Stuff You Don't Need . . . According to Me
After reading Sharing Is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resources Through Collaborative Consumption, I started thinking about all the things we purchase that no one actually needs. I am guilty of a few of these and wish I could get my money back to spend on things I really do need, like daycare, organic food and maybe a vacation. But almost more importantly, I am a clutter-phobe, and if you are anything like me you do not need these things collecting dust in your house. I urge you to think about trading them, selling them or upcycling them into something more useful. But whatever you do – don’t buy any more!
- A set of “good china": It was a nice idea when I got married back in 2003, and the ladies at Bloomingdales told me I must register for fine china. Eleven years later, I have 20 teacups and only two bowls. I have used the incomplete set exactly twice. A replacement plate costs like $50. If you have a set of china handed down to you, that is great. But if I were getting married again I would just register for a honeymoon fund.
- Add to that: “Good” silver and crystal glassware. Plus, genuine “lead crystal” contains lead . . . which leaks into wine. So regular glass is preferable for several reasons.
- Bottle and wipes warmers: I have never met a baby who complained of a chilly wipe. I also never met a bottle that wouldn’t warm under some tap water. There are so many new baby stuff inventions and really, you won’t use half the stuff on your registry.
- A fondue set: You will never, ever use this.
- A fax machine: I bought one years ago for business purposes. Now even if the scanner isn’t working, I can just take a photo with my smartphone and send it over.
- A fancy bed for your cat or dog. Or clothes for them, unless they are hairless, like mine.
- That thing you saw in an infomercial that was going to make your life easier. I once actually purchased an ice cream maker that would supposedly be powered by your dog rolling it around. No.
- One of these:
- Anything from Brookstone.
- Anything from the Oriental Trading Company. Please stop filling party favor bags with these. They are cheap because they are worthless junk, full of chemicals, probably made by slaves and your dog will choke on all of it. I am not perfect, but, really, I’ll take anything else. Crayons. A Snickers bar. A live frog.
- Collections of Hummels, snow globes, shot glasses, figurines or anything else completely useless.
Now I know you are all going to comment and yell at me that your baby flipped out every time you didn’t use a wipe warmer and your grandmother gave you a snowglobe on her deathbed. By all means – do what works for you! But this is just something to think about and a way to start thinking about what we really need versus what we think we have to have.
Remember, clutter sucks. Hand-me-downs rock. Buying used is the new black.
Paige Wolf is a Philadelphia mom and author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. This post is adapted from her blog, Spit That Out!