Sunday, July 3, 2011

Use It or Lose It Update

my medicine cabinet is already looking pretty minimal

My Use It or Lose It Challenge is going fairly well so far. Just seeing the picture of my messy bathroom cabinet was enough inspiration for me to do some decluttering and lose a few duplicates products and toss others that were almost empty, but I was apparently never going to finish.

I say fairly well instead of great because, confession time, I caved on the whole not-going-to-the-library idea. A book (Simple Prosperity) that I had placed on hold was ready for pick up and, as usual, once I was in the library it was impossible for me to leave with only one book. I find it hard to feel too badly about this though, because (1) I didn't purchase anything new and (2) I can't ever think of reading more books as a bad thing, and I borrowed non-fiction for heaven's sake, and (3) I've already decluttered quite a few books (details coming soon). So I'm scrapping the whole no-library part of the challenge, although I still plan to make a concentrated effort to read the unread books in my collection.

I also bought a bar of honey soap at the farmer's market yesterday, but I don't feel bad about that either since it was benefiting a farmer instead of a box store chain.

More importantly, we also avoided a large purchase. Yesterday we spent a good deal of time discussing changing the queen bed that is currently in the office/spare room. The existing bed is sitting on the floor because we don't have a bed frame for it, and we've thought about replacing it with a new daybed, complete with trundle, that would take up less space. But what would that extra space be used for?

We shopped online at every outlet we could think of, but I didn't really love any of the daybed options. After talking to my mom who raved about how comfortable the current mattress set is, I decided it was silly to buy a new bed frame, mattresses, sheets, etc. just to make the office look more spacious. So instead we're going to buy a simple metal frame for the existing mattress and call it a day. This result isn't necessarily because of the challenge per se, but all the decluttering I've done over the last few years, along with trying to avoid unnecessary purchases, makes the idea of buying something new that might not get much use very painful, especially when there's an alternative solution.


  1. Ha! I recently made almost the EXACT same decision about the queen bed in my spare room downstairs. It seemed like a futon would make the room so much more spacious, but instead I just re-arranged the furniture and left the bed where it was (this was after I removed several car-loads full of junk from the room.) Problem solved!

    I have yet to tackle the bathroom closet...

  2. I just happened upon your blog and am enjoying it immensely - love your tiny house and your use of color in the kitchen!

    That said, I don't know the history behind your not wanting to go to the library because you just can't leave with one book, but... speaking as a librarian and someone who values what libraries make available, please use your local library, and check out books, even if you return them unread. We use our circulation statistics to make sure we're collecting materials our communities want, and we often have to use those same statistics to justify our existence. I'm afraid that if you don't use your local library, you may lose it, as others in this country have!

    All the best with your minimal pursuits, though!

  3. Hi Anon - Thanks for the kind words about my house!

    No worries, the not using the library idea was only a temporary one and it was to avoid using the library to get new books until I read all the unread ones on my selves. :-)

    I think I only lasted about a week though. I am an avid library user and end up going there weekly. Thanks for taking the time to comment though, I totally agree with your point!


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