10 Things We Don’t Buy for Our Home

Simple living requires us to be more intentional about what we buy and bring into our home. What we choose to consume is a personal decision dependent on many different factors, so I’m not suggesting you stop buying the things on our list. Contemplating what we routinely purchase can lead to saving money, reducing clutter, caring for the environment and being more mindful.

Here are ten things we no longer buy for our home. I’d love to know what you’ve decided to no longer purchase.

  1. Flowering Annuals  – Mike and I got tired of spending time and money on planting annuals every spring. Last year we decided to stop buying flowers that only last a season and landscape our yard with perennials that return year after year. Now our yard magically blooms with a wide variety of flowers, grasses and shrubs through all the seasons.
  2.  Most Cleaning Products – I used to buy dozens of different products to clean windows, mirrors, furniture, toilets, tile floors, wood floors, showers and sinks. These days my house gets just as clean with one concentrated cleaning product, water and a little elbow grease.
  3. Plug-in Fragrances – I’m a sucker for good smells, but I no longer buy those plastic plug-in things with silly names like Cashmere Woods and Hawaiian Breeze. The artificial scents tend to be overpowering for few days and then disappear. Now I just make sure my house is fresh and clean and rely on a clean-burning candle for subtle fragrance. (I don’t see myself scratching good candles off my list any time soon.)
  4. Seasonal Decor – I enjoy celebrating the holidays, but I’m done decorating our home with pumpkins, turkeys, hearts, leprechauns, bunnies and Uncle Sam. Passing up these seasonal knick-knacks saves money, reduces clutter and makes our house feel less like a kitschy gift shop and more like our own home.
  5. Wall Decor – This one is pretty extreme, but we stopped buying things to hang on our walls. We find bare walls enhance the view of nature through our picture windows. This blank space helps create the serene ambiance we enjoy in our home. (I’ll be writing more about negative space in an upcoming column.)
  6. Decorative Window Treatments – We prefer to leave our windows as unadorned as possible. Where needed for privacy, we have simple curtains that are opened first thing every morning. We even removed those square grids (called muntins) and screens from our windows making them look larger, more modern and so much easier to clean.
  7. Photo Frames – A couple of years ago we got a quality 8 X 10 digital picture frame and got rid of all the small picture frames placed around our house. The digital frame sits in our living room and constantly rotates through hundreds of photos that can easily be added  through an app on our phones. I can even take pictures of old photos and pop them into the mix. Our digital frame has become one of our favorite possessions.
  8. Kitchen Gadgets – Mike and I are simple people who eat simple food. Somehow we’ve made it to 61 without needing an avocado slicer, an egg separator, a corn peeler, a pineapple corer, a crumb sweeper, a waffle-maker or an air fryer. We are pretty sure we can make do with the simple basics our kitchen has always had.
  9. Indoor Plants – One summer in my youth, I sublet an apartment where I was working and going to school. I lined my extensive collection of 70s record albums on the floor under the stereo system, never once having time to listen to them. For three months, my roommate overwatered a corner plant soaking the hideous brown shag carpet and destroying all of my precious albums. Ever since, I’ve been skeptical of indoor plants.
  10. Fresh Flowers – I love fresh flowers and used to purchase bouquets for our home a couple of times a month. Unfortunately, my cat loves flowers, too. He loves to eat them, play with them, hide them and knock them over. I’m happy to trade fresh flowers for free snuggles and purrs that really make our house feel like a home. §


4 thoughts on “10 Things We Don’t Buy for Our Home

  1. Alicia, I really enjoyed this post! Becoming very intentional about what I enter into my home, my schedule, my mind and my heart has been one of the most significant changes in my life.
    I love fresh flowers (I’m writing this next to some lisianthus), but I can imagine Mr. Darcy’s ability to be adorable and the chosen one over flowers!
    Thank you, Noelia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Noe…I’m glad you understood where I was coming from with this one. I agree, if we start with the physical things, the mind and heart follow. I wonder if Argentina is as materialistic as the US?? The advertisements are constant and so sneaky! I’m enjoying my focus on simplicity, and I’m happy you are still with me. ❤ Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Alicia,

    To be honest, consumption in Argentina is conditioned by various factors. Inflation exceeded one hundred percent per year, which has impoverished almost half the country; and shopping at stores like Amazon can be challenging as individually imported goods are heavily taxed, don’t always make it to your door, etc. (We have a local version called Mercado Libre, but in general you find what a store sells here, not Amazon or Etsy).

    At the same time, those who can afford to travel abroad take advantage of the trips to bring things back. Also, many young people leave the country because they feel they don’t have access to all that the world has to offer. However, many of us are also descendants of Europeans who escaped from the Second World War, so I think there is an awareness of valuing what one has.
    In conclusion, I don’t think I could say what our true materialistic nature is as a society. Constant economic crises have left thoughts as diverse as “buy while you can” to “save and be careful.”

    Personally, I have a small file with photos of the things that I’d like to have, as a ‘wishlist’. Since they are mostly things that I cannot find here, when my time to travel arrives I prioritize according to my possibilities and desires. As I am very intentional and I tend not to quantity but to quality, it’s like a virtual curatorship of material goods from my own life. This way, some images have been in and out of that file without ever passing through my hands.

    Love from the Argentine autumn, Noe ❤

    P.S. I’m really sorry for the length of the writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so interesting. The US inflation rate is 4.93% and people here act like it is good reason to go completely nuts! I’m sorry your country is experiencing such difficult economic times. I love your idea of virtual curatorship and tend to do that in my own way. It’s funny how if I wait, the feeling to own it goes away. Enjoy autumn. We are already making the jump to hot weather. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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