When I asked for amber pump bottles for Christmas, I’m sure my family thought I was being weird (as per usual). It’s just that I’d see this picture on Pinterest and was immediately reminded about a little mission I’d been toying around with.
The mission is to go label-less.
Going label-less was first introduced to me by this pin from Apartment Therapy.
The headline, Living the Label-less Life, was compelling, but it was the image that truly captivated me. This clean, simple kitchen made me physically sigh a breath of relief.
Yes, I thought. I want that.
Reducing labels in our lives is one part aesthetic (nerd-talk for making things look pretty), and one part resistance to our over-saturated advertisement culture.
To see what I mean, try this exercise with yourself: for the rest of the day pay careful attention to how many ads you see. You can spot them on sidebars and sprinkled all over social media. Some of them are overt, and others are careful product placements within the content itself.
It’s a lot, right? And it doesn’t include other ads we’re exposed to, including the billboards, mailers, catalogs, and packaging labels filling our lives.
These ads aren’t inherently bad–I’ve discovered a lot of great new products and services from them. But they are coming at us like water from a fire hose. And the clean, minimal kitchen pictured above reminded me that sometimes you just need a break, right?
When you remove labels from your life and home, you:
- Invite visual calm, which in turn invites emotional and mental calm. I’m not sure we all fully comprehend the toll these ads take on us until we experience peace when they’re gone…
- You get a break from being hounded constantly by marketing messages screaming to you from every surface that “you deserve this” and “your life will be complete with this revolutionary, life-changing product.”
- Create an atmosphere for others that feels peaceful
- Have spaces and clothing that look put-together and tidy (even if you haven’t cleaned in ages)
- Opt-out of the pressure to buy and display the “right” brands. Peer pressure is so a thing left better for your past teenage-self.
To start going label-less, here are three easy-to-tackle labels to remove:
- Common personal care products that are out in the open (like your shampoo and conditioner bottles)
- Kids’ products, like car seats, strollers, bouncy chairs and toys
- Pantry staples (I so long for a pantry that looks like this…)**
- **BONUS: removing labels from your food is easiest when you start shopping bulk, and a happy side-effect of bulk food that you end up eating more healthy, clean, whole foods
So what do you think? Would you try it? If yes, here’s a request: remove a label or two from your home, snap a photo of it, and then share it on Instagram. Tag me @stephaniehillberry so that I can see your label-less idea (and maybe adopt it myself).