Monday, April 10, 2017

Spending Out

I've written many times over the years about how we are constantly trying to buy less, own less, need less (1, 2, 3, 4).  I'm interested in minimalism even though I know I'll never get close to owning just 10 items of clothing and 2 cooking pots.  However, lately the urge to purge hasn't really been there for me.  I don't know why.  I started the year fairly strong but the last few weeks it's just been easier to not go through every closet and cupboard, again.  For the nth time.

Maybe it's because I've gone through them all so. many. times. in the past few years, especially since we added a 3rd member to our household.  We've gotten rid of A LOT in the past few years and really have cut down and made our house and routines more streamlined.  I think we've gotten better about buying less (although I still have my weak spots - looking at you, Target dollar spot decor and books from and maybe this "living with less" has gotten so ingrained that we just don't have as much to get rid of.

Or maybe I'm just lazy.  It's equally, if not more, possible.

So, when I feel the need to have less but not go through the same cupboards AGAIN, I've been working on "spending out".  To me, this means using up consumables rather than have them waste away in a drawer/cupboard/freezer.

This partly might be due to my desire to spend less money after the Christmas spending rush.  We have a budget for gifts and stick to it pretty well but I still find it super refreshing to go to Target in January and just need to buy essentials like toilet bowl cleaner and a few grocery items.  Wanting to give our savings account some recovery certainly helps motivate us to use up what we already have around the house.  Plus, it's a fairly easy way to free up space without much sacrifice.

This has many different looks:

-burning through my candle collection, one even going back to HIGH SCHOOL (although I also bought a few more on our IKEA trip last month...)

-using up a stockpile of gift cards bought when Target had them 10% off before Christmas plus all the ones we've bought through Script at church

-using up my LONG stockpile of lotions before buying more, this includes recently finishing up some that I got as a high school graduation present and currently using one I got for my 15th birthday (no need to do math...that was more than half my life ago).

-making sure to use up food items, both in the deep freeze and cupboards, making sure to meal plan around what we have first

-spending 6 weeks only using hotel shampoo and conditioner to use up all the bottles we had accumulated over the years.  Maybe not the best for my hair but it cleaned out space and saved a little money!

-giving Luke gifts from the gift inventory (kept track of on a spreadsheet, naturally) instead of buying more things for him.  He's, somehow, super easy for me to shop for...

-sewing with fabrics already in my stash instead of buying more, also gifting/selling the items I have sold before making more (looking at you, burb cloths).  

Are there still things I am holding onto even though I should just use them up?  Probably.  But it's nice to spend a little less money while also clearing things out of the house.  It's a nice and easy way to have less, feel good about getting some space back without agonizing over if I'll regret the decision later ("I shouldn't have gotten rid of that" regret is definitely a thing).

What are you holding onto that you could use up?  Do you still have lotion and candles dating back to high school?  (I don't want to admit how old some of the eye shadow is that I'm trying to use up...we'll just leave it at "high school"...apparently that was a prime stage for me to hoard things...)

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