate out of the rat race that was making me miserable.
Back in 2012 I was shiny new to the concept of minimalism. It was the answer to everything that I thought was wrong with the world. Repeating the experiment in 2015 was a last ditch attempt to gain back some control over life and the way things were heading. Here, in the ‘future’, I can see how important going through the process was. Although I’ve relaxed somewhat, the main discoveries still ring true. Buying local. An aversion to advertising. Feeling overwhelmed by over-consumption. Becoming aware of the reason behind over-spending.
Buying nothing was not an easy journey – but sticking with it threw up some of the biggest questions about myself and my understanding of the world I’ve had to confront myself with. Finding the answers to these questions over the intervening years has been one of the wildest rides. Not all good, but all so important.
Thinking of buying nothing for a year? I thoroughly recommend it.
2012: One Empty Wallet Round 1
Everything started in 2012 with my first go at an entire year of buying nothing. I posted about it on my first ‘blogger’ website, and have since condensed the posts into two halves here for now – the plan is to redo each as separate posts again for ease of reading – something I’m sure I’ll get round to soon!
2015: One Empty Wallet Round 2Back in 2012 I bought nothing for a year as an experiment. Inspired by The Minimalists, I wanted to see if I could complete the challenge of going about my normal life, just without consuming so much stuff.
I am proud to say I managed to complete the whole year in 2012 only buying consumables and toiletries. That year I quit my high pressure management job and a lot changed for me.
Since 2012 my ‘self’ and my mindset changed a lot and I was ready to dive in once again. So 2015 brought on One Empty Wallet round 2. That time around I was interested to see how my spending would change since the first time around, and if I could still exist without the crutch of consuming now I was living a much improved, more minimal lifestyle…
General Minimalism Posts
Some posts I wrote about simplicity and minimalism a few years back…