STUFF

This post might be the anti-blog in a world of parenting, lifestyle, and beauty bloggers all busily showcasing the world of beautiful stuff that we just have to have. But here goes nothing.

At the end of January I had a bit of an epiphany. Maybe it was the month end look back at my spending which highlighted all the January sale splurges, the supermarket clothing section accidents and the additional bits and pieces I convinced myself I just had to have. I’m no big spender, so we’re talking bargains here, not Mulberry handbags. But, even Primark hauls and bric a brac shop finds all add up.

I think the timing also is relevant here. December, and more specifically Christmas is such a month of excess for us as a family. We, like many other families, go all out. We do gifts for each other as a couple, and we have huge families on both sides who also spoil us all rotten. So why then, in the aftermath of such an influx of incredible things did I feel it was so necessary to go shopping.

In truth, I convinced myself January is a good time to buy – items are reduced and there is so much in our faces in this world of social media, it’s easy to fall in love. But is there really such a thing as too good an offer to miss? Is January really the only time we can find a bargain? No, not really. Sales and reductions are ongoing throughout the year, and if you really look for it, you can often find what you’re looking for at a discount price somewhere, all year round.

Maybe it’s a girl thing. I’ve always loved finding something new to wear, and having that spring in my step of wearing a new item for the first time. The trouble is, nothing stays new for long (especially when it’s being clung to by a little monkey covered in tomato sauce).

So these little pick me ups, because that’s what they are in many senses of the word, create a little buzz. And in January, let’s face it we all need a bit of cheering up. It’s cold, dark and miserable. The come down from the festive season is real and it’s a long depressing month. But these moments of shopping highs are often followed up with spending guilt, and can make the whole thing counterproductive.

apparel, boutique, colors

But most importantly, as I look around my home, and in my wardrobe I can suddenly see how badly consumerism has taken hold of us. We have so much. Yet we always feel we need more. In a world that’s drowning in technology and plastic, surely finding joy in the simple things is the key to a happy ever after?

So this year, I’m making a real effort to stop with the stuff. There will always be things we do need – food on the table, shoes for the kids as they grow so rapidly, maybe even the odd treat for ourselves when we have a special occasion or need to replace a really worn out essential. But maybe we just need to really think about what we need, and what we don’t, before we whip out the plastic.

You only have to look to the older generation – they had the realisation that they don’t need any more things, and will often at birthdays and christmas beg their younger relatives to not buy them clutter and items they have no use for. That will after all be us one day, if we’re lucky. I heard a friend tell me recently her grandmother opted to move into a home, and did not want to keep anything from her home, the years of things she had collected over a lifetime, and that’s really stayed with me; because in the end, what’s important are the memories in your mind, and the people in your heart.

And so whilst I’ll always be a magpie towards pretty things, I definitely feel a wind of change in me; and it’s surprisingly liberating.

x MMT

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32 thoughts on “STUFF

  1. fancypaperblog Reply

    Am on the same buzz. I buy far too much but need so little of it

  2. notasoccermom28 Reply

    I know how you feel. I travel a lot, so having to pack stuff in a suitcase all the time makes me aware of how little I need, so I’m pretty good about not buying myself a bunch of crap. However, having a baby has had me want to get him all the things off of Amazon. I’ve had to make rules for myself about what I can spend on him because I’ve been getting a bit overzealous. #coolmumclub

  3. beautybabyandme Reply

    Great post hun – I am terrible for a few “pretty things” I come across in Sainsburys Home or treating myself to bargains in Primark that I don’t really need! I have a good clear out of tat now and then and it’s so refreshing. It’s amazing how things add up so quickly! xx #coolmumclub

  4. nowmynameismummy Reply

    This is exactly how I’ve been thinking lately, I wrote a guest post on it actually. I’ve partly been forced into buying less because I’m now unemployed but I also do think I’m constantly looking for the next thing I want only to get quickly bored of it and move on! I think you’ve articulated it better than me though! #coolmumclub

  5. alisonlonghurst Reply

    It is totally liberating and a great thing to do: out with the ‘stuff’! It clears the mind. Alison x #coolmumclub

  6. pamsbakeandbabyblog Reply

    Great post! We have asked everyone not to buy the kids burthday gifts thi months as they got ao much for christmas. They start to not appreciate anything. #coolmumclub

  7. franbackwithabump Reply

    So true. I’ve recently been debating giving up work and my argument is “but I’d feel bad going to Primark and getting my nails done if you had to pay for it all”. His answer “well maybe you’d learn not to waste money and some self control”. Hmmm! So easy buying useless shit when “its only 3 quid”. Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  8. Aleena Brown Reply

    Yes! I try so hard to avoid clutter, but I just can’t walk past a charity shop! I have a love/hate relationship with knick-knacks which I definitely need help with haha! #coolmumclub

  9. Tubbs Reply

    I’ve got posts lurking in my drafts about this as well! Our house comes with Rev T’s job and we know we’ll move on eventually so we tend to buy less and declutter regularly as we don’t want to take stuff we don’t want / need with us. Moving is expensive! Good luck with living more with less 🙂 #coolmumclub

  10. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    So true – I watched this really interesting article about minimalism and quite honestly I think we could all do with a bit of that although this week I seem to be accumulating stuff this week at a ridiculous rate! Sending lots of minimalist #coolmumclub love xoxo

  11. Mess and Merlot Reply

    I definitely get a buzz from buying something (anything!) new but I like to think I balance it out because I’m pretty hot on chucking things out too so I never really end up with too much clutter – that’s fine right?? 🙂 #CoolMumClub

  12. Helen Reply

    I’m guilty of buying things in the sale. I think half the time I buy stuff coz it’s cheap, although I’m not as bad as my mum or my nan! Sales are all year round now too which makes it all the more tempting. I try not to get hung up on ‘stuff’ but it’s easier said than done. #coolmumclub

  13. Amanda Blackburn Reply

    Great post! I totally agree, we spend far to much on things we don’t really need. I’m trying hard to cut down and so far I’ve saved so much money.
    I’m saving to get an expensive medicine to help my daughter’s Crohn’s disease that the NHS don’t yet fund so it’s making me disciplined!

  14. Amanda Blackburn Reply

    Forgot to put!
    #coolmumclub
    Enjoy your day!

  15. Winnettes Reply

    Hmmmm. I need this attitude. I’m actually not that bad and I don’t cling on to things. Memories are far more sentimental to me than things. But I find with months of not spending I then find I have a bit of binge spending session. I can feel one coming… I need to reign it in! Now I do need to look for shoes for my best friends wedding….. excuse me a moment 😉 #coolmumclub

  16. Susie / S.H.I.T. Reply

    I couldn’t agree more, we have so much ‘stuff’ in our house that is wasted and not played with/used, that it drives me crazy. And I’ve realised we just don’t need so many things. Happiness, life experiences and memories are what counts. I’m trying to be better this year now and not hoard so much and pass it on to a good home, who will appreciate it. #coolmumclub

  17. tinmccarthy Reply

    I am obsessed with this website Thredup.com and the designer handbags on there. I need an intervention.

    #coolmumsclub

  18. justsayingmum Reply

    You are so so right. Consumerism can have such vulgarity to it. I adore those words from your friend’s grandmother – memories over things all the way. Beautiful. Oh I wish you luck with this and look forward to updates along the way #CoolMumClub

  19. Jakijellz Reply

    Honestly. We have so much clutter it’s beyond ridiculous. Actually it’s made worse because we have so many toys dotted about the house. That with our own stuff makes it look twice as bad. I need to take a leaf out of your book, and so does the husband! #coolmumclub

  20. a positive parent Reply

    There is lots of amazing research about experiences rather than things. Things make us happy in the short term but experiences make us happy in the long run! try to save for the experiences thats a challenge xx #coolmumclub

  21. itsmeanniebee Reply

    I buy fir the same reason I eat crap, for the initial buzz. Once that’s passed I feel guilt. I love the idea of trying to curb it but for as long as my children need new shoes and clothes I will peep at the stuff I don’t need and convince myself I do. I often think of having a open house, let folk come and mooch through my clothes and buy them! #coolmumclub

  22. kittyandb Reply

    Love it. I love scaling back and decluttering my life and mind. As much as I love the thrill of having new things, the things I cherish the most didn’t come with a price and are now priceless! #coolmumclub

    Kat xx

  23. Peachy Reply

    We aquire so much stuff and then complain about having to clean and organize it all. I know I’m guilty. I’ve made a resolution to do a clean up and donate all my unused stuff. Can’t promise I won’t replace it with other unnecessary stuff but baby steps, right? #coolmumclub

  24. Angela Watling Reply

    I can really relate to this. We don’t need it all and it causes us more stress trying to keep everything clean and tidy! I’m part way through a book called ‘Stuffication’ which Lucy from LeaningIn reviewed. It’s all about how having too much stuff makes us unhappy.
    #CoolMumClub

  25. mommyandrory Reply

    Very good post! I’m extremely guilty of convincing myself I need something when in fact I just want it. We’re currently trying to save for or first mortgage. After a year off work on mat leave our savings have dwindled so this year is all about been frugal #coolmumclub

  26. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    Great post, I’m sure we can all relate. I never really buy myself anything expensive but like you say, it’s all those little ‘bargains’ that soon add up and before you know it you’re drowning in a sea of ‘stuff’ and need yet another clear out. Which reminds me, I REALLY need another clear out
    #Coolmumclub

  27. Helena Reply

    As a family member said to me. ‘You can’t take them with you’. I’m like you a bit of a magpie and love bric a brac. I’ve been drawn in by wooden toys for the girls. There’s a charity shop near us that sells things for as little as 10p and I know someone who’s banned herself from visiting it for a while as she lives soo close. #coolmumclub

  28. Lucy At Home Reply

    I love finding a bargain, and it can be so easy to rationalise why you “need” something.

    I few years ago, when we were really struggling financially, I had a policy of never buying anything on the first time of viewing. If I still couldn’t get it out of my head a week later, then I would consider buying it. But actually, most of the time, I couldn’t even remember the things I’d liked by the time I got home from the shops, never mind a week later.

    #blogcrush

  29. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    Oh Sarah you are so right, it is just so easy to become wrapped up in the whole consumerism bubble and just buy without really thinking. The phrase I love most is “what’s important are the memories in your mind, and the people in your heart.” Very poignant. Good luck with the non-spending. #coolmumclub

  30. Naptime Natter Wendy Reply

    If I had the money to just buy stuff I don’t really need I totally would. Most of the time I am a reluctant window shopper, although somehow we have a house full of stuff! I definitely think happiness isn’t found through possessions. Hope you can stick to not splurging the cash xx #coolmumclub

  31. Sinéad (shinnersandthebrood.com) Reply

    Taking a break from work has made me stop buying the ‘stuff’ and I kind of don’t miss it. Most of the time! #coolmumclub

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