For me, 2016 was The Year of More. Or the Year of Yes (borrowed from Shonda Rhimes). I quit my job to completely free up all of my time. I pretty much said yes to everything- travel, exercise and experiences. It was the year of no excuses. And as I finished off that year, I pondered 2017. Since you are always supposed to be growing, I was wondering how I could top it. How could 2017 possibly be more?
And while I still have a lot to do finish off 2016 properly-including a final review post and make a proper photo album of my travel pics and one killer video that captures my travel, I’m excited to share one thing that will be happening in 2017.
As part of the Year of Less, Tom and I have made a commitment to NO NEW STUFF in 2017. This means if we “need” something, we must get it second hand.
Where does this come from?
There are a few factors driving us to this decision. First of all, I’m not really interested in going back to work in my previous career as an Account Executive. This means that we will be living on less money in the foreseeable future. (More on this later, btw do you guys have any business ideas?)
Secondly, I have been in a state of downsize for the last couple years. In 2015 I moved to Victoria and downsized from our large home into a 2 bedroom apartment. Then last year Tom moved to Victoria and we then consolidated 2 apartments into 1. This resulted in us getting rid of stuff like crazy. And while we got rid of a shit ton of stuff, we still had to get a storage room to hold some of the extra stuff.
Now its just not that we got rid of a lot of stuff, that we won’t “need” more stuff this year. It’s just that we realized that we gave away some really good stuff. We’ve also sold some really good stuff on kijiji for super cheap just to get rid of it. And if we are doing that, I bet other people are doing that too. That means if we “need” something, we could probably get a really good used version of the item-either on consignment, Kijiji or second hand stores.
For example: I once had 2 martini shakers. Then I got rid of them both saying I don’t need to make martinis anymore. Then I learned how to make Pisco Sours and you need a martini shaker for that. And then I remembered that I gave 2 of them away to Value Village. So instead of going to Homesense to pick up a new martini shaker, I’m going to hit up a few previously used stores and kijiji to find me a “new to me” martini shaker-who knows, it might be my old one.
Buying a martini shaker this way will take more time. And maybe while I’m searching for the dumb thing, I will decide after all, that I don’t really care about getting one. There is a message about delayed gratification here too, I’m sure.
But there is more!
As you might expect, in my little trip around some third world countries, I witnessed happy people living with less. And it had an impact. So, you’re saying STUFF doesn’t make a person happy? Huh.
For those 4 months, I lived out of a carry on size backpack. I realized its quite easy to pick what you’re wearing that day when you only have one clean t shirt and a questionable pair of undies. I found I liked what I had in my bag. I had no stress around WHAT WOULD I BE WEARING TODAY. I read a lot of books picked up and left behind at hotel libraries. I didn’t want to carry them around and was happy to pass them on. Less stuff.
And over consumerism sucks. Its really bad for the environment. It means more things go to landfills. It means more energy is required to make more things. Precious resources are going into the production of more stuff. We are using up the planet-on stuff.
So now that I’ve gone and said this on the internet it means you will hold me to it. So I will be clear- we will not be buying new clothes or shoes(underwear is exempted). We will not be buying anything for our household or activities brand new. Everything we buy will be previously enjoyed.
Anyone want to join us on this adventure?
PS: How many times did I use the word stuff. It was for effect. Too much stuff.
PSS: OMG, I just realized I threw out my most favorite plastic Birks because of the Inca Trail bathroom situation and did not purchase new ones. I already hate 2017.