Use Whatcha Got

It started off last night with scanning my Facebook feed like I do a hundred times a day. My friend, Kim, decided three years ago to go for a year without shopping for clothes, purses, shoes or accessories. She decided to attempt this again and invited her friends to join her. I wrote on her wall last night,

“Hey, Kim, I *think* I’m interested in also joining your no shopping for an entire year dealy. Will let you know for sure as I think through what’s ahead….love the idea. Don’t know if i have the character.”

Today, while in the bathroom, I looked around at the blue paint on the walls. The paint was a better shade than the previous one. I had tried to match the shower curtain and painted the walls with a color that just didn’t sit right with me but couldn’t pinpoint why. Kelly (of the Awesome Threesome) nailed it when she walked into the bathroom.

“It’s public restroom green.”

Yup. No wonder I needed to repaint. So I repainted with a slightly better color, but still not a color I really liked.

Right before Christmas we had to empty out our shed by the garage and upstairs storage area for termite treatment. Blah. What I concluded after everything was brought out: first, my husband is awesome. He was the one who emptied everything out. He did get some help from the strapping young teenage boys. Wait. Both tower around and over 6 ft. now. They are MEN. Yes, three strong men transferred the contents while Julia and I went to Disneyland to enjoy some Christmas magic. Second, we have amassed an obscene amount of stuff in the years we have lived in this home. Among the piles of stuff lining the kids rooms and hallway, stacked up to ceiling height, I saw some cans of paint I never used.

Then it clicked. I could use the paint I bought but never used to paint over the blue I don’t like in the bathroom!

And then I wondered: How much stuff do I have lying around I haven’t used because I forgot I had? What would it look like to not only take on Kim’s challenge of not adding to the obscene amounts of stuff I have but actually assess what I have and use what I’ve got?

What if 2013 would be a year of cutting back and moving away from consumerism. What if the time I spent getting stuff was redirected to taking inventory of what we have and give away what we don’t use, use up what we already own and throw out all the clutter??

So, of course, as an “idea” person, I got all excited!!

I decided to blog right here, right now, before I change my mind.

And as a “let’s do it together” person, I want to invite you to join me!!

Let me know in the comment section if you’d like to join USE WHATCHA GOT 2013.

Basically it would mean:

  • not buying new clothes, shoes (gasp. did I really write that??), accessories for a year
  • go through your closet and assess what you have, give away what you don’t use
  • then go through other areas and do the same (pantry, storage areas, kids closets, etc.)

I’ll be sure to blog along the way and would be happy to hear from you in the comment section if you blog about it, too.

So, are you in?

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20 thoughts on “Use Whatcha Got

  1. Ok, um, I’m in that box of “I don’t think I have the character.” That being said, the idea is fantastic. My good friend did something like this in 2012-only shopping second hand for EVERYTHING. She even had a new baby and still hit up thrift stores and garage sales for what she needed. She’s inspired me to live differently, clean out my closest with greater frequency and ask to borrow items when I’m hosting a party rather than go out and buy what I need. Today I cleaned out my pantry and decided I have a lot of items that have taken up valuable space for 1-2 years. This week they are being consumed! So, while my answer to your charge is a sheepish no, I still want to affirm what you’re doing, while also mentioning that if others are like me, perhaps they want to take your charge as encouragement to buy second hand, borrow more, purge more, and do with less. It feels so good and saves money too!

    • Thanks, Lesley! I need all the help I can get to hit those over stuffed places like my pantry & closets, etc. We will see how this thing goes as the weeks and months go by….appreciate your encouragement :)

  2. great post!!!! so true. and as i know you to be a real person who does love her shoes (and scarves and…), I know this is no small thing!!! AND while I am not saying “I’m in”.ALL the way…my son is getting married this year—and I “need” a bit of new parties-ish stuff as the mother of the groom…Yah! :o) BUT as we have lived in our house for 25 years—I am committed to purging and sharing my over abundance of stuff with others who need a bit of stuff. Thanks for the nudge and just pressing “send” before you over thought that brave decision! xo

    • Congratulations, Lesa, on another addition to your home this year! Yes, I do love my shoes and scarves and…! It will be fun to journey together in another arena. My hope is the purging and sharing will spill over to transforming my soul and spirit as well. So let’s go for it! :)

  3. I read Brent’s post on your wall last night and thought, “Wow.” After reading this, I’m really convicted to do the same. I have more than I need already and could definitely give the money away to those in need. I will ponder how I will break my shopping habit and implement a plan immediately. Don’t want to set myself up for failure by going cold turkey yet, but your blog has definitely got my wheels turning. Thanks, girlfriend!

    • Hey Jo! Let’s make it fun and try together. I’m kind of taking the “learn as I go” method to figure out what works. I think there is room for us to tweak along the way. Love taking on challenges with you :)

  4. Mabuni, you so crazy girl! This idea has consumed me the last couple of days. Why oh why did I click on your blog? It makes me nervous and slightly anxious to think of not buying myself things, which makes me realize I need to be in the consumer challenge. But what If I sit on my sunglasses and need new ones? My mind has a gazillion “what if’s.” And I am fully aware that finding good deals brings be a bit of happiness. It’s fun to buy. I will definitely be the weak link in this group. If I am going to do this, I need a support group. Who are the other crazy ladies doing this? If one of us gets invited to a fabulous party or looses their sunglasses can we form a borrow/giveaway co-op?
    Helpful Hint Ladies: Go stock up on some some underwear today.

    • Oh Kiersten, I can hear your voice as I read your words. I think the spirit of the challenge, rather than the letter of the law, would mean that if you sat on your sunglasses and needed to get another pair it would be okay. Going blind from sunlight is not worth it. The issue, for me, is to not buy a new pair if I already have three pairs of old, unused sunglasses sitting in my drawer. So no commando dressing. If it’s a genuine necessity I think it would be okay. But my friend, Kim, was hardcore and really didn’t buy anything new the entire year. I’m thinking the borrow co-op will be the way to go for me if I have a big event where I need to look extra nice. I’m thinking this challenge will help me sort through what I have and maybe pull out the iron and actually iron those shirts/skirts I never wear?? Who knows??? All I know is it would be fun to do with others, so as you are considering, feel free to tweak the challenge to fit you. I’m not putting this on the kids or Darrin. It’s just my own thing. You so could do this!! :)

  5. I’m in! Like Kiersten, I had to ponder on this for a couple of days, but I’m in! There might be a couple truly needed items that I buy through the year (i.e. running shoes), but I’m in! When I’m in the mood to buy, I’m going to go sort a box from the basement (there are some good things there!)

  6. Be sure to save the craziest item you find for the next White Elephant gift exchange. You can’t believe what we gave away this year and was actually traded for by others!

  7. I’m in! IF I need anything, (weddings might happen, you never know!) I’m committing to thrift/consignment shopping. My cash envelope for clothes will rock and roll – hense I love the idea of giving it away! Thanks for the idea. I admit, too, that I had to check myself. What if? But … I love to shop. Brings out the true heart, huh.

    • Welcome aboard, Bonnie! Should be a fun ride since we will have a group of us trying to UWG! :) Would love to hear how it goes for you as the year goes on. Cheering you on!

  8. Hey Viv,
    Just thougth I’d let you know I’m in too. I’m not a big shopper anyway, but know I have a lot more than I need. I also know that I have a couple of pairs of pants that do need to be replaced soon. (I’ve been putting it off becasue I don’t like shopping for pants!!) I’ll try thrift shores first. I have started doing some purging already this fall, but love the idea of having a little more motivation to continue – not just the closet!

    • Oh Renee! So fun to hear from you and fun to know you’re in on this little adventure! Keep me posted as you go along! Sending hugs your way :)

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