New Stuff Sucks

New Stuff Sucks

Intimate stories (and tips!) from the life
of one of America’s worst consumers

by Kay Sather

New stuff sucks?

What a strange thing to say. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate new things? Who doesn’t like to shop—in stores, online, however? And doesn’t shopping help the economy? You probably know someone who buys new stuff just to get a lift, or to feel better about something.

Fixed plant pot

So you’re curious about who would say that, and why. Well, your curiosity has brought you to a good place. New stuff sucks for a lot of reasons, and the ones I talk about include entertaining stories, helpful ideas, humor, and different ways to look at life—based on facts, of course, not fantasies. If you keep reading, you might begin to agree that new stuff really can get in the way of happiness—your own, and the world’s. I’ve found it’s a lot of fun to get around it. And it’s not that hard.

So check out my blog posts and subscribe to get notified when I post more. My intent is to post something—long or short, with fun photos—each week. Welcome!

If you wish to share your ideas, you can reach me at

Latest from the Blog

Post 75: My Black Pearls

Blueberries? They couldn’t be blueberries! I’d never seen blueberries in the desert, or for sale in a Tucson farmer’s market, or in anyone’s garden in this town. And I certainly hadn’t planted them in my garden. I went in closer. The plant was loaded with little fruits, purplish-black, the size of blueberries or even slightly…

Post 74: What’s a Little Hard Labor Among Friends?

This is the second of a two-part story. For part one, see Post 73. We were, perhaps, close to halfway done digging the trench. At this point it was a little scary. Based on what we’d done so far, I was starting to believe It could happen. But the space we had to dig through…

Post 73: Retrenchment

Weeds were growing everywhere now, and starting to turn brown. I always checked the water meter box in the alley to make sure it was clear of them; otherwise I might get another reprimand from the city. This time it was clear of weeds. But the ground around it was wet, and the concrete box…

KAY’S PICK of the WEEK:*

New book edited by Greta Thunberg**

Greta Thunberg has just edited a book of 100 essays called The Climate Book, which she hopes will help “beginning climate activists”—including the many fans who approach her–find a starting point for their work. I haven’t read it yet, but I can’t wait to dive in. With that many voices represented, especially chosen by Greta, I know I’ll find both new information and new inspiration.

*I know, it’s been more like Pick of the Month lately. I apologize.

** You can get close to pronouncing her Swedish name using English sounds: GRAYa-ta TOON-burry

Older Posts

  1. Personal Confessions
  2. So What is New Stuff, Exactly?
  3. Warning! New Stuff Ahead!
  4. What I Did on my COVID Vacation, Pt. 1
  5. What I Did on my COVID Vacation, Pt. 2: Building Like an Animal
  6. What I Did on my COVID Vacation, Pt. 3
  7. How I Got This Way
  8. Wabi Sabi, Maybe?
  9. Minimalism. And Nuffi Stuffi.
  10. To See the World in a Plastic Cap*
  11. Free Drinks!!!
  12. Old Dog Learns New Tricks
  13. Why I Write This #@!$% Blog
  14. Garbage In, Beauty Out
  15. It’s Only Natural
  16. Miracle Growth
  17. Riches to Rags
  18. Henpecked
  19. Girl Power
  20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water
  21. Motherlode: Free Gifts from Our Mother Earth.
  22. Ribbons Are Forever
  23. Shirts from Shower Curtains
  24. Oprah Was Wrong
  25. Biking into 2022
  26. An Unqualified Reviewer Takes On “Don’t Look Up”
  27. Flat Is Beautiful
  28. The Curbside Mall
  29. Post 29: The Compost Post
  30. Don’t Touch It—Eat It!
  31. Quest to Divest
  32. I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff
  33. Motion Sickness and the Unexamined Life
  34. Loving Your Before and After
  35. Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!
  36. Bad Influence
  37. What the Jell is Jojoba?
  38. Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Eat Out (Much)
  39. A Rose Is a Rose, But . . .
  40. A Fresh Code of Paint
  41. Post 41: No New . . . Caskets?
  42. Is Money the Root of All Evil?
  43. Distance Loving
  44. Three for Free
  45. Home Free
  46. Are We Too Many? (Part 1)
  47. Are We Too Many? (Part 2)
  48. Merch Madness
  49. Are You Wearing a Hair Shirt?
  50. It’s Raining Candy
  51. Golden Gonads
  52. A Monsoon Story
  53. Punished for Our Purchases
  54. The Forced Abdication of a Monarch
  55. My Top 10 Best Alley Finds Ever (Outdoor Edition)
  56. Tandemonium
  57. Fast Lane, or Purslane?
  58. Zero-Carbon Dating
  59. An Open Letter to President Biden on the IRA
  60. People Bought These 10 Items! You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!
  61. Why Don’t We Do It?
  62. Top Ten Reasons You Love Pomegranates
  63. Teeny Halloweeny Post
  64. Guilt
  65. Shifting Our Gifting
  66. The Point of Pointless Acts
  67. Is There Really a Goddess of Reuse?
  68. A New New Stuff Sucks!
  69. Are You a Winter Wimp?
  70. Fighting the Power (with Dandelions)
  71. Need a Job?

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Kay Sather is the coauthor (with Marge Pellegrino) of Neon Words, a writing book for teens and young adults. She was named Illustrator of the Year in 1995 by the Arizona Library Association. She has illustrated many children’s books, included the award-winning Soft Child, by Joe Hayes. Her articles and stories have appeared in the Mississippi Review, Edible Baja Arizona, The Santa Fe Reporter, Counterpunch, the Tucson Weekly, the Tucson Guide Quarterly, and many others. She has worked in publishing as a graphic designer, illustrator, and writer for more than thirty years. She has been the subject of a documentary titled Mud (
and is currently finishing a book detailing her experiences building a house by hand. Kay has a B.A. in German Language and Literature and an M.A. in teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota.