More than enough

I have embarked on my great personal project of 2014.

We are not great collectors of things. Experiences, yes. But things, not so much. But I look around our home, at our full closets and our comfortable rooms, and I know, we have more than enough. So I’m going to see if I can make it stretch.

For a whole year.

A year of no shopping malls or outlets. A year of no online shopping or list writing. A year of no unnecessary product consumption. I will buy nothing new, for 52 weeks. It’s daunting and exciting and liberating all at once. I wrote a lot at the end of last year about consumption and wish lists and my frustration with our consumerist society. It’s time to practice 100% of what I preach.

Things don’t matter. People do. It’s simplicity at its most honest.

I’m going to start borrowing things, and lending things out. I’m going to not base any of my (self) worth on what I have or what I wear. I’m going to step right out of my comfort zone and change my habits. Because a year with purposeful change is a year with great purpose.

I will spend more time focusing on who we are, instead of what we have. And for the few things that may come up over the year that we do need, it will be a challenge to source and find them either discarded (and upcycle) or second hand. Gifts will be handmade and socks will most definitely be darned.

The only way I have any way of teaching my daughter that things don’t make you happy, is to prove it to myself first.

I’m flying pretty blind right now, knowing that there will be great challenges… some that I can foresee and others that will probably hit me over the back of the head when I least expect it. But that’s all part of the challenge.

One year with no unnecessary purchasing footprint. No clothes or toys or home wares. No cosmetics. No trinkets or shoes. No electronics. No upgrades. Nothing that we don’t genuinely need. Resourcefulness is a wonderful skill to incubate. Anything we truly need will be sourced second hand or borrowed. We will be returning to the days of my grandmothers, where clothes are fixed and everything that is no longer needed is either turned into something new or given away to someone else who can use it.

A year of no waste. An exercise in discipline and mindfulness.

I’ll be back in the next few days to outline more of the project ‘rules’ and where we go from here…

I’m hoping to open the project up in a few months’ time and challenge you to come on board for a one month ‘nothing new’ challenge.

Do you think you would/could do it? Challenges and all?

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  • January 8, 2014 - 6:14 am

    Ris - Does this include wine? How can anyone survive without wine ;-) ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 6:19 am

    Erica - learning the art of the barter, always a great skill to have ;) ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 6:20 am

    Joelle - You can do it! I did it! I bought one shirt on sale at 60% off – that’s it!

    It will be soooo much fun!!!

    And now that my project is finished it’s a new mindset – to buy nothing new. Maybe except for undies!

    xoReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 6:21 am

    Alicia - Count me in! Thought of the same thing over the last few weeks. Glad you’re doing it. I’ll copy your logo to my blog as soon as you tell us more about it and I’ll make it part of my Caring 2014 Project. Love, Alicja (postcardswithoutstamps.wordpress.com) You are leading by example and I love the choices that you are making. Thanks for sharing Sash. You are a courageous lady. You are always willing to choose the road less travelled. Hats off to you.ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 6:33 am

    Alicia - P.S. I think it will help me with losing weight. ;) ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 9:00 am

    Cherie - Wow Sash. You’ve got me really thinking that is for sure. I’m pretty confident I could go a month but I’m not sure about a year. I’d love to do it and its a perfect challenge for where I am in life right not. I’m looking forward to seeing the rules and I’m going to give it some serious thought xxxReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 9:35 am

    Serena - Hi Sash, my friends did this last year and it was amazing. Their blog is here http://thefearsefamily.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/best-of-2013/ if you wanted some inspiration. Good luck.ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 6:02 am

      Sash - Thanks Serena, your friends did the project very similarly to the way I’m approaching it. Thanks for the link! :) ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 10:02 am

    Vickie van der linden - Have been doing for a while… Not hard at all…. For dog and baby to be … THAT is harder Good luck , you can do it …..ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 10:03 am

    Naomi @ (Not) Just A Mummy - So exciting to see your big project revealed! I love how passionately you feel about it already and how that passion flows through into the post. It’s definitely something that is giving me good for thought. I know deep down that I buy into the world of consumerism and the desire for more ‘stuff’ far too often though it is something I think I’ve become aware of since becoming a home owner/self
    Employer/a single income family. Would love to try the month long version and see the impact it has on our lives. Looking forward to future posts!ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 6:02 am

      Sash - Thanks Naomi! xoReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Lila - I think it’s a wonderful thing to do and we did it for a few years while Ty was at uni.
    We don’t buy a lot now as once you’ve done it for a while you can see how unnecessary a lot of things are.
    I say that knowing full well we will be buying things this year as stuff is getting to the end of it’s lifespan and secondhand where we live can be a bit tricky. I’m definitely up for taking the challenge for a month though it would be a great way to recenter myself and re-evaluate need over want.ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 6:01 am

      Sash - I’m not a big consumer either, so I think it wont be as difficult for me as it may be for some people. BUt it’s not just the things… it’s a whole range of “impulse” purchases… Look forward to having you on board for a month! xxReplyCancel

      • January 10, 2014 - 11:22 am

        Lila - One thing that has helped me a lot with impulse purchases is something you’ve mentioned just not going near the shopping centres.
        I do my grocery shopping online (there aren’t a ton of non supermarket options locally) and that means I’m not often out where I’m tempted to buy things.
        There are lots of things I can improve on for sure though!ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 10:34 am

    Karen Koedding, A Little Elf - Hi Sash! We don’t know each other, I think we have a friend in common as I saw a FB like on your blog link. I think it’s great that you are doing this, I wish more people would. You might find the videos on this website interesting: http://www.thestoryofstuff.com. I’d also suggest you keep a simple log of the money that you are saving, ie every time you think, oh, I’d like to buy x now, log that dollar amount, or move the money into a special bank account. I tell my clients to shop in their own house first, sounds like you’ve received the message elsewhere. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll find it easier than you expect for most things.
    Cheers, KarenReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 6:01 am

      Sash - Thanks Karen! It’s been really easy so far… but we’ll see how we go. It’s just changing (most emotional) habits… a very worthwhile exercise I think.ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    Chloè - I love this! I totally support you and would love to try it for a month!
    xoReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 6:00 am

      Sash - Awesome Chloe thanks!ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Vicki - Gosh that’s a challenge that I’d really struggle with, although I think I could do a month. I will watch and read with great interest Sash.. You’ll do it, I know you will. VxReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:59 am

      Sash - I bet you could do it for a month Vicki… why don’t you play along later in the year? SxReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 4:56 pm

    Yvette - Excited to see what you come up with.ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Yvette - You’ve inspired me to look up second hand pasta machines on ebay instead of buying one new. Thankyou for helping me to reduce my impact on the earth!ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:59 am

      Sash - Perfect. xo Mmmmm… fresh pasta…ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Mother Down Under - I am excited for my mini version of this project…and to follow along to see how you and Bo go. It is such a worthwhile exercise!ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:59 am

      Sash - I really think it is. It feels good to have such a solid purpose for the year, and to be challenged. xReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    Inga - Count me in!ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:58 am

      Sash - Great! xReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2014 - 11:11 pm

    Alicia - Done it Sash… it’s here.. shared… your initiative is spreading: https://postcardswithoutstamps.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/nothing-new-2014-challenge/ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:58 am

      Sash - Looks great, thanks Alicia.ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 2:45 am

    sarah - Great idea Sash, I so look forward to following to see how you get on and perhaps joining in for a month… A friend did something similar here in the Uk about consumerism, mainly surrounding just her child (yours seems a bigger challenge!) she writes with humour, I think you’d like a read…
    http://www.freeourkids.co.uk/
    Sarah xReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:58 am

      Sash - Thanks Sarah, it’s always good to see other people doing similar projects and how they have managed them. Would love to have you on board for a month!ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    Julie - I went almost two years, buying nothing for myself or for the house.
    http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/papa-smurf-made-me-do-it.html
    I touched on it briefly in that post. My desire was to not spend any money, well as little as possible. I had $1000 in my bank account and wanted that and the baby bonus to last me two years. I had to buy groceries and fuel and other general living expenses. But could I live on parenting payment of $180 a fortnight and $1000 in savings? Yup I did it!!! I learnt many a valuable lesson in the last two years about what I thought I needed and what I really needed.ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:55 am

      Sash - That’s great Julie! What an inspiring way to live.ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    A break from Buying Nothing New | The Fearse Family - […] in 2014. We’d love to offer our support. We are looking forward to following the journey of Inked in Colour, who has recently made the […]ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 6:51 pm

    Lisa - I couldn’t and I wouldn’t want to, I guess I’m a sucker? I applaud those who can and do though :) ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:54 am

      Sash - I think that’s fair. I know lots of people that just wouldn’t want to do it or don’t believe that they could do it for a year, and that’s fine. But for a month? I think any one could do it for a month… :) ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 6:53 pm

    Lisa - eeeep that sounded terrible – I do buy a lot of second hand, trademe for the win!!ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2014 - 8:50 pm

    Georgia - What a wonderful challenge, I can’t wait to follow your journey. I would love to see if I could do the one month challenge. I only discovered your blog a couple of months ago and loved you post in December ‘you are not poor’. Goodluck!ReplyCancel

    • January 10, 2014 - 5:53 am

      Sash - Thanks Georgia! :) ReplyCancel

  • January 10, 2014 - 9:37 am

    giulia - yes i would love to try for a month! especially because i am the opposite of you – i am a big fan of not needed stuff shopping and waste so much money on things i want but don’t really need! keep me updated! in the mean time…good luck !!ReplyCancel

  • January 10, 2014 - 6:53 pm

    Elena - Brillian initiative Sash! Def count me in for a month…though I’m not a big consumer anyway so it might not be that challenging. Temptation still exists though! :) xxReplyCancel

  • January 11, 2014 - 12:16 am

    Virginia Kop - I found this yesterday, through cake crumbs & beach sand – the day after I bought a new toaster! However it wasn’t a replacement – my original one wouldn’t take toaster bags without burning them – and was half paid for by returning a sandwich toaster which was the only electrical item bought last year! Trying to keep electricity and gas usage as low as possible. Most of my books are from charity shops – we don’t have a bookshop in this town and I am unable to travel to a city due to disabilities. I don’t anticipate buying anything major this year, although if I have the opportunity of buying a new nightdress or two I shall have to purchase them as the one I wear is nearly dropping to bits. [too cold to go without - winter in the UK!]ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2014 - 10:06 am

    Stephanie - You probably know about this already, but just in case you don’t, the Freecycle community (there should be one near you), is great for donating stuff, and also asking for stuff if you need something for a project. Here’s the link for anyone who’s interested:

    http://www.freecycle.org

    Just search for your local group :) ReplyCancel

    • January 14, 2014 - 8:47 pm

      Sash - I love freecycle! My sister is a moderator for the freecycle group in the city. It’s a fabulous initiative. We don’t have much of a freecycle following in my area, though we do have a small facebook page, but it’s not very active. :) I’d urge anyone to become active in their local group! it’s an awesome way to give and receive and meet new people.ReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2014 - 6:51 pm

    Cydney - this is an excellent idea, i really want to challenge myself to doing this, my family and i are moving out next month and we are sourcing everything we need second hand naturally because we can’t afford new, and i don’t want to have an attitude that everything is disposable… if you haven’t heard of it already i think you’d love to read ‘the moneyless man’ by mark boyle, he went a step further and did a year without money, his book can be read online, it also has great tips and websites about sharing skills and items :) ReplyCancel

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