A recent Twitter survey asked "What do you most look forward to doing when shelter-in-place guidelines are lifted?"
Does it surprise you to know that almost no one answered "Go shopping"?
The most common answers were "Hang out with friends," "Visit family members," "Take my family out for dinner," "Go to a concert," "Go to the library," "Use our city parks," and "Hit the gym."
Amazingly, we seem to have learned that shopping for new stuff isn't something we've been missing during the COVID-19 quarantine. Sure, we've bought food, and cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. Maybe we've downloaded some movies or books, or ordered some hobby supplies online so we could spend our free time creating something.
But when it comes to quality of life, it turns out that shopping for clothes, furniture, electronics, and cars is not essential. Accumulating more physical stuff doesn't really matter all that much.
What we're really longing for is personal connection, social activities, and enriching experiences.
Retail sales are down, yet life goes on. And it will get even better when we can hug our friends again, attend gatherings, or travel and meet new people.
Of course, this doesn't mean we will never go shopping again. The pursuit of minimalism doesn't require us to stop spending money, it simply encourages us to spend thoughtfully.
The occasional purchase of something just because I like it, even if I don't strictly need it, isn't bad or wrong. But as a minimalist, I know that there are things far more rewarding than material possessions.
I look forward to cuddling a friend's baby due in August. I look forward to taking my grandchildren to the playground and the public swimming pool. I look forward to getting a massage and a haircut. Maybe you look forward to going to church or visiting your mother in assisted living. You might miss relaxing with your friends at the neighborhood bar, but you don't miss the mall.
So maybe spending three months at home has brought you face to face with how many possessions you already own. And maybe it's given you a desire to live with less. Why not take on a Declutter Dare? You can freshen your home, increase your freedom, and turn your focus toward what really adds value to your life.
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash