Recently I read an article in Cosmo about 'The KonMari Method' way of organising your clothes and spending habits. Whilst I'm the first to admit that a folding method for my odd socks and underwear would last merely a week before it turned to dust, one piece of advice that really stuck with me from the Japanese professional de-clutterer Marie Kondo herself, is that you should only purchase and surround yourself with things that bring you true joy. (You can find her book here).
It might sound like a pretty obvious piece of advice to only buy things that make you happy but the more I thought about it and my own spending habits, the more it began to make sense to me. For example: I was flying home from London Fashion Week absolutely exhausted two weeks ago and I was tottering around Stansted airport killing time. I was walking around the sunglasses section, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted Rainbow Dash.
Who or what is Rainbow Dash you might ask? Well, she's a My Little Pony. Yep, a stuffed animal with rainbow hair coming out of her body and gigantic eyes. I'm well-clued in on all things My Little Pony thanks to my little sisters, and I've been eying up my baby sister's gigantic Rainbow Dash teddy for well over a year now. Every time she'd bring me in to her bedroom to show me new toys and whatnot, I'd always end up taking Rainbow Dash off the shelf, mesmerised by her.
This might sound a tad lame (Leanne, you're nearly 23!) and I know, but bear with me. When I saw a miniature version of her rainbow-self beside the Prada shades, I knew I couldn't resist. It was an hour since I had read the article about The KonMari Method and I stood there with this children's toy in my hand, swinging between "Leanne - it's a teddy. You're an adult, really?" and "Leanne, this My Little Pony makes you smile, it's only £9 and it'll look fantastic in your bedroom."
I said one big "FECK IT." and bought it. This random spending experiencing of a stuffed rainbow teddy really cemented the idea of only buying things that bring me genuine joy and happiness. I'm admittedly not the worst over-spender out there, most of my €€€ goes on food, however, I do suffer from shopper's guilt when I buy that Sandro sweater or something else an Irish granny would call "a sin" to spend money on.
I've learnt that if something makes me feel happy - why the hell shouldn't I buy it? When I go through my wardrobe and see that dress and those shoes, I can't help but smile because I know they make me feel happy and great when I wear them - or merely look at them.
The same goes for Rainbow Dash. She now symbolises my decision to only buy things that make me feel true joy; whether it be a My Little Pony, tacky-as-HELL luminous Air Max trainers (guilty) or a new season Sandro tee. If I can afford it and it won't leave me broke - it's ok.
Clothes make me happy, as my life and my career revolves around fashion so it might seem quite trivial to some that something like a t-shirt or pair of shoes could and does bring me joy, but that's where my interests lie.
Not only have I started thinking about my spending habits differently, I also delved deep into yet another room clear-out last week. I made a conscious effort to have things on display around my room that made me feel good; Rainbow Dash herself, my favourite pairs of shoes, inspiring quotes, books and so on. I went through my wardrobe and took out anything that didn't scream confidence/ happiness to me. It felt amazing and since being surrounded by items that have such a positive effect on me, it remarkably has made quite a difference to my positivity each day.
We should all begin thinking about what we're spending our money on and why, outside of the necessities - are we buying X and Y because we think it'll please someone else? Are we buying purely out of habit? Are we buying to simply 'fill a space'? Questioning my spending habits has prevented me from buying things I don't really need and feel "meh" about it. It's a fantastic way to see what you spend your money on, what you shouldn't spend it on and what makes you grin ear-to-ear.
Declutter your surroundings if you feel like anything you look at on a day-to-day basis brings you down, makes you feel indifferent or triggers a bad memory. Life is too short to be constantly looking at things that don't make you feel great. To summarise..
If it doesn't make you feel joy, put it down or get rid of it.