Imagine a world where you saw no advertisements all day. EVER.
Imagine the silence. Imagine the PEACE that would come from making your own decisions on what to buy, entirely based on what you needed or enjoyed. Imagine being able to think about your belongings in terms of how much use and value you get out of them, instead of merely comparing your things to what others have.
I’ve become an avid hater of ads. I can’t stand them. Why? Because they are constantly flooding your head with the notion that what you have isn’t good enough, and that who you are is entirely based on what you own, where you travel to, and what fabric you wrap your body in.
Instead of looking of mindlessly searching the internet for the next way to spend my personal money, I’ve made it a goal to search for ways to simplify and own LESS instead of MORE, and to be more aware of what we spend our money on.
Here are 5 things that didn’t make the list of necessities for us.
Daniel and I both went through and got rid of about 90% of our wardrobe. It turns out, we only wore 10% anyways! Now, when we need new clothes, we take our time figuring out exactly what we want, try to find it secondhand, or do our research and find a quality item that will last us a long time. THIS ISN’T A NEW CONCEPT. When you get a minute, ask an elderly relative or friend how they used to buy and handle their clothes. People used to buy beautiful, sturdy items of clothing that were often tailored exactly to them. Their wardrobe used to consist of 8-10 dresses, suits, or skirts and blouses that lasted them YEARS instead of MONTHS. I’d love to get back to that.
Despite what they tell you, you really DON’T need an under-eye cream, night cream, day cream, firming cream, body lotion, facial moisturizer, spot treatment, and pore cleanser. I get along just fine with a homemade cleanser, SPF, moisturizer, and the occasional exfoliation and spot treatment. When I do wear makeup, I stick to a basic foundation, bronzer, and eyebrow pomade, and sometimes a little blush. My skin AND my budget is thanking me.
I LOVE books. But I realized that I had a collection of books that I hardly ever read, and quite a few that I never even touched. I now have a much smaller collection of books that I absolutely LOVE, and that I’ve read over and over again. When I want to read something new, I’ll get it from the library, or buy it used and sell it back if I don’t really enjoy it. I’m still building a collection, but quality, not quantity, is the aim.
When we were de-cluttering the living room, I realized that so many little knick-knacks that I had kept “JUST IN CASE” it looked good in our finished living room…but I realized that I liked the way that a clean, clear living space looks, with just a few plants and paintings that I love. Our house isn’t exactly the way that we want it yet, but it feels good to have most of the surfaces in our living room and kitchen clean and empty. Our little home feels so much bigger and more inviting, and whatever decorations we do have reflects our personality and taste perfectly.
Did you know that cleaning companies aren’t even legally required to list the ingredients in their products? Can you say SKETCHY? Besides, you don’t need a different cleaning product for every single appliance and room in your home. An all-natural, all-purpose cleaner can easily replace DOZENS of cleaning products, and cost cents on the dollar (more on the all-purpose cleaner I make LATER). My house has never smelled cleaner, and I feel so much better knowing that I’m not hurting my health, or the health of our little puppies.
Making these small, simple changes has really made a huge difference for our home, and surprisingly, for our happiness. The less time we spend worrying over our next purchase, the more time we have to focus on the things that matter most to us.
What have you cut out of your life that has made you happier?