Weekly Update: Week 3

I made another sale on eBay!

An ill-considered clothing purchase that still has the tags on.  It makes me feel so horrible to admit that.  The past is the past and I cannot change it.  All I can do is purge the excess and make better (and fewer) purchases in the future. $15 for the item.  Less than I would have wanted ideally, considering it was brand new, but at least I got a little money and got the item out of my closet.

Minimalism has already helped me achieve the clarity to focus on what’s important. After visiting with my in-laws for our niece’s birthday last weekend, we are visiting my parents this weekend!  I’m very close with my parents and I haven’t seen them since Christmas, despite the fact that they live relatively close to us, so I am very exited to go see them!  Focusing on these important relationships gives me a sense of purpose.

Despite having explained the year of buying nothing, my mom wanted to take me shopping, as usual.  We visited a local gift shop with lots of lovely little trinkets, and despite seeing several things I liked, I didn’t really need any of it.  Mom really wanted to buy me something, though, so I settled on letting her buy me some guest soaps – one shaped like a seashell, another shaped like a turtle and a 3rd shaped like a mermaid.  At least it was consumable and I had wanted to buy some cute hand soaps for our bathroom, as we have a soap dish instead of using liquid soap.  (This is because many liquid hand soaps are anti bacterial, killing good bacteria on our hands.  Most products labeled “antibacterial,” including antibacterial hand soap, contain the antibacterial agent triclosan, which may be harmful to human health and the environment.  But I digress.)

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?

We did sort of a big trip to the store.  Our monthly stock-up trip to BJs is arguably not the most minimalist thing ever (Yes, we now have SO MUCH TOILET PAPER) but old habits die hard.  Being that it’s just the two of us, it takes awhile to go through the toilet paper and other things we buy in unreasonable quantities, but we somehow store it all in our small condo and actually benefit from not having to buy nonperishables like that on a regular basis.  We know we’re covered for awhile and save time and money buying in bulk.  What can I say – it’s a balancing act and we’re not perfect.

We obviously spent money on gas to go to my parent’s house–Well worth the tank of gas to spend valuable time with my family.

And now is the part where I make a confession to you, dear readers.  I was unaware until recently just how liberal Nordstrom’s return policy is.  Apparently, they are famous for accepting a return on almost anything, so long as it can be established the item is one the store had ever sold.  Obviously, I would never take advantage by trying to return something that showed signs of wear–this item really had practically never been used.

I purchased a chiffon wrap for a wedding (not any of the most recent ones, but one that was awhile ago) in a color that really didn’t go with anything.  It was expensive and I only used it the one time, wearing it over my shoulders for about 5 minutes before setting it on the back of my chair for the rest of the evening as I danced.  I’d always kind of regretted the purchase after that, but never considered returning it as it had no tags and I had already gotten rid of the receipt.  Lucky for me, it was still listed for sale on the store’s website.  So when I recently read an article that Nordstrom’s famously flexible return policy might be changing, I decided I had to at least try to return it ASAP.

Unfortunately, the Nordstrom near us closed about a year ago and there is not a physical store within 100 miles of our house anymore.  There is one at the mall near my parents’ house, though.  Seeing an opportunity, I brought the wrap with me on my visit with my parents and returned it at the local Nordstrom.  They gave me a credit for the full amount I paid.  I decided to spend the credit while I was there, so I took a quick look in the bag section (you will eventually believe me when I say I am a handbag addict) and found a cute Madewell shoulder bag in black that was on sale.

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I had to pay the difference, and I did accumulate something nonconsumable during the Year of Buying Nothing.  However, I still consider the transaction to be very minimalist–I exchanged an item I have pretty much never used and purchased a high quality bag I’ll get lots of use out of.  So for that, sorry not sorry.

WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?

Surprisingly, nothing.  Since my digital decluttering, I am exposed to far fewer advertisements in my email and on my social media, which is where the bulk of the advertising I’m exposed to occurs.  Without the prompting from advertisements, I am not browsing online nearly as much.  It’s easier than I thought it would be. There were a few things here and there that were tempting, but I didn’t consider them seriously enough to list them here.

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