• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: cocktail deeva, fabulous, family, home, lifestyles, Uncategorized


    I am Putting My Entire Family…on a DIET…yes that 4 letter word that I hate…But not a Calorie Diet..a STUFF DIET…

    ** DISCLAIMER** If this all goes to shit it’s my Fabulous neighbour Alexis’ fault for planting the seed in my head…

    She told me of an article that Catherine Porter wrote for the Toronto Start back in 2010…Why I have sworn off Shopping for 3 Months… 

    Between this article and the Perspective Project my daughter and I worked on…it got me thinking…(never a good thing) I prefer things that get me drinking…

    I can do this…WE can do this..THIS would be an amazing Family Project…just ask my teenagers…they are super Keen on the idea…**insert sarcasm**

    You should have seen their smiling faces when I told them we were going to live this for THE NEXT SIX MONTHS!!!

    In Porter’s article she has set some rules…

    “Here are the ground rules: No buying anything new, with three exceptions – food, booze and health essentials, like medicine and toilet paper. Mary-Margaret suggests we could use leaves, but I think she’s joking.

    Also accepted: Second-hand purchases. Value Village, Craigslist, vintage shops are all fair game, as the official point is to lighten our environmental load. 

    Borrowing is encouraged.”

    I am adding a couple more…

    – The purchase of under garments and cosmetics can also be new…

    – Also Yard Flowers, garden plants, soil etc will be bought new

    – My Husbands work products…cus if we don’t have those..we don’t eat…

    The line that got me in Porters article was this…

    “For me, the Stuff Diet is a meditation. It’s a way of breaking my regular habits and forcing me to examine them.”

    The idea of breaking regular habits with my family and looking at our  “STUFF life” differently, the conversations it will create , to me anyway, can only be beneficial to our family. Not to mention the true perspective that my teens will learn…PRICELESS

    There is another part to this whole Diet that Porter mentions that really excites me…

    “Here’s the other benefit: Your neighbours.

    When you can’t buy a new drill, you have to borrow it. That requires talking to neighbours – something that as a working mom, I don’t do enough. The challenge of The Stuff Diet creates community. Don’t have ski pants for Collingwood? Email the group. Don’t know what to do for an 11-year-old’s birthday? The suggestions will pour in.”

    This excites me because I am so blessed to have the best neighbours ON THE PLANET! And in doing this diet I am sure to only get to know them better…

    The mind-set for this Diet as Porter explains…

    “We are in Planet Saving Mode, not Shopaholics Anonymous.”

    It’s not about the money or not being a chronic shopper… It’s about looking at your life, needs and purchases differently…Really thinking them through…FINDING the things you need…I believe they then become treasures…
    So what do you think? Am I NUTS? Could you do it? YOU SHOULD DO IT…JOIN ME !!!!
    Start your own Family Stuff Diet and write about it…There is Strength and Solace  in numbers!!!



43 Responses to My Families Stuff Diet…

  • Julia wrote on April 12, 2012 at 6:08 //

    Love this idea. Hubby and I have been on a no buying budget since January aside from birthday gifts and needed items. We are planning a cross country move though, not trying to by less though. I just don’t want to buy new stuff only to give it away. We often buy used and my neighbors are fabulous for dropping off clothes for the kids.

    • Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:25 //

      Julia – we moved 3000kms across the country 6 months ago and purging is key 🙂 good luck!!!

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:42 //

      WOW …to both of you …That is a HUGE move…good luck and Purge on!

  • Mary wrote on April 12, 2012 at 6:22 //

    My friend who has a bunch of kids makes them get rid of almost everything before their birthdays and before Christmas. It’s fabulous. Her house is never cluttered.

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:43 //

      I have been doing that with my kids forever…give to those who don’t have before you “get”…teaches them so much too…Cheers

  • Kat wrote on April 12, 2012 at 6:29 //

    Regardless of our good intentions we’re all drowning in Stuff. This is a great idea! I also like that you have personal additions and exceptions which suit your lifestyle.

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:45 //

      Thanks Kat…if you don’t make it work for your family then it’s no use starting something like this…It has to fit…Any change is a good one…

  • Lisa Thornbury wrote on April 12, 2012 at 6:38 //

    Listen, if you find yourself running out of shoes and you’d like to borrow mine, you know I’m happy to share! Bah. I love this. 🙂

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:45 //

      I think I might use paper bags before Crocs or Burks…Thanks for your generosity …xoxo

      • Amy wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:07 //

        I happen to own an adorable pair of birks 🙂 There IS such a thing as cute birks!

        • Darleen wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:50 //

          I love this and read about it in several of my travels. Not sure I could manage it, but I don’t buy much so maybe. And yes there are cute birks – I have had several 🙂 But I have been known to cripple myself to look ‘good’ in 4 inch heels.

  • Cheri Loughlin wrote on April 12, 2012 at 7:32 //

    This is a fabulous concept, difficult to stick to. I did this (just me, not the family) for 30 days. It is enlightening how much I/we depend upon shopping as a quick fix, pick-me-upper or simply just too lazy to find what we lost and are too eager to replace it with something new. Will definitely do this again! Good luck to you and your family! Cheering you on!

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:46 //

      Thank you we will need the cheering…I think I am It will be tuff…but the good stuff always is…Cheers

  • Steve Kubien aka @greenleafwood wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:10 //

    I love this idea! One thing though…I HAVE to order a couple of things for my work/job/artistic-pursuits. Without them, I cannot work but since my work involves reclaimed wood anyway, I think I can make an acception.

    Hmmm, guess I better get around to mending those jeans… Now I need to learn how to sew!

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:47 //

      Thanks for the heads up Steve…I added my Hubs work equipment to the list…because with out it…we don’t eat at all… Get bandaids too for after the sewing 😉

  • Dianne / Smilenwaven wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:17 //

    Great idea and good luck! I would always rather buy good 2nd hand than cheap new!

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:48 //

      Thanks so much and I agree…Fab Finds…

  • Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:21 //

    I could do this for sure for “stuff” but where I waste most of my money is the convenience crap. Like drive-thru, lattes, weekend entertainment for the kids (movies, play gyms, etc…). Are you planning on cutting that stuff out too??? I’m not sure I could.

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:50 //

      We are going to cut that back and think of more Free play that doesn’t consume anything…Good thing summers coming..I am going to need a good homemade bubble recipe…;)

  • Suzie Salmon wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:34 //

    I can’t wait for you and your family to discover the fun in thrifting…you would not believe the beautiful clothes I find on a regular basis at our local thrift store. Not to mention, the thrill of the hunt and the fact that the money goes to our local hospice society makes it even better when I find that perfect “vintage” piece. I also use Etsy for “vintage” household items. Can’t wait to read more about your STUFF DIET!

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:51 //

      Thanks so much..I truly think this will be so good for my family..and with 2 of the kids being teens, it’s so important for them to know something other than a Mall…

      • Amy wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:11 //

        Thrifting can be a dangerous habit that amounts to even more stuff around you because of how cheap it is! Just as a word of caution! If I were to do this, I’d have to limit the amount of “stuff” that is brought into the home…Although I did find 3 cute lamps and a hanna andersson dress for Ivy this week 🙂

  • Kathryn wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:53 //

    I absolutely love this and the hubs would be ALL over this! He can’t handle how much new stuff comes into our home day after day. I feel like our lives are so cluttered! Dee I think you have inspired me. I can’t wait to follow along in this journey.. Bravo to you!

    • Dee wrote on April 12, 2012 at 8:57 //

      Oh Thank you Fab Lady…I am going to need the support..Home Sense’s Stock is about to drop!!! My husbands all over it cue hes cheap LMAO!!

  • Lindsay wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:44 //

    I love this idea Dee! You have inspired me to do this too, and with planning a move I can’t think of a better time. DH is going to love when he comes home to this!!

    • Dee wrote on April 13, 2012 at 9:23 //

      YAY…be sure to share your progress…I would love to link up other peoples stories about the Stuff diet!! Cheers

  • Darleen wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:52 //

    And in one of my past lives we were forced into this way of life temporarily, and was surprising how well you can manage and even do better. Free Cycle and thrift stores are amazing!

    • Dee wrote on April 13, 2012 at 9:18 //

      I can’t wait to try out FreeCycle!!

  • Ally wrote on April 12, 2012 at 11:41 //

    I love this idea. I come from a family of shoppers and would rather not pass that legacy on to my daughter. I am going to start off trying for a 30 day diet 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this concept.

    • Dee wrote on April 13, 2012 at 9:18 //

      ALLY that is FABOOSH!! Make sure you keep me posted on how you do!!

  • Clare wrote on April 13, 2012 at 7:23 //

    Truly a wonderful idea, Dee. 6 months, though, will probably only scrape the surface of frugal. This journey will take you in directions so exciting that the road signs will become a blur. Enjoy every minute of being an “Earth Mother” A little retro, but seems to fit. Peace, Sister !

    • Dee wrote on April 13, 2012 at 9:17 //

      Thanks Clare…not so much about being Frugal as about reducing the foot print whenever a New Product is bought…one has to be made to replace it and it takes a toll on the planet…The money saved on items and deals found is an added bonus…and I luv the retro!!!

  • Kristin wrote on April 13, 2012 at 8:12 //

    I’m in! The same idea has been bouncing around my head for a few weeks. We’re packing up boxes AND boxes of stuff to get ready to move to a new home, the stuff is overwhelming. We’re drowning in it.
    We’re be making our own list of inclusions and exclusions. And maybe a priority list, like if we can’t find second hand shoes for the kids then we buy new.

    • Dee wrote on April 13, 2012 at 9:16 //

      That is FAB Kristin…Are you going to write about it?? Be sure to send me any posts you do so I can link them on my blog!! Cheers

  • Alexis wrote on April 13, 2012 at 3:51 //

    I am reminded everyday: It’s our family, friends, neighbours and co-workers who inspire me to put value on the goodness of people and the richness of having a happy heart…. Health, family, and good memories are the best “stuff” to have! Happy sharing!

  • Krista (@kristahouse) wrote on April 13, 2012 at 4:04 //

    Fab idea! I would like to give it a try over the summer. I always find that I pick up a lot of summer knickknacks for bbq, backyard toys, etc… A lot of it is just junk!

  • Jennifer wrote on April 15, 2012 at 8:23 //

    I have shopped in second hand stores and have been known to ‘shop’ on garbage day.It is amazing what people throw out. I have found antique dressers and chairs. Hitting VV at the end of a season will prepare you for the year to come and people seem to be extremely willing to part with all their really good stuff. I am so glad you posted this Dee. Hopefully we can all learn from this.

  • andrea from the fishbowl wrote on April 17, 2012 at 8:38 //

    This is a great initiative Dee. We have been doing this every year for the past five or six years. We call it our annual Shopping Embargo and we start on Boxing Day and don’t buy anything until the end of February. If you are keen to see how we did it (I blogged about it and posted many tips) it’s all contained over here:

    We learned a TON about our shopping and spending habits. You will too. Good luck!