or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › One Month Compacting Challange: FEBRUARY
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

One Month Compacting Challange: FEBRUARY - Page 2

post #21 of 63
Gifts... UGH! I feel your pain because I am in the NYC burbs where the newest and trendiest rules. Ick. There are plenty of "greenies" here, but we are FAR outnumbered by the "latest & greatest" set... and you know, you don't dare buy something used (or even green) for them. Unfortunately, this would include my ILs... and for them, gift-giving is a score-keeping event.

I have NO FLAMING CLUE how to overcome it. Seriously. I've even attempted to get THEM to give US more appropriate gifts (hey--if you're spending $100 anyway, can't you spend $50 on a family membership to the zoo next year and the other $50 on some ridiculous gift you insist on getting???). No dice. So I'm at a complete loss.

How to prepare ourselves? Well, start thinking NOW about the things you might need/want to buy in February and start hunting now for the alternatives. That's what I'm doing. I'm starting to figure out that next month is my birthday and in the first week of March is Dh's bday. That's all well and good because I can do a book of "IOU" coupons for him and he'll be thrilled (depending on what I make the coupons for! ). I also have to furnish a new bedroom (well, it's an old bedroom that is finally usable). So I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to go about that.
post #22 of 63
about the new friend who doesn't have stuff for her apartment. since you're on the decluttering board . . . why not just say, "i'm trying to downsize. as i'm sorting through things, is there anything i should hang on to for you? what do you need?" i mean, that's not exactly a house-warming gift, but probably more practical for both of you.

for other gifts, even people who don't appreciate most hand-made items do appreciate food! for the snootiest, it usually has to be sweets, but for normal people, they'd love a frozen lasagna or soup. hey, back to the woman who's moving - that would be a perfect gift for her too! who wants to cook when you're still unpacking your kitchen?

i just tried to think of my biggest gifting challenge (the pickiest dear one), which i realized is coming up in march. then i remembered what i have her last year - a mei tai i bought used off thebabywearer, lol! and she loved it!

imo, if you're really in a bind, etsy is better than wal-mart . . . but 99% of the time, second-hand or hand-made (by you!) will be appreciated and loved, as long as you keep the recipient in mind, in terms of choosing/making something they have a need for. my standard gift is a kiva.org gift certificate, which i would consider to be allowed under the compact.
post #23 of 63
not to serial post, but . . .

i was thinking about what, exactly, my exceptions will be. so i was thinking:
dipes & wipes
hygeine items as needed
medications as needed

i actually should be able to plan ahead, for one freaking month, and not need to buy any of that, but i have to put it on there just in case. i'm trying to decide what to do about the things dh consumes horribly. these are things like batteries, blank CDs, lighters . . . by using, losing and wasting. i could stock up now, but that seems to be not in the spirit of compacting, kwim? that turkey should have to use the rechargeables we already have in the house (he just doesn't plan ahead to have them charged when he needs them); not waste so many CDs, and not lose lighters and/or use free matches from the gas station. (dude is not even a smoker, just lights candles and whatnot.) thoughts?

for reference, here are the exceptions from the original compact blog post:
food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments like Viagra or Botox)
necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental)
pajamas for the children

so what are yours going to be?
post #24 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
I feel your pain because I am in the NYC burbs where the newest and trendiest rules. Ick.
Heather--I'm in Williamsburg and am a fashion designer. But for me, avoiding the big box stores and being thrifty is "the next big thing" (and has been for years now). I am so OVER the latest and the greatest....anyone can spend a fortune at some fancy boutique to have their kid in the latest duds, but try piecing a super cute outfit together at Salvation Army. I love a challenge! And then telling people "Oh, her $250 Oilily coat.....I bought that off the street for $20." !
post #25 of 63
Thread Starter 

Major Inspiration

In case you haven't seen it:

http://www.storyofstuff.com
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
i actually should be able to plan ahead, for one freaking month, and not need to buy any of that, but i have to put it on there just in case. i'm trying to decide what to do about the things dh consumes horribly. these are things like batteries, blank CDs, lighters . . . by using, losing and wasting. i could stock up now, but that seems to be not in the spirit of compacting, kwim? that turkey should have to use the rechargeables we already have in the house (he just doesn't plan ahead to have them charged when he needs them); not waste so many CDs, and not lose lighters and/or use free matches from the gas station. (dude is not even a smoker, just lights candles and whatnot.) thoughts?
?
I am over here from the January thread, chugging along and thinking ahead. This is how I feel about it. To me compacting is about changing the whole thought process behind shopping; buying things that are absolute necessities, making do with what you have and trying to buy things used to prevent them from going into landfills and to prevent more stuff from being made. I think going out before your official date begins to stock up on things that aren't needed is against the spirit of compacting. If you look at it this way, you are bound to feel deprived just like going on a diet makes you feel. It needs to be a lifestyle change. I second watching the Story of Stuff because it really does take you step by step through the entire process. It made me even more excited about compacting. I will be joining over here after January is over.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn lisa View Post
anyone can spend a fortune at some fancy boutique to have their kid in the latest duds, but try piecing a super cute outfit together at Salvation Army. I love a challenge! And then telling people "Oh, her $250 Oilily coat.....I bought that off the street for $20." !
YES!!! It's really to the point where I often "don't remember" where I bought something. The backlash is that people think we have a lot of money--because I do this with everything, not just clothing. I can find clothes with tags still on at Salvation Army (frequently) but people in my ILs "set" want the gift receipt...! These people make me nuts.

I really haven't thought about exceptions. If you buy something new off of eBay from an individual seller vs. a store, how does that play into it?
post #28 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
I really haven't thought about exceptions. If you buy something new off of eBay from an individual seller vs. a store, how does that play into it?
I guess you'd be supporting a small business (but also the company who makes the item if is not handmade.)

i am going to start working on my list of Personal Guidelines soon. (does anyone have a better term for the "rules">)

a major one for us will be to shop only at grocery stores, and not the ridiculously expensive "Health" Food Store that is 20 paces from my kitchen door! Without the farmer market this time of year, I think that's the best we can do for food.
post #29 of 63
I would love to do this. My big problem is if there is something I need and I start scouring second hand/used places, I get distracted and buy buy buy, especially if the kids are with me. For instance, I really, really want/need a tea pot and I want to check second hand places, but I know I will get distracted and buy lots of stuff I don't need. I've been decluttering in overtime, so I hate to bring more stuff in the house but I've wanted a tea pot for months (and know I would get daily use out of it). Ack!

Another problem is I get fixated on wanting to get something and it doesn't go away and I can't rest until I buy. Sometimes it's a need, sometimes a want (I'm debating about what category a dishwasher falls into, lol!! I have been unable to find one second hand and I've been looking for a couple of years. I can live without it, but it would lift a huge burden on our home that I can't even put into words or explain to someone who doesn't know our situation).

So I think I will think about it more and talk to DH about it. I know he would be on board, lol!!
post #30 of 63
i've realized one of my big pitfalls - coffee treats. so another of my guidelines is that i may only purchase from local coffee shops. no starbucks, no caribou, no dunn brothers drive-thru. geez, just the reality of having to get out of my car in this freezing cold weather, kids in tow, will be enough to crush my coffee treat habit.
post #31 of 63

New to compacting

Hi ladies, I just read about compacting and it sounds right to me. So I'm in to learn.
post #32 of 63
hey girls, ready?! tomorrow's the day . . .

(i'm super excited and have an irl friend doing it with me.)

marisa
post #33 of 63
count me in.
Liz
post #34 of 63
Aggghhh! I just lost a huge post!

I am excited! DH is in too. The kids aren't so excited, lol! Shopping has, unfortunately, become our entertainment. We love going to stores to look around (and buy : ), the kids love buying stuff at the dollar store and while I didn't want to raise my kids to be overconsumers, that is just what I'm doing by placing so much fun and emphasis on shopping!! That is what my parents did when I was a child and now I'm doing it.

So we've been trying to come up with things we can do that don't revolve around shopping. I've been decluttering big time so I don't need to be bringing stuff in the house anyway. Stuff has been taking away our happiness and I'm tired of it.
post #35 of 63
I'm in for February! I Compacted in January and really enjoyed it, so I'd like to keep going for another month. I was pretty disciplined in January, with only 3 slip-ups:

- 1 magazine (no excuse, although at least I put back a second magazine that I knew was available at the library)

- 2 small toys for my kids when we had to go to the toy store to buy a bday gift for another child (the gift was within my exceptions; at least the 2 toys for my kids were under $5 total, were paid for by store credit, and were from our locally owned toy store)

I have found it very liberating to not spend time going to Target every week and running around shopping. I like my much smaller credit card balance. I have made a few thrift store trips and really enjoyed the "treasure hunting" aspect of that, and have even found a few items from my wish list in thrift stores. I have even lost my taste for buying some things that are on my exception list- for example, going out for coffee. I'm finding much more pleasure in making coffee at home, for some reason.
post #36 of 63

Joining.

With the exception of a few items I'm giving myself permission to purchase new.

4 new candles to go on my iron sconces that have been sitting bare for 4 months.

Fresh cut flowers from the farmers market each week to brighten up my home and chase away the winter doldrums.
~(Not as green as a new potted plant - but winter stinks and I'm giving myself permission to find colorful happiness in the gray days of February)

Something inexpensive and simple for Valentines day for DH from the babe and I.
~Any ideas on some meaningful V Day gifts I can make creatively with a 9 month old for daddy to take to his cube at work?

Something sexy for V-Day. I won't buy nighties used. And we need a serious kick in the pants to revitalize our love life. We still haven't quite figured that part of the family bed out yet.
post #37 of 63
Oh my February already?

I am excited to start. Right now I plan to only buy the essentials, food maybe toiletries/cleaning supplies as needed. No coffees out, little treats here and there - I am not a big shopper but I for me the little things add up. So no more running out to the store for a few items I'll make my list and go once a week (unless we are all sick and need gingerale and crackers - oh wait that was this week hopefully we won't get it again so soon)!

My exceptions:
I will get dh a Valentines's gift - but I am thinking a new pair of slippers to replace his old ones which I have tried over and over to repair - romantic huh? If any birthdays parties for the kids come up I will buy something but it will support our local independent kids book/toystore.
post #38 of 63
I'm in too! I tried The Compact once a while ago and failed miserably! But this time around we really don't have any money to buy the things that I'm used to buying so this will get me in the right mind frame for the rest of our life! I'll just have to figure out what to do for Valentines Day and for a kids birthday party we have coming up. Also, I will be having a baby in the next few weeks but I'm pretty sure that I have everything we need now for her. As for cloth dipes, I already buy those off Diaperswappers so we're good there!!! I'm excited to start! And having you mamas doing the same thing is great support!!
post #39 of 63
I'm in, and scared.

My exceptions are:
Diapers/wipes (I'm not ready to go CD...)
Personal hygene/ medicine
Cleaning products
HB prep stuff (due mid-april)

I'm not used to the "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" plan for everything, but I have tried before to cut back on my retail therapy. I always felt better after a sucessful week without unnecessary shopping/spending.

Question: What do you do with home parties? You know, the ones where your friend has everyone over and expects you to buy something? I always feel so cornered, looking at it like: I want to spend time with my friends, but I REALLY don't have money to spend.
post #40 of 63
9 months old is not too bad for "that part" of your life... wait til they get to 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 years... our son slept in our bedroom until he was 13 years old, and you really have to take advantage of when they're out of the house, or well and truly occupied elsewhere then!


Quote:
Originally Posted by notwonamesalike View Post
And we need a serious kick in the pants to revitalize our love life. We still haven't quite figured that part of the family bed out yet.

I'm definitely going to have a go at this month's challenge... we definitely need a serious kick in the pants around here!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › One Month Compacting Challange: FEBRUARY