Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Time Is Now

I've been way guilty of saving a lot of objects in my life for later. Like all the creams and lotions that come with the perfume gift sets I get at the holidays or for Mother's Day. And I have tons of candles that have remained unburned. They are so pretty and smell so nice I don't know why I have never lit them. Also, various makeup items, fancy soaps, stationery, note cards, bottles of wine, clothing, bound journals - I can probably think of more things but I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Having to move from the house to the apartment resulted in me clearing out various drawers and shelves and all of this stuff became unhidden. The other day I came across a large bag of soap dishes, hand cream tubes and cute soaps in the shape of snowflakes. I had purchased them a few years back to have on hand to give as holiday and teacher gifts. It really bothered me to see them again as they were long forgotten. For one thing they are not being used and they are taking up valuable and needed space.

I knitted two adorable dish cloths in a multi-colored blue cotton yarn to add to the bath items and I gave two sets away. One to the boys' school counselor for all her help in getting the boys back on track after their move and return. The other to my Nursing Assistant instructor because I really liked her and we developed a bit of friendship between us in the five weeks I took the class. I plan on knitting up three more dish cloths. They are round and in the shape of flowers - just adorable. Each takes about two hours for me to knit but I do so during my downtime while watching t.v. - that is why it probably takes two hours because I have to keep track of rows, so I wait til the commercials. Anyway, I want to give away two bath sets to the moms of my sons' friends whom they often stay over with and as a housewarming to my girlfriend who sold her home and moved into a townhouse. I will keep and use one set for myself.

That big bag is just looking at me with an evil eye. I don't want any bags like this in my life anymore. Things need to be used and appreciated - not stored away for a rainy day in the future. I have started to use up my supply of lotions and creams and am finding that the five minutes I devote to myself in the morning to do so is a way cheap but well worth it luxury. I smell great all day and my dry winter skin is smooth. I am lighting candles during the day while I work on the computer and then again at night when the boys and I eat dinner and then they do homework. The candles glowing have taken away some of the gloom of winter.

I have also started work on cleaning and clearing out storage shed #2 of the original 3 - currently there are just 2. I am going to ruthless in what I decide to keep and discard. There are about 10 small boxes of my beloved grandmother's china that my mom gave me some years before she died. She knew I would appreciate the design because it is made up of orange flowers and orange is one of my favorite colors. I am strongly considering getting the boxes out of storage and displaying them in someway or just using them. Why not? What good are they doing sitting in storage? So what if one piece out of the eight piece set breaks? Isn't it better to use what we love and enjoy it fully?

I got this image of my boys having to clear out my clutter and knew without a doubt that all the lotions, creams and candles would wind up in a dumpster somewhere. So I am going to be non-frugal with what I already own and have. I'm going to use it up with no worries about waste or running out. I am going to appreciate the little luxuries I already have. I am experiencing an unexpected surge of pleasure whenever a candle burns down and I have to replace it and I use up a tube of the nice body lotion.

Today I am grateful:

1. For all of the excess in my life because it does represent a life of plenty even now during hard times.
2. For the spring catalogs appearing in the mail. I get inspired at looking at pretty things even not being able to afford them right now. And I get decorating and craft ideas for free too!
3. For all the free craft patterns I can access via the internet.
4. For warm, cozy and soft gloves.
5. For the scent of Johnson's Baby Lotion. I am using a cream that smells like this right now and it is very soothing.


  1. This is such an upbeat post! I call what you're doing "Shopping in My Own House". I, too, have a gleeful feeling when I use up the last bit of something. You sound positive and well, to me a clear sign you have made the right decision for you this month. Well done!
    Seventies Girl

  2. Hi -- you may have already thought of this, but have you considered selling some of your stuff on eBay? Not the things that have strong sentimental or family value (like your grandmother's china), but maybe some other things? You could sell the items to people who will use them (and get them out of your space!), and also make a little money at the same time. Just a thought ... maybe you could talk to someone you know who's done some eBay auctions, to find out the best way to get started? You'd be surprised by what people will buy and sell online! :-)

  3. I love that you are "using" the things you found and YES, by ALL means get out Grandma's china and display it or use it...enjoy it. That is something that should not be stored. Life is short--find enjoyment in what ever way you can.

  4. I love that you are finding lost treasures that you can now use and share. I also like the ebay idea. I am sure many of have so many items we no longer use or need that could earn some extra cash. It's just so hard going through the process of sorting and deciding. I mean, Joe's clothes are still sitting in the closet (AFTER 2 moves!). At least I use his shirts for sleeping so they are useful. I'm not ready to part with any of his things, but I'll bet i have plenty of my own I could stand to part company with!

  5. Seventies Girl - Love how you call it shopping at your own house! I think staying here is the right decision. It is hard getting back on my feet financially for sure. But part of this too is sticking by the decision made and seeing it out in the meantime, not looking back.

    CCC - Thanks for the suggestion. The stuff from my folks is pretty much paperwork and the like. I don't have much of any real value. I donate a lot to Goodwill and resale shops. And do get a big tax deduction for that - way above the standard $200.00.

    Jude - I like your attitude about using the china and to find as much enjoyment in everyday little things as we can!

    Kelly - Don't feel rushed or obligated to get rid of any of Joe's things before you are ready. It took me five years to even start considering it and only then because I was forced to because of moving. But I did feel good about donating a lot of my husband's nice clothing because I knew they would be used and appreciated by others. Still kept a lot of clothes for the boys and me for keepsakes.

    I think a big problem is having a lack of time and/or energy to sort through items. It really becomes another job to add to our already overflowing to-do lists. I got a big laugh out of your comment that you have plenty of your own things to part company with!