Things I can do without (and maybe you can too)

Let’s be frank: I tend to surround myself with too much stuff I don’t need, and I am sure you do too. It becomes pretty apparent when moving from city to city, or house to house; when you try to fit all your belongings in suitcases and boxes and you ask yourself “How did I end up with so much crap!?” I am not moving anytime soon (or in the next 5 months… planning ahead further than that is a skill I haven’t mastered yet) but I would still like to save myself from drowning under a pile of boxes when I do, so I am attempting to reduce the amount of things I consume a little bit.

This doesn’t only apply to material things, but also services or entertainment that may not necessarily improve my quality of life, but instead make me spend my money, time and energy. In the quest of streamlining the stuff I consume I hope to save some money, and find the things that truly make me happy.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of the things I can do without:

Excesive amounts of clothes

You knew this one was coming. And you knew, because literally everybody and their mothers are guilty of this, and I am no exception. I definitely get caught up looking at beautiful Instagram posts featuring some fancy and unpractical item like zebra print pants, and thinking “maybe THAT’S what I need in my wardrobe”.

It’s not.

Deep down I know my outfits can be broken down into pretty simple patterns: black, white, warm tones, sweaters, midi skirts, jeans, camisoles, ankle boots, golden jewelry… DONE. So I am trying to be more conscious of the amount of clothes I buy, of how those items will combine with some others in my closet, and of how to get the most wear out of the pieces that I do own.

Come Spring (real spring, not 1C-in-the-morning spring) I will go through all my summer clothes and have a proper tidy, and who knows, maybe I will write something about that process.

Skincare

Now, don’t get angry at me with this one, but I don’t really believe in skincare. Sure, I understand lotions smell nice, and make you feel good while you put them on, but I haven’t ever noticed a long-lasting effect when using any of it. I believe in sun screen, lip balm and soap… and that’s pretty much it.

And before you come to talk to me about the benefits of X product that you are using, let me just clarify. Maybe there is a slight effect that you notice, maybe something does work for you, but for me, a slightly dewier skin, or more subtle wrinkles, isn’t worth the hundreds of euros some of us spend on skincare.

Eating out

Food is one of my main sources of happiness, as it is for most people. So when I say “eating out” I by no means mean that I want to get rid of date night, coffee with friends, or a nice dining experience. I am talking about the “convenience eating out”. The eating out you do when you can’t be bothered to cook your lunch for the next day, have nothing in your fridge, or you are simply walking by a McDonald’s and tell yourself “I would go for some chicken nuggets”.

I am all about spending time with friends, making new memories, trying new dishes…. But whenever eating out is not about the experience, but about the convenience, that’s when I am trying to get myself to go home, and cook. Even if it’s just some pasta.

Books

This last one is one I am still working on. I find it the hardest for two main reasons:

  1. I live in a german speaking country, but can only read books comfortably in English or Spanish, which means most libraries around me only offer German books or a very very limited selection of English classics.
  2. I love a good bestseller. All the blogs, Instagram accounts and influencers I follow are always talking about the latest releases, which gets me excited about reading them. And guess what? Those are not the kind of books you can find in libraries or fleamarkets. Those are the kind of books you have to buy, and pay full price for.

So currently I am striving for a balance. Trying to borrow some books from friends and family, and buy some of those best sellers I am dying to read. Next up, trying to find a library where the English section is more than two shelves. I will keep you posted.