How my house went a year without buying stuff we don't need.

We combined two households under one small roof. But there's no use in purging if you keep purchasing.

Last January, my Christmas gifts prompted my partner and I to commit to a year of not shopping for or buying anything.

It’s not that they were bad gifts: Samir gave me a delicate, ceramic tea set from Wedgewood, in a gorgeous cuckoo pattern, the sort of thing one uses when hosting friends for a cream tea, which is not something I did often. I got him something impractical, too: A wool fisherman’s sweater that is too bulky and too warm for him to really wear comfortably where we live in Arkansas.

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