This week, my husband totally had a breakthrough. For years, we have been utilizing a large set of industrial shelving as an “entertainment center.” This is because my husband filled the garage of his old apartment with tools and the like, never considering that one day, he might live somewhere that did not have a garage, or did not have a big enough garage to set up warehouse shelving. He has resisted getting rid of this eyesore for nearly 5 years, citing the amount of money he paid for them. Out of the blue, without my prompting, he was finally ready to let go.
As you can see, this shelving served not only as an entertainment center, but it also served as storage for more items than can even be pictured. The blue bins below are just barely visible in the corner. To replace this storage with a simple t.v. stand, that would mean quite a bit of minimizing. Everything being stored on or around the shelves would have to go somewhere else or be eliminated altogether–including the blue bins. My husband, to my surprise, decided he was OK with this.
We minimized quite a lot this weekend–another carload to Goodwill!– and purchased a t.v. stand. I’m proud to report that this was the motivation necessary for me to get rid of the DVDs. To be totally honest, I kept a decent selection of yoga/workout DVDs, and 3 of my favorite movies—“Pride and Prejudice,” “Love Actually” (What can I say, I love Keira Knightley?!) and a less well-known movie called “Loser,” which I love despite the fact it is painfully early 2000s.
I know as a minimalist, I should ideally be trying to remove furniture instead of buying new furniture. By showing the before and after pictures, I hope the value this purchase adds to my life is obvious. I will actually have the room in the living room for exercise and stuff, which will help me achieve my health goals and prevent me from making excuses why I can’t exercise as much as I want to.
I took advantage of the momentum created by this spur-of-the-moment minimalism project my husband decided to undertake by minimizing more from my desk. I previously had a wooden organizer that sat on top of my desk that was filled to the brim with pens, pencils, scissors, notepads, etc. I didn’t think that would be something I would ever be able to get rid of. However, I got rid of quite a few of the pens and pencils and put everything else in the drawer of my desk, which had room from the last time I went through the desk.
I’ve resolved to keep only my higher quality pens plus 2 or 3 cheap plastic ones for loaning out at work. (I realized after considering how many pens I had that were not cheap plastic pens, my pens probably should’ve been included as part of my entry on my collections…)
From top of image to bottom:
Wood Attorney at Law pen, Amazon (The least expensive one and the only one I personally purchased)
Cross Black Laquer Pen (Acquired during law school for free using research points from LexisNexis)
Cross Pen and Mechanical Pencil set (Christmas gift from Mom and Dad when I was a teenager as it was similar to a pen my mom received from her Dad)
Montblanc Meisterstück Platinum Line Hommage à W.A. Mozart Ballpoint Pen (Inherited from my husband’s late Uncle)
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?
This week, I was looking online at Ulta for some toiletry items I wanted to buy (in particular, dry shampoo and some highlighting powder) and I noticed myself falling into familiar patterns: “Oh, there’s a 20% off coupon. Darn, the stuff I want is not part of it.” “Add $20 for free shipping? OK, what else do I want to buy to get the free shipping? The shipping would be $10 itself, so it’s only a little extra.” I had originally wanted to buy online because buying online would allow me to get Plenti points for the purchase and would save me the trip to the store. At that point, however, I decided to click out of the link, go to the actual store (which is fairly close to my office), get exactly what I want and avoid the shipping costs that way, so I did.
This week was also a good friend’s birthday. We went to the party last weekend, but that didn’t make it into last week’s weekly update. The visit with my parents had been so eventful, I hadn’t discussed all of it in the previous week’s update and fell behind a week. While we had resolved to gift experiences in lieu of physical gifts, we happened to know for a fact specifically what our friend wanted. It had come up in conversation recently that he did not own a flask and wanted one, so we decided to get him one. Most importantly, we spent our time and created memories with them, barbecuing and playing board games.
This weekend was really low key for us, as I have had a cold all week. My husband and I went out for pho last night, which I really enjoyed. The warm soup and tea was really what my body wanted to help kick the last of this cold, which he may unfortunately now be coming down with.
Between the new tv stand, a physical birthday gift for our friend, the crystal pedestal, and the shirt weeks ago that, while justifiable, wasn’t strictly necessary, I am beginning to feel like I have been too lenient with myself and this challenge in recent weeks. (I’m sure many of you would agree, even if you’re too nice to ever say anything.) I am recommitting to being stricter about not purchasing anything.
WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?
1. Stock & Barrel Cord Keeper. These are different (and, in my opinion, better) earbud wraps than the ones I wanted a few months ago. This demonstrates that, at the very least, shopping around and postponing purchases can help you make better decisions about what to purchase. Of course, we could go back and forth and waffle on a purchase, always wondering if there’s something better that will come along. As with everything, this is about balance. Do the research and make an informed decision, but once you decide, be confident in your decision. At this point, more than once I have been tempted to get a cord keeper for the earbuds I keep in my tote bag. I could live without it, but it might make my life a little easier. I think I’ll almost certainly get one when the year of buying nothing is up.
Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $15
Running Total: $1240