We always tend to think we need more than what we really need in life. How many of us have closets stuffed with shoes, clothing, household items and knickknacks that we once thought we couldn’t live without but only used a few times? I’m sure most and it hurts in the long run. Because of our shopping habits we have more debt, more stuff to pick up and a mound of things that just end up in the trash.
I’m sure you’ve heard this spiel a million times over but let me say it again: WE DON’T NEED SO MUCH STUFF!
After being almost a month on the road it’s been great to see how much I can live off of and what I actually need. Although I still packed too much again (the only real extras were two pairs of shoes and a dress that I still haven’t used) everything else I needed in my bag due to major climate changes where I was going. Mexico was freezing at night but Nica was sweltering so between the two I needed at least a few pieces of clothing to keep warm/cool.
I brought a little bit of skincare/haircare stuff which I will have used up completely by the end of this trip, lots of granola bars (and maple syrup candies to hand out) which will all be gone and a tripod (which I still haven’t used yet which is too bad).
And an extra backpack to hide the fact that I’m carrying $$$ camera gear when I’m walking around. But other than that, nothing extra.’
Which leads me to this conclusion: I need to pare down everything at home. I have way too much stuff back at home that I never use and don’t need.
I need to buy less.
I need to buy nothing!
But let’s make a few exceptions to this rule:
1. I need a new pair of runners. I’ll leave my sneakers behind in Mexico for someone who needs them and I haven’t bought a new pair of running shoes in years. Because I walk so much and like to run as well, this is a necessity.
2. A new bike. I’ve been riding the same bike on and off for almost 24 years. It’s a great bike, but it’s beginning to fall apart and since I bike so much (to get to work etc.) it’s also a necessity.
3. A new iPod. While mine still works I fear it’s nearing its end. as there have been issues. I’ve had it for 5 years and it’s served me extremely well but if it dies I’ll have to get a new one. Because I don’t have a great phone I use my ipod for everything.
4. Skincare and haircare. I don’t wear a lot of makeup as I’m too lazy to actually put in a lot of effort and feel I don’t really need it. ALSO…I went to Korea earlier on and picked up a ton of great products that will take me a few years to use up so we’re good in that department. Skincare and haircare on the other hand are quite important. For me hair I can get buy with cheaper shampoos and conditioners but not cheaper haircare products. For skincare I can get by with cheaper face wash (I LOVE the St. Ives green tea one, cheap and effective) but skincare products are a must. I usually shop at Deciem which has amazing products for affordable prices. Think $10 vs. $90.
5. Gifts. This one I can’t really escape but that’s fine.
Other than that though a lot of stuff isn’t needed.
I have plenty of clothes, the kitchen tools I need and the gadgets that I need to work on.
So with that thought in mind I’m looking forward to a simpler life of using the things I have and not wasting my time shopping for things that I’ll maybe use once or twice.
This obviously isn’t a new thing and many people have tried it so if you’re looking to start your own goals of less here are some great places to start.
And Google: A Year Without Buying Anything