It’s tempting to fall into the hoarding mindset when faced with a year of buying nothing. Thinking ahead to the changing of the seasons, to the unpeeling of layers as the weather finally warms us and the daylight lingers that little bit longer each day.
Don’t save things just in case.
Waiting and building up a stockpile is defeating the object. It’s rushing to buy stuff in the next few weeks that we would have bought anyway, be it in 2 weeks, a month, or 6 months. It’s hanging on to that safety net, the same one we’re trying to lose. The point of not buying anything is not to cram as much as we can in before the 1st January. The point of a year free from consuming is to learn, to grow in our lives, to teach our minds to find another way.
Minimalism is not deprivation. It’s expansion.
Spending time trying to buy summer clothes in December, just in case you haven’t got as many as you think you’ll need in August is unnecessary. Push your comfort zone. Wear what makes you feel good, and nothing else. Let every outfit be your best outfit. Modify, share, borrow, swap. Our tendency is to have an excess of outfits just in case. To give us choice.
Choice is a word retailers choose to use. They sell us tops in every colour so we have choice. They manufacture car after car after car, so we have a choice. But the only choice they are giving us is to choose to buy. It doesn’t matter what we consume, as long as we’re under the illusion it was our choice to do so. They don’t care what colour or style of jeans we have. What matters is that we have the jeans. And we have them in several styles.
Yes, I worried about what if. I worried about spring, summer, autumn. I worried about weight gain and weight loss. I worried about tears and holes and fading. I worried about warmth, I worried about ice, I worried about sunburn and shade.
I acknowledged my worry. And I let it go.
Look from the outside.
Be aware it’s normal to want to save things. Humans need security. It’s our nature. And in our western world, it’s making sure we have enough, even too much, of something, just in case. It’s hard to remove that crutch. But finding out what truly constitutes need is a revelation. It’s liberating.
Imagine having that control, not having to spend just to make yourself feel better, to make yourself feel something. Imagine curating your life. Imagine designing your happiness. Imagine that happiness not driven by material goods.
Next year, buying nothing, isn’t a year of cutbacks. It isn’t a struggle. It’s a journey, an opportunity to see what else is beyond the consumer void. And for me, it’s a continuation of something I started a few years ago and have been building on ever since. Minimalism sits well with me. It helped me to re-adjust, to have the time to design a life that I can truly say I love now. It all started with my first year of buying nothing. And I’m looking forward to starting again on 1st January 2015, without a stockpile of summer clothes, without that crutch propping me up. Come join me.