Apr 10 2011

trash or treasure? [day 319]

There’s a lot of stuff that might be considered trash, but before you throw something away, think about the possible uses for it.  These are partially full cleaning supplies and pesticides, well, there’s also a random bottle of unopened champagne too.  Just because it’s half empty (or half full, depending on your perspective) and you don’t want it, dosen’t mean someone else can’t use it.  I list this on freecycle and it was gone in a matter of hours.  Yes, it’s my waste, but it doesn’t need to end up in a landfill or disposal center.

Before you throw things away, here’s some things to think about.

  • Repurpose. Could I repurpose this for something else?
  • Sell. Is this something that I could sell?
  • Give. Is this something I could give away?  Do I know anyone who might use this or need this?  Will a thrift store take it?  Remember, your trash might be some else’s treasure.  Put it on freecycle.  If it doesn’t go on freecycle, it might just be trash.
  • Green. What is the best environmental way to get rid of this item?  Can it be recycled?
  • Good. Is there a way to use this to bless someone else?  Can you give it to a fundraiser or charity?
  • Plan. Why did you buy this in the first place?  Have you made a plan not to buy it, or anything similar again?
  • Repurchase. If you need this item or something similar in the future, is there a smaller size or is it something you can borrow?

Yes, this is a lot to think about each time you plan to get rid of something, but if you start doing this, it will change your habits.  It will be easier to get rid of things because you will have a process and your shopping habits will change, as you will think long-term about something before you buy it.  It’s a win-win.  :)

Apr 3 2011

on the road [day 311]

I’m doing my post on the open road. No, I’m not driving, I’m a passenger. This is just a quick update on a couple of things, related blog posts soon to follow.
Garage sale for good Yesterday, I donated some stuff to a fund raising garage sale. The sale is not for another week or so, but they’re collecting stuff now so they can organize it and price it. It’s a great story which I’ll share tonight or tomorrow.
Downsizing my clothes again Yes, I did it again. Details soon to follow. I like having less stuff. It really does make a difference in many ways. All positive.
Finished a book I finished the book I was reading, The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno. I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to share the details with you.
Have a great rest of the weekend! I’m going to church at Church Under the Bridge this morning.

Jun 25 2010

books, books and more books [day 30]

I worked most of day 30, so there was no time to think about shopping, even if I had wanted to.  Day 31 was a little bit different.

I had bags of clothing and toys from a few days ago when I cleaned out some of our closets.  I went to the thrift store to drop everything off, but the line was long and my car AC doesn’t work when the car is idle.  I had every desire to go park my car, walk my donations to the curb drop-off area and go inside.  I knew if I did go in, I had to need something in order to buy it.  So I parked the car, did the curb drop-off and went in.

I had an idea the other day for purchasing gifts.  I can’t buy new things and it’s still not completely socially acceptable to give used stuff for gifts.  (I have every intention of starting this new trend!)  I decided to look for used books, ones I am familiar with or topics that I know some of my friends or kids would like.  I usually do this with vintage books, but they cost a lot of money.  Books at the thrift store are $1, which I find very expensive since they used to be $0.25 each.  Until I find another $0.25 book store, I’ll guess I’ll have to deal with it.  After all, the money is going to a local charity and that’s a good thing.  I was without my kids so I got to leisurely look through all of the books, slowly scanning each shelf, reading the title of every book.  Now that’s some good down time!

Have you ever thought about the value continuum of books?  Expensive (full price), relatively expensive (on sale), good deal (a really good sale), screaming deal (everybody has a copy or has borrowed one and read it), free or really super cheap (garage sales & thrift stores), and finally with some books, back to very expensive (vintage and rare books).

Some call it frugal, some call it cheap, I really don’t care about the name as long as I’m getting a good deal.  I bought eight books.  One book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while, but didn’t want to pay $15 for, was right there on the shelf.  The other books will be for gifts.  I usually alter them a little bit, meaning I write a personal note in them and add artwork.

I also bought one more thing that I would see as a need.  My kids wanted to start battery recycling at the church.  We go through a lot of batteries with the mics and remotes in the tech area.  I bought a small metal trashcan with a lid for $6.99.  Supporting my kids in their efforts to make this world a better place seems like a good thing to do, especially when it’s just $6.99.  It might not have been a need, but it sure seemed like a good purchase.  :)