Hi! So happy to have found this group! Everyone else thinks I'm nuts when I talk about how cool a tumble weed house is, or about wanting to downgrade to a 2 bedroom with 3 kids! The older I get, the more I realize that I don't need very much stuff. I don't want to spend money on things that I know, from experience, are just going to go in the trash. Paying for garbage doesn't sound wise to me. My dream is to have a small homestead, off-grid. Exit stage left Playstation 3 and stupid, giant TV.
This has been a long, slow ride that I am on...... all by myself. Hahaha! There is a big discussion every birthday and Christmas between my husband and I because he says the kids NEED presents! My refusal to be involved in his active participation in blind consumerism, would only bring tons of shiny plastic trash, packaged in more plastic, stuffed with batteries, into the house for a temporary visit before they broke and get thrown away, or grown out of or tired of and donated. =Wasted money! I make a huge effort to get extremely creative so this doesn't happen. Art supplies, musical instruments, and books are abundant here.
My consumerism is extremely minimal. This mainly comes from the need to know every impact on everything environmental or social a product has before I can buy it. I like to upcycle stuff. Freecycle is awesome for getting or getting rid of things! l don't buy toys anymore, even eco-perfect-friendly stuff. I will, however grab a big box for the kids when I see one. What kid doesn't love a box? I also hate the thought of new clothes. There are so many clothes out there that are perfectly good at thrift stores and garage sales. I have a very small wardrobe, and thankfully, this is one thing that everyone in the family is on board with. Except the 3 year old. She has a lot of clothes. The Grammas like to buy them for her, which is just asinine, because the kid is always naked. I have two pair of shoes, snow boots and flip-flops. I wear my flip-flops unless the snow is too deep. I don't buy cleaning stuff or any chemicals. I am another fan of Dr. Bronner's, baking soda and vinegar. I do buy dish soap, and sometimes laundry soap. Making my own has become more than I can do during this time of year. I finally threw away my makeup bag a few years ago when I found it under the sink and realized I hadn't used it in over 10 years. I make my own lip balm for the wintertime. I don't even try to prevent gray hair and wrinkles. I wear them like badges of honor, baby.
My minimalist approach is not absolute to everything in my life. I do collect certain things, but they are things that I love and use.
1. Mason jars........ I love mason jars. Besides canning, I use them, with the spent lids, to store leftovers. When they become slightly chipped or scuffed and the seal would be compromised, they are drinking glasses. I gather all the mason jars I can find.
2. Fabric........ I am in fabric recovery. Seriously, I was like an alcoholic. My father saw my stash, learned my habit, and asked if I wanted to go to meetings with him. I would spend grocery or bill money on fabric. It is hard because I can't completely quit using unless I completely quit sewing, and that ain't gonna happen! I have banned myself from all fabric shops unless I need something very specific, I only take cash, and I never go with my mother! She's a horrible enabler.
3. Books........ We love to read. I like things that do not require electricity. I have absolutely no desire to get a reading thingy. My best friend has one, I don't like it. I love the feel, smell and look of a real book. This is the one thing we all agree on. We don't buy new though. We hit library sales, garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. Bring on the books! If I run out of room, I'll get another bookcase, used of course!
4. Manual kitchen gadgets........ I'm preparing. These I view as necessities. As the goal is to one day be off grid, all of the things that require electricity will be useless or a drain on the small load we will be able to have. I also have a larger than normal need for kitchen stuff because of all of the preserving that I do.
If the things I have fit well into the little storage space I have, they are welcome to stay. Once they all start getting rowdy and out of control, I have no problem bouncin 'em!