It has been some time since I dedicated a post to consumerism and how that affects our clutter situations. The generation of items that become redundant in our home is near to unavoidable especially if you have a growing family. Children outgrow everything, clothes, shoes, beds, toys, books… even us parents eventually, ‘hopefully”. Therefore so long as there are kids around there will always be maintenance decluttering to keep up with the things they grow out of.
As for us adults, all going well, we will wear our clothes out rather than grow out of them. Other things we use will also become old and need replacing like shoes, furnishings, grooming tools, eye-glasses, linen… There are also items that due to the advances in technology will also become redundant such as, computers, televisions, phones, cameras… Then there are the things that get used up like make-up, toiletries, food, stationary, cleaners and once again the list goes on.
Needless to say there is a lot of natural progression decluttering that goes on in a lifetime. Things need replacing simply because they are outgrown, worn out or don’t work efficiently any more. The key is to keep up with the decluttering as these things become redundant that way they don’t build up over time.
And then there is consumerism where we buy things, replace things and update things whether we need them or not. Don’t get me wrong I am not a complete kill joy but I am sure we can all admit to getting somewhat carried away in the past when it comes to recreational shopping. I also don’t begrudge anyone from treating themselves every now and again to a something totally indulgent but to just buy for the sake of buying on a constant basis is what causes a home to become weighed down with clutter.
I am not going to go into specifics here we all know what I am talking about, spoiling the children with a treat every time you hit the mall, buying more clothes than you could ever wear out in a lifetime, getting a new cell phone every time a new model comes onto the market. This kind of constant indulgence, in a lot of cases, is cause for serious credit card debt, the supply and demand ramification are destroying the environment and the guilt, obligation and aspiration clutter it generates is not good for your mental health.
So how do we resist the temptation to continue buying what we don’t need?
- First of all stop looking. If you don’t know what is out there you don’t know what you are missing. Don’t read the sales catalogues, don’t pay attention to advertisements on TV, in magazine or newspapers, or on the radio. These ad campaigns are designed to make you think you can’t live without whatever it is they are selling.
- My second suggestion is to stay away from the shops for the same reason as above. There are so many other things you can be doing other than shopping for entertainment. There is a list of alternatives to shopping back on Day 157.
- Don’t kill time browsing internet stores either, they are even more insidious than the shopping mall because they are right in your home.
- Make it a fun challenge to see how long you can make something last and only replace it when it is worn out or used up. Don’t just replace things because you see something, bigger, brighter, faster, newer, prettier… No sooner will you get it home but there will be something else on sales that is bigger, brighter, faster, newer, prettier… than the one you just bought. It is kind of like fighting a loosing battle.
- Cut back by treating yourself once a month rather than once and week or once a week rather than every day whatever the case my be for you. Keep cutting back until you are living a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s they are probably miserable anyway, bogged down in credit card debt and having to move into bigger homes to hold all the stuff they own and still they want more. Sounds like a sad way to live to me.
- Don’t be lured in by low prices. Remember that bargains, freebies, two for one deals and secondhand stuff might be cheep but are still potential clutter items if you don’t really need them.
So how we are all doing with resisting shopping temptations. Send in your comments and let us now how you have evolved in this aspect of your declutter mission. Let us know if you are still having trouble resisting and maybe we can help encourage you to be more with less.
Today’s Declutter Item
These little drawers came in mighty handy in my craft room for years but now that I have decluttered my supplies I no longer need them. They were a freebie at a garage sale I went to once in Seattle. I must say I did get good use out of them and now my friends son-in-law is finding them useful. Now that is what I call reuse and recycle.
My Gratitude List
- Something that made me laugh ~ My children and their love affair with their father’s moustache.
- Something Awesome ~ Honeycomb Crush TimTams
- Something to be grateful for ~ A free bus ride. I didn’t have the exact change so the driver let me ride for free.
- Something that made me happy ~ Getting to the bottom of my to-do list again today and hopefully I won’t have one for tomorrow.
- Something I found enjoyable ~ Sunshine ~ We have had nothing but rain all week but today there were breaks in the clouds to let the sunshine in. It was lovely.