How much stuff do you use

As I’ve been living my life I’ve began to pay attention to the items that I use. My phone gets used more than anything these days. Remember when I didn’t even own one?

The fascinating part of observing the items I use is the discovery of items that I thought I used on a regular basis but I don’t. A prime example of this is about half of my cooking supplies.

I’ve never been a big cook but the difference between what I thought I use and what I actually use is astounding.

This makes me wonder if I could safely continue to downsize a bit more. I haven’t decided yet but if I don’t use these things, do I really need them?

Have you ever looked through your home and examined what items you ACTUALLY use? What did you learn?

11 responses to “How much stuff do you use”

  1. Hi Annie,
    Our little 1950’s home brought on a lot of “what do we actually use.” We wanted the space we had to be used as social or creative/building space, not storage for things we don’t need.

    We’ve learned what we really need/use over time. It requires some thought, consideration and flexibility, too, as the circumstances of life do change. We certainly have more than enough, however, based on our income, we do carefully consider the cost of replacing items we let go of in error. To be “safe.”

    It’s never happened. Can’t think of a single thing we let go of that we didn’t manage without, including when our oven quit! The questions we ask ourselves are, “What would I wear if I didn’t have this dress, what would I use if I didn’t have these six bowls?” **Phone a friend….ask the neighbor….that coffee cup works just fine for soup. Builds creativity….you really can use a piece of aluminum foil to eat off of so your guest can have the plate. *smile*
    **And I remember pulling out just the bowls….all the bowls….all the plasticware that could be used for bowls……lots and lots of bowls….impressive…..oppressive….it WAS astounding!

    1. Hello Mindy!

      This exercise is making me more creative as well. I’m only just starting, however. Until fairly recently in my life, I always obsessed over the “just in case” scenarios. Now I’m starting to think differently about them.

      The thing I keep turning over in my head is this: if I don’t purchase as much as the average bear, then I can afford to replace something if I REALLY need to. It’s a novel concept to me.

  2. Kelly L Barrington Avatar
    Kelly L Barrington

    I have always thought if something happened to my husband that I would buy a small camper and park it right in my driveway. If I needed say a towel to shower with, I would go in the house and get it. Within 6 months or so I would have exactly what I need in the camper and everything else would be up for sale / donated or whatever.

    1. THAT is brilliant! I’ve heard of a method where you box up all of your belongings and only take out what you need to discover what’s actually used. I’ve not had the nerve to attempt it, however.

    2. I did something similar to that when I was a snowbird. I discovered hand towels can do everything. One for a bath mat and one to dry myself and one in the kitchen area and done. No need for something humongous and no need to store any extras.

      1. Kelly L Barrington Avatar
        Kelly L Barrington


      2. That is brilliant, Linda! What a wonderful idea! How many towels do you keep on hand?

  3. Tammara L Mills Avatar
    Tammara L Mills

    Looking forward to separating households soon. At that point there should be so very much stuff in the landfill! I don’t wanna keep track of all that! I want the walls to echo!

    1. Good luck!

  4. MacKenzie Drake Avatar
    MacKenzie Drake

    I think it depends on why you don’t use a thing like you used to, or as much as you expected to. Depression steals the joy of hobbies and often kills off creativity, leading to unused tools and supplies that take up space. I’m down to the point of sorting out and discarding my crafting supplies. Some didn’t suit what I had in mind when I got them, and others are on the ‘To Do’ stack, through which I am gradually working as I have the energy. There is a lot of satisfaction now in getting these projects done. When it came to clothes, I took stock and decided I wasn’t going to mess with ‘someday’ or ‘twenty pounds from now’; instead, I focus on now and the clothes I like to wear daily. I have an event to attend in February, so I did get some things that are suitable and that I can wear, but I’ll wear them often once the specific need for them to be crisp and new is passed.

    1. Mine has mostly been things that suited me for a season. As my interests shifted, my use of the items faded away. Those shifts combined with impulse purchases have constituted the bulk of the items I’ve eliminated.