The 4th of February saw me having an unlikely (and moderately unwelcome) epiphany.
I shop way too much.
Doesn’t matter if I am home or abroad, I accumulate crap (usually to give to others) and end up drowning in clutter and chaos.
Now, I am not quite “hoarder” status, but I do have an entire room dedicated to boxes of things I have purchased with the intent of giving them away. I also managed to fill three extra suitcases with trinkets and souvenirs from our trip to South America. A lot of this stuff is actually quite cool IMHO – but unnecessary nonetheless.
What do I propose to do about this moderate affectation which is contrary to my eco-warrior preachings? I am going to take 6 months off of accumulating crap.
Here’s the rules of engagement:
1) No new purchases for Dee.
That means no clothes, no cosmetics, no anything excess to requirement. The kids will still get things they need like clothes and stuff – but I’ve arranged to have OTHER people shop with/for them even if it is with our money. The reason for this is that it helps alleviate some temptation (I LOVE shopping for the kids and would probably go overboard to quench my consumerist needs) and also, I am hoping others will be able to be more functional than I can be when shopping for the kids. I’ve got enough stuff tucked away to easily get through the next 6 months, and I’ve already noticed that I am being more frugal with things like my mascara – which vanity has led me to believe IS ACTUALLY a necessity.
2) Can Rent/Borrow to my hearts content
The reason for this is that I am throwing/hosting/helping with COUNTLESS charity and social events in 2013. Historically, I’ve had quite a path-of-least-resistance mentality which has seen me purchase and often discard heaps of rubbish and stuff. I have an entire closet full of party stuff – from plates and plastic cutlery all the way through to water jugs and decorations. So I will use/reuse and rent what I need and STILL throw the most epic parties in the South Pacific.
3) Gifts are okay
I have very cleverly placed my birthday smack dab in the middle(ish) of this challenge. I’ve always had serious issues receiving, and been a bit overboard on giving. I have heard “We never know what to get you, you obviously already have EVERYTHING” innumerable times. I can’t cheat and just get Grumpy Hobbit Hubby to buy me things though… that would be lazy of me. But it means that I might be asking for things over the next few months, and it’s anyone’s right to say no to me, but I am interested to see how this part of the challenge pans out.
4) Consumables Okay
I will still be hosting fab foodie events at the Hobbit Homestead. Although I am getting even more anally retentive about not buying things with excess packaging and trying to buy fair trade stuff and as much organic and local produce as possible, consumables for myself and my family and friends is still something I can splurge on. I am defining consumables as: Food, beverage, core cleaning products (so no fancy smelly things or dishwasher cleaner or extras, but eco-certified cleaning products are fine.) I also will only purchase basic soap and no luxury shampoos or body washes. *sniffle* it is going to be tough, but it is a vice and I know it, and I have plenty of perfume and soap to get me through, so don’t worry, I won’t turn into a smelly hippy or even worse hipster. LOL! I made myself lol.
5) Online purchases such as music, books, audio books etc. are fine too
As long as nothing gets mailed out, and there is no packaging, I can enrich my life with books and music in a digital format. Why? CAUSE I SAID SO OKAY! A girl can’t go cold turkey on goodies for six whole months. Besides, I have a whole bunch of reading to do in order to do justice to my new post as a Global Poverty Project representative and sustainability advocate. Learning is paramount to doing these roles justice. I am tossing up whether event tickets are okay too. I think yes, as events are good for the soul and I can purchase the tickets online without much consumables. I wouldn’t buy a T-shirt or anything at the concert, but yeah… would like to know what people think.
So that is some more Happy Hobbit Happenings.
Hope you are having a great day wherever you are and whatever you do when you read this. AND THANK YOU for taking the time to do it.