Year of Not Buying Stuff, Update 1

As mentioned previously, starting on August 1st, my sweetie and I are trying to go a full year without buying stuff. To test my own resolve, I’ve been leafing through the new IKEA catalog every day.

I should explain: even though their furniture is cheap and hard to assemble and sometimes flat-packed to the point of ridiculousness, IKEA is a horrible, wonderful addiction of mine. As in, I walk in intending to purchase a set of curtains and walk out with a shopping cart full or decorative shelves, lamps, linens, tupperware-type containers, and maybe the odd impulse-bought desk, bookshelf, chair, side table, or (occasionally) sofa. Half the time I forget what I went in for in the first place. Thus, leafing through the IKEA catalog always inspires a sort of pitiful longing in my soul.

Foolish Self: “Why can’t my house look so organized?”
Reasonable Self: “Because you actually live in it. These are just staged photos.”
Foolish Self: “But still! If only I had the PAX storage system, all of my organizational woes would be a thing of the past.”
Reasonable Self: “Don’t be ridiculous. You’d just clutter the house up. You leave piles of books everywhere!”
Foolish Self: “Yes, but look at how stylish the IKEA piles of books are! I can leave stylishly-piled books lying around my house too! And also, I want a monochrome palette for the entire house!”
Reasonable Self: “Sigh….”

And so on and so forth.

This challenge has been very good for me, because I’ve been forced to realize that the purchasing of any organizational system, no matter how attractive it looks in the catalog, is not a panacea for the woes of habitual accumulation. So far I’m all the way through the first 100 pages, and I haven’t broken down crying yet. I feel proud of myself!

My resolve has also been tested this week by one of my all-time greatest temptations. Shoes. My favorite summertime pair of “I can get away with these at work” sandals broke today at the office. As in, there were two pieces of thread holding together the front and the back of my shoe. I work in very close proximity to a mall with at least four places to purchase shoes, so the urge to run out a buy a new pair was, I’ll admit, present. But I’m pleased to report that rather than doing that, I merely whipped out some packing tape and did some super-stylish repairs.

I’ll take them to a real cobbler ASAP.

Love, peace, and taped-up shoes,

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