As I reflect on the year that 2016 has been I realise that I have been drawn time and time again to readings about consumerism. The consumerist nature of the world we live in has bothered me for some time. I have read countless books and blogs, learning about how others have gone about reducing their footprint on the planet. Many people make a commitment to ‘no spend‘, ‘buy nothing new‘ or ‘going zero waste‘ and I take inspiration from all of these amazing people (and hoards of others) who have gone before me. However, as a family with small children, all of these specific commitments felt like a little too much. We needed something that was a challenge but that we felt that we could actually manage to stick to for a full 12 months. Hence the Life with Less Challenge was born.
The Life with Less challenge is about helping us to see that we can go without all of the mindless purchasing that we do – the toy cars, the Lego, the birthday presents bought ‘just so it feels like they have a little something extra’; the lipstick, the magazine or the new dress – ‘because it was on sale’. Essentially all those things that we buy simply because we have the luxury of disposable income and a why not attitude. Over the past few years our house has slowly filled with stuff – so much stuff that it makes it hard to appreciate the stuff we have. I am drowning in stuff. Along with the stuff comes the packaging (Oh so much packaging!) and the clutter and the tidying – all eating away at our life because we have to spend time managing the stuff.
The kids don’t appreciate the nice things that they have; brand new toys are treated with disdain and when they are inevitably broken, I am told with a shrug of the shoulders ‘I don’t care’. They tell me they don’t like the food in their lunchboxes (which is varied day to day to keep it interesting). Well I am a bit sick of us not caring and taking for granted the possessions and food that we are so blessed to have.
I am sick of spending most of my time off each year decluttering all of the things that have built up over the previous six months. I want less to come into our house in the first place so that I can spend my holidays enjoying my time with the kids. I really hope the learning to Live with Less is going to help to change that.
Tomorrow I will post about the guidelines I have set for our challenge. I will share our progress, triumphs and frustrations in a weekly blog and I will collate links to these in the Live with Less page – available by clicking in the pages links above. If you would like to follow along on instagram – check out the hashtag #lifewithless17