3 Lessons from the First Few Months of a 360-Day Shopping Detox

I’m over two months into my 360-day detox (I’m ending mine on December 26 so I can shop on my birthday), and I’m surprised to say it but - so far, so good. So far, I have only good things to say about this no-shopping challenge. I am already learning a lot about myself and about some bad behaviours I may want to leave behind permanently.

1. Needless Buying

One of my bad habits is buying things I don’t need because they’re “my style” and affordable. A few weeks ago, I was in WalMart and I saw a dress that met this very criteria . It was cute and it was $12 and I paused for a moment and said if I wasn’t doing this detox, I would buy that. Why not? $12. That’s the cost of a meal. But it’s a full outfit. That’s a steal. But I didn’t buy it. And when I got home I realized I had a lot of other dresses just like it that I haven’t worn in months. Good deals do not mean I need - or should - buy them.

2. Needless Looking

When I’m bored I shop. And when I shop I buy. I went into a store the other shirt I would definitely have bought just because I saw it. I wouldn’t have missed it if I wasn’t there and it might have been a good buy for my summer wardrobe. But I wouldn’t have missed it if I hadn’t gone looking. And it’s this needless looking that led me to donate a pile of clothes that were clogging up my closet last month. And while I usually give away the clothes I don’t like or don’t wear, this time the removal of clothes had a different criteria. This time, it was about making space. If the clothes didn’t fit in the closet nicely, something had to go. I got rid of clothes I actually wear and with the space I created I realized I don’t want to go there again. A handful of sweaters, a drawer of tops, a shelf of pants. That’s it. If it’s too clogged, something goes. So when this detox is over, I hope this helps motivate less needless buying. I hope I use more discernment knowing if something comes home, something else has got to go.

3. Me First Mentality

The last thing I’ve learned is that I like buying things. For myself. Which is why o did this detox in the first place. I knew this about myself. I don’t think it’s helpful to cut out things you enjoy or to struggle with a guilt that’s not well placed. I do think it’s important, however, to manage excessive urge and make necessary modifications so that there’s moderation. I have been doing more decorating and more home projects, but I like the way this feels. Usually, I’d hide clothes I bought out of guilt. But with home stuff, we all get to enjoy the results and that feels right. Today, I noticed my son doesn’t have a good spring coat, and I’m super excited to go out and grab something for him. I’m excited by the thought that I can get something for him without doing anything for me, and I’m hoping this perspective sticks post-detox as well.