I discovered the concept of “shopping your stash” through online communities around crafting and cosmetics. It is a simple idea: basically, to use what you have instead of buying the latest thing. To counteract the temptation of new products that clamor for your attention and money, why not challenge yourself to shop your stash? Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Creative hobbies – If you enjoy a creative hobby you probably are tempted to buy all the things. But having limitations stretches us to use our imagination and find inventive solutions. If you are spending more time searching through your materials than you are actually creating, it might be time for a spending freeze. Give yourself a challenge to create from a small segment of your stash, or make kits for specific projects from the stuff you already own. 2. Beauty products – If you’re into makeup you know every other week there is a new, hot item that every blogger and YouTuber tells you to buy. In reality, there are limited combinations of colors and finishes for cosmetics, and you probably have something similar in your collection already. Try keeping a small selection of makeup to pick from on a daily basis, and when it feels stale, rotate in other items from your stash. Instead of subscribing to a monthly beauty box, create your own from all those samples you haven’t used up yet. 3. Wardrobe – The idea of a capsule wardrobe has been around for some time, and it is another way to shop your stash. Create a seasonal collection that is a subset of all your clothes. Pick pieces that all work together and are seasonally appropriate, and wear only those items for several months. Next season, switch it up! 4. Cooking – If you enjoy trying new recipes, you probably have a pantry of ingredients that were only used once or twice. Shop your stash by selecting a few of them and search for new recipes to use them up. You can also apply this idea to your kitchen tools. If you have an appliance that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while, challenge yourself to use it again. This might be an interim step before deciding to get rid of it, but you also might rediscover something you want to put back in regular rotation. 5. Home décor – Retailers love to bring out new color palettes and styles of home furnishings to get you excited to buy. If you think your rooms need a new look, try shopping your home before you buy anything new. Maybe that piece of art in your rarely-used dining room would look great in the living room, or maybe you have an area rug rolled up in the basement that could inspire a new color scheme in your bedroom. Move your furnishings around to see them with fresh eyes. 6. Entertainment – It’s so easy to access new entertainment today, but you probably own things that you’ve never gotten around to reading, watching, or listening to. The next time you feel the urge to purchase or download something new, revisit your own library, instead.
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