I have often seen, in the blogosphere, posts on reducing one's wardrobe, makeup, skincare, jewellery collection, or using it better (30 for 30).
These often occur at change of seasons, or New Year. The general premise, so far as I can see, is that we have so much stuff, we don't appreciate it, and so accumulate more. This is something I am very familiar with, having had to do a massive reduction in recent times.
Sheldon and I moved from a 3 bedroom house, with a shed, to a 21 foot caravan. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a dramatic reduction in space to make you reassess your attachment to 'stuff'. If we are honest, I personally didn't get rid of a lot, I am a fan of regular purges, so it was mainly household items, or items our sons had asked us to store, that I had to deal with. Sheldon had (and has) far more to sort and decide on.
I have a 53 litre tub which contains my 'treasures', my great-grandmother's blanket, some books of family members, the cake plate and server that Nan got on her wedding day, and a display book of cards/pictures my kids made me. Also a doona cover my mum made for B when he was a toddler, which served N as well, the shawl all 4 of us came home from hospital in - stuff like that. These things I will never part from.
As for the rest, it's pretty minimal. I have very little make-up (6 eyeliners, 1 mascara, a palette of 12 eyeshadows, 1 blush, 3 or 4 brushes, and 1 nailpolish), which I am making the effort to use (I bought it, so to not use it is a waste of money), 5 pairs of shoes (2 pairs of flats, 1 black, 1 leopard print, 1 pair of totalled sneakers for gardening/cycling, my 'camp' shoes and a pair of flip-flops for errands), 8 sarongs for summer wear, 3 skirts (1 doubles as a strapless dress) 6 tshirts (2 for gardening/cycling/grotty work), 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of trackies, 1 hoodie (as for the 2 tshirts), 1 pair of dress pants, 2 long sleeved tops for grott work on cooler days, 4 turtlenecks, 2 pairs of leggings, 2 long tops to wear with leggings, 2 short-sleeved tops, 2 button-down shirts, 2 belts (black & tan), 2 handbags (black & tan). And a backpack for cycling. Oh, and a bathrobe, and a pair of slippers. That's it.
My skincare routine is equally minimalist, although I am leaning towards getting a Clarisonic (or the cheaper Olay version); Coles unscented baby wipes, and homemade moisturiser of an evening. Exfoliation is with a flannel. Mornings is a wipe and sunscreen. We make our own soap, toothpowder, laundry powder, mouthwash and deodorant.
I also own a laptop (5 years old) a mobile phone ($99 on prepaid): my jewellery collection is a watch, my silver earrings, wedding and engagement bands, and on special occassions, Nan's pearls. We make our own muesli, and a bean mix (think McKenzies soup mix, but better). We rearely eat meat, and dine out (Thai, $12.50 per person) once a month. We see Sheldon's parents every 3 or 4 months, and have lunch and a bought coffee. Our big luxuries are Jarrah white chocolate latte (him) and hot chocolate (pure cocoa powder, no sugar) for me.
I have found, particularly since we moved from the caravan to the converted bus that, even though I have less *stuff* than a lot of other people, I am happier, healthier and far better off - in many ways I am richer. I sometimes find myself wishing I could justify a random splurge (hello Strandbags sale), but I usually get over it quickly. I am heading into my 2nd degree, and just the other day, I read that Australian houses will grow by something like 150% by 2020 - that's 1.5 times more house than in 2010 - WHY?? Think of the crap that you can accumulate, and the cleaning you have to do!
I think I will stick with my 'miserable' (someone actually called it that) life, with little space, little stuff, and send them a picture of something like this on a regular basis, as Sheldon and I wander the country, stopping where we please, and taking in the views.