We bought our home in 2008, and moved in at the end of June. We had lived for several years in a tiny rental house up north with 3 very small bedrooms. We had moved from there to live in a rather large apartment with 3 good sized bedrooms and 1 large bedroom, where we lived for 1 year.
Still, the house was huge. The apartment was 1500 square feet, and was a lot bigger than the 900-ish square feet of the house we had lived in for years. The house we bought is just shy of 3000 square feet. To say it felt empty is an understatement.
In order to fill in space, I began to troll Goodwill. In our new town was a wonderful treasure called an AS-IS center. It was filled with the cast off's from 15 area Goodwill shops. Items that didn't sell. The prices are rock bottom, nothing in the store costs more than $3.79. Most children's clothing is $.29.
When we lived up north, there were yard sales galore, every summer weekend. When we moved to Lansing, the area was too spread out to find many good concentrations of sales. I mostly stopped looking, it was a waste of gas to go from one to the next.
In this town, there are some from time to time, but not like up north. Goodwill has replaced yard sales for me. I have always loved thrift shops, but the Goodwill up north was over priced, and didn't always have much in. I would go in once in a while, and most the time, leave empty handed.
Not so down here. Down here, I go in several times a week, sometimes, and always leave with something. Multiple somethings. Bags of somethings.
I tell myself it's frugal- why pay $19.99 for a new pair of jeans for my teen, when I can find designer jeans in like-new condition for just $.99? In reality, is it frugal if it's something I wouldn't have bought in the first place?
Our home very quickly filled to the point of being overly full, by a LOT. In fact, most rooms have stacks of clutter in the corners, on top of things, against the walls. Too many things.
So, for 2010, I want to declutter. To do this, I'm setting aside 1 day a week where Nick and I (and not the kids, because that doesn't work, they don't toss stuff away) sort through 1 room. We'll declutter it by sorting trash from donations, and clean it by organizing it as best we can.
Any donation items will go straight to Goodwill (where they likely came from in the first place) that day, so as not to be taken back out of the box. Clothing is a huge one. We have way too many clothes. Anything that doesn't fit, anything with rips or stains, and it's gone. Get it out of my house! I have clothing baskets everywhere!
My hope in doing this, will be not just that I have less stuff, but that it will be easier to keep my house clean, and decluttered.
Another thing I'm going to do is limit my Goodwill visits to once every two weeks, with a small budget on how much I get to spend. Hopefully, this will make me more choosy on what I pick up, and how much I spend, and how many items come back into my home.