As the weather over the weekend was less than outdoors friendly here on the Central Coast I decided that it was time to tackle the built-ins and linen cupboard (yes I am such a party girl). As I like to do these cleanouts every year or 2 I went into this thinking that there wouldn't be too much that needed to come out, but I would at least be able to get rid of the dust and straighten things up a bit so I could actually find things.
Our bedroom built-in effort was pretty successful, I cleared a few bags of rubbish out of there and feel like my clothes now have room to breathe. The linen cupboard was a different matter, I wish I had taken a before picture for this one. Firstly I will tell you that my linen cupboard is quite small, about the dimensions of a shallow pantry so I had assumed that I was using everything in there fairly regularly. WRONG! I pulled 4 garbage bags of sheets, towels and pillow cases out of that cupboard, some were not even fit to qualify as rags while many more were good enough to be donated to good will. I have no idea where I picked up so many floral quilt covers, I am hoping they are remnants of our parents helping us set up when we first moved out and not a reflection of my poor taste.
Initially I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for being so ruthless in my purge but as I looked at the pile of bags I realised that we had accumulated these items in just 10 short years of living together. At some point every single piece would have been something that I "had to have - right now" only to be pushed aside for something newer, softer, a different colour, whatever. I am embarrassed at this point to admit that I have a Degree in Marketing and should really see through the pretty packaging and advertising, but sadly I am not, I will fall for a % off sticker in a heart beat.
It became clear to me that the things that survived my cleanout will most likely suffer the same fate in the future as I continue to acquire and consume. Sure, towels and sheets all have a limited life span and are bound to wear out eventually but I am more likely to bring new purchases into the home BEFORE the existing items have worn out simply because I am bored with them. Yes mum, I can hear you laughing at me now.
I also noticed as I sifted through my cupboard that so many of these things had been bought on impulse without concern for quality or purpose and as such I continued to buy yet more and more of the same or similar thing because it was something affordable at the time. I had always suspected that my taste had exceeded my income, but I had no idea how much money I was wasting in the process by not waiting until I found something I loved. I painstakingly plan our weekly meals and buy groceries strictly adhering to my list so why don't I apply this discipline to my other purchases?
Wow, I didn't think lightbulb moments were supposed to be depressing. So what is my point? Well my point is that I would hope to be more considered in my consumer behaviour, more mature in my spending, taking into account what purpose my latest "must-have" will actually serve. I have every intention of continuing to try and make my home a welcoming and beautiful sanctuary for myself, friends and family, its so much fun to feel that little buzz of excitment when you bring home your latest fix of cute, I just want to be more measured and conscious in my purchases. After all, it really is just stuff, when was the last time the design on your tea towel played a significant role in your happy memories?