January 2017 | Minimalism

The Plan: Do not buy things in the month of January that will come live in my home

  • Exceptions: consumables (food, toilet paper, toothpaste etc), digital products, experiences.


  • I want to reset spending habits
  • I want to be more mindful of what I bring into this house and making sure its worth my money and that we really need it or love it.
  • I want to focus more on experiences- making memories with people I love.

The Result: Success!

  • I did not purchase anything new to come live in our home.
  • I bought 2 skeins of yarn for Pussyhats, that were worn by friends to the Women’s March.
  • I become more conscious of my spending over all.
  • When traveling to New York City, I took the train more (used cabs and Uber less than I normally do). This was easier because I was traveling light.
  • Dan and I started more in-depth conversations about spending, saving and planning for our future.
  • I validated the fact that while I may like to have a few more pieces in my current wardrobe, I simply don’t need them. My closet is still overflowing.
  • I have enjoyed being more thoughtful about things I think I may need. Having a waiting period helps to solidify whether the need is real or not.
  • By taking that “what to buy” out of my mind completely, I was able to better enjoy the experience of Vogue Knitting Live 2017. I knit and walked around and talked with friends. Even when I realized I forgot my supplies for class I made do with what I had and it was fine. By allowing myself to buy my way out of that problem I’d have scrambled, gotten stressed and wasted time and money on things I ultimately did not need.
  • I saved time. Instead of killing time by shopping in between events, meetings, commitments, I used the time to journal, to knit or catch up with friends. All much better uses of my time.

How Did It Make Me Happier?

  • Being successful in my first experience felt great!
  • I enjoyed my time and my friends and family more than I would have before- and they always make me happy.
  • I enjoyed a lower credit card bill at the end of the month.
  • I learned a lot and am happy that I have new habits and guiding principles that will carry me through the year.
  • I love when my house is less cluttered! That makes me very happy indeed!


  • “Minimalism is a process, and it doesn’t end. It’s a conscious reaffirming to yourself every day to choose only what you need and love. It’s not a state you reach once and exist in forever.” Quote from this blog post
  • 50 minimalism quotes
  • “Love people and use things because the opposite never works.” The Minimalists
  • Forbes article: “Americans have accumulated more clutter over the last hundred years. In 1930, the average woman only had 36 pieces of clothes in her closet. Today, the average consumer has 120 items of clothing, but 80% go unworn, according to Cladwell, a startup that helps consumers create capsule wardrobes.”
  • “I think a handful of brilliant and recklessly deceitful entrepreneurs have convinced us that our individual value as human beings is more closely tied to the things we own. Here’s the really weird bit: We know. But we pretend that’s not what’s going on. Instead, we proudly show off our new stuff, and say things like, “You’ve got to get one of these!” Sure, it’s fun and that excitement is real. But in most cases, we haven’t really done our homework. We skip that step and go straight to believing if something’s for sale, it must be good. We’ve not learned about where our stuff comes from, what kind of harmful materials went into making those things, whether or not the people who made that stuff were treated fairly, and if there’s an environmentally responsible way to safely dispose of all that stuff when we’re done with it. So, here we are; this peculiar species, frantically racing about – consumed with doing anything we can to make enough money to buy these curious things we’re convinced will make us happy. The truly astonishing thing is how fleeting our happiness has become. It’s almost like finding the thing has become the source of our joy – even more so than the thing itself. Before we know it, we’ve become preoccupied with finding the next thing, and the next thing.”   Evan Zislis
  • Check out this excellent article from the Huffington Post.


Things I Will Continue to Think About

  • Can I buy things used instead of new?
  • Can I buy things with less packaging?
  • When I do need to replace something (and I can’t buy it used), I want to focus on buying things that are made in a socially responsible way (paying fair wages to workers, eco friendly etc). My purchases should better align with my values whenever possible.