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Has anyone drastically reduced the amount of stuff you buy?

90 replies

gotmychocolateimgood · 18/07/2019 19:58

Stuff as in, clothes, shoes, books, toys, household items, decorative things?

Why and how? Thinking from an environmental perspective as well as reducing clutter.

OP posts:
RezCowgirl · 18/07/2019 21:04

Yup, were downsizing this time next year. From a small 2 bed house to an even smaller narrowboat home, so pretty serious reduction in stuff. Unless it is food nothing is coming into this house without 2 things leaving it too.

pinkhousesarebest · 18/07/2019 21:29

Yes and I say that as someone who was the ultimate consumer. We moved house and I got rid of everything I no longer needed/ loved. It took bloody ages. Now I buy much more rarely, all my furniture has a past and a fair percentage of my wardrobe. And I have so much more tie, less cleaning, a healthier bank balance and my conscience is clearer.

ineedaknittedhat · 18/07/2019 21:37

Yes, I only buy essentials now. I'm cutting right back. I am still buying the odd plant and potting compost though as I like gardening.

Miljah · 18/07/2019 22:09

House clearing my deceased parents house brought home to me how much crap we own. I have made a conscious effort to remove stuff. Made a couple of errors along the way, but we're getting there.

An 'issue' I had was 'value'. 'But this cost this; that cost that. However, the value of anything is what someone else will pay for it.

Now, I earn £19ph, upto £30 on antisocial hours. I ask myself whether a car boot where I spend 10 hours, all up, easily, getting £200, absolute tops, is worth my time and hassle, and early morning. I think not.

Charity shops and Gumtree Freebies are doing well out of us!

I have a long way to go, but I can see the path ahead.

Get rid of shit and allow no more into the house.

bluetongue · 19/07/2019 06:24

I have way too much sorting of the crap in my house to add to it at the moment!

Also seem to be constantly saving for / paying off travel and work that needs doing on my house so there isn’t money left to buy stuff anyway.

My parents are hoarders (mostly my mum really) and I dread having to clear out their house one day ...

OneRingToRuleThemAll · 19/07/2019 06:59

I reduced the stuff I buy by paying off all the debt I was in, and realising how much it costs and how much I have to work to pay for all this stuff. I'm a saver now and prefer to save than spend. I don't need endless amounts of stuff. Stuff adds nothing but stress to my life.

PolarBearOnARaft · 19/07/2019 07:08

I did, triggered by a period of redundancy and uncertainty about the future. No clothes but essentials for a year, no stuff at all really. Every purchase was really thought through. That was a couple of years ago and it’s started creeping back.

Think will do it again as looking to move and already feeling meh about all the packing.

chipsnmayo · 19/07/2019 07:35

I have just downsized from living here for 15 years, dear god the amount of crap of DD's (she's 21) that has accumulated in the loft is ridiculous - she never had an awful lot of toys other than dolls but the tat etc just builds up. I use to buy all this silly tat for DD for years, finally stopped that...

And to be fair I also accumulated lots over the years, I wasted so much money on cook books that I have never used! Along with silly gimmicks so I have stopped that.

I never bought much clothes or shoes. But magazines (use to religiously buy the TV Times - piles just build up). I no longer buy books, bought all these books for DD and I years ago in sales and they never got read so I just go to the library.

I have finally now got a proper paperwork system in place.

Adversecamber22 · 19/07/2019 07:57

I have never bought much at all and just replace on a need to basis. It’s due to absolutely hating shopping. I do have a wedding to attend and made an attempt at buying a dress. Found nothing I liked after three hours. I’m shopped out now so will probably wear something I already have.

FaithInfinity · 19/07/2019 10:46

I read ‘The No Spend Year’ last year. It’s about a woman who decided to try not to spend any money beside essentials (and that was limited!). £30 a week food budget. No transport (she rode her bike miles). It was extreme but she paid a huge whack off her mortgage! I couldn’t go that extreme but I’ve definitely cut down on what I buy. It’s a good read to open your eyes to how easily we waste money and fritter it away.

Taking photos of stuff is a great idea. DD asks for loads!

ACatNamedDoris · 19/07/2019 11:18

We had a massive declutter when we moved house, and by and large we've managed to keep on top of it. My house looks pretty minimalist, is mostly tidy and neat, and takes two hours to clean top to bottom as a result of this, BUT I still had a good old clear out the other day and harvested four binbags. It's mostly the DC and old clothes of mine as I'm losing weight, but still. I have definitely learnt to value space rather than stuff though - space equals time, you have to give so much time over to curating your stuff--stepping over and around an item, lifting it to dust or whatever. I buy most things second hand too.

Pyjamaface · 19/07/2019 11:26

I've just started this because I quit my job, while working out if I could I realised I was only working so I could spend money on shite.
I'm now sorting and decluttering and I am actually horrified at how much stuff I have. I got 6 bags for the charity shop out of my wardrobe yesterday. 6 bags!! The hours I spent at a crappy job I hated just to buy it, instead of spending time doing something I enjoy

MotherWol · 19/07/2019 11:34

Yes, I started decluttering and it's meant that I've really lost the urge to shop for new stuff. I'm much more selective about what I buy, and I tend to only get things if it's replacing something I need. I don't enjoy walking round the shops, because I don't need anything, so it just feels a bit pointless. I have a pinterest of things I'd like for my birthday, and if I really feel the urge to treat myself, I pick something off that. I've unsubscribed from most of the marketing emails I used to get, and I avoid following brands on social media because it just makes me want stuff.

Most of all, I remind myself that if I get new stuff, I have to be responsible for looking after it, finding somewhere to store it, tidying it up, and that puts me right off.

MikeUniformMike · 19/07/2019 12:37

Don't buy anything for the sake of having bought something.
Bargains often end up unworn - it's only a bargain if you would have bought it full price.
One in, one out - what are you going to get rid of to make room for it?
Do I need it, can I afford it?

I try to leave it in the shop with an If I still want it tomorrow/next weekend I can have it. I've usually forgotten about it.

I'm a hoarder and I am trying to maintain a Do I really have to have this? attitude.

AnguaUberwaldIronfoundersson · 19/07/2019 12:43

I went on a products purge in my bathroom and binned things I'd bought and tried and hated. Half filled my plastics bin with it all. You know, the stuff that promises minimal pores, frizz free hair and smooth toned skin and reduces stretch marks and cleanses without soap and sulphates and gives you that effortless beach wave hair you always dreamed of. £££'s of useless tat bought on a whim and glittering up my life. I now by the stuff I know works for me that may be more expensive but cheaper in the long run

Orangecake123 · 19/07/2019 12:51

October for me will be two years that I stopped buying clothes with the exception of one pair of gloves as I lost mine. The turning point for me was when I came home and my clothing rail actually snapped in half because of the amount of clothes I actually had. Shopping for me had become something that I did to make myself feel better. I baged many items and just hung up the ones I really liked and mainly wore.

I had 32 lipsticks 26 of which were red and piles of make up. Blush - I haven't bought anything new bar moisturizer.

With the exception of textbooks I stopped buying books too. I use mainly audiobooks and online libraries.

I stopped buying decorative stuff for my place too.

It's hard at first but you do get used to it. Just start small.

spiderlight · 19/07/2019 12:52

@gotmychocolateimgood - you sound very much like me. I have chronic health problems that limit my ability to go out and do stuff, I'm stuck at home most of the time and it's just nice to have a lovely parcel to look forward to. But these things usually only make me happy for a few minutes when they arrive and then they're usually just clutter, so I am trying very hard not to buy anything I don't genuinely need. I really did need the silver sloth necklace that's just arrived though

AquaPris · 19/07/2019 12:54

Never bought that much anyway tbh. I get a lot of free things from work which would go to waste anyway

Widowodiw · 19/07/2019 12:56

Buying less is the only way i think we can all have a massive positive impact upon the environment. When we need to buy we should buy sensibly. I have towels that are 8 years old, I will
Never buy new furniture because I’ve seen how much is out there than can be reused. My children use their old jogging bottoms as pjs, I’ve not changed the curtains from the previous owner as there’s nothing wrong with them. My tea towels have holes in them but still do the job. It become quite addictive once you start.

FlamingoFlamenco · 19/07/2019 13:27

I now have two places near me that refill handwash/shampoo/ olive oil, etc containers, which has massively reduced the throwaway plastic bottle habit.
As an artist I had a massive collection - over 2,000 - of art books, many of which I used as a general art tutor, but became unused as I now specialise in a specific art form, so didn't need them. Two thirds have now been donated to libraries round and about, as I feel more people will have access to them that way.

I think hard before buying anything that isn't vital - such as food. Will walk away first, and if I forget about it, then I didn't need it. If I'm not as taken with the item when I do go back to it, then I don't buy it as I obviously wanted it more than needed it.

I never buy the latest 'must have' as I don't really like change in the things around me - eg my phone is an original Nokia that I bought from new.....It still works perfectly!
My furniture are all pieces I bought and restored in the 70's/80's when setting up home. I love them and refuse to allow manufacturers/advertisers to convince me to throw away these pieces I've shared my life with, in order to fill my rooms with 'fashionable furniture'.

I find fab clothing pieces in the local charity shops that look like they've been worn just the once. Wonderful! I can then wear them as they are straight away, or give them a quick restyle first! Great fun!

panickingdaughter · 19/07/2019 13:34

Yes. Whenever I see something I fancy, I make a note of it then walk away. If I still desperately want it a week or two later, I may do. Lots of things sit in my amazon wish list until I decide I've managed without so far, so I don't need it!

Stopped buying any toiletries or make up. I'm using old stocks, and when I run out I try and do without or substitute something basic/homemade. So bicarbonate/talc and coconut oil for deodorant.

Clothes, I've worked out that in winter I wear jeans and nice tops, in summer I wear cropped linen and nice tops. I've got rid of almost everything else, just kept some real favourites and useful items.

latedecember1963 · 19/07/2019 15:35

I made a start on this 18 months ago. I no longer buy clothes for the sake of it and like previous posters I am working my way through a stock pile of toiletries and make up.
I had loads of unread books but find new books very hard to resist. As a compromise I only get a new book if I have read at least 1 of my existing collection.
I had a chat with my DH and sons and we agreed as a family to get each other less stuff at Christmas and birthdays which was actually quite liberating for all of us.
I try to work on the principle of 1 item out for anything new that comes in which mostly works.
I am definitely a more discerning shopper now.

gotmychocolateimgood · 19/07/2019 17:00

Yes, looking forward to something nice in the post does make me feel better. I need to find ways to cheer myself up that don't involve shopping! I spend a lot of time sleeping eg 14 hours per 24. I get awful headaches and sore muscles and joints, brain fog and poor concentration. Going out is hard as I can't walk more than 10 mins and sensory overload is just too much. So I'm at home a lot but feeling too ill to do anything.
I've lost weight recently which means lots of clothes fit which didn't before. I really don't need anything else and have no space.

OP posts:
Magmatic80 · 19/07/2019 17:10

Yes, I have a charity bag on the go at all times, and whenever I consciously notice something that is neither use nor (important) ornament, in it goes.

It started when we moved into our first owned home and I realised just how much stuff I’ve kept in boxes over 20 years of renting. Reading Marie Komodo accelerated it, although I have not gone further than clothes or books for that.

MIL is a great one for ‘stuff’ and spending time in their house really pushes home to me how I don’t want to live amongst so much stuff because it might be handy one day.

I’ve asked for ‘nice’ versions of things I need for Christmas and birthdays for years now (or money towards obv!), and I always buy DP experiences for his, weekends away or whatever.

My huge book/dvd collection is dwindling as I get rid of ones I’ve only kept for the sake of it.

I spend my money on food and travel now!

Magmatic80 · 19/07/2019 17:11

And kindle versions of books Grin

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