After a self-imposed block on buying this year, I have been pushing away the need to shop as an emotional crutch, which is healthier (I think) for my soul and bank account. When I found myself needing something – and by need, I’m being honest! One does sometimes need new underwear or a replacement white t-shirt! – I would follow a ‘one in, five out’ rule. So for every new item, I would need to toss/donate/sell five existing items of any kind. I wasn’t so strict as to say for every new black t-shirt, I had to throw five black t-shirts but any five clothing items.
This has saved money in some cases, and made money in others. ThredUp, The RealReal, and Tradesy have been great for donating, consigning and selling, respectively. Sometimes I think I hold onto items that have emotional or sentimental value, and that can make something harder to toss even when I know it doesn’t fit or suit me. I know I’ve put on weight, and objectively this should be a good thing as when I moved to LA I was about 90lbs (I’m 5ft 8ins) and wore a 0 or 00, so from a “health and medical” perspective then it should be good I’ve put on about 20lbs. However, as much as it’s not ‘politically correct’ (or whatever) to say this, but honestly I was happier when I was thinner. Clothes look better on me when I’m skinny, and I had less breakdowns when getting dressed in the morning. So there is part of me that cannot bring myself to throw my skinny jeans (I guess I am holding out hope I’ll be that skinny again one day?) because it’s like admitting I’m not thin anymore. It sounds so trivial and petty, I am well aware of this, but that doesn’t stop it being true.
I’ve also been trying to buy secondhand where possible, to further reduce my footprint. There are so many great online shops that sell secondhand goods, and since I’m selling my own things through them, it’s often better value to use store credit than to cash out.
I’ve not been perfect. I found myself perhaps buying more beauty items than usual, especially in an effort to combat my skin which decided to regress 15 years even though I had pretty fucking nice skin in my teens. I went down the /skincareaddiction rabbit hole on reddit, but have since come to the conclusion that the water in LA is just too hard and horrible to combat. I had no reason to try our new mascaras since I’ve already found my holy grail one, and nobody needs as many perfumes as I have. I’m thinking of setting up a beauty product swap at work, where people can bring in the products they tried and didn’t like to switch or share with others, so this might help alleviate some of that backlog too!
That said, I’m glad I’m doing this and I think it’s going pretty well. I’m saving more and not filling my house or emotional holes with unnecessary things. Downsizing is not something I plan on stopping once 2018 ends.