or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Compacting Mommas?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Compacting Mommas?

post #1 of 461
Thread Starter 
A few lovely blogs have me thinking about The Compact--an effort of anticonsumerism toward simplicity and self-sufficiency.

"The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):

To go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of disposable consumer culture and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step that, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact.
To reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er).
To simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact) " from the Yahoo! Group.

I was wondering if any of the mommies here would like to take parte in a Compact thread.
post #2 of 461
I would! My good friend and I started Compacting on October 1st. One whole year!

Here's our blog.
post #3 of 461
Man, I am so not there No, I'm trying but just the idea makes me feel uncomfortable. I think it's a great idea though! I'm going to sub for inspiration Maybe I'll get through a month

I try to get a lot of my stuff used. Most of the kids clothing comes from consignment (and then goes back there!) and I get a lot of stuff off freecycle (including clothing for me and the dh). Just the idea of ALL . . . . wow! (I'm assuming they don't mean food? but still!).

Good luck! Oh, and I love the new look of your blogs
post #4 of 461
Shannon, food is obviously okay, as are safety items and underwear. Other items should be acquired second hand. Of course, everyone makes their own rules/concessions and there really are no Compacting police. For myself, I will allow the purchase of new fiber for knitting (only as I start the project though -- no need to create a stash) and I also wrote in a clause to purchase my friend's new cookbook that will soon be published.
post #5 of 461
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonCC View Post
Good luck! Oh, and I love the new look of your blogs

Oh, Thank You! It's off-season right now so I have a little extra time on my hands while at the office. Shhh!

I have a few exemptions on my lists like allowing myself to purchase a charity cookbook I spent tons of time editing, and allowing myself to buy new craft supplies if 1) they're for a specific project and 2) I can't find them used.

I'm looking forward to the challenge.
post #6 of 461
I am really wanting to start this. Ever since I read about the original group...maybe a year ago, it's intrigued me. I think part of it is that I'm always up for a good challenge but I need something structured to give me the kick in the butt I need. I've been really bad about shopping for NEW stuff lately. And once you start on a spending track/mindset, it's so hard to get out of.

So, my plan is to start next week. I have to pump myself up but I'm definitely ready! I hope more mamas will join us...I love having a group to converse with about things like this.
post #7 of 461
Thread Starter 
I had my first compacting moment today, and figured I'd share it here.

I stopped by our PO and in our box was a coupon catalog from children's place. I started looking longingly at all the super-cute clothes and then the 15% off coupons.

Then I realized, Hey, I don't NEED any of this stuff. Remember, borrow, barter, or buy used. and then I tossed the catalog in the recycling bin. it felt nice to say no.

Anyhow, I remembered how I already bought all of DS's winter garb used from ebay sellers and how he doesn't need anymore.

--- Not falling for the ads and great deals anymore ---

I'm sure I'll have many such a light bulb moment soon.
post #8 of 461
I would love to do this! (Not buying anything new, in conjuction with streamlining and downsizing what I already own, would go a long way toward reaching my goal of a decluttered house by 2007.)

It sounds great, but I wonder if it's possible to do with children? (I have four, 2 of whom are teenagers...)

Any thoughts?

ETA: I forgot to ask, how does this work, exactly? Are there "rules" somewhere? Do we write our own "Compact Manifesto" detailing exactly what this commitment means to us?
post #9 of 461
I don't know that I could commit to a full year. But I'd love to take it one month at a time. How refreshing and freeing...the thought of not being a slave to commercialism any longer!
post #10 of 461
Can someone flesh this out a little more for little ol' me?


I'm not really seeing any difference between 'compacting' and 'living simply' or being 'minimalist'. Is it just another version of that or is there something differentiating about it?
post #11 of 461
When you join the Compact, you don't buy ANYTHING new (except the few health, safety, and food items that you need). So basically NO shopping at any stores except thrift, Goodwill, garage sales, and online used stores (eBay, etc).
post #12 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
Can someone flesh this out a little more for little ol' me?


I'm not really seeing any difference between 'compacting' and 'living simply' or being 'minimalist'. Is it just another version of that or is there something differentiating about it?
When one lives simply or minimally, they can still buy new things. With the Compact, one commits not to buy anything new outside of the realm of food, health care, and underwear for a year. They're similar, but Compacting is more of a constructed project...an experiment in consumption with very defined rules.
post #13 of 461
Ah, ok. Thanks.

Wow. That's intense. I mean, in some ways I've already been on board with this concept for over a decade. I buy whatever I can buy used or trade/pass on/etc., but my definition of 'can' seems like it may be different from compacting. For example, I feel the need to buy things like underwear, socks, and shoes new. That said, I meet my values head on in the process by buying higher quality stuff and aim for supporting local/natural resources.

That said - my children have worn almost 100% used clothing their entire lives (and I have an almost 12 y/o). Also, almost every furniture item in my house was given to me from someone else who owned it before me. I also refuse to buy anything new for my kitchen as that is my favorite area of the thrift stores - there's always TOO MUCH on the shelves in the kitchen departments, there! I love finding all my glass dishes for a quarter a piece.


I'm gonna sit with this idea for a while and see if I can find other areas in which it could work for me in a more immediate sense.
post #14 of 461
OH! And. . .


I really like pondering the concept of *doing without*. I find that if I just sit with myself and breathe through the anxiety that comes from wanting/needing something new instead of impulsively responding to that feeling - I can flow right through it. After the feeling passes, I find that it IS possible to live very peacefully without the item I thought I needed. And then I find such peace in knowing I've kept yet another item from contributing to all the global clutter/waste as well as my own household clutter, which is important b/c space in my home is at a high premium. My house is tiny and we HS.
post #15 of 461
I'm in! I didn't know any non-cyber friends willing to take the plunge - so glad to see this thread!
post #16 of 461
I like the idea of this, but just thinking what to do for christmas gifts?
post #17 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by memory maker View Post
I like the idea of this, but just thinking what to do for christmas gifts?
I'm still struggling with this one. I'm not worried about our families because both sides are so low-key about gift giving. It's my kids...my daughter is almost one, so she won't really know, but her four year old brother, well, he's used to Santa! We haven't gone wild in years' past, but he usually gets a few new things (last Christmas it was some cars and a Radio Flyer scooter, so I feel like I need to match that, you know?). I might try to find some gently used stuff on Ebay. Ideas are welcome!
post #18 of 461
i'm definitely interested in jumping in on this, but i'll need to sit dh down and have a serious talk. he's big into buying new dvd's and video games right when they're released, so i think that will be the hardest thing for him. we'll also need to work on being more eco-friendly (a good thing anyway) with some of the stuff we have been bad about up to now. i'd love to do this though.... just not sure i can get the "fam" on board.
post #19 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
I'm still struggling with this one. I'm not worried about our families because both sides are so low-key about gift giving. It's my kids...my daughter is almost one, so she won't really know, but her four year old brother, well, he's used to Santa! We haven't gone wild in years' past, but he usually gets a few new things (last Christmas it was some cars and a Radio Flyer scooter, so I feel like I need to match that, you know?). I might try to find some gently used stuff on Ebay. Ideas are welcome!
we buy a lot of dd's christmas gifts at good will. they are just as good, and seriously a FRACTION of the cost. one year we got her a child-sized play kitchen in REALLY good condition, WITH batteries that lit up the "burners" with flashing lights. It was awesome, and it cost us $1.50! There are usually some really cute clothes at good will also, and a huge stack of children's books, and lots of fun goodies. We've gotten huge bean bag chairs, fluffy teddy bears, keyboards, and tons of other goodies. they've never complained about it not being new in a package, because it was always *new* to them!
post #20 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliveGirl View Post
It's my kids...my daughter is almost one, so she won't really know, but her four year old brother, well, he's used to Santa!
Sometimes I think we don't give kids enough credit. Is it possible that you could sit down with him and try to explain what you're doing and why? You might be surprised! I think used Christmas gifts would be awesome! My friend is trying to encourage everyone to do this for her kids...and even though she is getting some resistance, she's educating in the process. Plus, starting a tradition like that so early in his life would be hugely beneficial and would set the tone for the years to come.

What you're saying reminds me of how I feel sometimes when I'm at the store with Bella, and she wants something. I start to feel like if I don't get it for her...her little world might end! Then I snap out of it, and we don't buy it. And she has totally forgotten by the time we're out of the store. I know that works better with toddlers, but I'm just trying to show you how YOUR emotions about it all may be bigger than his emotions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by memory maker View Post
I like the idea of this, but just thinking what to do for christmas gifts?
For Christmas gifts in general...there are tons of ideas on the $0 Holiday Challenge thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbloom View Post
we buy a lot of dd's christmas gifts at good will. they are just as good, and seriously a FRACTION of the cost. one year we got her a child-sized play kitchen in REALLY good condition, WITH batteries that lit up the "burners" with flashing lights. It was awesome, and it cost us $1.50!
Wow!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Compacting Mommas?