Friday, January 6, 2017

Simplifying in 2017

During our Japan trip in November, I had a sudden realization. Traveling makes me happy, and it's one of the things Jay and I enjoy doing together. I'd love to continue doing this at least once a year. But trips cost money, and with our upcoming wedding and a married life together, we need to set priorities.

It was then that I decided on my word for 2017: Simplify. I told myself, if I want to continue traveling the country and the world, I need to simplify my life. I need to learn to do away with frills and wants that don't really serve me purpose and only give me fleeting moments of "happiness". I need to invest on experiences and learning. So here are the things I plan to do to simplify my life:

1. Downsize my closet. 

When I was still living in a condominium, I had a walk-in closet all for myself. It was always full and had more clothes and shoes than I could ever need. When I cleaned up one time, I found several pairs of shoes I'd never worn, and they were already in different stages of disrepair. Because my mom used to own a garments business, I was never left wanting for clothes. 

When I left to work for my uncle in the province in 2015, I had to make do with the clothes I could fit in my suitcase. I basically used three pairs of shoes: two sandals and a pair of rubber shoes that I barely wore. And what do you know, I survived!

Before I left the condo, I had a huge garage sale of my stuff. But there were still several pieces that remained. So in the next two months I plan to unload majority of my clothes and shoes. It's a good thing there are now Facebook groups and even selling apps available to easily dispose of your things. 

Bonus: Here's a video about the genius behind creating a "uniform," or wearing the same thing every day. I'm not at that stage yet, but curating my wardrobe seems also fitting now that I am about to turn 30.

Wearing the same clothes every day is actually really smart.
Posted by ATTN: Video on Thursday, December 22, 2016

2. Limit my shopping.  

I inherited a shopping habit from my mom, and that includes buying designer things. My mom had a neat collection of branded bags but because we had different tastes, I dreamed of buying my own. When I started working, I saved part of my salary to acquire them. Looking back, it seems I bought a designer bag for every job I had. So even if I'm saying goodbye to a lot of my things, I'm keeping my totes and purses. They represent a time when I was more carefree about my spending. A lot of my bags were also gifts. And because I already have several of them, they will have to do. I will think of them whenever I am tempted to buy another one. Let's hope my will is strong enough!

Tip: If you're also reining in your shopping habit, cleanse your social media feeds of what can distract or tempt you. Unfollow accounts of brands and sellers, at least until you are strong enough to look at posts and not get the urge to buy. Make window shopping your guilty pleasure! Or if you really want something, make sure you save up for it first before making the purchase.

3. Befriend a seamstress and other craftsmen.

This is related to number 2. I have been attending a lot of weddings, and I don't really have a lot of formal wear. They don't come cheap, so last year I had a friend's mom make a dress for me. It only cost me less than half of what they sell in stores! So this year I plan to make more visits to my friend's mom. From our entourage dresses, to ones I will wear to worship service, to tops and skirts, I plan to have them done by a local seamstress. I'm even thinking of learning how to sew myself! An aunt of mine shared how she makes her and her family's clothes, even those they wore for her parents' golden wedding anniversary. I think sewing is a very useful skill to learn.

No full body photo, but this is the dress I had made for a friend's wedding.

This doesn't end with clothes. Whether it's a piece of furniture or a service, I will expand my search beyond shopping malls and online advertisements. I'm sure there are hidden gems in our neighborhood, as there are in yours too!

These are just some of the ways I plan to simplify my 2017. Another thing I did was choose a nondescript planner from the bookstore. In previous years, I used the red Moleskine weekly planner. For a couple of years I also joined the Starbucks planner craze. This year I was also planning to get another coffee chain's planner, but decided I didn't need the calories, and the price difference between that and the Php250 one I picked up was huge. 

What's your word for the 2017, dear readers? Are there ways you wish to simplify your life too? Share them in the comments section! 

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