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Our most popular courses are now available for purchase! Do something good for yourself in 2023 and grab Building Wealth by Doing Nothing: Investing 101 *and* 201 taught by friend of TFD and investing expert Amanda Holden. These have been taken by almost 10,000 of you!

Chelsea walks us through everything she got rid of for good in 2022, from clothing to a traditional 40-hour workweek.


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Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea. And this week's video is brought to you by our own stuff.

So it is officially 2023. And if, like us, you don't love the pressure of New Year's resolutions but still want to do something in the name of self-improvement this year, we have the perfect thing for you. It's our Building Wealth By Doing Nothing-- Investing 101 and 201 courses.

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And this week, we are kicking off the new year by talking about all of those things that I left behind in 2022, like this queen who makes an appearance every single year. I have seven things to cover, and I want to give a little detail on each of them. So let's cut the bull-bull-[BLEEP] and get into the seven things that I got rid of for good in 2022.

Number one is about 60% of my clothes. Now listen, I can already hear you squawking in the comments. Like, aren't you always on a clothes-purging journey?

Correct. I am. Listen, I am always in the process of unplugging myself from the matrix that is consumer culture targeted at women.

I have bought too many things throughout my life, things that I didn't end up wearing nearly as much as I thought I would. Lord knows I've talked at length on this channel about things like my Robin's egg blue faux fur coat. But I still find that on most season-to-season changes, I am confronted with the reality of a good number of clothes that I just didn't end up wearing.

And I think part of that is because in the past when I've done purges, I have done just straight-up I take things from my wardrobe, and they end up getting sold, donated, recycled, et cetera. And because it goes directly from my wardrobe into gone forever, I typically tend to be fairly conservative when it comes to the things that I'll get rid of. There have been a lot of items in each round of purging where I'm like, oh, well, I didn't wear that this season, but maybe I will.

I like it enough to keep it. And lo and behold, I didn't end up doing it. So I created a new system this year, which is my now forever system, which is partially inspired by the fact that we do have a storage unit now in this building, which is for a Manhattanite the ultimate luxury one can experience.

But I think this would work just as well if you have some like overhead storage or areas that you don't really use that you could fit a few Tupperwares, where instead of getting rid of clothes immediately, I take everything that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to need, and I put it into storage for three months. And if after three months of full season basically I don't find myself missing it or wanting to wear it, then I know I can get rid of it safely. And that has allowed me to be way more ruthless.

And we also talk a lot on this channel about fast fashion specifically, which is something I do generally stay away from, but which for many people is the most accessible or affordable option when it comes to buying clothes. And since a lot of these clothes are literally made to be disposable at some level, it's totally understandable that you would be constantly in that cycle of accumulation, and then ultimately purging. Now, I am not being paid to say in this video.

It is generally just my actual feelings on the matter. But as some of you guys know, we've been doing a partnership on the channel with the clothing rental service, Nuuly, which has honestly been amazing for me. And I'm just like keeping going with it even after the campaign is done.

And if you're interested in Nuuly, I do recommend that you use our discount code in the description. But you don't have to, but it would be amazing. And like I said, it's not an ad I'm being paid for either way.

So do with it as you will. But clothing rentals, I think, if you are someone who, like me, does tend to be tempted more than some when it comes to buying clothes, it's actually a great option. I found that pretty much my entire desire to just buy stuff has evaporated with the fact that I know that every month I get to pick six new items from their beautiful online shopping and just test them out.

And if I like it, I can rent it again the next month and so on, or even buy it. It just really scratches that itch that a lot of us have when it comes to shopping, which is more about the experience and the imagination and the searching. It's the same reason why a lot of people like to fill up their online shopping carts and then not actually check out.

And there are actually some environmental benefits to renting over just buying a lot of items of clothing. I've been wearing a lot of new clothing in my videos and on my social media. And if you're out there wondering is this [BLEEP] always shopping?

No, I just rent [BLEEP] now. All right. Another thing I got rid of this year-- RIP to that-- is my bird of paradise plant, which sucked.

Here's a photo. I loved her. You used to see her in these videos.

And she died a painful and probably ultimately avoidable death. We're trying to be very conscientious about our plant care in this house. But one thing we really failed to take into account when we bought our bird of paradise was that they need to have a very warm, humid climate.

But they are, at the end of the day, tropical plants. And we didn't realize that in the summer months when we're using the air conditioner, it goes directly onto where that plant is placed. And it was just too cold for the baby-- too cold and dry.

For those thinking of getting one because they are gorgeous plants, they are generally easy to maintain if you have them in the right kind of environment. But keep in mind, as Gardener's World puts it, the "Bird of paradise plant is not hard to grow, but it does need specific conditions-- warmth, bright light, and a humid atmosphere. A south-facing room, bathroom, or conservatory is ideal.

And it also needs plenty of room, as the leaves can reach up to 2 meters tall." So we did have to let her rest in power. But now we've replaced her with a fiddle-leaf fig tree, which some people are like, oh, that's a bit passé. Whatever.

I still like the way they look. And more importantly, it's totally fine with the AC unit. And she's been thriving for months now.

So we're all good in here. But yeah, bird of plant was definitely a good lesson to do a lot more research on the plants that you bring in, not just for the immediate environment they're in, but how that environment stands to change over the course of the year, which taking accountability here, we didn't. Number three is my fear of TikTok.

So I have avoided TikTok for the longest time because honestly, I'm old and it scared me. And also, I felt like I was equating it too much in my head, I think, to Instagram, which can, in its worst iterations, engender a really high level of pressure to present a certain image, and to be consistent with that image, and to seem perfect and very curated and all of these other things. And I actually have found in the five days now I've been using TikTok as of filming, that it's actually pretty much the opposite.

I actually feel it's more akin in some ways to Instagram stories or Twitter, in the sense of you're just out here getting awesome content. No one really cares what it looks like. And it actually, to me, is more antithetical to the platform to be overly curated in your presentation.

And when you see someone on TikTok who's like completely perfect-- like it keeps recommending this British influencer named Lydia Millen to me, who's like insanely perfect in a very 2015/16 lifestyle influencer way. And I'm like, are we still doing this? Like, what is this?

So I actually find TikTok relieves the pressure somewhat. I've been embracing it wholeheartedly because for some personal reasons I would like to have a presence on the platform going forward. But also because it's a really good outlet for me to just post my cooking and domestic content that I really enjoy, but doesn't really fit into what I do here at TFD.

And I find that with Twitter becoming more and more unusable by the day, I really don't want to just be left to Instagram. And while some people might take the opportunity to just leave social media entirely, I'm someone who really does rely on social media for a lot of my work. And I personally enjoy the role that it plays in my life.

So I don't want to give it up. But I will say that I was pretty-- that I did have a big misconception about TikTok, and I've actually been really enjoying it. Shameless plug-- my TikTok is @faganchelsea.

It's also linked in the description. And you should definitely go follow me because it's a very wholesome side of my life, I think, personally. Number four is fancy sheets.

Now, I am not going to call this brand out by name, but I'm sure some of you are going to know who I'm talking about because they have saturated that DTC market on the sheets and linens and bath towels and all that [BLEEP] with a stunning level of universality. Like, I think I've seen in my life in New York maybe 100,000 ads for this company. It's on every subway car.

It's on every Instagram feed. It's just everywhere. And there are a few other brands of sheets and linens that have a similar level of ubiquity.

But long story short is that I have tried several of these higher end brands, like semi-higher end brands, and those sheets are terrible. Like, I have had genuinely so many issues with some of the nicer sheets I bought-- like, horrible discoloration no matter what I do. Like, one of them just like-- the bottom of the duvet just like completely ripped, like buttons popping off.

Like, it is just [BLEEP] quality. And I've actually found that my favorite sheets that I've ever owned are this linen set that I actually got from Amazon, unfortunately, but less expensive than some of these competitors, and genuinely amazing quality-- 100% linen. I love these sheets-- can't get enough.

I will link you to those in the description. And it will not be an affiliate link, so go forth and prosper, whether or not you actually want them or not. But it's actually not all in my head that a lot of these sort of, quote, "higher end" sheet and linen companies aren't actually all that higher end, and are often the exact same stuff that you would be buying on much lower end retailers and drop ship companies.

And that's actually a huge problem in the retail world. Now, don't get me wrong. Some really high-end sheets can really be worth it.

But I am not going to be spending $1,000 on sheets. So when we're looking in the mid-range section, a lot of times you are getting these honestly not that great products that are made with a lot of synthetic blends to cheapen the production methods, and are often literally identical and made in the same facilities as ostensibly lower end products. And as I mentioned, this is a big issue in retail, not just in sheets.

Designer brands often source their cosmetic products from the same manufacturer as drugstore brands. If you knew your $25 mascara came from the same source as the $2 drugstore mascara, would you think twice before buying? Spoiler alert.

Much of your makeup comes from China, not Paris or Milan, as the brand's advertising might suggest. And here are just a few examples of how absolutely ubiquitous this problem is across all kinds of manufacturers and brands. So long story short is that if you are paying a premium for a brand name, do everything in your power to research that that brand name is actually worth it and not literally the same product you could be buying for half the price.

Number five is my old kitchen. Now, to get the full breakdown on my kitchen saga, you're going to need to watch this members only video-- ahh-- where I go through the whole financial and logistical reality of that experience and share kind of all my insights and stuff like that. And it will be linked in the description, but you can also just hit the Join button and get it.

But long story short, just to kind of summarize this. So I did do a kitchen renovation this year. And overall, I would classify that purchase as having been worth it.

I wouldn't do it in exactly the same way next time, but I definitely would do it again. I really, really enjoyed the outcome. My kitchen is my favorite place.

I love being in there every day. I love cleaning. it's just-- it's my happy place. And now with my TikTok being like heavily food and domestic content, that [BLEEP] getting some shine on social media.

So all of that is to say I definitely think it was a good investment. But I have also become quite chastened about the entire prospect of home renovation. For example, we had a few other planned renovations over the course of the next year and a half to two years in our apartment that I'm now like not stopping, but definitely pumping the brakes on.

We're planning to open up a portion of a wall to create a breakfast bar. That I still definitely think is worth doing. But I'm probably not going to do it for at least a year, if not more.

Just because I know how, a, expensive and budget this stuff tends to typically be. But also, how long it takes compared to what you're initially planning. And you really have to plan for your life to be substantially disrupted when this happens to an extent.

But the one I'm like not totally 100% sure will never happen, but at least not for the next few years, is a bathroom renovation. We have wanted to switch to a stall shower from a bathtub. If there's a way to do that is minimally invasive, maybe.

But it's likely that it will not be minimally invasive. And honestly, given that our bathroom was fairly freshly renovated before we moved in, and given that it's probably the most disruptive part of your home to redo and has so many components in it that are really potentially complicating, such as plumbing and all of that other stuff, it's just not worth it right now for us to do. So I think I'm going to make some other changes, like probably put some wallpaper up on the walls and do some stuff like that to make it feel fresh, change out some light fixtures and whatnot.

But yeah, I'm very realistic denial about the fact that when you do a renovation in your home, you have to expect it to take twice as long as you thought, go at least 30% over the budget you had initially planned for, and have all kinds of issues that you could literally never have predicted or budgeted for. Like, for example, basically, a wire short-circuited in our refrigerator during the renovation. And it's a model-- it was an extremely expensive refrigerator.

It was like almost $10,000. We didn't buy it. It was here from when we moved in.

But it's like custom fit to our cabinetry, so we couldn't change it. And it's really expensive to replace parts for it. So it was $1,000 just for that one refrigerator issue.

Just poof-- gone. And we never could have foreseen that. So I am not in any rush to do something like that again.

But I did get rid of my old kitchen. And despite the pain, I think it was worth the gain. But hold up on doing any more of that.

On a better note, another thing I got rid of pretty much forever now is ever working five days a week again. So we have discussed a fair amount at TFD about our four-day workweek experiment, which we're more accurately calling our 32-hour workweek because sometimes you do work a little bit on Fridays. Or like tonight, I'm actually doing an event for TFD, so I won't work much tomorrow.

But I'm working kind of late tonight. It just really depends. But we didn't do any salary cuts.

We didn't really change any of the workload. It was really just about working smarter. So we put all kind of parameters around how we meet, for example.

Like, 30-minute meetings can be 15-minute meetings. 15-minute meetings can be emails. They only fall in certain days of the week. Basically, just finding ways to eliminate redundancy and waste and unnecessary work that ultimately leads people into thinking they need to spend a lot more time at work than they actually do.

And this is, by the way, a very well-demonstrated phenomenon. Like, most people in professional jobs don't actually work the full 40 hours that they're being contracted to work. The Wall Street Journal actually recently had an article about white collar workers who shuffle between two or more full-time jobs carefully aligning their schedules to avoid meeting overlaps and doing their best to keep multiple gigs secret from each other.

Many of the workers in the article noted that only a small share of their time at the first job was spent doing productive work, enabling the multiple job bait and switch. According to the Journal, one software engineer said he was logging three to 10 hours of actual work a week back when he held down one job, with the rest of the time spent on extraneous meetings and busy work. And when we look at all of the different metrics of success at TFD-- our profitability, our productivity, our number of successful contracts and clients and business-- everything is way up since switching to the four-day workweek, again, without having to reduce salaries.

My colleague, Caitlin, who heads up finances at TFD, has actually written a few really fascinating articles on our LinkedIn about this, and I'll just quote from her now. "At first glance, these results seem counterintuitive. In fact, shortening our working hours actually increased our team's self-measured ability to meet deadlines and manage their workload. As I wrote previously at the start of the experiment, we had agreed as a group that if we can't get our work done in the allotted 32 hours, we'll move the deadlines and deliverables so that we can.

Instead of creating stress, this allows the team to own their time and set deadlines that feel realistic instead of restrictive. Interestingly, our employee survey actually showed a decrease in the metrics related to work-related satisfaction, including a 9% decrease in agreement with the statement, 'my work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment,' and a 6% decrease in the statement, 'I am proud to work for this company.' While this may not be the ideal result, I'm quite intrigued by the idea that our team is perhaps deriving less satisfaction from their identity as part of this company and more satisfaction from their ability to find satisfaction outside of it. An unintended consequence of our transition to a shorter workweek may in fact be that our work defines us less when we spend less hours doing it, allowing us to explore our full selves and feelings of accomplishment from endeavors not related to work." I definitely have been experiencing this myself.

I've been branching out into all different kinds of side projects and hobbies that I feel enrich me and define me in many ways just as much as my main job. And I actually think that's a really great sign, personally. But she's dead on in the fact that we've been doing more with less.

And there's absolutely no reason to go back. And as far as any decrease in satisfaction, our employee retention has been 100% since we started this, so no one seems that unhappy. Lastly, something I got rid of permanently in 2022 is [BLEEP] plastic Tupperware.

So my Tupperware collection used to be an absolute mess of leftover containers that were repurposed, and really crappy mismatched stuff that was like stained from spaghetti sauce however long ago and half-melted in the microwave. And just like-- it was atrocious. And now in my current kitchen, the cabinet that houses my Tupperware and storage and stuff like that is actually glass front so you can see it.

So I was like, this is reason enough. Let's let vanity drive a better decision here and actually switch to much better stuff for a long-term storage solution, especially as someone who cooks big batch pretty much as a rule and is constantly storing food. So some of the items that I have now are these kinds of Le Parfait glass jars.

I like to reuse these larger milk jugs from Ronnybrook Farms. I have a few sets of Pyrex storage, which are also really functional because they can go into the oven. And aside from not having all of those potentially hazardous chemical-seeping issues with plastic containers, glass is also a much better long-term storage solution environmentally.

When it comes to durability, longevity, and its ability to be recycled, glass outperforms plastic on environmental impact. If properly cared for, glass can outlast the lifespan of plastic in the kitchen. Where plastic is prone to melting or discoloration, glass remains a durable and long-lasting solution for food storage.

Additionally, glass is 100% recyclable. And so long as it is properly disposed of, you can recycle glass at a designated facility. Unfortunately, due to the wide variety of plastic products available, many recycling plants only offer recycling to a few types of plastic.

Anything non-recyclable is tossed into a landfill, where it remains for many years. Therefore, glass wins the argument for most environmentally friendly, and chic as hell, which is what we're going for. Anyway, that's just some of the stuff that I got rid of in 2022.

Bye, [BLEEP]. And I would love to hear in the comments some of what you guys got rid of. And otherwise, I am so excited for a lighter and more productive 2023.

It's all about doing more with less this year, and I'll see you there. Bye, guys.