At the beginning of 2020 I decided that this was going to be my “no spend year”. Little did I know that I would get a helping hand from lockdown, and that I’d find my lagom life.
I’ve always been a spender, mainly with a focus on clothing but always enjoyed just buying “stuff”. That all changed when I had the girls. I never understood why my mum wouldn’t treat herself to nice things until I became a mother. I started to find it difficult to spend money on myself, especially with a body that had now changed shape, and I would only get things if I really needed them.
I noticed at the end of last year that I had a LOT of stuff. I had a wardrobe full of clothes, drawers full of skincare and makeup, and a loft full of things I never use, and none of it was making me happy. I made the decision to have a “no spend year” and the rules were simple:
- Reduce current wardrobe. Only buy to replace key pieces with proceeds from sold items.
- Organise skincare and only buy products to replace when all others of that type have been used.
- All purchases must be fully considered. Choose experiences over objects.
- Go through all possessions and declutter. Donate, recycle, or repurpose where possible.
Of course at the start it was very easy, and in March the Government imposed a lockdown and then lighter restrictions, some of which are still in place.
Not only did this stop me from spending, but it gave me time to relax, read more, go on walks with my family, and generally take stock of what’s important to me. I started to watch a lot more Netflix, including The Home Edit, The Social Dilemma and Minimalism, all of which promote satisfaction through a more organised and simple life.
The points that struck me most from these shows were about clear organisation (a place for everything and everything in its place), the economical and ecological effects of the way we shop, the weight that we can feel from possessions, and how our time and attention are the world’s biggest commodity.
Some of this sounded familiar, so I revisited my books on hygge and lagom and reignited my love of Scandi, especially the idea that happiness can be achieved by lessening the load and living a more balanced life, where nothing is too much or too little, everything is just right. Nordic countries are consistently recorded as the happiest in the world based on the criteria of income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity, so who better to learn from?
So I shall continue on my journey to “lagomify” my life, work towards a more minimalist approach, appreciate a calmer, more balanced lifestyle, and I’ve even started to learn Norwegian!