Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thrifty Thursday-On Enough

Today is a nesting day. Yesterday it was 80 degrees. Tomorrow it will be heading to the sixties in the afternoon. Today though, it is 21 degrees. And while the snow has mainly stopped, I am still in nesting and planning mode, with a bit of organizing thrown in. I'll be inside the house all day, if only because I know darned well if I go out into this weather after yesterdays heat I will have the barometric migraine from hell. Instead I had pumpkin pie for breakfast, gathered myself with a blanket and some reading and writing and will enjoy hangar steak cooked by someone else for dinner.

During the past week (since arriving home) I have been going through clothes, accessories and other possessions. The slow transformation from summer to fall (plus the fact that I came home with dirty everything) has given me a jump start in this direction. People, it has also been an eye opener, let me tell you.  I had meant to share a photo with you all and then decided no. I don't want you running screaming from the blog. The corner of my bedroom is, very simply, a monstrous pile

A monstrous pile of clothing, and a few accessories. Clothes that I wore once or twice. Clothes that I don't particularly love but bought anyway. Clothes to be donated and clothes to be sold and (maybe) clothing that can be upcycled. 

All of this was done as part of my goal for reaching a year round wardrobe of  pieces. Which is deserving of it's own belated post (and will include photos!)  But my immediate thought as I look at all this stuff is "How much is enough".  Seriously, how many pieces of clothing do I actually need, and how many can I really use?  And why wasn't I paying attention to that "enough" when I brought this stuff into the house (weight loss issues aside). Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to purchasing or giving into "wants."  I brought a brand new fairly heavy cream colored cardigan at basically full price just the other day "just because". But there has to be a level of "enough", no matter what it is.

Manufacturing (of clothing and everything else) uses resources. Virtually every thrift organization in the modern world has so many clothing items (just as one example) that some are being thrown away and some are being sent to third world countries where they are again being thrown away, or destroying the small clothing related economies there. Never mind the fact that even in a decent sized home, clothing takes up space, has to be maintained.......and, and and. And in truth I, like many people probably, tend to wear about 20 percent of the closet  90 percent of the time.

This is not just about my clothing issues, or even me. It can be translated to so many things in my life and I expect to others' as well. Do I REALLY need and use a large slow cooker, a medium slow cooker, a three person slow cooker and an appetizer slow cooker? Would not two of them have sufficed for at least 95 percent of my cooking? And if I make the decision to downsize my space and keep the two, am I confident about where the other two will land, in terms of planet, landfill and sustainability?

 Do we really need a charcoal grill, a smoker and a gas grill in this house?  Did I need to buy a big SUV (the answer to this is yes, but it's worth asking the question). Do I honestly need to decorate every indoor and outdoor space for each holiday?  Do we need every day dishes and casual dishes and holiday dishes (a rhetorical question as I do not have these).  

Do I really need to add on another hobby when I still haven't learned everything there is to learn about quilting/painting/knitting/weaving or come close to using all the materials I have on hand? (A question which has prompted to revisit this unfulfilled and ignored goal and promise myself to embrace it in the next months)

Eventually I hope to incorporate this enough question to everything in the house, and even other lefe aspects, bviously making allowances for things and experiences that are loved even if not needed. I'll be letting you know how the rest of it goes.

Meanwhile, I wonder, what will happen to what I let go in terms of landfill and the planet?  And what is the best way to reacquire those needs and wanted things in the future.

None of which are easy issues.

23 comments:

  1. Conscious consumption begins with good questions that challenge mindless consumption. Clearly, you're on the right track! And by the way, I would eat pumpkin pie for breakfast too.

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  2. Those are all excellent questions. I would add that if something is already owned, it can't be gifted to someone/some organization that will actually use it, and it still works/fits/meets it's purpose - can it be used until it is worn out?

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    1. The last is a good question for a great many things. And my goal is not to throw things out willy nilly.

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  3. I have too much stuff too. Just took a load to the Goodwill and really should donate more. It's sometimes just hard to part with things even though they haven't been used for years. Watching the news now and the snowstorm in Denver looks/looked bad.

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    1. Eh, it was three inches and it got down to 21. Yesterday twas 80 and tomorrow it will be sixty. Bad is relative, ya know?

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  4. Your weather temperature swing made the national news. That's enough to give anyone a headache!

    Paring down a wardrobe is really hard for me to do. I look forward to your blog about your method and results. I don't buy many clothes, 1-2 piece year, but I rarely ever get rid of anything either.

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  5. When you downsize and move you do realize just how much extraneous STUFF you have accumulated! In retirement, we shifted our focus dramatically and life is more about experiences now. I don't feel the need to "refresh" my furnishings quite as often as I used to, I no longer collect art (I have plenty !!) and I simply don't shop for fun anymore. (Chico's used to know me by name!) I still enjoy some new clothing pieces every few months but have found a fab. consignment store where I can recycle my old clothes and get a few new name brand items for pennies on the dollar.Where I splurge is at the grocery store! We love to eat our meals at home..cooking is a huge hobby--so I will spend a little extra to ensure we have quality meals at home,saving much money over restaurant dining. I have found, in retirement, that there are SO MANY WAYS to have fun ,frugally! My weekly meetup group is just $5 for hours and hours of fun,socialization, plus supplies provided! Our library offers free culture passes, books,audio downloads, and events.. RIparian park is great for walking dates around the lake.. and our Humana insurance gives us a free gym membership.. Yes, it feels good when we declutter and right size..we all need a few "extras" in our lives.. but finding that happy medium takes some practice,doesn't it!

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    1. Honestly. And I am not a keeper after moving g so much. I can only imagine my brother and sister in laws house. I do enjoy adding things on occasion and will need new living furniture in the next year but I am continually following the less is more lead.

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  6. I did a purge in February and March before I listed my house for sale. Most of the stuff went to the local thrift store, but I will admit some went to the landfill. I'm about to embark on another round as I'm realizing, if this house ever sells, that I'll be moving into an even smaller than I once thought. Hence the need to pare it down even more. Clothing will definitely be one of the first areas. How many jackets does one woman need anyway?

    Good luck!

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    1. I hear ya. I am determined to avoid th he landfill entirely so unusable stuff is turned into rags or whatever. I've been trying to sell some of it but it is more time consuming than I though so back to donations. My goal is to begin with the rule of 7s. 7 short sleeved top and the same for long sleeves and sweaters and cardis. We will see how it goes.

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    2. And keep the faith housewise. It will happen i.am sure!

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  7. I was the epitome of conspicuous consumption when it came to kitchen and eating. Over the 25 years in the big house, I had 7 sets of dishes (each service for 8) ... one all black, one all white, my mom's china (for 12), our everyday Dansk, a crazy pasta set, a pottery set, and of course, Christmas dishes (for 12). Yes, I used them all at least twice a year. Now we have a set of Corelle and my mom's china.

    We all have our "thing", don't we! Mine right now is office supplies ... laminator, label maker, all kinds and sizes of paper and stock, stickers, name tags, markers, highlighters, external DVD, external back up drive, folders, hanging folders, cords neatly bundled but I have no idea what they are for.

    My BIGGEST project ... 20 boxes of photos to scan. And then to organize and back up. It's always something we have to work on.

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    1. I have gotten rid of most of those although I do have a few folders around because I am a beleivr that organizatin wise everything should have a folder-fall craft patterns, for example. Bu tthe rest is gone. I am scanning my pictures into the Amazon cloud.

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  8. Barb, I am looking forward to following your journey to "enough" because I need to get on that train, too. After my parents passes and I went through all of their belongings, I came home to my own stuff and pared down. But as time has gone on, I've bought more than we need. Oh well. As for pumpkin pie for breakfast,I'd say that is MINDFUL consumption! I made a big batch of pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing and hubby ate 8 (smallish) bars before he even took a breath. We are into pumpkin right now ;)

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  9. typo, I meant, "after my parents passed"

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  10. Enough??? I am still working my way towards that and I started a number of years ago. Looking forward to your results.

    God bless.

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  11. I was thinking about you this week when I read about the huge temperature change blowing through the Denver area a few days ago. That must have been a shock to the system. Though things have recovered,I see, still how do you go from 70 to mid 20s in one day? Wow!

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    1. Which is why all my clothes are in my closet year round and I always have my heavy car sweater in the car.....fortunatelybthat kind of drop doesnt happen that often.

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