If you read THIS post, you know I am not buying clothes for an entire year! I’m also limiting myself in several other ways to build on what I called my personal integrity in that last post. AND if you too, have decided to embark on a no-buy year, YAY! So excited for you to change your frickin’ life!
In order to succeed and accomplish a NO-BUY YEAR, I took several steps to prepare while I was still in 2019. If you are reading this in 2020, not to worry. Simply take some time to set yourself up, and start counting the days or try to complete the rest of 2020 along with me. I’ve created a checklist to help you through!
How to Prep for a NO-BUY Year
Take a mental time out. Ask yourself, why you would like to begin a no-buy year, and what you hope to gain from it. How would you like the challenge to change you, and change your life? When I’m feeling like my brain is on overloud, I do what I call a “brain dump.” In therapy, I use this tool I created as an academic coach in college to get my life organized. You can use my Wheel of Life below to note how you would like to see each area of your life improve, or what mini goals you would like to focus on by participating in a no-buy challenge.
This might sound corny, but if you really want to change your life, you have to change your thoughts. And changing your thinking begins with how the voice of you talks and responds to you. Develop a mantra based on a personal, central value, or on positive self-talk. I’m so serious. Write out and practice saying out loud, the words you will run to and speak aloud when this challenge gets tough, or when you want to quit. Those little moments of wanting to quit is where you need to reassure yourself with truth only you know your heart and mind needs. Truth is medicinal. Truth is reassuring. You’ll need truth when you try to change your consumerist reactions.
Let me give you an example. In December, as I was almost done prepping for this challenge, I noticed another blogger had these beautiful pearl earrings. “She’s so cool,” I told myself. “I want to be cool. I need those earrings.” Then, I panicked. In a split second I let myself fall into the trap of fear, and questioned my entire identity based on tiny, little earrings. By God’s grace, I had enough sense to take a step back and laugh. “I’ve got to help myself. I will succeed at this,” I said.
The phrase I cling to, and say out loud is “I will succeed at this.” It’s simple, but there’s a power in it for me of speaking in a present and future tense.
Now here are 7 even more practical steps:
Declutter, Donate, Discard
This is the actual pile of crap I had sitting in my closets. It took up space in my life in more ways than one. When you really want to organize all your clothing, throw it one giant pile. Hold up each item, and ask yourself if you use it. Could you lose it? Do you like it? I bought a set of boxes to sort my stuff, and decided to give lots of it away!
Keep Clothes Altogether and Organized
I have the luxury of a spare bedroom I use as additional closet and dressing space. You don’t need an extra room to keep all your clothing in one spot. If you only have one closet, or a small room like me, keep all your clothing together in one place. In order to use what you already have, mix and match outfits, and stay organized your clothing needs to be in plain view. With limited closet space, use clear bins with obvious labels, like “Sweaters” so you can pull down a bin when you need to.
Create an Inventory
This can be as easy and pulling out a pen and paper. Count the number of items you have, and sort by category. If I even dare tell myself I have nothing to wear this year, I’m going to march my a$$ over to my written and posted inventory and remind myself I 32 pairs of shoes, 18 dresses, 11 skirts, 28 sweaters, 14 jackets, 2 vests, 7 long sleeves, 8 button-ups, 8 blouses, 15 t-shirts, 3 short sleeves, 2 jumpsuits, 26 pants, and 3 pairs of shorts. (*I really should have a better sweater to shorts ratio living in Arizona).
Review Your Rules
For more on my rules GO HERE! Write your rules down – otherwise you might be tempted to bend or break them. If a situation comes up unexpectedly, use your rules list and do your best to remain true to the challenge!
Unsubscribe from all store emails, unfollow brands or people that push products that are not part of your allowed lists
Don’t forget you can also mark emails as spam so you can stop them from following you. I also have been telling Instagram I want to see less ads.
If you aren’t comfortable with unfollowing someone on Instagram, you can always mute and hide their posts and stories.
Create a tracking system for what you save during your no-buy year
I’m all about Dave Ramsey’s Zero-Based Budget. If you are new budgeting, check out my post here and be sure to print off a few copies of Dave’s Monthly Cash Flow Plan. I suggest opening a savings account, but a glass jar labeled $$$ works to showcase all the mulah you’ve made for yourself during this challenge.
Purchase needed replacements
This photo does not do these 17 year old Converse justice. Replace items now you know you wear on a weekly basis. No use trying to punish yourself for an entire year when you know you already needed something!
When in doubt, keep your preparation simple. As you begin the challenge, you might need to add additional steps put things in order. Do your best, and have a pure intention when you need to add or change something to ready yourself for success.