I do not buy any new things for 200 days
A few months ago I went through the worst experience in my life: my father died. Cancer took him away - and along with him some part of me. When I recall his death and the illness that preceded her, I understand that the most difficult thing was that I did not have the opportunity to grieve for him after his departure. Alas, in our society one cannot simply mourn the loss - you must work.
And we are talking not only about the usual work, but also about the mountains of documents, notifications that need to be sent, and events that need to be organized. Finally, when I decided that the most difficult thing was over, it was time to make out things in my father’s apartment. Then I had no idea that this would be the most difficult part.
The longer I delved into my father’s old things, the more I felt the loss. It took weeks to clean up everything that my lonely father had saved for his life in this small apartment. Weeks to sell, donate, recycle, or throw away boxes and crates of dishes, clothing, furniture, office supplies, and much more.
I threw away as much as many collect their whole lives.
To get all these things, my father spent a lot of time, money and effort - and only so that I could get rid of them with great difficulty.Then I realized that we are destroying a planet that future generations will inherit, only to enjoy things during their short lives - often completely unnecessary.
I decided that I didn’t want to consider it “normal.” And so I went to the experiment: spend 200 days without buying anything new, excluding food, medicine and necessary toiletries. Everything else I decided to borrow or, in extreme cases, buy second-hand - or even just do without another thing.
Like many of those who receive a steady income, I have never been disciplined enough in terms of spending. If I could allow myself something - and even if I could not - I often just thought: “Why not?”. So I wondered if I could stand 200 days without shopping centers.
It turned out that I can. And here's some of what I learned in the process.
There are so many things in the world
When I started to go around various thrift stores, find ads and communities on Facebook on the Internet, where people sell things, I was shocked by how many things humanity has already managed to produce.Mountains of clothing, tons of furniture, plates, pots, canes - the ocean of all sorts of things. All this goes to the dump, and it is constantly being replaced by a new one, more and more. But in fact, “more” we do not need.
People buy things on impulse.
When I tried to learn to satisfy my needs with exclusively second-hand things, I was amazed at how many new things can be found in second-hand - things that no one has ever used, with price tags and in the original packaging. In the aisles, everything was piled up, starting with new scented candles and ending with new clothes. Obviously, the buying process is often completely divorced from real human needs or even desires. This is much more like an irresistible craving for impulsive acquisitions.
Prejudice for second-hand things not justified
When I wrote a blog about my experience, I received many interesting comments about the hygiene of my experiment. It turned out that many people believe that buying used clothes, furniture and other goods is dirty and uncivilized.What a strange prejudice! These same people gladly donate their second-hand goods to thrift stores. Apparently, they believe that such things are good enough for those who are poorer - but not for us.
Around just enough
In my 200 days, I learned that I do not have to go to more supermarkets to buy what I needed - all this is enough right in my area. There are a lot of things right around us - and a lot of people who are ready to give them away very cheaply or for free.
Used items are much cheaper
My bank account has definitely rested in these 200 days. Discounts for used items are amazingly huge. And it never seemed to me that I was sacrificing quality.
Very nice to pay a person, not a corporation
Buying used things, especially through ads, I found that most sellers were honest and genuinely wanted to help. They turned out to be normal people who just want to return some of the money spent, selling things that they no longer use and that can still serve. It was nice to know that my money would go directly to someone like me, not a faceless corporation.
I really don't need so many things.
As it turned out, some things just can not be found in second-hand. There are many items, even very common, which are impossible or impractical to buy from the hands. When I lost the opportunity to buy these things - no matter how much I sometimes wanted this - to my surprise, nothing has changed. Neither my health, nor happiness or inner harmony. I realized that most things actually belong to the “good to have” category; real needs are usually much simpler.
My 200 days brought me not only a new experience in the field of economy and minimalism. I needed to do this, and it changed me. When someone dies, it is considered that you should just “go through it” and return to normal life. I did not want to think that the loss of my father was one of those events through which you just need to “get through”, without any change in the end.
Instead, I allowed this experience to transform me truly deeply. In fact, I don’t think that I will ever be able to “go through it”, because every day since I didn’t have a father, this greatly influences the way I act, speak and perceive my life.
I hope you can let this post change you a little.You may decide to visit second-hand when you need clothes next time, or decide to start your own 10, 30, or even 200-day experiment. At the very least, I hope you look at your next purchase differently.