buy nothing new / part 3

This blog has been quiet for a while. I guess life got in the way. Sometimes that happens.

My last post here was about my resolution to stop buying new things. Inspired by the ‘buy-nothing-new-month’, I decided to stop buying new things for a period of three months. Not only because I believe there are so many perfectly functioning things in the world that people have stopped using (and that I can give a second life), but also to explore the relationship I have with the things I already own.

So, how did I do?

I have to say, quite good actually. It wasn’t hard at all. Everything I needed in those three months I either already owned or was very easy to find second hand. Or I found out that I really didn’t need it after all. The thing with second hand shopping is: it forces you to think things over. You never find what you need when you need it when shopping second hand. You have to be patient, making an impulse buy almost impossible. For me, that works wonders. I guess I am more of an impulse buyer than I realized.

At the start of my little experiment I suspected that not being able to buy books and magazines would be the hardest part of the challenge. In a way that turned out to be true. But as weeks went by my hunger for glossy input faded and I started reading books that I already owned. I rediscovered the public library. And, most importantly, it made me realize that all that new information every other week really wasn’t helping me. It was simply too much to enjoy.

At this point I am buying new things, but seriously considering to going back to the rules of not buying new. The first week after my challenge I didn’t know what to buy, so I didn’t get anything. But now, after a few months I feel I’m back at that point where I see something, want it and simply buy it. And it is not making my life better.

Basically, my challenge turned out to be about much more than reconnecting with things I already own. It forced me to think about why I want to buy things. And most of the time it is not because I really need them. A valuable lesson.



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