Sometimes all it takes is paying more attention. Maybe all I need to do is be more present in the moment where I am making choices? More mindful. At times I wander in and out of stores picking things up and admiring them, convinced in that moment that this item will make me happy if I own it. I get a buzz as I take it to the counter and watch them pop it in a pretty bag for me. I don’t really stop and think “will this item actually make me happier? Will it improve my life beyond this very moment?”
I am honestly ashamed and embarrassed by how much I buy things when I don’t actually need them. I feel like in many ways I have been blind to how brainwashed I have been into believing that buying unnecessary items will make me happier, smarter, more attractive, more liked by others and more fulfilled. It truly hit me last week when I decluttered several spaces in my home, I looked at the piles forming and I honestly felt sick.
I recently shared a couple of posts about living with less and finding happiness in letting go of stuff! If you missed them, here are the links.
Today though I want to touch on our obsession to shop. I love shopping, I love the thrill of buying something new. It is so much fun. I also love the social aspect of it, shopping with friends, or family, and then grabbing a long lunch, or coffee and cake. It makes me happy, but then I ask myself this, “if it makes me happy, then why do I want to stop shopping so much?“
I am not sure if you ever see my Instagram stories, but recently I did a huge clean out of my wardrobe and showed the pile of things I was throwing out or donating. To be honest it was embarrassing. To see that pile made me feel ashamed of how much I buy, and not just because it is money spent and gone! It made me feel ashamed that I am contributing such waste in this world. I am shopping for things because it is fun, or it gives me pleasure, and not because I really need something!
After starting on decluttering my own closest I got stuck into my linen cupboard, and then the kids got involved. The pile grew and grew! I was able to donate a lot of wonderful toys that the children just no longer played with, but were still in fabulous condition. It felt good to donate these things even though I could have made money selling them. I like knowing I can help others rather than just make money. I also gave some gorgeous dresses the girls no longer wear to a friend who can’t afford a lot for her daughter, and that felt good too.
But still there was a lot of things that just had to go in the bin, into landfill, and I just don’t feel good about that.
“Your Home is Living Space,
Not storage Space”
My home is not a storage space, it is a space to live, to be happy, to laugh, to hug my children, and play with my pets. Yet I continue to buy too many things, that then get stored away, and one day thrown away. I don’t want to live that way, living that way just doesn’t make me feel free.
I am not saying we can’t buy things, or never shop again. There are things we do need after all. And sometimes there are things we see that we know will bring us a lot of joy and that is OK! I love candles for example and the peace and happiness they bring me is worth it. Living more simply and consuming less is not about not never shopping again. It is about shopping with a present mind. Be conscious and mindful about what you are buying. Ask yourself,
- “will this make me happy just for a few days, or for a long time?”
- “does this really bring me deep joy?”
- “do I need this item? Will having it improve my quality of life?”
Like I said it is not about not shopping, it is about being more conscious when you do shop. Question yourself before you buy anything, be mindful and ask yourself if this item will bring you more peace and happiness. In our consumerism culture we have been made to think we need everything everyone else has, we buy without thinking. When we really think about what we are purchasing we not only buy less, but we also buy better quality, and things that truly bring us more personal fulfilment.
So that is my new mission, to be more mindful of where I spend my money. It may not always be so easy, and I am sure at times I will stumble, but I no longer want to see piles of things going to waste. I am going to be more conscious of what I buy and its affect not only on my bank account, but also on our environment.
Do you shop mindfully? Do you have any tips to help me and others on our way? Please leave me a comment below.
live beautiful, live simple, live fearlessly authentic
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx