Friday, January 23, 2009

Diet Recap: Week 1 - THE PURGE

Simple Lovely has listed a group of bloggers that are on the no extraneous spending diet, including myself. So every Friday you will have the pleasure of reading how I am doing with my "diet".

My diet really grew out of the fact that i have more than enough shoes, clothes, accessories, makeup, hair products etc. In fact, I have things hanging in my closet with tags still on from YEARS ago. I totally get sucked into the mindset of "this is on clearance and I'll probably wear it someday". NOT GOOD. Add to it that our closets were bulging to the extreme with stuff that we, ahem, I, did not even know existed. I really hate throwing things away (ok, yes, i am a packrat), so Goodwill and family members have received more than a few donations in the past month! In fact, the majority of times we saw my brother in the month of December he was wearing one of Nate's old shirts! ha ha ha. I myself have yet to go through my shoes, handbags and clothes as I do not feel brave enough to do this!

As Sherry from This Young House posted, you begin to feel a lot lighter when you pare down!

Here are some things to do with any of your stuff, should you decide to do a purge:

1. One man's junk is another man's treasure. We usually put together a big bag of stuff for goodwill and let family members dig through it. The shampoo that I couldn't stand was my sister's favorite. Nate's old high school tshirts were "vintage cool" to his cousin. We rarely rarely rarely throw things away this way. I have also heard of people doing parties where each person comes with their bag of stuff and you can swap for others.

2. Same goes for magazines and books. A while ago, I emailed a list of magazines I get to some friends and had them sign up to which ones they would want after I was done with them. I then take those that no one wants to the Y when we go work out. Many libraries will also take old magazines and/or books. If I am traveling I will leave them on the chair or with the flight attendant. I LOVE finding old books and magazines that people have left behind.

3. Try selling it or giving it away on Craigslist! This is particularly nice if you have something rather large that you don't want to move (like our really old boxy tv).

4. Take old athletic shoes to a local running store that turns them into high school tracks. Or mail them to one of the organizations featured here.

6. Our church regularly collects things as well. We have donated gently used winter coats, hats, mittens and sample sized toiletries through collections at church.

In terms of new purchases, my diet has been going well (read: I haven't bought anything extraneous). I WAS tempted by the millions of JCrew emails I received screaming "20% off final sale" (especially when a coworker told me about the cute jacket she bought). Now I open my email and delete any store-related email without even looking at it. Then I open the trash and REALLY delete it.

My main weakness is Target. I know exactly where all of the clearance spots are in Target and my sister and I will regularly go shop the Clearance. After organizing the office closet, I came to the realization that I really do not need any more stationary, stickers, scrapbook supplies or anything along those lines. I do not need anymore clearance lipsticks or shampoos or nail polishes. The only time I have been to Target in the last month, Nate went with me and we strictly went to buy Rubbermaid to organize my fabric. No detours through clothes, cards, beauty products, etc.

Stay tuned for Week 2!


Woman Interrupted said...

Hey, I'm in the middle of purging, too! It's hard to let go, but I never miss my junk once I get rid of it.

arget is so darn enticing, I've just got to stay out of that place!

Old MD Girl said...

I LOVE Target.

And I love to purge. I even purged a little today (got rid of some shoes I haven't worn in 4+ years). The only thing is, my mom likes to purge all over me! And then I feel guilty throwing her stuff away.


Thus I have a closet full of the clothes SHE couldn't bear to purge.


I guess some progress is better than none.

Nicole said...

Good grief - I thought (reading the title) that you had begun an eating diet. It almost drove me to do some jumping-jacks. Thankfully, your first line spared me from such tragedy.

Congrats! Yes, getting rid of stuff is very addictive. Of course, living in this little house with 2 little kids, we have to purge every 7 weeks or so. Especially if a birthday or Christmas is coming and we know that there will be an influx of toys.

My number one rule (which I can't always adhere to) is if something comes into the house, something else must leave the house. It is brutal, but really helps me decide whether a new purchase is necessary.

Of course - now I just spend any extra money eating out or buying cinnamon twists from
Alon's. :)