It has been a busy summer and I have neglected this space. We spent a week at the beach in Rehoboth, DE during the 4th of July. We stayed about six blocks off of the beach and schlepping all of our gear back and forth necessitated the purchase of a beach cart from K Mart. I know we will use the cart again, but it felt like a slippery slope.
We navigated the boardwalk and walked away with memories, not stuff. It was difficult to pass up cute beach-themed nick knacks and novelty t-shirts, but we resisted. I even passed by the outlets unscathed.
However, since the beach cart (the aforementioned slippery slope), there have been a *few* other purchases. Walker had to return something at Target and came out with a pair of red trousers (less than 30 bucks and he seems to love them – other folks do not share his passion) and I bought a denim shirt for myself (also at Target). Target is a no-fly zone for solo trips now.
We completed some yard projects that had languished on a long “to do” list, which necessitated the purchase of lawn furniture and a fire pit – the need being debatable. We got end-of-season bargains and we will use these things for fun with family and friends, so classing these as a “need” for family value is a possible absolution for these transgressions. Although, as with every THING, the taxonomical categorization between Need and Want is debatable. We certainly spent a lot less than we might have had we not been so conscious of the choice to buy these things.
Well, now that my confessions via retail accounting are out of the way, I can move on to bigger and better topics. How have we fared as a family? Have we saved money? Do we have less STUFF/CLUTTER than we did before?
We do have more money in the bank account at the end of the month, but some house-related expenses (roof repairs, etc.) have lessened the impact of our savings. It is striking, though, when we look at our credit card bills and see only food, drink, and groceries.
So far, Walker and Jack seem to be fine with the compact, I am the one struggling. It has been a very stressful summer and I have worked many nights and weekends. I have also been on a very strict diet with no alcohol, 5 pre-packaged meals (all very low-cal), and one salad per day. It has felt restrictive and as I watch the scale creep (and it creeps slowly) downward, I want to buy new things. Fall is my favorite season and the “want” I have to buy jeans, boots, and sweaters almost hurts – those may just be hunger pangs, though.
As far as having less stuff, I have managed to clean out my closet and drawers to the point that I actually wear everything in them. That may seem mundane, but it is a radical notion to me. Pre-compact purge, I had clothes of many sizes, sales items I bought that never really fit, and things I was holding on to for no reason. Each week, I have tried to fill one plastic shopping bag with things from my closet, drawers, or shelves. Over the course of the summer, I have managed to purge most of the unused items. I did one final sweep and I am now at closet ground zero – everything in there is used regularly. Shoes are organized, clothes are wearable, and I no longer have a sense of failure when I open my closet. That may seem exaggerated, but if your weight fluctuates, as mine does, seeing things that are too tight or never fit in the first place can have a negative impact. I am proud of the closet I have and will think carefully about adding items to it.
We are getting ready to return to school, which brings on a flurry of purchases. We will buy the requisite supplies and be conscious of what can be re-sourced from last year. I will continue to dodge the bullet that is Fall Fashion and I will try to post again soon. There are many more spaces in my house to purge, but I would rather just watch TV – for now.