Don't buy stuff

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  S0ndanc3r 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    I made a new year’s resolution to not buy a “thing” for one year. I just found I had too much stuff. I admit it was not easy the first month, but by February I realized it wasn’t going to be all that difficult. Of course, I do buy food. I also buy services and gifts (mostly on-line, so that I don’t have to go into a brick and mortar store). Prior to January 1st I did stock up on things like toilet paper, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc.

    It’s been life-changing!

    Karla Bowsher
    MTN Staff

    As a thing-disliking minimalist but also a realist, I’m curious where exactly you drew the line in defining what constitutes a “thing,” aside of excluding food from the definition.

    For example, did you stock up on toiletries before January 1 because they count as things? If so, did you really stock up enough to last you all year? And not run into storage issues?


    In addition to being a new empty-nester, we also significantly downsized to a new home. I had too much cabinet space to keep extras during the 20 years in the old house. So I boxed up extra toiletries and did a Costco run at the end of last year. I still have a large amount of tp and paper towels in the garage. I’m thinking unless I throw numerous big parties, it should last us until the end of the year. 🙂

    It surprises me that we’re finding it so easy. I realize that so much of our shopping was done out of habit.


    Sometimes we only “get” that much of our buying habits has become a burden, once we are forced to live on less income. I used to go to thrift stores or garage sales to relieve stress, and almost always found something to buy. Now, I only go to buy something I can sell. But only a few items at a time, until they’re sold.

    I’ve seen so many people take up their “living” space with “dead” things, that they are forced into narrow pathways in their home. Plus, they’re paying to store more dead stuff in a storage unit, many times over the value of the things in storage. It’s an American habit that can bring us down, financially and emotionally, over time.

    I live with someone who buys compulsively, mainly paper goods, kitchen gadgets (he has 5 coffee makers)canned and bottled food, and extra large sizes of things. He has 8 boxes of toothpaste, 8 jars of flax oil, 12 bottles of a variety of salad dressings, and cases of bottled drinks. He says he does this so he doesn’t have to go to the store so often, but he still goes several times a week.

    I’m constantly having to work around all this excess, which does get to me at times.


    All those salad dressing will go rancid before you use them. Also the flax oil will go rancid. Buying and throwing away is a waste of money, time, and emotions.


    I totally agree! But there’s no way to convince someone who’d obsessive compulsive. I don’t use any of his many rancid oils. He’s got about a dozen different kinds. I use coconut oil and olive oil, with no back up inventory!



    Here are suggestions. First of all I have girlfriend who has the same behavior. She buys clothes I never see again and never wears them!

    Buy your friend a cheap storage unit, take away the drivers license or send your friend to a counselor.

    Sorry to sound so mean…



    I don’t agree with everything in this article. I have to have a KitchenAid stand mixer because I have carpal tunnel and my hands and wrists get “tired” from holding a hand mixer. Plus a hand mixer sometimes is more powerful than I can handle, even on a low speed.

    I still have my blender to use for making smoothies. A food processor just doesn’t do a good smoothie justice. but I do like food processors when I am making my Christmas cinnamon roll dough. The KitchenAid is not as good for that.

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