We’re off and running — the Kersh family is attempting to simplify our lives, be a little kinder to our environment, and live with less for the next six months. Our official start date was July 9 (the Sunday after we returned from a week at the beach–a little fatter and with a few last minute purchases).
Why we decided to do this? I work as a professional organizer, and I’m amazed at how overwhelmed my clients are by the stuff that they live with. I’ve had people describe feeling suffocated, depressed, unable to move on, and totally stuck thanks to their belongings. So I thought it might be interesting to see what it feels like to purchase nothing (see enormous list of exceptions below) for six months. Will we feel free? Will we have more money? Will we create less garbage? Will we save on gas by shopping less? Will we feel deprived? Will we cheat? Will our kids guilt us into purchasing them things? I have no idea what to expect. But I’ll put it all out there in this blog and you can read along to see how we do.
Other reasons we’re doing this–
Might be a good lesson for our children (at least our 5 year old is old enough to learn a little something. Day 2 she asked “Mom, how long before we get to start buying things we want again, instead of just stuff you say we need?” Thankfully, our 2 1/2 year old just wants occasional access to food and his collection of fans)
Should be a good reminder for us of the difference between want and need. Will I be more likely to think before I buy in the future?
We certainly don’t live off the grid, but despite our best efforts to recycle and compost, we still manage to fill an enormous trash can every week. Surely we can do better
Perhaps we can save money that we can put towards a family vacation or some other family activity, or just a bunch of frivolous crap that I feel like buying at the end of 6 months of deprivation!
The Goal: Purchase nothing for six months (I realize plenty of people pledge to do this for a year, but at least this is a start!)
The Exceptions: Food, drinks, toiletries, replacements for necessary items that stop working (eg cell phone, major appliances), iTunes, materials required to finish a disastrous landscaping project we’ve been working on for months (because I’ll go crazy if we have to look at it for six more months), school supplies/necessary office supplies and finally–Santa will still come to our house (but my husband and I will have to be creative with gifts for us and additional family members).
No-No’s: Clothes, shoes (asking my mother to purchase them for me is also not allowed), books, DVDs, furniture, decorative items, magazine subscriptions, computer hardware, kitchen gizmos, and toys (for us AND the kids).
This blog will be my honest take on this experience, as we attempt to answer the question “what is enough?”