Wednesday, August 8, 2018


When it comes to weaknesses I have quite a few. Especially when it comes to purchasing unnecessary  items.

There's just something about mugs and chairs and stationery supplies/office supplies that make me want to buy them. Even when I don't need them. Or really even want them.

The Mugs

I use my mugs on a daily basis. And I love having variety when choosing a particular tea for the day. But I certainly don't need quite as much variety as I already have, yet I "fall in love" with new mugs whenever I see them and have to fight the temptation to buy them, though sometimes I fail.

I stick to the rule about waiting 72 hours before making a decision. Sometimes I wait longer than that. But when I'm still admiring a particular craftsman's mug months later, I just have to click "buy" button online.

All but two of the mugs I use are handmade. And the two that aren't have this wonderful round shape that feels quite lovely to drink from. One of those two is based on a handmade shape and machine made in Portugal. The other is covered in an artist's design, but is likely manufactured in China - given how inexpensive it was.

If I were to find a handmade round mug I'd definitely part with those two. But I doubt that would be the end to my mug collecting desires and imagine I'd discover a new potter with a must have mug, or find one of the existing artisans I love has come up with a new design I'd want to own.

I may just have to learn to be okay with a forever revolving set of mugs or the fact that I would one day have to allot a shelf in my cupboards just for my expanding mug collection. Or maybe I just have to hide from instagram and stay clear of my favorite online stores.

The Chairs

I find beauty in the shape of a chair - especially ones that are wood. Though it can be a combination of wood and fabric. Or it can be a combination of fabric and metal.

As it is I have far too many chairs of the dining variety. We typically only use two, yet I have six - one that was formerly an office chair that lives next to my office desk; one that I couldn't resell for a price I wanted that now lives next to the television and holds a chair cushion my husband uses on our coffee table to cushion his feet; one that lives in our walk-in closet that we use to put our clothes on as we're getting ready; one that lives in my "sailing" closet that one of my cats likes to sleep on; and two that live at our table, that we use each day for meals.

But whenever I see a new chair go on sale or go up for auction on eBay I have to fight the urge to buy it. From Cherner to Møller, to Eames to Jacobsen, to Wegner to Thonet, to Juhl to Nelson, to Breuer to Saarinen, I wish I could have them all in my home. But with no more than four people likely ever to dine with us, the six I have is already in excess.

Fortunately the lounge chairs I adore are way out of my price range, and would take up more space than I will likely ever have in my home. Though I hope one day for the Eames chair and ottoman for my main living space and the womb chair and ottoman for my bedroom.

The Stationery Supplies

I cannot be trusted in stores like Paper Source. Not for a hot minute. There's just something about pretty paper, and colored pens, and Post-Its and labels and cutting tools, and stamps, and embossers, that make me want them all. Even though when I do buy such things they go unused - I'm not particularly crafty and I have absolutely no use for 99% of what I acquire or wish to acquire.

Even Staples makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. Row after row of pretty colored paper clips, removal tab dividers, binder clips, old fashioned staplers, colored folders and files - all draw me to them. And forget about well-made three-ring binders.

Yet I don't keep paperwork if at all humanly possible. I don't write letters of the printed variety. I have a love-hate relationship with the Post-It. And if I ever needed a paperclip I could "borrow" one from my office - though that has never happened in the umpteen years I've been working remotely.

Perhaps it's that I crave organization, or the idea of organization. I've always loved the idea of "a place for everything and everything in its place." And the one about having the right tool for the job. But having fewer things means needing fewer of these stationery/organizational/office supplies.

And yet I find myself pining for them any time I walk into Paper Source for a birthday card, and often find myself leaving with something absolutely unnecessary.

And, yes... it's an odd set of things to have a weakness for - they are all seemingly unrelated. However, I think they all relate in one way - I find them all very pleasing to the eye.

I just have to recognize my weaknesses, acknowledge them, and not give in to them too often...or at all.

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Binges and Purges: July 2018

I did quite a bit of decluttering over the month of July - though much of that involved plastic bins and old papers. I gave away a few items on letgo and craigslist, sold a couple of things, and gave a box full of items to family and a box full of books to an avid reader.

And while I feel like I'm nearing the end of decluttering for now, I still have a few things I need to make decisions on in August - including an unused hanging lamp, unused coat "rack," two lithographs, a few baskets that aren't quite sized right, a decorative pillow, a worn-but-loved duvet, a broken tool box, some not-too-comfy shoes, an unused tea ball, those pesky allen wrenches, a novelty ice tray, a couple of mugs, a decorative bowl, an older pair of pants I don't reach for very often, and some newly rendered excessive cat supplies.

The Purges

  • Two decorative wall shelves (sold)
  • Two kitchen towels (gave away to family)
  • Two duvets (gave away to family)
  • Two tote bags (gave away to family)
  • Two handmade bowls (gave away to family)
  • Two handmade mugs (gave away to family)
  • Two champagne glasses (recycled)
  • Two jute baskets (gave away to family)
  • A soap dish (recycled)
  • A desk tray (gave away)
  • A wooden coat "hook" (gave away)
  • A file tote (recycled)
  • All papers contained in the file tote (shredded and discarded)
  • A paper shredder (gave away)
  • Four plastic sweater/shoe bins (gave away)
  • 22 books (gave away)
  • An impulse purchase lamp (sold four days later)
  • Two soft woven baskets (gave away to family)
  • 3 small photo books new/used (gave away to family)
  • A spool of faux rawhide (gave away to family)
  • A hand towel (gave away to family)
  • A destroyed bath towel (recycled)
  • Two small nesting baskets (gave away to family)
  • The S'well bottled purchased for a family member but forgot to give (gave away to family)
  • The Tiffany box holding a pen received as a gift (recycled)
  • A handful of store loyalty cards (shredded)
  • Two unused old Yeti lids (recycled)
  • An unused Coach wristlet (up for sale)
  • An unused bullet journal (in the "donate" pile)
Wow, 66 items? I had no idea. Of course if I counted all the paperwork shredded as individual items vs. one, I'd be in the thousands.

Of course that number wouldn't be nearly as high if I hadn't purchased so many things in July.

The Binges

  • A S'well bottle (meant as a gift, forgot to give and thought about keeping, but finally gave away)
  • An impulse purchase lamp from Article (sold almost immediately as it wasn't right for the space along with a decorative lightbulb that I'd had that wasn't in use)
  • A soft basket from Container Store (gave away as it wasn't right)
  • A lidded water hyacinth basket from Container Store (still have, but don't love so may give away)
  • Two water hyacinth baskets from Container Store to replace plastic bin for sail stuff (love)
  • A lidded handwoven round basket from General Store (will keep but not quite what I had hoped to use it for)
  • Two baskets from McGee & Co (will keep but not quite the size I thought they'd be)
  • A wicker basket from Rejuvenation (using in alternate way as it was too large for the space I intended it for)
  • Two ash baskets from Rejuvenation (using in alternate way as too large to hold my sailing gear as planned)
  • A soft recycled plastic basket from DWR (planned to use for personal paperwork - but shredded all, so may use for my job)
  • A mug from Anthropologie (it was too cute to resist, though will give away eventually)
  • A mug from ABC Home (not as comfortable in the hand as I thought it would be, will likely give to family eventually)
  • A pair of jeans
  • A sleep shirt
17 items. Okay so that wasn't as bad as I thought - I felt like there was so much more. Though that was perhaps because I kept having to buy baskets as none of the ones worked in the way I wanted them too. I feel a little like Goldilocks - this basket is much too large, and this one is much too small, and this one is too soft, and this one is too stiff.

And I still don't have a good solution for storing my computer charge cable and my portable hard drives - the water hyacinth basket was too large, the round ikea baskets purchased in June were too small, the McGee baskets were too large. At least I finally found a decent solution for my sailing gear - though they aren't very sturdy and I have a feeling I might have to buy replacements one day.

Oh and I did try and purchase a better floor lamp - but canceled the order after too long a delay.

Of course I'm not counting things I purchased for the felines - Farmhouse Pottery came out with cat dishes and as they are handmade versus machine made overseas, I had to purchase a few to supplement their USA made stainless steel dishes so that I could get rid of the inferior quality ceramic dishes.

Hopefully, August will be a better month in terms of purchases (as in less purchasing). Though I have a few items I'm considering, including a hopefully right-sized round lidded basket to contain my hard drives and/or charge cable, a lidded storage container from Humble Ceramics to hold my baking soda used as cleaning supplies, a replacement rug from Home Depot made out of cotton for beneath my desk chair instead of the synthetic rug that feels just awful, and a handmade mug that is a bit more comfortable in the hand than the one handmade in Australia from ABC Home.

I suppose as long as I finally make decisions on the previously mentioned items above, it won't cause a bump in numbers of "all the things." And hopefully I'll make smarter (or no) purchases in August so that there won't need to be a binges and purges post in early September.

To be continued...