No Shopping for a Year

New York Times’ My Year of No Shopping by Anne Patchett:

  • Make rules for your no shopping year
  • “Elissa said she gave people time, a certificate to watch their kids or clean their house. ‘That,’ she told me, ‘turned out to be the hardest thing. Time is so valuable.'”
  • “If you want something, wait awhile. Chances are the feeling will pass.”
  • “My first few months of no shopping were full of gleeful discoveries. I ran out of lip balm early on and before making a decision about whether lip balm constituted a need, I looked in my desk drawers and coat pockets. I found five lip balms. Once I started digging around under the bathroom sink I realized I could probably run this experiment for three more years before using up all the lotion, soap and dental floss. It turns out I hadn’t thrown away the hair products and face creams I’d bought over the years and didn’t like; I’d just tossed them all under the sink.”
  • “Not shopping saves an astonishing amount of time. In October, I interviewed Tom Hanks about his collection of short stories in front of 1,700 people in a Washington theater. Previously, I would have believed that such an occasion demanded a new dress and lost two days of my life looking for one. In fact, Tom Hanks had never seen any of my dresses, nor had the people in the audience. I went to my closet, picked out something weather appropriate and stuck it in my suitcase. Done.”
  • “Once I stopped looking for things to buy, I became tremendously grateful for the things I received.”
  • “Not shopping frees up a lot of space in your brain.”