I just finished reading Cait Flanders delightful new book, The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shoppping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered That Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store.
Flanders woke up one day to find herself in deep debt. She started a blog to document her journey of paying off 30k. After that, though she was now debt free she still wasn’t happy with the amount she was saving each month.
She took a radical step. She put herself on a two-year shopping ban.
At the same time, she decided to let go of all the extra stuff in her life. (This is what drew me to the book). She sold, donated and tossed 75% of her belongings. The book also talks about her childhood, her struggles with alcohol and finally, her discovery of a happier life.
What I thought was very interesting was the challenge of both not shopping (she did buy groceries and other essentials – you can see her rules for the shopping ban on her blog) and at the same time decluttering. In the past, when I’ve put myself on a shopping ban I find the desire to hold on to my things, even things I’m not using because I can’t run out and buy more. The shopping bans I had were much shorter than Flanders did. Mine would last a month or two, not two years.
Overall the book was delightful and fun to read. I’m inspired by her story and as I continue my own decluttering I think I will institute a shopping ban as well.