Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Housecleaning and Stuff Management

BoxesI did the Compact last year for 4 months, from January to May. Why only 4 months? Because I knew that moving into an RV was time-consuming and would require things we didn’t already have and couldn’t get otherwise. I like to think that by selling, giving away, and recycling nearly everything else in my house, I was promoting Compact-friendly ways. Other Compacters didn’t necessarily agree, however, and I was lambasted for buying a fuel-consuming home instead of, oh, I don’t know, continuing to rattle around in an enormous 3 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms, washer, drying, dishwasher, hot tub…. you get the idea.

Anyway, aside from a few comic books over the weekend (which are, in fact, for work), I haven’t bought anything new since the first of this month. And I’m thinking maybe I will go back to the “no buying new stuff” thing for the rest of 2008. It was good for me, good for the environment, and I managed to do everything I wanted to do during that time without spending a lot of dough.

I don’t entirely know what the Compact’s total goals are, and I suspect they vary per person. For me, the goals are to get away from impulse-buying (which I’ve mostly done), reduce clutter, reduce waste, and in general streamline my life. Notice that “save the planet” isn’t in that list. That’s because I think “Save the planet,” while an admirable goal, is probably not practical when your home gets 8 miles to the gallon.

At any rate, here are the things I spend my money on the most:

  • Yarn.
  • Books about knitting.
  • Comic books (for work).
  • Romance novels.
  • Postcards.
  • Arts and crafts supplies.
  • Online media and services.

Of these, the books, yarn, and arts and crafts are the biggest offenders. A few postcards don’t stop my wheels from turning, and they’re good for giveaways like the one I did last week. I inherited a box of stationary from my grandmother, so I don’t really need any more stationary. Nor do I need any more arts and crafts supplies– I’m full up on glue sticks and I can always cut up stationary if I need to glue some pretty pictures into a scrapbook.

Originally posted to Life on the Road.

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