Friday, July 5, 2013

Less stuff...less stufff...less stuff

A complete 360, no wait...I mean 180...

I have been shopping at thrift stores and hoarding junk for at least the last three years of my life. You can read all about it on the blog...I labeled those posts, "junk".  I love the rush of buying something new, playing show and tell online and...then...stuffing it on a shelf in the basement where it collects dust?

Now, I have this overwhelming desire to empty my cupboards. Clear everything away. It is a full reversal from wanting to acquire more cool shit.

I think I can be honest about what happened here:

1 - I saw (continue to see) too much cool shit online and I want it all!
2 - For me, spending money recklessly makes me feel wealthy, or something. Even though it has the exact opposite impact on my bank account!  Freedom to shop as you please is a powerful drug!
3 - I keep the dollar value spent per transaction moderately low by paying goodwill prices. This is how I justify it - I am not spending much and I am saving something from the dump.
4 - I find awesome stuff that we use everyday at thrift stores...sometimes I buy things, intending to use them, but we never do.
4 - Me and the boys used to enjoy the walk down to the they are getting too big to sit in the double stroller for long stretches of time.
5 - I had pipe dreams of becoming a picker/dealer one day. I am uncertain of where I fit in to the world (economically) now that I am out of the workforce*. This seemed like a fun hobby I could spin into something more. I guess I am partially fulfilling the dream by selling some of my things on etsy.  I listed 16 things this morning.

I am not going to quit shopping cold turkey, but I will be more selective.

ps. landfills bother me. I am not sure what little me can do about it
pps. I am going to list more things soon!
ppps. Honestly, how could I confuse accumulating stuff, with wealth. They are opposites!!

*I don't worry too much about it!


  1. I can relate to every single point of yours when it comes to thrifty shopping! My problem though is that I am still not as enlightened...I need to start looking at purging before picking up new junk. Have a great weekend!

  2. I completely get it! I love the thrill of the find too. I can't even believe some of the stuff people give away. Your PS is also on my mind. I don't like throwing things out only to sit in a pile somewhere and never decompose. Makes me feel guilty. Haha. I've posted a couple times lately about the idea of decluttering. Feel free to pop over!

  3. glad to see you back blogging!

  4. Your honesty and self reflection are part of what make this blog so great to read. Good for you for trying to make some bucks out of what you love and for having passion!

  5. The "problem" is, pages of design magazines are filled with up-cycling, re-purposing, roadside junk transformations, and thrift store treasures.

    Truth is:

    A) one house can only fit so many

    B) usually looks better in magazine photo shoot version

    C) how many misses before we find a hit?

    All of your finds are so hip (and your photography so nostalgic and fresh) it hurts to purge. If you're like me the items potential is far greater than the actual use you will regularly get out of it.

  6. I picked up a twin bedframe from the roadside the other day...I loaded it onto the stroller and carried my son...I am not sure if I need it, and it had been through one, or several rain showers...but I couldn't resist!

    It is sitting in the garage!

    Actually, that same day I passed a coffee table, a dresser, a nightstand, 3 side chairs, a wicker rocker and some doors...the only thing I took home was the bed - so I guess I did ok!!!

  7. Hey gurl! I can't click to your blog from your disqus comment ID - try and load your URL into your disqus ID!

    I googled Landfills and Art...I stumbled upon a Documentary about the people in Brazil who live in the landfill and recycle and sell the trash...they made art from the trash...and I think departures had an episode about people going into the landfills to salvage...landfills are so easy to avoid. They are not my know? They SMELL bad, how could they have anything to do with me...(sarcasm)

    Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by too much convenience. I just read Don Delillo's "white noise", and all this junk is truly noise. It doesn't add any value to my life, really. I am so spoiled that I can't see what obvious purpose there must be to being on this planet...I am aware of how easy I have it...truly truly spoiled in every single way. I feel like I have a responsibility to the world...except I am unsure where I can make a change...

    buying up trinkets from goodwill is not doing anyone any favors...blogging about it, still not a great pursuit...

    I just cracked into "The Jungle", by Upton the forward he says "You don't have to be satisfied with America as you find it. You can change it" (or lets say, NORTH America)...He says: "My efforts are to find out what is righteousness in the world, to live it, and try to help others live it."

    I am off track. I have no track...I am unsettled with the routine and the ease of life, and the garbage it produces...and the stuff we accumulate.

    The thing is, even if I attempted to witness any of the world's problems, I would be doing so as a tourist, and not helping. I need to help in my world. My little sphere...

    I don't want to leave piles of trash behind me when I die...I feel fine with leaving a collection of books...some clothes that gets donated, and art. Still, I look around and I see so many useless, empty things in this house and I want to keep purging, and more importantly - STOP BUYING! (I plan on living a very long time, hopefully learning to embrace minimalism more and more as I grow up!!)

    Oh well...these comments are fueled by too much starbucks!!!

  8. My passions come and go! So hard to know what is really my true love!

    I invite you to read my comment to Janelle (above)...

    Virginia Woolf said you can write about anything, but you have to find the truth in it...well, she said something like that...and then that cinematographer said something you have to bring out the truth from your world, your Toronto (for example) and if you are displaying the truth, it become universal...

    Still, I can't always dig out the truth (who has the time?)...sometimes I just want to show off a bit (show and tell), and sometimes I just want to solicit feedback from your guys!!! You guys are awesome for coming back to read!

  9. You have a bigger house and less occupants!!! I don't want to fill this old house up to the max and then need to up-size! I am living in a dream house! I want to respect the space I have!!!

  10. Whoo boy! This is quite a post! I totally get this. My fella is a packrat but sometimes the stuff he keeps has purpose and value - I just don't understand it until I/we need it! Sometimes the amount of stuff in our house makes my blood turn to ice in my veins. I get completely overwhelmed and panicky about it. However - we don't go to as many antique shows/ auctions as we used to and when I look at that kind of stuff now, I try to only buy things I will use. No more bowls, no more glassware - I have more than I could ever use now. I love using the "finds we have found". i love knowing that they've been used for 40 or 50 years but, like you, I veer away from contributing to the massive amount of crap we consume and discard as a society. At least with my "old stuff" I know that it's had a long life. Awareness is the first step. Next I'd say - teach your kids the value of true value. That's a great contribution that other (and our city) will benefit from!
    (PS Did you have your street sale yet?)

  11. Oh and one more question - are those strawberry cloths napkins? Did you sell them already? :)

  12. I've got 4 doors sandwiched behind my sofa and the wall behind it, and four more wedged between the armoire and wall!! Yes, all leaning in wait, right there in my living room for an eventual renovation. I love old-world charm and can't fathom buying new doors.

  13. The strawberry napkins were scooped!!!

    we did the street sale a month ago...but I have a growing pile of stuff to get rid of already. I obviously was NOT thorough enough

    I was listening to roger, rick and Marilyn and they had a guest on who is an organizational consultant or something...she takes everything out of your house except the essentials, a book, clothes, a bed...puts it in storage for a learn what you actually need to live with!

  14. i just finished reading ZERO WASTE HOME by Bea Johnson, which looks at pairing down your life to what you only need...They don't bring any waste into their home and compost everything. They don't even own a garbage can. While I could never live the way the Johnson family does, the book did inspire me to do a giant clean out of our home and really consider what my family's needs are.

  15. April @ Money Pit LoveJuly 8, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I can relate! Our house is filled with items I've fallen in love with, am convinced I can use or that have "potential"... it gets overwhelming. We were able to indulge in a huge purge when we moved last year, which gave us some much-needed breathing room.

    Of course, that being said, I've been totally eyeing those brass owls. Are they still available??

  16. The owls were scooped already my dear!!!

  17. Zero Waste Home - going on my reading list!

  18. April @ Money Pit LoveJuly 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Bummer :(