Monday, April 9, 2012

Enough is Enough - 30 Day Challenge

I was reading Parent & Child Magazine from Scholastic, the girls get it at school and so we get two copies of it on a monthly basis, I usually try and read it, but some months it slips through, but this month I picked it up and came across an article about finding your "Enough" as it relates to stuff and how to live within those means.

The philosophy is quite simple, but putting it into practice seems to be where things are going to get dicey for me, but I was telling Brad about it and I am actually very excited about taking on this challenge. In the long run I think committing to our "Enough" will add a sense of simplicity and calm to our family life that we so desperately need.

Choose Quality over Quantity - "selective materialism" is about choosing and caring for quality items that we purchase and bring into our home.  The thought is that you should buy the best you can afford so that you are buying things that are well made and durable, so that you are grateful for what you have, and less likely to be thinking about the replacement or the next purchase.

Give Children the Ability to Be Happy - raise our children to find happiness outside of material possessions, move away from the gift giving to show low and move more towards rewarding our children with experiences.  Brad's Parents are great at this - they love to create great memories with the girls and with us, and I love that. We have close friends who have tween-age children and the things they worry about frighten me, their son, who is a great kid, wants to spend $16 on a pair of socks, because there is a stigma associated with Nike Socks and having Nike Socks is important - we are talking about a smart kid, who is raised by amazing parents, I can't stress enough that this kid has a great, solid head on his shoulders, but he still wants the $16 pair of socks, the pressure is insane to "keep up" at a very young age these days.  Sometimes I think - phew, we have girls, we won't be competing for the latest and greatest video game system and won't be worried about who gets the newest game first, but then I think about the middle school girls I see waiting for the bus toting a Coach Purse and I change my mind.

Own Less Stuff - how do you get to the "what I need" vs. "what I want"? Owning less stuff and using less stuff also makes us more responsible human beings, we naturally would create less waste, which of course is a huge win for the environment.

Discovering Your Personal Enough - the article talks about 3 steps we can all take to find our "Enough".

Step 1 - Understand and Embrace the concept of living with Enough
- Donate, sell and recycle the things you can do without
-Think before you bring things into your house

Step 2 - Teach your Children to embrace the concept of Enough
- monkey see as monkey do - be a good role model for your children
- is is more important to spend time together, or more time playing a new video game?
- remind them of all the things they wanted, but never use - likely because they have too many things

Step 3 - Put Theory into Practice
- One for One rule - if you want to bring something into the house - something has to go
- give experiences, not gifts - trip to the zoo, not a new doll as a reward for good behavior
- start small, tackle one closet at time
- don't give into buying things you don't need to show love

Beginning on April 15th you can join the 30 day challenge - HERE - everyday there will be a tip to help us along the path to find our "Enough" and declutter our homes. I personally can't wait. I am very much looking forward to finding our "Enough", I search for contentment every so often and always find myself getting caught up in things that don't matter. 

I look at everything our girls have - they have so much stuff, and frankly, they just don't need half of it. I am so tempted to just go through all their toys and weed out the things they don't play with, but the challenge is, they don't even remember what they have, because they have so much stuff. We need to do something about that!! And clothes, good grief, they have so many clothes, I keep telling myself that I will stop buying them clothes they don't need, but they are so stinkin' cute, I end up caving and giving in, I need to stop that.  I need to be okay passing up super cute clothes at great prices if the girls just don't need them.

Do you think something like this would be helpful for your family to participate in? I just hope it brings us so peace, helps us de-clutter our home and simply things just a bit.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Day 1 must be a little bittersweet for you. You get to make a calendar, but you have to use scrap paper. I love the idea of it all, especially the awarding with a special destination. We stopped buying the kids stuff without good reason as a New Year's resolution and they've been just fine with it. I'm the one who has a harder time saying no. I'll be really interested to hear about your progress.