January Purchase Recap

This month had it’s wins and it’s losses. While I’ll admit I brought a few too many unplanned things into our home, at least the majority of these things were secondhand.

Let’s start off with a win: I did not make any additions to my closet this month! Well, temporarily I kind of did but then immediately retracted my decision. During a trip to a local flea market with my mom I ended up getting a pair of like new Vans for $3. The thought of getting a new pair was in my mind leftover from 2017 as I had contemplated the need to update my current pair at the first opportunity. Having been worn regularly for the last three years, the pair I had were a little dirty and the soles were starting to peel at the sides. But in researching ways to clean up the pair I’d bought (realizing after the fact that they smelled like cigarette smoke) I decided I could just as easily clean up the pair I already had, keep them in use and avoid adding something to my newly decluttered closet. So that’s what was done and the impulse pair was then put into a pile to be donated!

After having spent a year not shopping for clothes its now kind of become a habit to not buy. That and I spent so much time and effort last year paring down my closet that now I’m reluctant to bring anything new in. As you can tell at my first closet adding attempt, I immediately felt the weight of bringing in something new and hit the rewind button. Even during a stuff swap I attended this month, there were a couple clothing items I came across that thought were cute and could have easily snagged because they were free but the thought of bringing these items into my closet did not appeal to me. I knew I didn’t need them so what was the point?

With that said I wasn’t as good about not bringing anything in for the rest of the house. First, a look at the rest of the things that were purchased:

– 4 plants
– 1 cracked pot & 2 saucers – new, local
– 1 patio table umbrella (used – $5)
– 1 wooden stool (used – $2)
– 6 wooden toy cars (used – $2)

Besides the plants, pots and stool, I probably wouldn’t have bought anything else had it not been for the fact that I went to a flea market with my mom. That being the case, the umbrella replaced one that had been wrecked by the wind last year (lesson learned) so will be put to good use as long as it holds up. The toy cars were a straight up impulse and unnecessary but was drawn to the fact they were wood and included vehicles she didn’t already have like a fire truck, police car, bus and helicopter. To offset these coming in, a couple cars she already had were pulled out to donate.

This past month I organized a stuff swap for my local zero waste community group! It was lots of fun, a great way to visit with others I’ve come to know who have shared interest in reducing waste and a cool way keep things in circulation. A large part of the swap was to bring in stuff that might otherwise go to landfill (unused food products, toiletries, random items) but people also brought items they thought others might enjoy as well.

I’m including the stuff I brought home from the swap in today’s recap because while I didn’t spend money on these things it was still stuff brought into our space. Plus the way a swap works is you bring stuff to swap for stuff – basically a bartering system which way back when used to be a method of currency.

– 2 metal stacking shelves (because I always find shelves to be useful)
– 1 bag of cardboard blocks (my husband had been saying he wanted something similar)
– 1 small beach bucket
– 3 books about gardening (1 being a children’s version)
– 1 story book for teenie
– 1 T-Rex cookie cutter (ummm…because it was a dinosaur, lol)
– 1 pair soccer cleats (for down the road when we introduce soccer to the teenie one)

Going into storage:
– 1 Ergo Baby carrier (because these things are expensive and if we have another child down the road, it may go over better than the one we have)
– 1 breastfeeding coverup & hat (again if we ever go back down the procreation road)

Food items:
– 1 jar of red pepper jelly
– 1 unfinished box of raspberry tea

Not staying in our home:
– 2 games (to take to my family river house)
– 1 shirt (for my nephew)
– 1 baby costume

I kind of went a little overboard and grabbed a few too many things I didn’t really need this month. From both the swap and the flea market, I snatched up stuff that might be harder to find on a whim come the time when I want them and a few things from the swap because they seemed fun, not necessarily because they filled any need. The temptation to grab all the things can be strong when it comes to secondhand stuff, especially when its free or next to nothing.

A few days after the swap, I felt a little guilty about bringing so much into our home. I’d spent so much time decluttering and I was determined not to let these new things take over. Thinking about the 1 in, 1 out rule I went around and did a bit more decluttering and paring down to ensure that these new items weren’t going to add mess to our newly simplified space. The best part is that whatever we don’t decide works, I can put them back into circulation by passing them along.

Now that I’ve talked about all the things I hadn’t planned on bringing in let me just really quick touch on the things I did want: plants!! I’m so excited to have added some air cleansing greenery into our home. 🙂

The road to minimalism continues to be a work in progress. I don’t foresee any purchases this month, particularly after last month’s excess, unless its something related to getting our garden in order, personal care or a screen door for the door off our kitchen. Other than that I’m definitely over bringing in more stuff.

xo, Erica

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