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One Month In – I Love Old Stuff

February 13, 2018
Shopping Ban Update: One Month In - I Love Old Stuff | Tiny Ambitions

I can’t believe I’m already a month into my 2018 shopping ban! This month has felt fast and slow all at once. And, the countdown clock I added to the site is a constant reminder that I’m doing a thing!

First, the good news – I didn’t buy anything I wasn’t allowed to! Huzzah! I didn’t expect to break the ban in the first month, it’s still a fresh and sparkly commitment. Still, it feels great to know I kept that commitment for 30 days. If I’m being honest, part of my brain was secretly convinced I’d just give up as soon as I was faced with any kind of an obstacle (oh me of little faith).

Based on all of the wonderful and supportive comments I received on the announcement post, I wanted to add some new categories to my shopping ban rules. I will also update my original shopping ban post, just so we’re all on the same page!


Emperor’s New Rules


  • To be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
    • The travel I have planned for this year is all for the wedding I am in (and, is therefore exempt from the ban).


  • Will be allowed if I can afford them.
    • Mr. TA and I don’t do gifts, so there’s no issue there. But, I do like to send flowers to my mom and grandma for their birthdays. As the eldest child in my family, I also take the responsibility of buying my mom Christmas presents. This is something I will be continuing during the ban.

Free Stuff

  • To be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
    • This stuff obviously wouldn’t cost money, but it would potentially create clutter.
    • Ex) magazines, free merch or swag.
    • If I think I’ll use it, I’ll take it.

House/Home Maintenance

  • We rent, so this doesn’t actually apply to us. But, I wanted to have it here in case anyone wondered.

Health and Fitness

  • I’m planning on buying a gym membership through my work in March. A commitment to my health is something I’d like to work on this year. Purchasing this membership will be step one.

I Love Old Stuff (Aka The Vintage Temptation)

I’m still not sure how I’m going to structure these monthly updates moving forward. But, this month, I want to tell you a story.

Mr. TA and I went to a local second-hand charity store a couple of weeks ago to find some ski pants for him. I don’t ski – I like all of my limbs attached to my body, thank you very much. But Mr. TA loves it, so off to the store we went!

As soon as we walked into the store, I knew I was in trouble. Everything called out to me. The vintage hard sided luggage oozed of amazing adventures once taken. Old kitchen appliances harkened back to delicious meals shared among friends.

That’s when I realized it. I love old ‘stuff’. All of it. I love imagining the lives of the people who used to own these treasures. Each item is so full of history and stories – a time I’ll never be able to experience. It’s kind of hard to explain why, but that’s possibly the coolest thing ever in my opinion. For all of our technological advancements, we’ll still never know what it was truly like to live in a time other than the time we were born in. All we have left to give us a taste of decades past is all this old ‘stuff’. I should probably note at this point, that I have a degree in anthropology and archeology, so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this sort of thing fascinates me.

I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to buy anything while we were there, but that didn’t stop me from meandering through the aisles looking for unique curiosities. Mr. TA said, more than once, “Shopping ban!” Thanks for keeping me honest, mister.

There is just something about old, second-hand and vintage items that make them more desirable to me than new, sparkly, hot-off-the-production-line stuff.

Don’t believe me? My favourite clothing items are pieces I’ve inherited from past roommates and vintage gems I’ve scored from online second-hand retailers. All of my bedding is currently second-hand quilts and duvets (all thoroughly washed) – that I don’t plan on replacing anytime soon. Even my car and electronics are secondhand. Though, that’s more for cost and environmental sustainability reasons.

Bottom line, I love old stuff. And, as much as I can, I’ll continue to replace my stuff with second-hand items when the time comes.

So, no, I didn’t break my ban for some super awesome vintage item. But, I was thoroughly tempted. I expect to be tempted for the entire ban – so that’s not really a concern for me. If nothing else, this small trip to the second-hand store helped me clarify exactly why it is I love certain ‘things’. And, I think that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with loving any kind of ‘stuff’. I’m a minimalist, not a soulless robot. Certain things move me – vintage, well-worn, beautiful curiosities are one of those things. I’m just going to have to keep my vintage lust under lock and key for the next 11 months. I’m 97% sure I can do it.

What would you like to see in my monthly shopping ban updates? Let me know in the comments! I’m open to suggestions at this point.

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Donna Wilson March 3, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I’ve decided to put a ban on new, or new to me clothing this year. I have more than enough to get through all the seasons, plus I’m trying to get healthier. I’ve lost almost ten pounds since January 8th and as I am contracting my wardrobe is expanding! All of the nice slacks and sweaters I’ve stashed for being too small are coming to the front of the closet again 🙂

    • Britt March 3, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Congrats on your ban! And congrats on focusing on your health! That’s awesome you’ve held onto your smaller sized clothing – they will sure come in handy.

  • Make More Meaning February 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Congrats on navigating your first month of the ban! I feel like the beginning is the “honeymoon phase” and then the real work begins. I wish you a lot of luck for that part, it’s probably the most difficult for me and I hope you navigate it with ease!

    • Britt February 25, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks! I know the next 11 months will be much more difficult than the first one. Just have to keep at it everyday!

  • Diana February 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Hooray – I’ve found somebody else who is also doing a year-long shopping ban! After living for 17 years in the same house and having two kids (now teens) grow up here, there’s a lot of stuff. I’ve cleaned out my clothes closet three times, but I’ll probably clean it at least that many more before the year is out. I’ve started small with cleaning out single kitchen drawers or cabinets, and by just walking past my library shelves and pulling out books to take to work and mark with the word “Free”. During my first month, I actually dreamt that I walked into a clothing store which was having a huge sale, but then I remembered the shopping ban and woke up. I can’t even shop in my dreams! My middle school students didn’t think I’d make it a week since I am addicted to buying books for them and my 1000+ classroom library; I don’t think they’ve experienced someone who has made it past January with their New Year’s Resolution intact. I’m determined to show them it can be done.

    • Britt February 17, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Congrats on starting a shopping ban! I’m sure you can do it, especially with the motivation of your students behind you.

  • Lisa February 15, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Congrats on getting through month number one, Britt! I really admire that you’re so self-aware when it comes to recognising your love for vintage items, rather than simply trying to suppress the urge to buy. I think it’s a much more effective approach to tune into the desire to buy and try and explore the feelings behind it so that you can actually work through it and get to know yourself better as part of the process. I’ve definitely learnt a lot about myself over the past year and have had to do some soul searching to understand why it is I feel like buying when the urge crops up.

    As for what you could include in your updates, I’d be really interested in staying up to date with little stories of the everyday, like you shared here, and how you are feeling about the ban. I really enjoy delving into the psychological side of these things.

    Hope you enjoy month number two Britt – you’re doing great!

    • Britt February 15, 2018 at 7:18 am

      I agree! Just suppressing the urge to buy doesn’t actually help you figure out why you want to do it in the first place.

      Thanks for your kind words. One month down – 11 to go! I think I will keep sharing stories like this one so I’m glad you like it.

      • Lisa February 22, 2018 at 5:20 am

        Looking forward to them, Britt! 😀

  • The Luxe Strategist February 14, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Hey Britt,

    I love old stuff, too, so this is a big win for you to be able to browse but not buy anything. I also feel like old stuff is even more important to hold onto because we live in such a “throwaway” culture. The last time I went to a thrift store most of it was Forever 21 stuff, which was pretty disappointing. And worse, you can’t create any more true vintage stuff, so it will be harder and harder to find as time goes on.

    Also, I’m impressed you use vintage linens. That’s one area I haven’t ventured into, because I sweat like crazy in my bed, and would assume someone else did the same in their linens!

    • Britt February 14, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Mr.TA would be the first to tell you that I’m a garbage human haha meaning, dirt and germs don’t bother me. Nothing that a hot wash can’t fix!

      And I agree – it’s incredibly sad when I got to vintage stores and see them packed with fast-fashion. If I’m in the market for something, I always try to make it a true vintage piece. It is getting harder and harder to find the real gems.

  • mybodyandmeblog February 14, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Forgive me for being forward, but it sounds like you might enjoy a part-time job in an antique shop, or maybe even the store you went to. Great story.

    • Britt February 14, 2018 at 7:12 am

      You’re probably right! I would love that. Maybe that will be my next career change.

  • Mary in Texas February 13, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    The things that get me in the Salvation Army store are the old Pyrex, Corningware, and Fire King baking pans. I know (scientifically) that they are better than those sold now, but I also know that I have enough. Still hurts to pass up a Corningware casserole with the blue flowers.

    • Britt February 13, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I love all of those Corningware casseroles! I’m very lucky that I have a few from my parents and grandparents. It’s definitely one of those cases where they don’t make them like they used to.

  • Tread Lightly, Retire Early February 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I am allll about old stuff as well. The good news is, I hate clutter more, so as long as I still feel overwhelmed with the stuff we already have I’ll stay strong and not bring any of the pretties I see home 😂

    • Britt February 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels the call of the vintage stuff!!

  • Secret Agent Woman February 13, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Being able to browse without buying is a huge win! One of the things I’ve been doing is daydreaming about retirement (I’m a lot closer to that than you!) and the little house we want to build on some land. So when I think about some vintage thing I might want, I put it on a list I’m keeping. Like, “small old cabinet to make into bathroom vanity.” I have no idea why that’s helping to keep me in check from running out and replacing all my things with the older stuff I love, but it is. I tell myself that what I have now will do for this house. But when I look around at what will go with us and what won’t, it’s only the antiques I’m inclined to keep. Like the old WWII-era wooden dynamite boxes I found in the bomb shelter of my last house that now serve as our entertainment center. There is not new cabinet that holds a candle to that! (She says, in a rambling-for-no-good-reason way.)

    • Britt February 13, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      That’s a great idea! Keeping a list makes it tangible and gives you a way to review all your potential purchases before you actually make them.

      If I had WWII boxes, I would absolutely keep them. That’s a very unique part of history you have. Thanks for reading!

  • Jennifer | Honey Rule February 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    great job britt! it’s so hard to stay on target when exposed to temptation. i totally get that. i’m publishing my one-month update soon, and you’ll see where i fell.

    i’m glad you clarified your rules, too!

    and i love the quote about how you’re a minimalist and not a robot. haha.

    i still consider myself a minimalist even though i totally still have a shopping addiction! this past month i’m replacing things with more ideal things… which is part of the reason why i failed so hard haha. you’ll see 😎

    • Britt February 13, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      I might have to start my own minimalist clothing line with “I’m a minimalist, not a robot”, plastered all over it.

      Can’t wait to read your update!

  • Erin | Reaching for FI February 13, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Hey, one month in and not only did you not buy anything, but you learned more about yourself in the process! I’ve always loved vintage items too (looking at them at least, even if I’m not usually tempted to buy them) but don’t tend to spend a lot of time in those shops. It’s always tempting to stop though when I’m driving through small towns and see lots of antique stores!

    You’re 97% sure you can resist the vintage siren song but I’m 99.9% sure 🙂

    • Britt February 13, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks, Erin! I’m all about a good learning experience. I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of that over the rest of the ban.

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.