I looked around my sweet little apartment on December 31 and all I could see was stuff. Not just my usual too many papers and magazines, but things. There were extra tote bags that I wasn't using, Christmas wrapping supplies and gifts that I wasn't sure where to put. Throughout the fall I've sold books, given away bags of clothes and thought what I had done had made some real headway in clearing clutter. But everywhere I looked I saw stuff. I realized that I couldn't make headway if I was bringing more things in. Out of this heap of stuff "No Spending January" was born.
The premise is simple. No matter how much I want something, no matter what a good buy it is and no matter that I've wanted said item forever I am not going to buy it. No more clutter can come in my apartment for the month of January. I can buy things to eat and drink. I can buy tickets for experiences. I can get my hair cut or pay for yoga classes, but I won't buy shampoo that the hairdresser recommends or new yoga clothes. I have shampoo and I have yoga clothes. As the sign says, "Just because you can buy it doesn't mean you should."
Three days have passed and I am doing fine. I've found I can just delete lots of email unread. I am not going to buy sweaters from Land's End or new sheets from Sear's. What I have will do for the month of January. I may even save my gift cards until February or March. It's not spending money, but I want to assess what I need and not shop because it's fun. I've added a corollary and I am avoiding buying any sweets to bring home. I can have a cookie or muffin when I'm out, but this avoids ice cream that's on sale and Christmas candy fifty per cent off. I'd love to be a slimmer me in my less cluttered apartment on February 1.
I am optimistic that on February 1, 2012 my apartment will be more organized. I will have arranged a pickup for the several bags of clothes that I have been keeping though they haven't been worn in years. I will have discarded a large pile of magazines and at least six bags of paper. I will have cleaned out the refrigerator and the freezer and I may even have begun No Spending February. I will let you know.