Goodwill haunting

IMG_0060[1]There is a Goodwill Superstore right by our church, and every Sunday we stop in to check out a few important sections. David heads to the board games; I check out the Target housewares and look in the stationery section for Creative Memories stuff; and Quinland… actually, Q would rather be left in the car, so he comes in reluctantly (and I am not even sure where he goes first). He drags his feet and whines, “Why are we here? We don’t need more stuff!”

He is right, of course. We don’t need it. Our house is filled and overfilled with board games and housewares and scrapbooking supplies. But we have a habit, a rut we can’t get out of, an addiction to the thrill of the bargain find. So we find ourselves heading through those doors with our blue cart, again and again.

I try to rationalize it: I will only get things we need. Light bulbs. Clothes hangers. A bathroom scale. Curtains. These are all things I have purchased at Goodwill lately, and they are all things we needed and will use. But – worst of all – I get sucked into the book section every. single. time… and I can never seem to get out empty-handed.

My loot today: a Louisa May Alcott anthology (of her adult writings! I had never seen it!), some pre-WWII copies of Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom (I don’t have that edition of those!), a book on re-wiring lamps (a task I need to do!), a January 1947 Sunset magazine (wow, what cool ads!), and – oh, the irony – another book on organizing. One, in fact, that I have previously owned (and previously donated to Goodwill myself, essentially unread).

Don’t worry, though – this is the new expanded edition! I’m sure it’s guaranteed to get me that much more organized (at which time it, too, will go back to its home away from home… and mine).


Cyber Monday has come and gone… without me

Amazon Cardboard Boxes

It’s five minutes past midnight. I have missed Cyber Monday.

Not for lack of trying. Oh, no. I surfed websites at lunch and on the bus ride home (Thanks, smartphone!). I looked through catalogs. I read all the advertising emails in my inbox looking for great deals.

I found some great deals. Still, I did not buy a thing.

I’m sitting here asking myself why I didn’t pull the trigger. I could have gotten a big chunk of my Christmas shopping done. I could have packages flying through the air to me in the next few days, all ready for me to wrap them up in holiday goodness.

Some years, I might have beaten myself up about this. “Argh! I am such a procrastinator! Why didn’t I do this? What is wrong with me?”

Not this year. This year, I know better. There is nothing wrong with me. In fact, there is something very, very right: I decided not to succumb to the pressure of an externally-imposed deadline.

If there was not some particular thing I needed to buy today, then I didn’t need to shop today. I can shop tomorrow. Or this weekend, or in a week or two. The holidays will still be there. The shops will still want my business. I didn’t need a big sale, a false urgency, to dictate when I purchase the gifts I’ll be giving this year. I will get them when I am ready.

Yes, I might have some small regrets. I might not save quite as much. I might miss some real deals. But that is the price I was willing to pay to have gotten through this shopping weekend with my sense of self-worth unscathed. (I did hit the mall on Friday, but for two specific things, neither of which were on sale, and which I was planning to buy anyway.)

I missed Cyber Monday… and I am so glad I did.

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In: (or semi-weekly check-in, at this rate!)

I’m grateful for my family for putting up with the mess I have created in the house this week. It’s very much the “storm before the calm;” things will be better when I am done, but it looks terrible now!

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by Akira Ohgakie.

Progress pictures!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am actually making progress in my home. I was looking at some photos from when I first got back from Europe, and I can’t believe the difference.

Remember the table of despair? It’s gone. Well, by “gone,” I actually mean it is folded up and waiting behind my bedroom door to be carried down to the garage. But it is ready to go! Here’s the Before:

Here is that same location, After.  The living room rocker is currently in our room because of the whole moving-furniture-for-Greg thing. Ultimately, it won’t live there. Disregard the tied-together drapes, too… I do that to let more light in since these are stopgap curtains from our old house. Yeah, we’ve lived here for seven years. I haven’t decorated a single thing since we moved in, just made do with stuff we had around at our first house and some big pieces – like these wardrobes – picked up on Craigslist.

Lest you think that I just hid stuff out of sight of the camera, let’s look at another angle! Remember this photo from a few weeks back? It’s the Before:

Well, here is a new look for you! Sorry about the whole day-photo versus night-photo thing, but I just ran up and snapped this, and it is already dark out. It does give you a nice reflection of the other side of the room, though!

Pretty impressive change, no? Both of these photos were completely unstaged, too. Believe you me, I would have done some serious staging otherwise, so that you think I have at least one iota of decorating style. I do not… but I would like you to think so. Maybe someday, instead of Before & After Clutter photos, I’ll be using these as Before & After Decorating photos! there’s a fun thought!

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for Pinterest, believe it or not! I actually pinned some things today. I am very proud of myself for figuring it out. Finally!