Happy May 1st everyone! It’s my favorite month of the year for many reasons – my hubby graduates from law school (Congrats dearest!), it’s my birthday month woot woot!, aaand the holy month of Ramadan will start in just a few weeks! There’s a lot to look forward to alhamdulelah (thanks be to God).
May also marks the end of my #NoNewClothes challenge that I started at the beginning of the year back in January. If you don’t remember what that was, I basically challenged myself to not buy anything new for 4 months. I chose May 1st as my end date so I want to share with you my progress and what I learned along the way.
Off the bat, let me be completely honest – I did break the challenge a few times over the past four months but it does not diminish from what I gained and learned. I used to get packages at my door almost every day and when you’re used to that it can be deflating to come home and not see something waiting for you. From how exhilarating it is, sometimes you order things just for the thrill of receiving a package. As pathetic as it may sound, I completely got over that. I no longer waste valuable time tracking my packages and waiting to receive them every day.
The most valuable lesson this challenge has taught me is the beauty of minimalism. I realized just how liberating it is to own less things, have more empty space in the house, and save more money as a result. What really opened my eyes to this concept (aside from my hubby and mom of course ;) was the Netflix documentary called Minimalism. It shows you how to live a more meaningful life by having less. I have to give my husband credit because he’s been preaching this message since day one. While I’m not sure to what extent I can adopt the minimalist lifestyle to the fullest, I do know that I have been loving having less. I started to sell a lot of things that I wanted to get rid of through online marketplaces like Facebook, Offer Up, Poshmark, and eBay. You’d be surprised how much cash you can make off of something you were going to toss.
Another very valuable aspect the challenge taught me was to think not once, or twice, or three times, but ten times about a purchase. Do I really need it or will it just end up occupying unnecessary space in my closet? Is it worth the price? Will I wear this often? Do I have something similar to it? And above all: will I like this style in 2-3 years from now? I don’t want to buy trendy things that I will get over in a few months and not wear anymore. With this new phase of minimalism, I want my purchases to be able to last me a long time, which means I really need to think about the style, print, size, and color. With that in mind I usually end up buying much less.
Lastly, what this challenge reconfirmed to me is my style mantra: don’t let the trend dictate you, you dictate the trend. If we are constantly running after the latest and greatest trends, we are always going to be looking for the next new thing. Which means we are constantly buying and only wearing these items here and there because they are bound to go out of style. Whereas when you invest more in classic items that you can wear year round, not only are you not inclined to buy more but you get more use out of what you already own. So if I can’t see myself wearing an item for the next few years I delete it from my cart. Makes the decision making much easier and you find that you’re shopping much less! I’m so glad I did this challenge because I’ve become a much more disciplined and wise shopper.
I hope this post has inspired you to develop better shopping habits and to get more use out of the items you already own. Not only will it be better on the bank but you’ll feel more dignified and justified with your purchases.
Have you ever tried a #nonewclothes challenge? Let me know which techniques have worked for you!