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How to Stop Wanting New Things: 5 Clever Ways to Try

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON April 1, 2024

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Let’s swap FOMO for JOMO once and for all with this collection of the best tips for how to cope with the difficult task of how to stop wanting new things all the time. Knowing these tricks will save you a lot of time, energy and money for years to come (not to mention keep your home and life a little more clutter free…)

How To Stop Wanting New Things - 5 Clever Ways To Try

Are you constantly feeling the urge to buy new things? 

Do you find yourself scrolling through online shopping sites or window shopping, even when you don’t have anything particular in mind to buy?

Or are you trying to stop buying things because you’ve got a goal in mind and need to save for it?

You’re not alone. 

In today’s consumer-driven society, it’s easy to get caught up in the mindset of always wanting more – and not waiting. 

Constantly buying new things can not only drain your bank account, but it can also lead to clutter and feelings of dissatisfaction or guilt. 

It’s well known that we don’t use most of the stuff we have, and that means that a large proportion of what we buy ends up wasted in some way.

As an example – this statistic shows just how few toys our kids really need, and how this compares to the number they have (eye opening for sure!):

Clutter statistic about toys

So, if you’re ready to kick that ‘gotta have it’ habit, finally break this cycle, and learn how to stop wanting new things (for whatever your reason), here are 5 really clever ways to try.

#1 – Practice Gratitude

One brilliantly effective but simple way to stop wanting new things is by practicing gratitude as much as possible. 

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, shift your focus to what you do have in that present moment – and be grateful for it. 

This can help bring a sense of contentment and appreciation for the things you already own – and is fantastic for your mental health. 

To get started, a great idea is to simply make a list of everything you’re thankful for in your life, big or small. A great place to do this is on your phone, as that will always be to hand.

Then, whenever you feel the urge to buy something new, just take a quick look at this list and it will bring you back to what’s important, by reminding you of all the good things you already have.

Extra Idea: I don’t even wait for the moment I want to get something new to practise gratitude, as I find that if I make it a daily habit I naturally feel less and less inclined to want more stuff. Every night when I turn the lights off to go to sleep, I look back over the day and think of 3 things I’m grateful for from the day. Then I also think of 1 thing I’m grateful for for the following day. It’s amazing what a difference these positive thoughts make (and it sure beats scrolling through social media!).

#2 – Set a Budget

Another way to curb that desire for that next ‘new thing’ is to create a budget for yourself. 

This is such an important thing, and it can really help limit both the need and the possibility of unnecessary spending.

You’ll be far more aware of your spending habits – what you’re spending your money on and where the cash actually needs to go.

And when you’re more familiar with where every penny goes you’re less likely to want new stuff just for the sake of getting it (spending on the unnecessary will become a negative thought for you instead).

Not only that, but it can also be really eye opening to see the wasted money on those impulse purchases that you’ve grabbed over the years…

#3 – Try the 30-Day Rule

The 30-day rule is a clever but simple technique that can help you stop wanting new things. 

Whenever you feel the urge to buy something, wait 30 days before making the purchase. 

During this time, assess if you really need or want the item or if it was just going to be an impulse buy. 

More often than not, you’ll find that the desire for the item has passed and you no longer feel as compelled to buy it. 

This really can help prevent unnecessary purchases caused by your shopping habit, and save you a lot money in the long run.

Also, over time you’ll start to naturally come to the conclusion that you probably don’t need it a lot more quickly – and the bad habit will start to change into a good one.

#4 – Be Mindful of Advertising

In today’s digital age, we are bombarded with advertisements everywhere we look. 

It’s important to be mindful of these ads, and recognise when you may be being influenced by clever marketing tactics. 

Take a step back and think about whether you truly need an item or if you’re just being persuaded by those advertising techniques. 

Being aware of this is a really good thing because you can make more intentional purchasing decisions and resist the urge to constantly buy new things.

#5 – Find Other Sources of Satisfaction

Often, the desire for new things stems from a need for satisfaction or fulfilment in our lives. 

We compare our lives with others, and usually decide that ‘stuff’ is the answer.

Instead of relying on material possessions for your happiness (and the instant gratification that shopping can provide), why not try finding other sources of joy such as hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or working towards personal goals. 

These more meaningful experiences can provide a much deeper sense of purpose and fulfilment without the need for constantly buying new things.

How To Stop Wanting New Things - 5 Clever Ways To Try

Remember, it’s definitely okay to treat yourself to nice things, but constantly wanting new things can lead to a lot of negative emotion and stress, not to mention add to the clutter in your home. 

So try and stop each impulse purchase in its tracks with healthy habits such as practicing gratitude, setting a budget, and using techniques like the 30-day rule, and you can break the habit of always wanting more.

When you do that, you’ll find contentment in what you already have – and that’s powerful!

Keep in mind that breaking any habit takes time and effort, so be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. 

But why not give these clever ways a try and see how they can help you stop wanting new things. 

You’ve got this!

Related: 6 Organising Mistakes You Need To Stop Making Right Now

HAVE YOUR SAY...

  • Thanks for these wonderful ideas!!

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    This article was written by Chrissy

    Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...

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    Thanks as always for the website and emails, rather like a weekly Home Life Coach to motivate me.

    Jenny R

    You probably hear this a lot, but we all feel the same gratitude for your uncanny ability to say the right thing at the right time. Thank You!

    Teresa W

    This is the longest I've ever stayed subscribed to an email list. I think you have great ideas, and you are surely an encouragement to many.

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