A Year Long Experiment in Living With Less

My Year Long Experiment In Living With Less

Lately, I’ve found myself returning to that eternally fundamental question, “why?”

In all of this craziness that I call life right now, I find myself operating more and more out of survival mode.


I find myself losing sight of things that are important to me… that make me who I am… that fill me with life.


Because stuff is starting to crowd in again.

Okay maybe I’m not overwhelmed with a massive closet like I was a little over a year ago.

Maybe I’m not running to the store to drown every negative feeling with a shopping haul.

But still somehow, I find myself always purchasing something.

It just seems like there always something that I “need.”

I’m really sick of that. I’m sick of “things.”

I feel everything cluttering up my space and taking precious mental energy away from me. I have so little of it these days, that I hate to expend any of it on what kind of sparkling water I “need” to have in my fridge.

Lately things that should be perceived as extras (as “wants”), have been elevated to “need” status.

And all of the energy I’m expending to make sure the closets and shelves of my home are stocked with these “needs” is draining me dry.

I have so little to give right now that I want to reserve my energy for the relationships in my life… for the experiences… not for the stuff.

So I’ve decided to do something a bit crazy.

I’ve decided to take a break from shopping for anything for an entire year.

I’m not doing this to prove a point, or to make it seem like I’m the most minimalist of all the minimalists.

I’m doing it because I just need some space. Mentally and physically.

I need to be able to focus on the most important things in my life and I’m tired of feeling torn between the two.

Because less time shopping means more time with family, and less money spent on “stuff” means more money for experiences.

In order to stay accountable to this journey, I’ll be journaling about this regularly and sharing snippets with you here on Truncation.

I want to bring you into this journey because I feel that we are kindred spirits and I know that you get it.

Because remember the motto of Truncation?

“In Math, to Truncate is to limit the number of digits to the right of the decimal point by discarding the least significant digits. And that’s what I’m doing… clearing out all that isn’t significant.”

That’s what we’re all here to do… to learn to clear out the insignificant so that we can really live.

And I’m ready to really learn what that looks like.

It’s also going to mean a few changes here at Truncation as well. There are certain things that I’ve been doing with my blog that are taking more mental energy than I have to spare right now.

I’ll still be posting a couple of times a week, but my pictures are going to get a lot more simple.

I’m tired of every family outing turning into an opportunity for a photo shoot. I feel like I’ve been missing out on just purely enjoying time with my family.

So instead I’ll be turning to Caroline of Unfancy for inspiration (ironic, because it was her blog that inspired Truncation to begin with), and showing you simple outfit pictures without a lot of fanfare.

Because I do still want to inspire you to create a capsule wardrobe, but I need to do it in a way that works best for my family.

I might also start uploading videos instead of doing everything in written form.

Sometimes it’s just easier to ramble for a bit than it is to write it out. I’ll be doing what feels best in that moment… no strict schedule of this many videos and this many blog posts. It’ll be purely spontaneous and purely authentic.

Mostly, I want this space to be a place where you come to for inspiration.

I want it to be a space where you start to imagine your own space filled with more life and less stuff.

In a sense, I’m pushing the reset button.

I’m calling it my Truncated Year. It’s my year long experiment in living with less

These are just my rambling thoughts for now. I’ve been thinking all week about what needs vs. wants are and on Monday, I’ll share with you what I’ve come up with.

And you know what would be really cool? If you joined up with me in some way.

Maybe you’re not ready to jump all in, but maybe you’d be willing to give up something for a year. Coffee? Clothes? TV? Or maybe you’d be willing to just generally try to experiment in living with less for a year.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below if you are in! Or if you have any hesitations/questions, let’s discuss them!

I can’t wait to take this journey with you guys.

Here’s to living with less!

Until next time,



Hi there! My name is Karin and I am a lifestyle blogger with a focus on mindful style, clean beauty, and joy filled motherhood. I hope you find some inspiration here!

Find me on: Web



  1. July 8, 2016 / 1:15 am

    Yay to this! I so admire you for doing this Karin! More and more I find myself hating the sheer volume of useless stuff around me. I’ve come a long way and haven’t bought anything that I didn’t absolutely loved or needed in a long time. But the one thing I can’t shake is window shopping. I feel like an addict! If you have any tips for ditching this habbit I’d love to read about it. Bets of luck with your challenge! I’m sure it will be worth it πŸ™‚
    – X Marloes

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Thank you Marloes! I know exactly what you mean about window shopping… it can be tough, especially with everything online. I’ll let you know if I come up with any tips if you’ll do the same for me. πŸ™‚

  2. Miriah
    July 8, 2016 / 7:47 am

    Yes!!! We moved a month ago, and the first 2 weeks before all our boxes arrived were heaven! As I’ve unpacked and tried to settle in, there has been this nagging doubt. All the stuff is weighing me down and taking up time. I can’t wait to follow your truncated year. I am inspired to reduce the insignificant in my life to have more significant moments! Beautifully put!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:42 pm

      Thanks Miriah! I’m so glad you were inspired! We’ll be moving in the next month or two as well, and I’m excited to use it as a purging process as well!

  3. July 8, 2016 / 8:27 am

    Awesome!! I hope it’s a challenge that you’ll really thrive in! I feel like I’m in a bit of a different place–after living out of suitcases for nearly 2 years…I like having the freedom of actually buying a few new things once in a while. But I also don’t prefer to spend money on ‘extras’ of stuff unless it’s something that seems really worth it.

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Rachel! You’re definitely on the other end of things for sure! There’s no one right way of doing things, I think you just have to find the lifestyle that works for where you’re at!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Laura!

  4. Sue Allen (aka grealitygirl)
    July 8, 2016 / 11:04 am

    What a great and inspirational project you’ve come up with, Karin! I LOVE it! I can relate to the feelings you’ve expressed here, that sense–and belief–that there must be something more to this life than the pursuit and organization of STUFF, the idea that we can live with less, and come out better for it. Last month I was in Minneapolis for the (sudden) passing of a relative (my aunt’s partner of 39 years), and she’s been overwhelmed since then with the process of sorting through all the stuff left behind from this loved one. Last weekend also happened to mark the seventh year of my father’s passing, and it occurred to me that it might be healthy and liberating to weed through a few more boxes of leftover stuff from Dad’s life that I hadn’t been ready to let go of seven years ago. Why do we hold onto stuff so long? How is it that it defines our lives like that? I applaud your efforts to truncate the unnecessary, in order to gain more space, time, and experiences so that you can truly live. It’s the peace, the joy, the memories of well-lived experiences that matter when all is said and done, right?

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:46 pm

      Thank you Sue! I’m so sorry for your loss. I totally get keeping things because they have significant memories attached to them. I do think there is some merit in keeping some things that remind us of people we love, but I agree that they shouldn’t define our lives. And I completely agree with you!

  5. July 8, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    This is fantastic! I am always challenged to do this more! I think less is so strongly connected to a happier life altogether. Good luck in your journey!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks Jehava! I agree!

  6. July 8, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    I’ve heard of people doing this before and good on you! I don’t think I could ever do it. I’m sure the first couple months will be hard but then you’ll get into the swing of things and it’ll be second nature. Good luck!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:46 pm

      Thank you Lauren! I’m hoping that will be the case!

  7. July 8, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Such good timing! We were talking over dinner about the need to raise our (still unborn) kid in a home where you don’t need to go to the shopping centre on a Sunday or where there is no need for a xmas gift from EVERY member of the family…it’s going to be hard as the society we live in constantly nudges you with ‘brand new this’ and ‘season sales that’ but it’s worth a try. For our sanity, our pockets and our freedom of living in a space clutter-free. Am I dreaming? Is it even possible? I think it’s worth a try.
    I would appreciate book suggestions from any of you on how to raise a child teaching contentment and based on creativity and minimalistic baby life. Thanks for being so cool Karin, I will definitely follow your progress πŸ™‚

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Yes to that Alessia! That’s a huge reason that I am wanting to do this, to teach Kit that life isn’t about stuff. It’s definitely worth a try! I’ll let you know if I find any books. I’m glad you’re following along!

  8. July 8, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I love this! I stopped most of my shopping for about a year except for essentials in 2012 and it was very enriching for me. Ever since then I have been minimalizing and shopping less each year. It changed my whole mindset on shopping and even now I often see what I can make do with something I already own or do with out instead of buying new. I look forward to your posts!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      Thanks Rebecca! I’m glad to know that you were able to do it successfully! It gives me hope that I’ll have success as well. πŸ™‚

  9. July 8, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I feel like Im in a similar boat and finding freedom with less has become more and more important to me.

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      You’re welcome Kendra! I agree!

  10. July 8, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    You go girl!

    I’ve done a month-long shopping ban and a two month-long shopping ban and found out that I didn’t miss much.

    You can totally do this! I’ll be looking forward to reading about your progress.

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks Brenda!! I have a feeling that I’ll feel the same way once I get started! Thanks for the encouragement. πŸ™‚

  11. July 8, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    Good for you! So many North Americans have too much stuff in their lives. I love that you want to do new and exciting things with the stuff you already have, instead of buying new stuff.

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks Kyla! I agree. πŸ™‚

  12. July 8, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    This is such an awesome challenge. I’ve been getting frustrated with the sheer volume of “stuff” in our house too. I’ve stopped buying the boys toys because all they play with are the same things…trains and cars. We got lucky and were gifted some old trains, and that has been quite enough entertainment. I’ve also cut way back on the amount of clothing I buy them because I realized I was doing it more for me than them…they are boys and don’t care what they are wearing. Anyways, I would love to join in some way!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Thanks Shann! It’s funny how kids are so content with little. Kit lately has been loving playing with k-cups. πŸ™‚ I’d love for you to join in!

  13. July 8, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    I’ve been feeling like I have too much for some while now but the process to eliminate has been slow. I love this challenge but not sure what I’m going to consider. Going to give it some time for consideration.

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:54 pm

      It definitely has been slow for me as well Sheryl! But I think that’s okay. True change often takes time. Let me know if you come up with something!

  14. July 9, 2016 / 6:56 am

    Dear Karin,
    since I dive into this capsule wardrobe thing my whole shopping behavior changed. I donΒ΄t waste time with aimless shopping anymore. Instead of this I enjoy my time with friends and
    appreciate the ressources I already own.
    So, I love your thoughts and totally looking forward for your next post! Or video… πŸ™‚

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:54 pm

      I agree Sunray! I’m excited for that to happen even more. πŸ™‚ And thank you!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks Kali!

  15. July 9, 2016 / 9:59 am

    I admire this so much–best of luck with the next year! I’m excited to follow the adventure and see the upcoming posts and videos.

    Currently, I need to do a bit of truncating. As a college student, my dorm is ridiculously cluttered with things. I don’t even know why these things are even here. They just accumulate. I’m looking forward to starting a semester off a bit more simplistically since I’m doing a massive clean-up and clear-out this month. I hadn’t started it yet, so this post was the inspiration I needed to see.

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Thanks Sierra! Dorm rooms are tiny so I get your feeling that it’s cluttered! Keep me updated on your clean out! I’d love to hear how it goes!

  16. July 9, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Good luck to you with this challenge! I’m excited to see how it goes. I definitely need to declutter and stop buying stuff all the time, that’s for sure.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Thank you Jenny!

    • Karin
      July 10, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      You should Ashley! πŸ™‚

  17. July 10, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    What an interesting experiment! I could really learn to live with less.

  18. April 10, 2018 / 11:13 pm

    Wow … I’m hoping all is well with everyone & that y’all have been hanging in there with much success. Your experiment with living with less sounds so much like where I’m at in my life. I couldn’t help but notice that it’s been many months since your post & at the time of it I was nowhere near such a conclusion though now several months in the making. Your words were my words & had I not known better I would have sworn they were from a page in my own journal. Wishing everyone the very best of everything!

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