Simplify to Save

Simplify your life to save money

A cluttered life = A cluttered mind = Cluttered finances

Here’s what this looks like for me: I frequently get excited about tackling new projects, whether it’s an arts & crafts project, learning a new language, taking another trip, etc. Every time I start a new project, I get very excited and immediately dive in head first, which usually requires buying lots of supplies. Sometimes I stick with it, but most of the time I quickly lose interest and move on, although mentally it sticks in my head that I should get back to that project at some point (because I bought all those supplies!). This usually leaves me with several projects marinating in my brain at the same time, making it hard to focus on accomplishing one goal and then the next.

More things = More money and time wasted

As I acquire more possessions, I spend more of my time maintaining them. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to try and reorganize my overflowing shoe cabinet! And do I wear most of those shoes on a regular basis? No way! I also have the same problem with my clothes, books/magazines, handbags, etc. And most of these things taking up space in my apartment are things that I never or rarely use. So why am I letting them clutter up my apartment and my life?!

Clarity and Focus

I’ve done this several times in the past already, but over the past couple years I’ve reacquired too many things and again find myself needing to reduce and simplify. This time I’m going to approach it a little differently though. Before I begin, I need to figure out who I am… What’s important to me? What is my style? What are my true interests (and not just my fleeting passions or curiosities of the moment)? You would think, at 35, I would know this by now, right? Well, I sort of do, but with all these new interests and ideas constantly popping up in my head, it’s sometimes hard to remember what is most important to me and what will make me happiest.

A few years ago, my friend and I created collages of our ideal selves, meant to be a visual representation of who we wanted to be. The idea was that it would be a constant reminder to stay focused on becoming that person or remaining that person. I don’t look at it often, but I still have that collage and in looking at it today, I think it’s still pretty accurate to who I want to be. Although I’m sad to say that I still have a lot of work ahead of me to become that person. 

                                                                 My original "Ideal Me" collage. 

                                                                 My original "Ideal Me" collage. 

I also want to create additional boards to hone in on some of the specifics. What is my style? What activities are important to me? How do I want to spend the majority of my time? I think that if I have a clear understanding and a clear visual to the answers to these questions, then I am less likely to make impulse purchases of things that I won’t use or will get bored with after a week or two. 

I want to make smarter buying decisions that more closely align with who I am and want to be.

Now don’t get me wrong, by doing this I’m not trying to fight who I really am. Part of who I am is that I get excited about starting new projects all the time. I’m not going to fight that. It’s a fight I wouldn’t win anyway. I’m a renaissance soul (link) to the core. What I want to do is learn to pursue those new and fleeting interests for little or no cost by recognizing that it is not a part of my core values and that although I’m excited about it right now, I might not be a few weeks from now.

Let’s do this

Over the next few weeks, my posts will be devoted to my challenge to simplify my life. As I dig deep into my closets, I will share with you my progress as I attempt to toss or sell all those items I haven’t used in years (or ever), or any item that doesn’t align with my ideal self. 

Are You a Shopaholic? 6 Tips to Save Money

5 Reasons to Start Paying Off Your Debt Today