Part 1. Why I’m Doing The No Shopping Challenge


My husband jokes that I’m a “wannabe minimalist” and he’s totally right. While I definitely see the benefit of living a life uncluttered by the chaos of meaningless things, I still like to “feather my nest” as he says. And hey, I am an Art Director, so styling and design is literally my job.

But in the past couple of years, my attention has turned from how our things clutter our closets and homes, to how they clutter our minds, our perception, and most importantly, our time. 

Back in August, I found myself accidentally still awake at 2am deep down the rabbit hole of online shopping. The culprit was the Nordstrom anniversary sale, which is a time-sucking doozy if you let yourself get roped in. I did. The next morning, I was a couple hundred bucks poorer,  exhausted, and annoyed with myself for not spending my time better. I could have been creating, writing, reading, painting! Nope, I was looking at sweaters on the internet. Oh, and I ended up returning all the things anyways, so add “trip to the post office” to my list of useless ways I waste my precious time. 

 It wasn’t the shopping itself actually, it was the opportunity cost of not doing something else with my time instead. That’s not to say that buying things is inherently bad, but I was procrastinating doing the things that actually require my effort, like my creative work. You know what takes effort? Writing. Researching. Painting. Planning. Styling. Designing.. What doesn’t take effort? Scrolling through sandals online. 

Epiphany had, #ChallengeAccepted.

Oh, and because I’m an overachiever, I threw in another challenge for myself: to wear something I already own in a novel combination. This was deliberate; to shift my focus into seeing what I already owned in a new light. We’re all guilty of defaulting to our favorite jeans and t-shirt combo, and I knew this would force me to get more creative. The thing is, I actually like the things I own, but I was allowing myself to be distracted and letting them go forgotten. So in a way, I knew this would also become a lesson in gratitude. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story for lessons learned. 

P.S. As I was writing this article, this email popped up: “From: Nordstrom. Subject: We’ve received your return, Kristina.” If that’s not a sign from the universe, I don’t know what is.