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Thread: Consumption

  1. #1
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Consumption

    My wife and I are done with consumption. Utterly and completely done!

    We've gone through our accumulation phases in our 20's and 30's, our upgrading phase in our 40's (we're 48 yrs old), and now we just look around our home and realize how much 'stuff' we have. It's ridiculous. No, we're not hoarders, nor do we have more than the typical family out there, but that doesn't mean that we don't have too much stuff.

    Since moving to a different province last year, we've started the process of de-cluttering our lives. It's still ongoing, and to be honest we've barely made a dent. Today will be another day of going through things to see what can be discarded, donated, and freecycled. I'm going to start with our paperwork and start shredding the excess bills, etc that for some reason we tend to collect.

    Anyone else at this point?

  2. #2
    Living 'n Dying in -Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    If you'd become obese, then it would be an issue of "consumption"; but what you've described sounds more like "acquisition".

    Good luck in divesting yourselves of "stuff"!

  3. #3
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Thought this was going a different direction. (I just started watching Boardwalk Empire.)

    Good for you, staying focused on the big picture. That'd be a good resolution...for every item purchased (excluding foodstuffs), at least one must be jettisoned.

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    I started doing that about mid-2014. Got rid of four of 9 bicycles (one to my niece who needed one to get to school, three to the Salvation Army), a lot of clothes I no longer wore (changed from a suit-and-tie job to a company uniform job; much more 'relaxed job, too!), shredded all my old tax documents, etc, etc. Sorry, but I'm not parting with any more bicycles or my guitar or other stringed instruments (that I DO use!).
    Are we having fun yet?

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    Anyone else at this point?
    Just past it. All my stuff fits in a van and a 5x10' storage unit. Pledge to myself is to get rid of anything in the storage unit I haven't touched in a year, which will be this May. There was way too much stuff I was hanging onto and it's a relief to have got rid of most of it.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  6. #6
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    No I'm not talking about the medical definition LOL, but rather the economic definition, as follows:

    Definition

    Consumption can be defined in different ways, but is usually best described as the final purchase of goods and services by individuals. The purchase of a new pair of shoes, a hamburger at the fast food restaurant, or the service of getting your house cleaned are all examples of consumption. It is also often referred to as consumer spending. Many topics in economics explore how the income of families and individuals affects consumption and spending habits.

    What is Consumption in Economics? - Definition & Theory | Education Portal

  7. #7
    Rider of Bicycles bici_mania's Avatar
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    Yes. Except for bikes. But everything else, yes. Sort of.

    I don't throw anything away so I accumulate stuff but it all gets given away, sold, re-purposed or recycled. The stuff that 'I' have is always changing. We have too much stuff and though it has taken 10 years, I have finally convinced my wife of that. Most of her 'stuff' belonged to her mother and grandmother.

    I have tried to teach my kids to not accumulate. The general rule of thumb is 'if you haven't used it 6 months or if you forgot you had it, when you find it; you have to get rid of it. If you get something new and you already have one, give the old one away.

    There is more freedom and liberty in less stuff.

    If I didn't have a spouse and children, I would live in a 12' x 24' house. Half the space would be for bikes, the other for everything else. I believe that would be more than enough space. I recognize that the 'bike thing' is excessive but it is the one indulgence I allow myself for maintaining good mental health. I spend more time in the garage than anywhere in the house.

    I have found that being well organized reduces the need for space but also seems to go a long way towards establishing order in my mind.
    Just roll with it

  8. #8
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    Good luck in divesting yourselves of "stuff"!
    Some of it is easy to get rid of, some of it not so much. The emotional attachment to some of our 'stuff' is what we're struggling with. I find it quite easy to detach myself from objects, but my wife finds it much harder. We're trying to work through the '... if you haven't used it in the last ..." philosophy. Still not easy though.

  9. #9
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    My exwife and I did this after living in our first house for about 5 years. We figured we'd be better off getting rid of stuff we didn't need instead of buying a bigger house that would hold more stuff.

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    I've been slowly getting rid of all my useless junk over the past ~2 years. Having to move all your junk always gets you thinking. Now I only buy things I really need or that will save me money in the long run, with the exception of the occasional small gift to myself. I've gone into super frugal mode over the past couple of months and I'm about at my goal for a new used car. I've lost 6 inches off my waist as an added bonus.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    Anyone else at this point?
    We did this about 16 years ago.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    It is SO hard to stop buying "stuff" in a society where you are constantly being told you are not good enough. Corporate America's solution to your "problem?" You need to buy stuff to be OK.

  13. #13
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Going through piles of stuff, deciding what to keep, it's very time consuming. I would even say it takes longer to toss stuff out than it takes to buy stuff.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  14. #14
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    As a microbiology professor, when you said you were done with consumption, I thought you were going to talk about taking part in some sort of campaign to help crush tuberculosis, which infects about a third of the world's population. Getting rid of your excess stuff is good too, I suppose.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    When we raise children we fully understand that they "go through phases". I think we tend to forget that there are "phases" we all past through (and live in) our entire lives. The "acquisition phase" should peak in your 40's. You seem to be right-on in your.... development.

    In your 50's you should see wealth as less of what possessions you own than the resources you control.

  16. #16
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I moved to a smaller house 7.5 years ago and got rid of a lot of stuff then. I still have some kind of valuable stuff in the garage that could probably go, but I need to find some way to get rid of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerum 525 View Post
    Now get on your cheap bike and give me a double century. You walking can of Crisco!!

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    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Hmm, better be careful. Consumption, and "Consumer culture" has been drilled into Americans for decades. Not consuming is considered downright un-american!
    Thus the Walmart secret police will be coming after you.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    Anyone else at this point?
    Having downsized significantly twice in the last decade ... we're now in a building back up phase.

    In fact, we just got 99% of our stuff out of storage and are in the process of setting up a home for the first time since June 2012. It's nice ... really nice.


    That said, one of our goals over the next few years is to work our way through our stuff as we get everything set up. To organise it and find out what exactly we've got ... and possibly to get rid of duplicates. For example, we've got 3 irons. To use it up ... this is especially true when it comes to toiletries etc. And to scan paperwork and then get rid of most originals.

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Hmm, better be careful. Consumption, and "Consumer culture" has been drilled into Americans for decades. Not consuming is considered downright un-american!
    Thus the Walmart secret police will be coming after you.
    How fortunate that the OP is not American.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Will G's Avatar
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    I found what helped was moving a lot. You get tired of packing and unpacking stuff you never use. Unfortunately, I haven't moved in 15 years now.
    Flying a jet is no different than riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

  21. #21
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    I thought this thread might be about tuberculosis

    Before I was a homeowner I moved around enough to keep from accumulating junk that's never used. Now just moving my bedroom from one room of the house to another can leave me with lots of stuff to throw away.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

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