Since watching shows and reading blogs about Minimalism, I’ve become a lot more conscious about my purchasing habits. I don’t see myself as a minimalist devotee, simply a person who has been educated about the effects of owning a lot of stuff and has consciously reflected on consuming less.
I’ve always been conscious of how much I’ve owned from a young age. Possibly in my teens.
Things I’ve always owned in excess of are clothes, accessories and stuffed toys.
I remember when I was a late teen, and I took my Grandma Jones into my room and showed her some new dresses I had in my wardrobe. My Grandma made the comment how very lucky I was to have all those clothes, and not many girls had as many clothes as I did. I don’t remember taking offense to the comment as I understood Grandma and Pa were always very careful with their money. But it did make me think about how much was too much?
Despite my grandma’s comment, she too lived in excess with a huge amount of tourist memorabilia from all their trips overseas. To me, it was junk, but to my grandparents, each item had a travelling memory attached.
I remember the years when my grandparents transitioned from selling their home to moving into a retirement village, and my grandma would offer me a number of different items she thought I’d like or could use. I often took everything, thinking I could work out what I would do with it later.
On reflection, I understand, no matter how careful we are with money and controlling our purchasing habits, we can still accumulate a lot of stuff without realizing.
Even as a mum with young children, we seem to accumulate so much stuff. I feel like I’m always decluttering.
With a little investigative work, I realised, I actually invite a lot of the ‘stuff’ into my life, unknowingly.
Here are 5 ways you’re inviting more stuff into your home.
1. Happy Meal Toys
McDonalds has been a dinner life-saver to my family and no matter what your take is on the junk food offered at the Golden Arches, it’s a meal that is never wasted (always eaten) and is often cheaper than other take-away options. Plus it has a playground and toilets which are great for young children. But buying 3 Happy Meals for my girls means I get 3 of the same toy and if we have McDonalds once a fortnight, that’s 72 bits of junky toys I’m bringing into my home per year. Two ways to combat it is, to not have McDonalds as often so we limit the Happy Meals or not buying Happy Meals at all and just buying a box of nuggets and chips instead. Thing is my kids love those crappy toys.
2. Cheap Interior Thrills from Kmart
I love Kmart. But man, that place can fill my home and drain my purse. It produces the most amazing homewares at cheap prices. It entices me to constantly change my interiors – because I can afford to, but in the process, I accumulate homeware items I have no need for. Plus I have to store it somewhere. I limit my time at Kmart and only buy what I need. I also avoid the interiors section to avoid temptation. I haven’t changed the interior of my home since the beginning of the year. Although I did purchase a Vanessa Bean vase for my Birthday.
3. Birthday Party Presents
I love putting on Birthday parties for my girls. I love the celebration aspect. But the presents can bring in unneeded extra stuff into my house. Two ways to combat this is to not hold a birthday party or to limit the number of people who come to the party, which limits the amount of presents. I usually limit the amount of people. Next year, I have said there will be no more parties as we want to go to The Ekka instead. But this leads to my next point…
4. Show Paraphernalia
We headed to The Home Show on the weekend and we came away with so much STUFF. Reusable canvas bags that were filled with pens, paper, balloons, stickers, frisbees, piggy banks, inflatable hammers – even an umbrella. The thing is, every exhibition I have ever gone to – The Pregnancy and Baby Expo or even the Ekka, sees me come home with stuff I’ve been thrust with to keep a company’s brand at the front of my mind. I don’t end up using half the stuff I get and sadly, a lot of it ends up in landfill.
I love a good freebie, but sometimes, my eyes are bigger than my cupboards. That roadside find may be awesome, but if it doesn’t get used, it’s just another bit of junk taking up room in your home. Anything that comes as an extra with a purchase is often something you don’t need. Buy this and get that free. When this happens, I usually give the free thing away or I see if I can sell it online to get some cash.
These are the 5 things I’ve found that have brought in extra stuff into my home that I don’t need. I’m now in the process of doing a bit of culling and spring cleaning. So far I’ve done two rooms in my house, but I have a few more to go.