Do You Really Need All That Stuff? How to do a Stuff Detox and Consumerism Fast

Simplify

How do you feel about all the stuff you currently own?

Does it cause you stress, anxiety or make you feel heavy or burdened?

Then you need to do a Stuff Detox, followed by a Consumerism Fast.

I have been on a mission to simply our life and get rid of unnecessary clutter and ‘stuff’ since we moved from a very large house to a very small house. We had stuff shoved into every spare room and cupboard in the old house, and after living there for two years we had unknowingly accumulated so much CRAP!

We had no idea how much stuff we actually had until we had to pack it all up and move. A lot of this stuff we didn’t even buy: useless gifts, sentimental stuff, stuff from our childhoods. And then there was the impulse buys. Stuff that was just such a good deal we had to get it. And old clothes that haven’t been worn in a year. Books that we were no longer interested in. Beauty products that I now refuse to put on my skin.

And all of this stuff was really starting to stress me out. It felt heavy. It was weighing me down.

I am ready to release my attachment to material objects. This is a huge step forward for me. I have kept every card I have been given since childhood (I have my birth congratulations cards that were to my parents). I have boxes and boxes of childhood sentimental stuff. I even keep movie ticket stubsĀ (weird, I know)!

And Ash is no better, he is a ‘collector’. He likes to collect things. It’s really just a nice way of saying he’s a hoarder! He isn’t quite ready to let this stuff go, but he will get there when he’s ready.

So really, honestly ask yourself, ‘Do you really need all of this stuff?’

The honest answer is no, you don’t.

Nothing bad will happen if you get rid of it. Life will go on. You won’t even remember you had it. And you will feel lighter.

Now make no mistake, the point of this purging and de-cluttering is NOT to make room for more stuff. No no no. This is about changing your consumerism habits. Your mind, your bank account and the planet will thank you.

This is to get you thinking long and hard about EVERY purchase you make, because (as you will soon find out), getting rid of stuff is much harder than buying it.

Stuff Detox

Here is the rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in the last 8 weeks, you don’t need it. Be really brutal and super honest with yourself.

Release your emotional attachment to physical objects. They do not determine your worth or happiness.

I like to do this slowly, going through one box or one shelf at a time. This allows me to kind of recharge before the next one, be really brutal with purging, and to not feel like I am losing as much stuff. But if you want to do your whole house in one day go for it.

How to Get Rid of Your Stuff

1. Use it up
If your okay to keep using it until it’s run out then do so.

2. Give it to friends or family who will use it
Offer up the stuff to family and friends who will actually get some use out of it. Have a party and let them take home what they want. You never know what might be very useful for someone else (but may be complete trash to you).

3. Sell it or Give it away
Jump on eBay, Craiglist or Gumtree and sell it, or use FreeCycle to give it away. Your useless trash is someone else’s sweet sweet treasure.

4. Donate it
Give the stuff to a thrift store or op shop, and give food and clothing a homeless shelter. This option is double awesome: your getting rid of stuff and giving to charity. Doesn’t it feel nice to give back?

5. Throw it away or recycle it
This should be your absolute LAST option. Throwing it out means it will sit in a landfill forever, so consider this option carefully. I love recycling, don’t get me wrong, and this is much better than just throwing it away, but recycling uses up a ton of resources, water and sometimes doesn’t even end up recycled.

Consumerism Fast

Okay, now you have gotten rid of all that excess stuff that was weighing you down. And remember, this is not about making room for more. So, how do you go about purchasing in the future?

Purchasing Rules

Anything you buy from now on should follow these three rules:

  1. It should be useful. As in, you will use it fairly regularly.
  2. It should not be disposable or short term. Get quality products that will last, and that you will happily get repaired instead of throwing away and buying a new one. One word: LANDFILL.
  3. For clothes, have a one in one out rule. If you buy a new piece of clothing, get rid of an old piece that you no longer wear.

Heres another tip: Buy stuff you regularly use in bulk to reduce packaging waste.

And while this whole thing is not so much about saving money, that is just an added bonus.

You should also starting thinking about what happens to things when they are thrown in the trash. Hint: They stay in a landfill forever.

Ahhhhh. Don’t you feel so much lighter? You’ve got some space to breathe now.

Do you have any tips to share about simplifying and getting rid of stuff? Share with us in the comments below!

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5 comments on “Do You Really Need All That Stuff? How to do a Stuff Detox and Consumerism Fast

  1. Thanks Shae – I try to use Freecycle where I can – where you can post what you have to offer to see if someone else wants to come and get it off you. Great post

    • Hey Wendy, I’ve never heard of Freecycle, thats so awesome that something like that exists! I have updated the post to include it, thanks for the suggestion :)

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