Frugality can be great exercise!
We're desperate for room in our one-bedroom apartment. And moving up to a 2 BR is a no-go, given current rents for those hover around $900+.
So this morning I found myself huffing and puffing to and from the car with boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. Thank goodness I picked a ground-floor apartment!
Tim's eczema is also on his feet, where it tends to cause splits. So guess what happens when he doesn't use his hemp oil product regularly on his feet? Well, let's just say he's finding out now.
So after one trip where he started limping on the way back, I ordered him onto the couch. That, however, meant I made about six or seven separate trips.
Most of the items were wedding stuff that I bought that we never used. As the trips wore on, I started to feel increasingly sheepish about buying them.
Not that anything was terribly expensive, but they'd been taking up room in our closet for about a year. And I'd told myself that it was for a purpose: They would be used in the wedding. Nothing of what I carried out today made the cut.
- We hit some 50% off sales and got all white plates.
- We figured it didn't matter if they didn't match, so long as they were all white with no other colors.
- Then, three or four months later, we found an amazing sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond and nabbed 98 matching clear glass plates for under $40.
- Pretty white and silver design
- 50% off at a thrift store sale, so $15
- Nearly a whole set
- Was going to use it for the bridal party table
- Ended up not having a bridal party table
- Again, 50% sales.
- But then I researched and found out it was about the same price per-glass to get glasses at Ikea and they'd all match.
- And no one used any glasses at our reception so I ended up returning those for a full refund.
- Dessert wine glasses
- To float candles in. Looked really pretty in my head.
- Got them all at thrift stores for under $20.
- Figured the sets could be placed at different tables and it wouldn't be as obvious that they didn't match.
- Then we remembered that potentially a lot of little kids were coming. Nixed anything with flames.
- Random utensils
- Got at estate sales.
- Then we priced them at Sam's Club and got everything we needed for under $30.
In all, that's probably about $100 of items. Granted, it was collected over a long period of time. But still, we could have used that money elsewhere. And we definitely could have used the space!
Also given away were a bunch of things that the pack rat in me couldn't get rid of, initially.
- Boots from Payless. About 3 months later, I found a fantastic pair of Aerosoles that actually zipped (I have big calves) and were on sale for $50. (Payless is great for seeing if you would actually wear some style that, in regular stores, is fiendishly expensive.)
- Some jeans Tim had grown out of.
- Some books (I rarely buy but when I do, I tend to give them away for lack of space)
- Four pairs of shoes. I particularly loved a certain pair of stocky-heeled mary janes. But I couldn't remember the last time I'd worn them or even reasonably make a case that I'd wear them soon. It was an emotional parting, but given that they were a 21st birthday present, I finally said goodbye. The other pairs were even older and equally unworn in recent memory.
I think I'm done paring down possessions for the moment. I usually do it at least once a season to stay on top of clutter.
But all this got me thinking, how much of our "stuff" do we keep needlessly? (This was particularly poignant as I was carrying boxes of 30 plates.) Each time I declutter, I find things I'm ready to give up, when last time they were too dear.
So it's not just the fact that these items cost something (usually) to obtain, but also that it costs us space and sanity to house them. We feel cluttered and messy. (Well, I actually am messy. But it's made worse by so much stuff.)
How much do our things own us? So that we find ourselves working to obtain them, house them or even just deal with their presence. And that's not even touching the sum we all spend on storage solutions!
What do you find yourself regretting having bought? Is it a shirt that you swear you'll wear, but end up thinking it's too tight? Maybe a cool new gadget? Or something exercise related?
Or do you perhaps not regret buying, but keeping certain things for too long? Maybe books. Or -- and here's my Achilles heel -- gifts from others.