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  • I Love (Hate) Stuff: A Shopping Cleanse

    June 9, 2014 | 3 Comments »

    most beautiful / thisisloveforever.com

    I am not a minimalist. I love color and print and clutter. As a result, I like stuff. I am giddy with the thought of a pile of vintage fabric, a basket filled with buttons, a stack of beautiful linens. Often, it’s an emotional response, an electric tingle that jolts me alive.
    But this desire for stuff can go very, very wrong. What was once a quest to behold beauty can become an insatiable need to consume it. Quantity starts to trump quality and nothing is ever enough. I’ve talked about fast fashion being exhausting before- how hard it can be to separate the desire to look at beautiful things and capture them with your mind with the compulsion to buy all the beautiful things and own them with your credit card. We can never own all the beautiful things and besides that, many of the world’s most beautiful things simply aren’t for sale.
    I remember this the most when I’m on vacation. When you are on a great trip, doesn’t it always feel like you could just live out of your suitcase forever? All those stragglers left hanging in your closet at home, would you really care if you no longer had them? Probably not.
    So here’s what I am going to do: I’m going on a little cleanse. I need to re-learn the value of things, to accept that it’s possible to experience beauty without spending a dime, to appreciate a fleeting moment of beauty for what it is and need no more. To be clear, I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying things that you love, but I am no longer consciously consuming and that’s just not a good place for me to be. My goal is to get better at consciously consuming and it certainly doesn’t hurt that I will be saving some money in the process!

    The rules:
    -No clothing or accessories purchases, with the exception of necessities like socks or underwear, for three months. I can, however, make clothing or accessories myself.
    -After the three month mark, I can buy one vintage or handmade item a month. After the 6 month mark, I will re-assess how I am feeling about my possessions.
    -Continue to purge my closet of things I know I will never wear.
    -Continue to talk about my cleanse on this here blog. Make an effort as well to feature experiences on my blog that can’t be bought!

    img via Rijksstudio, altered by me.

    3 Responses to “I Love (Hate) Stuff: A Shopping Cleanse”

    1. Brittney says:

      I am the same way sadly—I could never pare down my wardrobe because I love colorful items entirely too much. However, I realize now that I so many clothes that I could never wear them all! A cleanse sounds like the perfect way to break the habit of consumption, and I really look forward to seeing how your efforts go.



    2. Sarah says:

      I love it, Kayte! I, too, struggle with this; I’ve been unemployed for a long stretch since finishing my degree, though, and not-having-money has gone a long way toward helping me unlearn bad habits (of course, the real test will be whether it “sticks” once I’ve got cash flow again, right?). I can’t wait to read about your cleanse and those good, can’t-be-bought experiences here!

      • this is loveforever says:

        Thanks Sarah! Yes, that is always the test. I’ve found that, unfortunately, rather than keeping with the good habits one learns when cash flow is short, I tend to expand my spending with my cash flow. No good!!!

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