10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits

10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits

Simplifying, minimizing and decluttering seem to be popular buzz words these days.

Filling boxes and bags with trash, things to sell, give away to friends and donate feels great and leaves your home feeling a little less stressful and relaxing.

I’m a huge advocate of living with less.

However, if you don’t change your consumption habits, the clutter starts to creep back and soon your closets, drawers and storage spaces are once again filled.

So, how do you change consumption habits?

First, remember why you want your home to be clutter free. It really makes the atmosphere more relaxing, makes the things easy to find and makes your keeping your home tidy easier.

Then, take steps to really change your consumption habits.

10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits

  1. Stop shopping as a hobby. You’ll save time, money and reduce clutter by staying out of stores and shopping ‘just for fun.’
  2. Make a list and stick to it. Approach all shopping like grocery shopping. If you need to buy a new pair of jeans, when you go to the store, just find the pair of jeans and don’t browse for anything else – ignore the sales and clearance racks!
  3. Only accept the ‘cast-offs’ you’ll actually use. If you are given someone else’s ‘cast-offs’ (hand-me-downs, books, housewares etc.) go through and only keep the things that you need or really like. Pass the rest on to someone else or donate.
  4. Rent, borrow or purchase digitally.  Instead of buying every book and DVD that you want, trying renting, borrowing from the library, borrowing from a friend or buying digitally.
  5. Shop for clothing twice a year. Assess your wardrobes twice a year (spring/summer and fall/winter) and purchase the things you need for those seasons at the beginning of the season. Once your wardrobe for that season is complete, stop shopping for clothes!
  6. Stop buying stuff just because ‘it’s a good deal’. If you didn’t need or want it at full price, you probably don’t need it when it is 75% off.
  7. Know where you are most tempted to spend. There may be certain stores (both brick and mortar and online) that you can’t leave without buying something. Once you know where your ‘weakness’ is, you can be proactive and change your shopping habits.
  8. Stop buying toys all throughout the year.  If you’re a parent, you know that most children have a bunch of toys. They are slammed with even more at Christmas and their birthdays. It’s okay to buy your child a toy occasionally but don’t make it a regular habit or your home will be drowning in toy clutter. (Instead of buying them toys, buy experiences!)
  9. Treat gifts like flowers. Appreciate the gift, enjoy the thoughtfulness of the giver but don’t let guilt make you keep something you don’t need or want. You can take the gift back (if you know where it was purchased) for store credit or, depending on what the gift is, you can donate to a toy drive, homeless shelter or pregnancy center.
  10. Don’t over consume on holidays and special occasions. At Christmas, we know that our children will receive an overabundance of gifts from grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and extended family so we keep our family gift giving very simple. In the past, we have given them ‘something they need, something to wear and something to read’ as Christmas gifts. They receive 3 gifts from us and that’s it.

After working so hard to simplify your home, you don’t want to allow much clutter back in. Make an effort to change your consumption habits and keep the clutter out!

Have you changed your consumption habits in an effort to live with less? 

 

Declutter-Book-Cover1-232x300

Are you wanting to simplify? My new eBook, Declutter: A Workbook to Rid Your Life of Excess walks you through each area of your home and helps you to rid your home of clutter!

Minimal Summer Wardrobe

 

Minimal Summer Wardrobe
I’ve had a minimal wardrobe for a few years and enjoy the benefits that come with a simplified wardrobe.

I’m spending less time shopping for clothes, spending less money, my closet isn’t cluttered and getting dressed every day is simple.

I wanted you to see everything that makes up my minimal summer wardrobe.

Sources of My Clothing

I purchase many of my clothes at a local resale store. At the beginning of the spring and fall, I bring in our outgrown and unwanted gently used clothing, shoes and accessories and receive store credit. This store credit really helps stretch our clothing budget since we’re able to shop for the things we need without using cash.

I also shop other secondhand stores for clothes. I prefer consignment sales and stores to thrift shops because they tend to be much more organized. Plus, during this season of life, browsing through racks and racks of clothing with three young children in tow just isn’t my idea of fun!

My favorite sources for clothing are hand-me-downs and clothing swaps because the clothes are FREE! I have family and friends who occasionally pass clothes on to me and a local friend hosts a clothing swap each spring and fall where ladies bring clothes they no longer wear and we ‘shop’ what’s there.

I currently only own a handful of items that were purchased new but I’ll occasionally browse Bargain Hunt (a local discount store) and retail store clearance racks when I’m needing specific items that I can’t find secondhand.

I’ve noted the source of each of the items in my wardrobe so you can get an idea of where my clothes come from.

My Nice Clothes

The clothes hanging in my closet are my ‘nice’ clothes. These are the items that I wear to church, running errands and anytime I need to look a little bit more put together (date night, weddings, etc).

Tanks

These tanks go with just about every bottom I have so they’re working hard for me this summer!

Tanks

    • Cream Ruffled (hand-me-down)
    • Grey/White Stripe (resale store)
    • Turquoise Embellished (resale store)
    • Black Sequin (hand-me-down)

Tops

My short sleeve shirts aren’t too exciting but these three black shirts go with every bottom I own so they’re quite versatile. Pairing them with a colorful necklace gives them a new look.

Tops

  • Pink/White Stripe (resale store)
  • Black V-neck (resale store)
  • Black Crewneck (clearance at WalMart)
  • Black Scoopneck (clothing swap)

Bottoms

My bottoms are pretty simple but they’re perfect for mixing and matching with my tops.

Bottoms

  • Khaki Crops (clothing swap)
  • Denim Crops (thrifted)
  • Denim Skinnies (resale store)
  • Ankle Jeans (resale store)
  • Black/Cream Pants (resale store)

Shorts

And, here’s a glimpse of my ‘mom shorts’! I actually love my mom shorts and think they’re fabulous. I purchased the patterned turquoise shorts because they are different than anything I own, I love the color and look great with a black top. They’re a little bit shorter than the mom shorts I’m used to but not too short!

Shorts

  • Turquoise Patterned (resale store)
  • White (resale store)
  • Grey (hand-me-down)
  • Denim (hand-me-down)

Dresses

We attend a very casual church and are simple family so I don’t have a need for really nice dresses. Both of these cotton dresses are cute and comfy and can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on where I need to wear them.

Dresses

    • Navy/White (clothing swap)
    • Black (Bargain Hunt)

My Casual Clothes

I store my casual clothes in my drawers. These are the clothes I wear on the days I stay home all day. They’re comfortable and perfect for playing in the floor, wiping bottoms, working in the garden, cooking and all the other potentially messy things I do each day.

I do not wear frumpy clothes around my home, I get up and get dressed everyday. It’s important to feel both comfortable and cute for days at home!

Casual Tops

I’ve not been much of a tank top wearer in years past because I’ve been self conscious about my arms. As I’m getting older, I’m learning to fully embrace myself, so even though my arms aren’t perfectly sculpted, I can still wear tank tops! They’re perfect for hot Georgia summer days.
Casual Tops

  • Pink Tank (clothing swap)
  • Teal Tank (resale store)
  • Green Tank (resale store)
  • Black Embellished Tank (resale store)
  • Black Tank (clothing swap)
  • Black/White Stripe (clothing swap)
  • Black Tee (resale store)

Casual Bottoms

These casual bottoms mix and match with my casual tops. All of my tops go with all of the bottoms except the pink skirt. These denim shorts are quite short but they’re comfortable! I only wear them at home (who really wants to see a mama of 3 in short shorts?!) but I’ll probably take them along when we go camping this summer.
Casual Bottoms

  • Denim Shorts (clothing swap)
  • Yoga Capris (thrifted)
  • Dark Pink Skirt (thrifted)
  • Grey Skirt (clothing swap)
  • Black Skirt (clothing swap)

Shoes

I keep my shoes simple too! The flip flops are worn for water activities and for gardening, the black sandals are my daily wear shoes (they are the most comfortable sandals I’ve ever owned) and the tennis shoes are worn on rainy days and for yard work, hiking, camping and such.
Shoes

Accessories

My collection of necklaces helps keep all of my solid black shirts and tanks from being too boring. Pairing a fun, chunky necklace with my solid black tees gives them a completely new look. I don’t wear cheap, mass produced costume jewelry, I prefer handmade, meaningful pieces.

Necklaces

  • Africa Necklace (The Adopt Shoppe)
  • Black,Coral, Turquoise Paper Bead Necklace made in Honduras (gift from my friend Marillyn of Just Making Noise)
  • Multi-Colored Paper Bead Necklace (made in Uganda, purchased via Etsy)
  • Red Beads (Gift from my husband’s 2014 trip to Ethiopia)
  • Red/Teal Necklace (Gift from my husband’s 2014 trip to Ethiopia)
  • Teal Beads (Gift from my husband’s 2011 trip to Ethiopia)
  • Black Beads (Purchased when I went to Ethiopia in 2013)

*And, I should note there are a few items not pictured. I also have a casual sleeveless black cotton dress, a pair of pajama shorts and capris, a bathing suit and swim shorts. Also, all of these clothing items were not purchased this year, I’ve had the majority of the items for 1-2 years and purchased around 12 ‘new to me’ items this spring and a few pieces (like the pink skirt and flip flops) are 5+ years old!

My minimal summer wardrobe consists of 46 items.

To some, that may be too many items and I’m sure I could pare down a little but there’s no need since I like everything in my wardrobe and have adequate space in my closet and drawer.

For others, it may seem like I have far too few clothes and that’s just fine, a minimal wardrobe is what I prefer.

If you’re wanting to declutter your closet and simplify your wardrobe, start by pulling every item out of your closet and drawers and only putting back the items you love and feel great in. Owning a minimal amount of clothing that you love is better than having a closet crammed full of clothing you don’t feel great in.

What are your thoughts on minimal wardrobes? 

For further wardrobe simplifying inspiration:

Minimal Summer Wardrobe

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links that help support this site.

 

Decluttering Baby Clothes

Newborn-Clothes-to-Consign

Decluttering baby clothes can be tough. Baby clothes can be sentimental so they’re hard to pass on or sell but keeping everything can quickly result in excess clutter around the home.

As my first son outgrew clothes, I sold or passed on about half of his clothing. We weren’t guaranteed to have another boy and if we did, we didn’t know if the boys would be born in the same season or not. As it turned out, we were blessed with another little boy, he was a winter baby instead of a spring baby but he’s been able to wear almost all of big brother’s hand-me-downs so far.

With baby number two, I’ve been a bit more ruthless as he outgrows clothes. We know we want more children but we’re hoping to wait a couple of years and once again, there are no guarantees that our third child would be a boy.

What is the point in hanging on to a ton of baby clothes for a couple of years just in case a baby might wear them? (Especially considering we have minimal wardrobes already, I do laundry frequently and I can purchase cotton bodysuits and pants in like new condition for $1 each at our local resale store and one piece outfits/sleepers for $3?)

As my second son, Weston, is outgrowing clothing, I’m only keeping baby basics or outfits I love.

Here is my process with newborn clothes as an example:

All of the newborn clothes I kept

From Weston’s newborn wardrobe, I’ve kept:

  • 3 pair of cotton pants
  • 1 long sleeve white body suit
  • 1 ‘little brother’ short sleeve body suit (that he wore home from the hospital)
  • 1 romper
  • 1 gown
  • 1 footed sleeper

This isn’t a complete newborn wardrobe but I’d only need 2-3 more bodysuits, 1-2 more one piece outfits and 2-3 sleepers or gowns. At $1 each for bodysuits and $3 for one pieces and sleepers at the resale store, I’d spend less than $20 on clothing. (Since I sell clothing there frequently, I always have store credit so it’s not like I’d be paying cash.) And, this is not factoring in that friends pass on their baby clothes and family love giving baby clothes as gifts.

It’s worth spending $20 in a few years on a few (new to us) pieces of clothing instead of storing a ton of baby clothes that may or may not be worn!

Gender neutral newborn clothes

Out of the newborn clothing I did keep, over half of it is gender neutral, in my opinion. I’d put a little girl in brown and grey cotton pants, a white one piece outfit, a white gown and white bodysuit.

Decluttered newborn clothes

Over half of Weston’s newborn wardrobe was decluttered. Out of these items, I sold a few pieces to the resale store (received store credit) and passed on a few items to friends with baby boys.

We live in a small home that we like to keep clutter free so it just makes sense to me that we only keep favorite outfits and a few basics. 

What’s your view on decluttering baby clothes? Do you keep it all or pare down?

 

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Minimal Child’s Wardrobe

Minimal-KidsWardrobe

As we’ve simplified and purged in an effort to live more minimally, we’ve found that the less stuff we have the happier we are. It goes against everything our culture says but amazingly, I’m more content with 2 pair of jeans and 2 pair of winter shoes than with a closet bursting with clothing and shoes.

Living in a small house with a growing family is one of the reasons we live minimally but the less we have, the less there is to maintain and the more peaceful our home seems.

One of the areas that can quickly get out of hand is children’s clothes.

Here’s a look at Paxton’s minimal spring and summer clothes:

I don’t make it a habit to buy ahead but we are given clothes as gifts and hand-me-downs. When we receive these items, I tuck them into the appropriately labeled storage box. I’ve found that often when he grows into that size, we’ve accumulated enough clothing that we don’t need anything else!

I went through the box and ‘shopped it’ for his wardrobe! There were too many shirts and a few didn’t fit right or didn’t coordinate with any of his shorts, so I put some aside to donate/give to friends. The 2T jeans were too big so they went back into the box for this fall/winter.

I also went through his drawers and pulled out all of his short sleeve tees (we’ve been layering his short sleeve tees with long sleeves all winter!)

All of his short sleeve t-shirts.

Most of Paxton’s spring/summer wardrobe!

A breakdown of his wardrobe:

6 t-shirts

2 button up shirts (not shown)

6 shorts

3 rompers

3 sets of ‘get dirty’ play clothes. 

This wardrobe is quite minimal but I’m positive it’s all we need to last all summer. With Paxton’s birthday coming up, he’ll probably receive some clothing as gifts and I might purchase an outfit or two for the boys that match! We will still keep his wardrobe fairly minimal though by setting limits (like 10 t-shirts, 7 shorts, etc.)

You may also notice we don’t really have any ‘church clothes.’ We go to a very casual church so all of the clothes he has are perfectly acceptable Sunday wear! If we do visit a more traditional church or attend any weddings this summer, he’ll either wear his plaid romper or one of his button ups with nice shorts. 

Benefits of a minimal child’s wardrobe:

  • Less clothing to organize and find storage for.
  • Costs less. Not having a large wardrobe means you spend less on clothing!
  • Easier to get dressed! It’s easier for the child to pick out their own clothes since they aren’t bombarded with a drawer/closet stuffed with clothes.

Do you set wardrobe limits (either for you or your children)?