So Much Stuff

We live in a world of SO MUCH stuff. It's overwhelming just how much stuff there is in our world, at least in the US part of the world.

Yesterday, I had a couple of hours to kill, and because my husband and I have decided we would prefer to furnish our home with antiques, I decided to take a walk through the local antiques mall. The antiques mall is in an old building downtown that used to be a JCPenney, so if you're familiar with the JCPenney stores of the 1970s and before, you'll know what I mean when I say it's big, really big, as in 3 floors of stalls of antiques.

And the antiques range as far as they can from crochet-edged hankies to pyrex bowls to cast iron hand pumps to hoosier cupboards. Truly, if you're looking for a specific item, and you're willing to spend the time, you'll find it in this store.

So much stuff. 

Most of it just sits there, collecting dust. Like wall-hanging thread holder which I first spotted the first time I went into this store a year ago. It's marked $10 which is a good value, and if I had had $10 to spend, it would have come home with me.

So how much stuff is there? Well this antiques mall is in the downtown district of Wapakoneta, OH, and there are a dozen or so similarly themed stores up and down the downtown street. They are all filled with similar stuff. And there is a thrift store in addition to the other thrift store out on the edge of town, right across from the super walmart.

So much stuff.

We are taught to consume, to buy, buy, buy. The economy! We have to keep the economy going!

But there is already so much stuff that we have already produced, and so much of it is just sitting there collecting dust or worse -- it's already been dumped into a landfill or shipped out to the great disposal in the oceans, as if it has NO value at all.

This has to stop. It really does. It has gone on for too long, and it has gone too far.

I look around the thrift stores I visit regularly and at all the antiques stores, and I am astonished with the amount of stuff that is available at such low prices, yet there are still full-price retail stores pumping out more stuff.

I propose that we stop buying new. Truly. Just stop. If I really, really, really NEED something (and I have a roof over my head, adequate clothing, and transportation, so my basic needs are truly covered), then my first stop can easily be the thrift stores and the antique shops, because it's probably already out there! No new production needed.

So much stuff.


  1. This is something I'm really, really working on! I started this year with JUST Christmas decorations, cards, wrapping paper and whatnot and I actually was able to find 100 BRAND NEW Christmas cards at the thrift store for less than $3. Pretty incredible. I saved A LOT of money AND kept some perfectly beautiful cards out of the landfill.

    I think next year it will be an ENTIRELY used/ second hand/ homemade Christmas.

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  3. I do a lot of hand me downs for clothes but my oldest is a struggle. How old are your children? Are they at that "It isn't cool" stage? I have no idea how to combat it.

    1. My oldest is now 18, and I turned her onto thrift store clothes when she was 10ish, I think. Her dad was taking her to the mall to buy new clothes as certain mall stores. She knew how much he was spending, so I gave her the same amount with no restrictions except that we browse the thrift store first. Well, what dad spent on one shirt, she was able to find the same brand and get 4 shirts. Win!

      No, it doesn't always happen that way, but it happened regularly enough that she quickly learned to always browse the thrift stores first before laying out money at the mall.

  4. One more question. CHRISTMAS! The expectation of tons of new clothes/toys etc for Christmas is all about the consumerism, buy, buy, buy I am trying to get out of and yet I don't know how to make a special day without it. I can't imagine how to begin to handle this holiday!

  5. For now, we practice the "want, need, wear, read" system for christmas gifts. I'd like to scale it back even more, pool the funds, and go skiing (or something similar) for a few days. I don't have the family on board, yet.


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