Saturday, August 13, 2011

all stuffed up

We all have so. Much. Stuff. Far more than we need. Far more than we could ever use up! Far more than our planet or our budgets can support. And yet, even in this "down economy" all we do is buy, buy, buy! Consumerism is the slave driver, and who are we to disagree? This is how things are. Buy things to feel better, buy things when you feel bad. Buy things when you have enough money, buy things to help you save money. But things when you need to organize, buy things when you need to de-clutter!

None of this makes any sense. It is an unnatural habit. Animals do not keep building bigger and better nests or homes; they build one that is strong, safe and durable, and they repair it when and if it is necessary, but they don't add on to it incessantly.

As I think about preparing my budget and my body for a possible cross-country move, I am also thinking about preparing my stuff. I'd love to be able to make it out there with everything I need in the back of my car. I'm not sure that that's exactly feasible for me, but think about freeing it would be! So, here are a few things that I am committing to this year at school that will help me de-stress and de-clutter before I leave college forever.

  • As I move to my apartment, I'm not unpacking. I unpacked my books, but I have no plans to unpack my clothing. As I get it out to wear it, I'll put it away. By Thanksgiving, if I haven't worn it,  it will get donated. If I don't wear it in ten weeks, it won't get worn. 
  • The Year of No Buying. I will no longer be purchasing anything I can possibly do without. I have plenty of shoes- I don't need more. More jewelry than I can use up ever. Even items like shampoo and soap, I have extras of. I'm going to use all of those things up before I purchase more.
  • Make What You Don't Have. I'm an avid DIYer.  Once I'm out of shampoo, I'm planning on making my own. The same goes for the schoolbag I want to own, Birthday and Christmas presents, and a hundred other items.
  • Wait a week before you buy. When you think to yourself, 'oh, I need such-and-such', write it down, and then wait one week. If at the end of the week, you've caught yourself thinking,  'I REALLY need such and such' or 'SHOOT! I still need this or that!', then I will buy it. In the meantime, I'll think about making it or doing without.

Hopefully, this will enable me to get rid of things I never use, and to live more frugally, another big goal of mine. I'm thinking of taking my bike to class and the grocery, so that will help me save on gasoline, and I'm going to make as much as I can out of local fruits and veggies, keeping my grocery bill low. I will get myself out to California, and I will do it next Summer.

Without an entire TRAIN of stuff behind me.

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