Here we are, looking April in the face. While there is as much snow on my lawn today as there was 3 months ago, there is less stuff in my house. I was pretty good about sticking to my resolution and didn’t buy things I already had. There were a couple of slips but overall, I did well. I learned some things about myself. The first thing is that I needed to change some of my storage habits which lead me to…
Revelation 1: I need to keep things near where they are used. Keeping hand soap in the laundry room and butterscotch chips in the basement because that is where I had room was a bad idea. If I didn’t have room to keep them in the bathroom or kitchen, I shouldn’t have bought them in the first place.
Revelation 2: If I want to use something up, I have to be able to see it. This is very true when it comes to things in the bathroom. I had 14 squirts of perfume left in a bottle. I could never empty the bottle because it was in the back of the drawer and I didn’t look back there when I was getting ready. Yes, you can say “Duh” out loud. I did when it dawned on me. As it turns out that I am an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of gal.
I also needed to change my shopping habits. I did not realize how much time, energy and effort I was spending on saving money until I stopped. This lead to……
Revelation 3: Free stuff isn’t free. Extra-brilliant reader Jyia put is this way “I’ve been making a conscious effort NOT to read the sale ads to see what’s “free” this week — because it’s not really free. It takes time and effort (and gas, if I don’t walk) to go to the store, buy the stuff, haul it home & store it away — where it will sit with lots of other, similar stuff. I could use that time and that effort on something else — like helping my son finish his car for the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. I’ll take that over yet another body wash any day.” Amen.
Revelation 4: Coupons are not bad in and of themselves. I can still use them, I just shouldn’t let them control my shopping. Reader Milissa had this suggestion “I have been couponing on for a month and then off for 1 or 2.” I like that a lot. I am going to adapt that to my own life by only buying the first Sunday paper of the month. That one usually has the most coupons in it.
Revelation 5: If I run out of something, I will not perish if I have to buy another without a sale. I may pay a little more but I am trading cabinet space and shopping time for those pennies. I will be okay.
I also really do need to see that I am making progress.
Revelation 6: I need to admire the empty space I now have. Or the tiny credit card bills. Or, as reader Amy does, makes a list of the things she has used to show herself that yes, they are making headway. Proof that YES! you are winning!
And last but not least,
Revelation 7: Sometimes I need to just throw things away. I had a box of corn flakes that was 1/2 gone. They were cheap and icky and I really didn’t want them anymore. I couldn’t think of anything to make with them and I felt wasteful throwing them out. I asked everyone I could think of (who wouldn’t think I was nutty) if they wanted them and no one did. After months of looking at the box, I finally decided that they could go on the compost pile (that’s a future post). And took them out before I lost my resolve. No lightning struck me down. Yet.
Thanks for sticking with me through this journey! I have a lot of practicing to do but think I have a good handle on how to not to over-stock my stockpile.