So let’s see, did I ever get anything out-the-door during the month of August?
Well yes, actually I did! Even though I’m still doing pretty poorly according to my intentions 😦
Remember; I did have a day earlier in August, where I got a few things out-the-door. And I tackled my “junk” drawer. And the last day of the month, a white tornado went through my house and I ended up with another pile of stuff that will be going out of the house over the next few days. Since that pile is still pretty much sitting here.. they won’t count much on August tally, but hopefully on September they will 😉
So lets see, what did August actually amount to?
AUGUST TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 45 items
24 – items on my day getting back on my declutter wagon
- 1 jacket
- 1 pair of pants
- 1 thermal underwear top
- 6 T-shirt
- 2 pairs of knitted wool socks
- 1 BIG piece of silk – bought in Malaysia in 1995, intending to have a dress made…. like that ever happened!
- 1 clutch
- 1 bed sheet that don’t fit any of my beds…?
- 1 pair of boots – they seemed like a good idea when I got them, but they’ve never been used…
- 1 book – Thor Heyerdal, the adventurer
- 2 software CDs never used
- 4 empty DVD boxes (count as 1)
- 1 pair of sandals – never used, what was I thinking with those heels!
- 1 plastic serving tray (broken)
- 1 almanac – 2010
- 1 shirt – dads – and
- 1 cardigan – dads – they won’t ever get used and it’s been almost 1,5 years, it’s time to let them go!
Bunch of items – while clearing my junk drawer – (count as 4)
- 1 wallet (worn out)
- 1 flash-light (broken)
- Several outdoor pieces (never used, and never will be used) – count as 1
- Loads of paper/menus/business cards ++ – count as 1
In addition I finally cleared out some of my toiletries, that I talked about like forever ago in Thriftiness getting in the way of decluttering – I gave most of it to mum 🙂
- 1 big box of hairspray
- 1 box of night cream
- 1 bottle of toner
- 1 bottle of serum
- 1 small bag of miscellaneous make-up/trial creams/++
- 1 bottle of massage oil (it was so old it went into the trash)
- Bunch of other stuff – count as 1
- 1 bottle of shampoo
- 1 bottle of conditioner
And a few things from my “white tornado” day have actually made it out-the-door 🙂
- 1 Backpack (a friend of mine, way more sporty than me – took this one, and cover and Adidas bag)
- 1 travel cover for backpack
- 1 Adidas bag
- 1 sports bag
- 3 pc bags
- 1 weight lift bar (given to a friend, who hopefully will use this more that I ever did 😉 )
So that’s it, for the month of August – 45 items. Not to shabby after all 😉
I’m having a hard time…
Being that I have decided to only buy necessities this year, I’m trying to use up stuff I already have in my house.
As an example, let talk about… say…. toiletries!
I have all sorts of creams, hair products, facial stuff, make-up and so on. And it makes perfect sense to use up the items I have before I buy new!
Now, anybody that knows me, knows that, I have the shortest hair ever (by choice). I’d be hard pressed to use up one bottle of shampoo a year. I don’t really use hair products much. And I think I have a bottle of hairspray I’d be lucky to use up within the next 10 years.
If I manage to slap on some moisturiser in the morning, I’ve been good. Never mind facial cleanser, night cream, eye cream and other stuff.
I never really use make-up. If you see me dolled up in make-up even once a year, that’s a stretch 😉
But, and that’s the kicker, being a girl and all 😉 I do like pretty make-up and cool bottles of creams that smell nice, and my hairdresser always manage to convince me I need some products 😉
I have gotten really good the last couple years, only buying the creams/shampoo I actually use. BUT I still have cabinets full of things given to me, and items bought and not used up (or ever used). I’m not kidding you, when I tell you, that I use so little of everything, that it’s going to take years to use it all up.
So what’s the problem you might ask!
Well the challenge is that, while it makes perfect sense to use up the stuff, I really, and I mean really want to declutter my place, I just want the “crap” out of here!
In a way I’m letting my “thriftiness” get in the way of my decluttering . There are times I just want to let a “tornado” (yes, that would be me) loose and get the stuff out of my house.
But then my sensible (or we could argue, not so sensible) mind takes over.
“I should use this up, it makes perfect sense, since I’m not really buying much this year”
“I should give this away or sell this stuff, rather than recycle/toss is”
“I need to put it away, so that my sister, mother, friend, neighbour…(please feel free to add any others..) gets a look at it, before I give to charity/recycle/toss”
All these arguments makes perfect sense – but they are getting in my way of getting the stuff out of here, and achieving the uncluttered space I’m working hard to get to. And it’s starting to frustrate the heck out of me.
Well, why don’t you just “toss” it all?
I don’t know, it’s what I want to do, but is feels sacrilegious to just “toss” things that are worth something to other people, and that might even generate some money for me. But right now holding on to stuff, just so that I can give it away, to family or friends, or make half a dollar on it, are starting to become a hassle, that just seem to stop me cold in my progress.
So what is a girl to do?
When I sat down to write today, I wasn’t really planing on writing this. I suppose this post took a turn of its own;-) It seems my frustration is bigger that I realised. But, while writing this, I’ve come to realise what I need to do, to get a little closer, to achieving my goal of a somewhat more decluttered space.
I will keep stuff that I know I will manage to use up within a year.
Just take the toiletries mentioned above, I will keep hair products that I actually will use, but that darn hairspray is going. I’ll keep items I use, but (even if its a gift) I will get rid of things that I don’t see I will ever really get around to using or even start using within a year.
I will, when I declutter, ask friends and family if they want it (when it makes sense to ask) but, I won’t hold on to it longer than a few days, before they go out-the-door.
I will try to sell stuff that has enough value to make sense to sell (furniture or expensive items), everything else I won’t stress with. I understand that I might be able to make a buck or two, and total by the time this is all said and done I might have lost out on a 100-200 dollars or so, but that’s OK! I’d rather not having all the frustration and stress. And I think my bank account will survive 😉
But I will no longer, let the “rules” above get in my way. I’d rather just; not ask, not sell, not give away, if that makes my declutter process less frustrating and easier.
There is such a thing as, peace of mind, and right now, I think a decluttered space takes precedence over trying to be so darn “sensible”!
What about you?
How do you handle the balance between being sensible and “thrifty” and the need for a less cluttered space? I would love any advice you might have, on finding a good balance.
Happy Valentines everyone. I hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂
Remember I mentioned in “Buying necessities – how am I doing”, that I had bought some extras of items that was on sale. It made me think about, buying in bulk. And when does it make sense.
I think buying in bulk can be a good idea for certain items. It also can save some money during a year, if one goes about it right.
I believe there are a few rules one need to follow for this to make sense.
Free storage space
You need to have room for the item you are stocking up on. And I’m not talking about cramming stuff into the house, but a dedicated space, so that it don’t clutter up you space. We are on a declutter journey remember 🙂 I have a smallish house, so I have a specific place set aside.
Buy what you use
You should only buy items you actually use and need. None of this; well it’s cheap, I might need it sometime or I used to use this and I might start using it again. You should only buy items you use on a regular basis.
Pick your number
Don’t buy more than you can use within a certain time frame – pick your number of items or months for when it’s should be eaten up. As an example, I love Heinz baked beans, and they are really expensive in Norway, but sometimes they will sell for 1/3 of the regular price, and I jump on it. But I’ll never buy more than about 8-10 off them. The reason for this is that I don’t have a lot of space to store them, and I know if I buy to many I might not get them eaten before they expire.
Should save you money
Buying the items should save you some money. Either because they are on sale, or they are cheaper in bigger packs. If it cost the same as any other day, there is no reason to use precious space in your house, when you can buy it any time.
Long shelf time
It should be items that have a long shelf time so they will keep. Always check the dates on the items, don’t assume they have a long shelf life. Some items might not last as long as you think, an example of this is brown rice, certain spices, creams and make-up.
Now that we have got some “rules” out of the way.
What kind of items could this work for?
Dry goods – bags of soups, sauces, flour, sugar, beans, rice…
Canned goods – tomatoes, peas, purée, tuna, corn, ham…
Goods in glass/plastic containers – jams, honey, oils…
Boxed goods – cereals, pastas..
Spices – NB! check dates, some spices have a surprisingly short shelf life
Sodas – check dates though, not all sodas will keep forever
Alcohol – for those of us that enjoys a glass of wine now and then 😉
Toiletries – toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, creams, make-up (NB! some beauty products have shorter shelf life, check!)
Toothbrush – huh? Did you know you should swap every 3 month? Most people wait until it falls apart…
“Tissues” – toilet paper, paper towels, diaper, feminine items, Kleenex…
Vitamins – check dates, not all last as long as you would think
Detergents – for dishwasher/laundry, and other cleaning products
Office/school supplies – paper, pens, tape, glue, wrapping paper…
Fresh goods for freezing – In addition to long shelf life items, I would add fresh goods if you can freeze them. Make sure you don’t get more than you will eat in a short time, to avoid having to toss food, because it got to old.
Personally I stock up a few items in pretty much all the categories mentioned above. And I only stock up when they are on sale, mostly because I don’t have the space to buy the bigger “bulk” versions they have in the stores here (I just don’t have storage space for 98 toilet rolls 😉 and stuff)
I’m sure there are several more items and groups of items that you can think off, this was just a short list from me.
What do you stock up on? Please share you good ideas in comments below.