Basic Blog Lifestyle

2017- The Year of Less

By on January 14, 2017

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?

Seriously, I hot air ballooned in Egypt over the Nile. How do you top that?

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.

I have everything required to make a Pisco Sour-except that damn martini shaker.

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.

These kids are playing soccer in the middle of a field of dirt. And even though they had no real equipment or even goal nets-they looked pretty happy.

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.

I picked up this book on my Maldives boat. Go figure, it takes place on Vancouver Island.

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.

Now what?

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.

TAG
14 Comments
  1. Reply

    Karen Olson

    January 14, 2017

    Love the idea! Not sure if I’ll join you in your year of no new stuff, although Lloyd and my Mom would love me too! But I will contribute to your year by providing you with lots of handmedowns!

  2. Reply

    Robert Siddall

    January 14, 2017

    I feel a responsibility to contribute to the global economy. As a result, I have been keeping China’s economy thriving by purchasing “stuff” on Ali Express. Great stuff?

  3. Reply

    Auntie Donna

    January 14, 2017

    Darn, and I was just about to make an online order!
    I like your idea of “The Year of Less” and the reasons behind it. I wish you success with the plan. Not sure if I could commit to it.

  4. Reply

    Auntie Sheila

    January 14, 2017

    Oh my – I totally understand this!
    I have also been going on a couple years with less.
    Last pair of good tennis shoes are 2 yrs old. (ok, that’s not good)
    I ask people, like yourself, if I can have your boots, or your shoes, and you actually give to me.
    I LOVE my shoes, but I sure wouldn’t know how to shop for them.
    It’s easy to do if, like me, you’re not a motivated shopper.
    I have clothes from Victoria LLL I’ll wear another year or two.

    So, how about you throw everything in a box you want to get rid of, tell me a price, and I’ll buy it all of you?
    Help ya raise some money.

    I think traveling to 3rd world countries would be eye-opening.
    I’ve read about much poverty in India, for example, right next to world-class hotels. (great author, can’t remember her name but she stayed in the slums of Mumbai for a year – I think she was Cdn)

    I imagine you could write a book, and glad to get your synoposis of your trip.
    And, onto learning more about this magnificent world and making a difference.

  5. Reply

    Melissa

    January 14, 2017

    Awesome idea Kerri! Len & I had decided that 2017 was our year of no waste. No more wasting money on stuff we don’t really need. No more wasting time on worrying about stuff we can’t control. Seems to be a common theme of no more waste and no more stuff!

  6. Reply

    Mary

    January 15, 2017

    This was so inspiring to read Kerri! I downsized my home two years ago and I couldn’t believe the stuff I got rid of. As the boys get older I keep thinking how I could downsize yet again. I love your idea of no new stuff and I know I can follow your lead. Agree on undies (socks too) on being exempt!

    • Reply

      Kerri

      January 16, 2017

      Good luck with more downsizing!

  7. Reply

    Kate

    January 15, 2017

    Hi Kerri,
    Welcome home and back to the rat race (in whatever form you choose to join it !). I know what you mean by too much stuff. Yay for you for downsizing and for your 2017 resolution !
    I have often been asking the question “do I really need it” when deciding on a purchase and feeling quite liberated when I walk away. I certainly refuse to pay full price for new clothes and have up until this week, ignored the sales. I succumbed to a retailed offering even more money off this week 🙁
    Good luck deciding on your next endeavour and I can’t wait to hear the next chapter.
    Kate xx

    • Reply

      Kerri

      January 16, 2017

      Thanks for following along, Kate. I need the luck on the new chapter! And good job holding off on those sales items. That is my weakness!

  8. Reply

    Lloyd Olson

    January 15, 2017

    Aloha Kerri,
    Karen has pledged to buy nothing but expensive NEW stuff so there’ll be lots of good used stuff out there for those people who need it!! Looking forward to seeing you soon serving me a Pisco sour in your Maui rags!!
    Lloyd

    • Reply

      Kerri

      January 16, 2017

      Looking forward to it Lloyd-I haven’t been on a holiday in at least a month.

  9. Reply

    Mom

    January 15, 2017

    Well after having moved this past year, I can totally relate to that overwhelming feeling of having too much “stuff” and although I did end up bringing most of it with me (something like 150 boxes), I do plan to go through my stuff and get rid of whatever I do not need. Who needs 10 platters?

    I think your year of less is a good idea and I will be so interested to see how it goes, but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet – maybe once I get rid of all my excess. I do know that when I go to a store or mall, I just look around as there is nothing I need to buy.

    Good luck!

    PS: I have a martini shaker but the lid got lost in the move so it’s pretty useless.

  10. Reply

    Aunty Sheryl

    January 16, 2017

    Another fun read Kerri – good luck with your endeavour of “no new stuff”. I myself will not be signing up, but would love to sign up Uncle Louie ? wonder if he’d notice.

    • Reply

      Kerri

      January 16, 2017

      HAHAHA. Very funny Auntie.

LEAVE A COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.