Consumptionism rules the world! Really, we buy like crazy and often those are things we don’t even need. Dozens of pairs of heels because “they’re nice and I’ll wear them one day”, another car toy for son, one more bra and of course one more hand cream to try out. I’m not going to talk about buying gifts for people “because it’s appropriate” or even going into debt before Christmas. In the middle of July. Because from the middle of July I’ve been seeing Christmas decorations in stores and, to me, that’s kind of crazy. And very early. And people buy those things because they’re nice, cheap and they don’t have enough.
And I used to live in a similar way – I was buying without any specific reason. I never spend crazy money (mostly because I didn’t have much) and I don’t think I was stupid or anything but I did waste some of it and also energy, time, space in my house, not mentioning all the trash. So today I’d like to share with you some of the things I don’t buy anymore and what I recommend limiting. I hope you’ll find some inspiration here and if you’d like to add something feel free to leave a comment!
You know, all those cool little boards with cool quotes that you buy to put somewhere where everyone will be able to see because it has such an awesome message… And then they’re left in the closet because there’s no room for anything. Or some little things showing a building from some place you visited.
The problem is that there’s so many little shops with things like this! And everything is welcoming you very well because all of the things inside are shiny, look nice, are colorful and pretty cheap. Before you go in a place like this you’re most likely to see a board with some special offer. And places like Home Goods… Man, not even going to talk about them because people in those places are really good in inviting you in to buy their stuff. And so you buy one thing here, one there and even though each one is small at the end you realize you have a lot of them and you don’t need 99% of it.
I’m not saying I have no decorations, no. But now I don’t lose my mind anymore. When I travel somewhere I make videos and take photos. This and some postcards (I keep two or three and send the rest to others) is definitely enough for me.
I don’t buy too many toys for my kids. I often hear that parents say they want to make sure they give their children whatever they didn’t have and so they buy them a lot of things their little ones want. And then this child will play with one thing for a week and will leave it forever because he’ll be bored of it. And the parent ends up with a mess, more plastic in the house (and then in the oceans) and with less money. I stopped buying interactive toys. The ones with music, lights and fake animals moving around. That’s because little children, especially newborns, can very easily get overstimulated by those things and later when they’re older they start depending on them instead of using their imagination and creativity. These are main reasons why April doesn’t have many toys. Other than that most of them, besides a few stuffed animals, are wooden which she can play with for million different ways. Like wooden toys that she’s been playing with for long months and she’s still not bored.
Listen, how many lip glosses I used to have! Not mentioning nail polish! They were everywhere and I ended up using one or two colors leaving the rest “for later” or “for special occasion”. I bought something here because it was on sale, then I bought something somewhere else because I simply liked the color. I never really had many make up stuff but now I don’t even have a powder and I’m good with that.
When I started going into a healthy lifestyle and reading labels and then searching for more information about each one of the ingredients I realized how much I was wasting my health. One thing made my skin break out but instead of getting rid of it I’d buy a different one to help with my skin issues caused by the first one. The second one on the other hand would dry my skin off so I’d buy one more to moisturize it… OK, I didn’t know what I was doing and also I’m not alone with this ;). Fortunately I finally realized that the healthier the body is inside the healthier it’ll be outside and then it’ll be less and less necessary to use anything at all. So I don’t waste my time on looking for things, I don’t waste energy or money, I take care of my health more and also of the whole environment as well because I don’t throw away so many plastic bottles like I used to.
I’m sure you’ve seen those little booths with jewelry in H&M for example. You know, a set of 10 ear rings for $9.99 or a set of 5 bracelets for $7.99. I’m not gonna lie, I used to buy those here and there and I had a lot! At the same time I didn’t really wear it too often at all. Products like this not only do cause allergic reactions but also lose their colors and break easily which means that “you have to buy new ones”. Now I think that it’s better to buy something good and spend more money once and for good instead of buying something all the time that’s not a good quality.
5. Notebooks, calendars
These days people make such beautiful notebooks and calendars that when I sometimes go to TJMaxx I just stand there looking through them like crazy :D. Really, it’s not only about patterns anymore but also how they were made and what they used to make them. I always liked products like this and I used to fall into this trap that it’s hard to go out of because here I’d buy one notebook, somewhere else one more, then one more but smaller… Man, it didn’t make any sense.
In my office I have one shelf for notebooks and calendars. I decided that if there’s no room on this shelf anymore it means I have enough. And it’s been working! For some time now I’ve been doing a bullet journal which helped with a problem of not having enough room in store bought calendars and I love it.
I bet that most of you dear ladies (or gentleman too?) bought a pair of shoes just because you liked it at least once in your life. Something like “beautiful heels, I’ll wear them one day!” Don’t say you haven’t! I used to do it but at the beginning of this year when I walked into my closet and looked at my shoe shelves I thought, Aga, really?! I had several pairs of heels that were in perfect shape because I simply wore them once or maximum twice in my life.
Now it’s mostly about being comfortable and practical. You know, I have three kids among which two are small, very active and like playing outside. So when, let’s say, I take April to the playground I really prefer to wear shoes that are simply comfortable and breathe and it doesn’t matter if they match with other colors I wear or not ;). Yes, I do have heels but those are the ones I actually wear and they match tons of things.
It’s the same thing that I just mentioned with shoes so I won’t talk too much here.
8. Processed foods
In my case it’s about the fact that I just don’t eat things like this anymore but, really, I don’t recommend them. They’re not healthy not only for you but also for the environment. I’m talking about those quick meals in plastic containers that you put in your microwave for a minute and you have a dinner ready. Yes, it’s fast but is it good that it’s so fast? I don’t approve.
9. The cheapest products
OK, I do have a tripod for my camera that was the cheapest on Amazon but it works. I use it all the time, it works perfectly, I have no issue with it. I didn’t demand much, I just wanted it to hold my camera and just now that I do much more of the whole videography and photography thing, after two years of buying the cheap one, I started thinking about buying something better that has more options. Before I didn’t need anything else but it changed now.
But I don’t buy the cheapest t-shirts just because they’re cheap. Because later it gets ruined, it’s not a good quality and so on. And I’d need to buy a new one… And then again and again. It’s a vicious cycle, you know? Clothing stores work like this a little bit because you go there for one thing and go out with the whole bag. Because pants were nice and cheap, a shirt will surely be used one day and so on. And then you have a full closet but you still think “I have nothing to wear”.
I prefer to buy some universal clothing items that are maybe more expensive but at the same time better quality, last longer and I don’t spend my money all the time.
10. BECAUSE IT’S ON SALE!
Do you know how it works? Let’s say you go into a store and you see “50% OFF!”, next to it there’s a price $7 and above it there’s $14 that’s covered by a red X. And people think that it’s a really good sale so they take two items! And the truth is that their marketing makes you think like this but it’s not the truth. The truth is that a real price for this item is $7 and they wrote $14 only to lie to you and make you want to buy it.
Don’t let them fool you.
11. Cleaning solutions
Not that long ago after a long time of reading about it I realized that it’s really not necessary to have one spray for windows, one for floors, one for furniture and one more for kitchen counters. Nope. It’s a great tactic to have people buy more, spend more money and so the companies can make more. And that’s it. The truth is that you can make your own cleaning solutions at home all by yourself that will work for everything, you’ll have fewer of them and at the same time they’ll be healthier for you, your family and environments and also cheaper than others. I don’t see any negative sides!
I really feel better this way, I feel like I have more room, I don’t have to look at millions of those shiny thingies all the time that just get dust on them and nobody cares :D. What would you add to the list?
I’ll see you next time,
Photo in this post: C Q