One Month Compacting Challange: FEBRUARY - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 63 Old 01-05-2008, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Ladies, anyone want to join me in a compacting commitment in Feb?

I need a month to wrap my brain around it all, harness my resolve and get dh on board. We can use this thread for ideas, questions, (fears!) and then bump it up if need be at the start of Feb. And January compacters can join us if they want to extend their pledge.

Anyone on board?

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#2 of 63 Old 01-05-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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yep! i'm in for feb.

marisa
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#3 of 63 Old 01-06-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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I am planning to compact the entire year so I am in as well.

Elizabeth
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#4 of 63 Old 01-06-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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I've been compacting since 10/06. I love it.

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
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#5 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else???

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#6 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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i want to but im skeeeeeered

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#7 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 04:59 AM
 
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I'm skeeeered too. But we can do it.

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#8 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 06:58 AM
 
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: This is the closest smiley I can find for skeeeerd! But if you other two skeerdy-cats are in, so am I!

Does this mean we can't go out to dinner for Valentines Day (or my birthday?) I'm only part joking--I don't know where retail food falls on the Compact.

I need the month to prepare, too.

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#9 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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Does this mean we can't go out to dinner for Valentines Day (or my birthday?) I'm only part joking--I don't know where retail food falls on the Compact.
It doesn't. The compact just restricts stuff, not food. You could technically go out to McDonalds though I'm not sure why you would.

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#10 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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Dude... my bday is NOT McDonald's material! McCormick & Schmick!

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#11 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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What does it mean to Compact?

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#12 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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ok i'll be in:

how exciting! my birthday is february too, good thing i love thrifting anyway, i don't mind a used gifty yay, i'm excited!

so what are you doing to prepare?

i really want to start a garden so i guess i should try to get some gardening stuff off freecycle and buy what i can't get. are you guys writing yourself a list of 'rules'?

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#13 of 63 Old 01-13-2008, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, first off I should say that technically I've been compacting for the past week (unplanned) since the roof at my dh's store is practically falling in.

But for the month of Feb I plan on getting a list together, "rules" if you will, that state what compacting means to me and my family. That's what I need the next few weeks to work out.

I can see how you might wish to include a weekly dinner out/ order in. I'm not sure if that will be in our budget.

I'm also trying not to "stock up" before hand so that if a need for somethings arises I will truly have an opportunity to think of an alternative (or go without.) I'd love to see others' ideas/rules as they come up.

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#14 of 63 Old 01-14-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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Add me to the "interested but skeeeeerd" list!

Me my DH 4.5 year old DS and who just arrived on the scene 6/10 Excited to be blogging! Decluttering in 2010: 2010 / 2010
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#15 of 63 Old 01-14-2008, 04:14 AM
 
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I'm here! :
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#16 of 63 Old 01-14-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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Oh, count me in. I have been reading about compacting for long time but never tried it myself. February would be perfect!

Count me in!
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#17 of 63 Old 01-15-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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anyone else? c'mon, it's the shortest month of the year!

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#18 of 63 Old 01-16-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HeatherE View Post
What does it mean to Compact?
:
Can anyone enlighten me?

Happily married, Waldorf-inspired homeschooler to Kylan (8yo), Everest (6yo), and Bodhi (2yo)
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#19 of 63 Old 01-16-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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What does it mean to Compact?
People doing the Compact are people who are buying only what is necessary and avoiding buying anything new. Their are exceptions for things like health & hygiene items (but again, only what is necessary). Individuals might include personal exceptions (ie yarn or some other hobby item). People usually commit for a set period of time (1 month, 6 months, a year, etc).
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#20 of 63 Old 01-16-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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so lets talk gifts. i know its probably a tired subject but its the one im currently facing. my nephew just had his birthday and i ordered his gift from etsy.com which is where i buy all gifts that i dont make myself. i have looked and looked for used gifts, and i find some for my closest family members but i have a LOT of extended family that absolutely have no concept of owning something used. i really feel like its a waste of money to buy something used for someone that wont appreciate it when i could buy something handmade from etsy that i know they will like kwim? thoughts?

on a related note, i met a new woman(family) at playgroup that i hit it off with pretty well right away. we've gotten together a few times and she is moving into a new apartment and has next to nothing to put in it. i was thinking of going to a local funky cool bookstore and getting a soy candle or something as a house warming gift but then i reminded myself of the compact and thought maybe i should give a gift certificate to a thrift store instead...is that lame and weird? what say you?

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#21 of 63 Old 01-16-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 63 Old 01-16-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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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.
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#23 of 63 Old 01-16-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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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?
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#24 of 63 Old 01-17-2008, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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." !

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#25 of 63 Old 01-17-2008, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In case you haven't seen it:

http://www.storyofstuff.com

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#26 of 63 Old 01-17-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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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.

:,,:, to my three veggie ladies 12/09/05, : 10/03/07 & 07/10/09 hanging on for dear life to :
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#27 of 63 Old 01-18-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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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?

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#28 of 63 Old 01-19-2008, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

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#29 of 63 Old 01-19-2008, 08:42 AM
 
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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!!
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#30 of 63 Old 01-22-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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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.
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