Your Thoughts on Thrifting-itis

There’s gold in yesterday’s comments.  Thank you all so much for pouring your heart out, sharing your tips, talking honestly about the lure of the good deal. Here are a few of my favorite comments.  And if you don’t have time to read them all, please scroll down to the very end.  There’s a link there that you cannot miss.



And the ever present voice of wisdom::

Curses, Tracey, do you have any idea that I’ve been contemplating a No Spend Month over here?  I went over to Small Notebook today to get the link and I think that Rachel wrote yesterday’s post just for me.  For us. Here’s a little of what she wrote::

I try to not be Mrs. Bossypants here but today, I am telling you.  I am insisting that you go read Loosen the Grip of “More Stuff” right this minute, written by a woman who knows how to not let stuff get in the way of her dreams {Rachel and her family just moved to Italy}.

What is your deeper than stuff dream?  Mine is to build a little house in the country, with lots of big trees around.  And I don’t want crappy, meaningless stuff to get in the way.

Comments

  1. Our deeper than stuff dream is to move somewhere coastal (we would love Charleston, SC) and live in a little cottage near (not on, but near) the sea. A very small cottage with white walls and only the things we need every day. We are moving this weekend back to Birmingham and our hosue there is smaller than the one we’ve been renting here. We’ve had to sell SO much “stuff”. and It.Feels.So.Good. AHHHHH! My word for 2011 is “simplify” and that is what I’m doing. I guess while everyone is blogging about their vintage finds, I’m blogging about my clean and simple closet with only a few items. :) If we haven’t used it in the past year, we’re getting rid of it. :) thanks for this post and the last one, too. Blessings!

  2. It’s not a bargain unless you need it (or can use it). I try to follow that. I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have good thrift shops here!

    Our deeper dream, hmmmm we built our house on a nice piece of property – not sure if it will turn out to be our forever home or not. I could see us with more property and less neighbors – even though we are fairly rural now. Lately, my own personal dream has been to find a way to really help those around me. I think much of this comes from dealing with my mother’s illness and death, I would love to somehow be of comfort/assistance to others in the same situation. Just not sure how to go about it . . .

    tina

  3. a few years back, as a part of my Lenten, I stopped going to thrift stores and instead focused on spending time in prayer, donating to charities, and doing good works. not only did it help me to refocus on what is really important, but I saw how much I DIDN’T NEED that I was buying because it was a “good deal thrill!” Lent is once again approaching and is always a great way to refocus. :-)

    • I think this is great and hope more people do this! I’ve had a difficult time keeping up with a blog because I just couldn’t justify buying more stuff to show off when it just takes up space in my home and in my life. I’d rather my life be filled with the joy of helping others and serving God. Focusing on decorating a home is a very superficial joy in my experience in comparison. Sure, a warm and inviting home is important to me for my family and guests. And I work hard to keep it clean. But to obsess over so many details is taking away from a person I can be encouraging or a broken heart I can be nurturing. Not to mention taking time away from my own family. To blog about the volunteer work I do would probably not be as interesting to people as home decorating. That is sad, but true. I, myself, love to look at decorating and other people’s styles. That being said, I am starting to see basically the same style from one blog to a next and it makes me sad. It is important to be unique and to have your own style, not to follow what everyone else is doing. My home is warm and fresh and I love it, but it is not the style I see on most of the decorating blogs and magazines I look at. Another reason my home (my life) would not make for a good blog!

  4. THANK YOU, Nester. I think you caught me in time! I’ve just started on the “stuff-go-round.” And yes, it’s the world of blogs that enticed me here….. my natural tendencies are to live minimally. Where has that gone in the past several months of at least three thrift shops a day? I spent this past 3-day weekend desperately trying to organize my stuff, in a 3-bedroom house that doesn’t have enough room for two people. Something wrong here.

    My husband and are are going to be new grandparents in the next few weeks , and we’re nearing retirement age. Our deeper-than-stuff dreams are family…… pure family.

    • Janice, we are also in a house that is too small for us and our stuff..we have been here for almost 2 years and still have garage and back patio full of boxes of ‘stuff’. We can’t seem to start to go through them..Its a sickness. We are also soon to be firsttime grandparent..maybe you and I can help each other??

      • Congratulations, Barb! Our grandbaby boy is due March 17th. We live 1000 miles away from him, so traveling to see him and his parents is all important to us.

        It indeed is a sickness. I have pared down so much in the past few years, but recently started obtaining things (all by thrifting, of course). I’m soooo glad Nester posted these thoughts. I need to be reminded stuff complicates my life.

  5. Amen. If I had a theme word picked for the new year it’s SIMPLIFY. I’ve been purging material stuff and prioritizing my time/life better. It feels so great!

    I truly believe God wants us to keep things simple…otherwise, how will we feel and hear his little promptings?

  6. You hit me coming and going on this one. We spent years and years unable to decorate or do much of anything with our home and finally I’m able to do something this year. Yet, I’m finding that even though I thought I had nothing NOTHING to place around our home I realized recently that we had a hoard of stuff I’d bought ‘for when the time to decorate and pretty up comes.’ Only problem is I bought those things because they were on sale, not because I loved them. The result? Nothing matches, everything is out of date, and because it was cheap a lot of it is broken. Looking at the hoard I’m shocked to imagine what I’ve spent over the years on waste. So, it’s time to be intentional. Just because I’m able now to decorate my home it doesn’t mean I should do it all at once from one store. It means I should buy quality where it matters and when my home is lovely I need to leave well enough alone!

  7. o thank you form my heart for this!!!!!! really! I needed it:) so thanks (from my husband;)) to you:)

  8. ok…perhaps I am just in denial, but I need to chime in here as devil’s advocate.

    It is true that buying without purpose and *just* because it is on sale is silly. It’s also silly to have too much clutter out on tables and desks and general chaos due to too much stuff. (ROTATE!)

    However, I (along with many bloggers and women in general) actually find great joy in looking at beautiful things in our environments and even moreso enjoy the HUNT of finding those things. (not to mention that weird thrill of dragging everything out and reorganizing the closet so it looks lovely…) There is a time and place for saying no more stuff (like when you need the money for food, or housing, or to save for a vacation or to make a large charitable donation). There is also a time and place for indulging in your hobby. If you have some extra money and want to spend it thrifting, I say go for it!

    There is a gathering instinct HOTWIRED into us (just as the hunting instinct is in men) and I know that if I deny myself that instinct, it will end up coming out somewhere else. If it isn’t thrift store purchases, it’s free castoffs. If it isn’t ordering seeds for the spring, it will end up happening at the grocery store. It sounds great to just enjoy what we have and look around at all of our beautiful things and relax. …and sometimes I do, sometimes I cook just out of the pantry and use seeds that I already have off the plants in my garden. …but be honest girls, it gets boring.

    Compare a $5-10 trip to Goodwill with a single round of golf, or a meal out or ONE video game. If it is your hobby, who cares if you just break even or even lose a little. It is your hobby. If you don’t enjoy it, then stop by all means. I however will be going to 50$ off night at my second favorite thrift store tonight.

    Everything in moderation.

    (I’ve got to say this…we are not in any debt and live within our means and our home is pretty darn well organized for having three boys running around…I promise I’m not a hoarder in disguise asking you to join me…just a devil’s advocate :)

    • amy, very wise words~ I espcially love your comparisons!

      I too believe it is worth it to have beautiful things in our home, especially for those of us who find great joy in being home.

      these posts aren’t advocating putting a stop to thrifting, they are about my tendency to buy things I really don’t need simply because they are a good deal. you will still see me at thrift stores, but hopefully I’ll be coming out with only intentional purchases or simply nothing.

  9. I felt like I had won a prize when I saw my comment at the top…. :)

  10. Sara Matthews says

    I have the pack rat deal gene as does my husband. When we got married it quickly got junky around the house. Luckily the hubs is in the military and we’ve moved 6 times in 5 years. That sort of life makes you deal with your junk FAST. Who the hell wants to pack and unpack the same stuff every time only to not use it? We are now in a longer term assignment and after one year I am down the the last of the moving boxes. Just last week I took three Subaru Outback full loads to goodwill.
    In our house I make it mandatory that we do a twice a year clean out. It must be brutal, a tear or two might be shed but life is just too short to have things that mean nothing taking up space. While I love to have a homey home and all my momentos with me they do weigh down my life… I can’t move to a new home with ease… my life isn’t as fluid. There’s a balance out there for stuff and freedom… I’m working towards it and might find it someday.

  11. I missed reading yesterday so I’m going to be a little on the fence, lol. I love to thrift, recently found Apron Thrift Girl who makes a living thrifting. I got an antiques booth (really about 4 shelves 12ft long and a small hanging section on a wall) I place all the unwanted items I’ve thrifted into my booth generally at 3-4 times what I paid for them or sometimes just at what I paid to get it gone. I have found myself buying less, shopping the house for the booth, and thrifting solely with my booth in mind. My rent is $60 and most months I make $100-$150 after the rent is paid. It fills my pocket with money to do extras with the kids, $$ to fill the gas tank, or whatever is needed for this family of 6. My best find was a Kay Bojesen teak hippo, paid $4.99 ebay’d for $1000. Thrift smart and find ways to get creative with income through doing something you love. My house is pretty much decorated through thrift and I have a pretty minimalist style so it’s been a win win for us.
    My bigger than stuff dream is that my kids find something that they love that they can create a living doing. I would love to live in the country again and have a garden and orchard and animals that sustain our families needs.

  12. yes to everything you just said. i have so much to say about this but instead of hijacking your comment thread, maybe i should just blog about it myself?

  13. i just came from england…helping a friend move. she sold everything here in the states and says she wants to keep it simple…not clutter or bring in more stuff. just simple basic needs. it’s awesome. i’m going to walk around with a box this week. why is it so scary to let go of stuff? weird. i mean if we found it once and need it, we’ll find it again…right?

  14. Well, I didn’t get around to reading the post about “Thriftingitis” till this morning because I was too busy at the Salvation army buying things. So, Yeah, I guess I can relate. Truthfully, it is harder for me to get rid of some of my thrifty finds than it is for new stuff I have bought….something about it being the “only one ” combined with “it’s such a great deal” that makes me treasure them more. I know I can never totally take away my thrift store love, but I am trying to be more conscious when I am shopping to remember there is a cost to keeping it, and later, of getting rid of it. There was a photo book out (I think several years ago now) that showed pictures of families surrounded by all their belongings throughout the different countries in the world. It was thought provoking and disturbing in the difference between a North American family and one in a poorer developing country. It made you stop and think how crazy we have become here. I try to visualize all my families belongings in a pile on the street and just how overstuffed and junky it would all look and that also helps curb my thrifty enthusiasm a bit!

  15. GREAT post!!! {Thanks for the love too.}

  16. Hi Nester, I’m a stuffaholic and I need help! It does feel good getting that off my chest as it’s a heavy burden carrying that around with all my “treasures”. Even have a yard sale planned for warmer weather. Will it keep me from thrift shopping in the future, probably not. I’ll just make smarter choices. Websters Dictionary has several definitions for the word stuff but the one that stood out was, Stuff (vt.) to fill completely; to plug or stop up. That really hit home for me. I have completely filled closets, an outside shed and plugged every little cabinet I have, for what? Because I like it and I MIGHT use it some day or it was such a good deal? But what it has done is create an environment of excess. And if i’m going to have an environment of excess in my home I think I’ll choose it to be love, mercy, thankfulness, understanding and patience. Down the road there will be people who never knew I had that cute little item from the Salvation Army thrift store but someone, maybe someone(s) will experience love and mercy passed to them from what is shown in my home and life. Thank you for sharing! You would enjoy reading Tracey’s post today over at Notes from a Cottage Industry. Blessings!!!!!!!

  17. Ditto to Amy. I love to thrift/bargain hunt~it gives me a little high, it is truly my *hobby* and it’s cheaper than a therapist/anti-depressants. :) Yea, it may go back in the Goodwill bin in another 3 months when I didn’t find a need for it, but I’m okay with that. There are other finds that have been with me for 10 years. I completely see what you are saying though~if it keeps you from true happiness, peace, or long-term dreams, it’s not a good thing anymore. Love everyone’s thoughts on this! xo

  18. I really try to only buy things that I LOVE! If it is on sale, so much the better. I NEVER buy things JUST because they are cheap or on sale. Remember, It’s not a good deal if you don’t love it. Fortunately, I love to browse , but don’t feel the need to buy anything unless it is special.

    Nester: you have more reason to buy things because you are a teaching blog. So don’t feel too bad if you buy things to show us a new look or a reuse, and then sell it or give it away.

    • Agreed, in a way, and playing in our home is part of my dream/hobby and actually helps us achieve our dreams! no worries, I’m not quitting thrifting, just wanting to be much more intentional

      • I think that’s just it – I have to really focus on why I’m buying something, does it fit the useful/beautiful criteria, and do I have the means (time, money, initiative) to chisel the angel out of the marble on a reasonable deadline?…all that stuff…the meaning of “good deal” has changed for me, considerably. I’ve gone so far as to keep a list for the house, and I’m fortunate to get a few jollies shopping for things for clients, but no more stuff for stuff’s sake.

  19. Love this post, even though I’m not one who actually suffers from this. I love to go into thrift stores and antique stores, not to mention clearance sections… but I have the opposite problem. I overanalyze everything, and I’ve spent so many years hung up on the “is it perfect?” mantra that is just as dangerous. I had a bare house for years! I’ve spent the last year or so fixing my own problem. I still buy things with a discerning eye… and I still have plenty of unfinished, blank spots… but I’ll fill them, eventually. It’s a good thing I enjoy the uncluttered look, huh? ;)

    As for our deeper than stuff dream, it involves living a simple little life near the sea, and spending plenty of time traveling. My heart wants this, my head is afraid of flying… So I’m just going to have to get my head around it!

  20. Oh my gosh, it’s like other people are living my life! I have SUCH a hard time not buying anything when I hit up GoodWill or one of the antique stores. I make up all sorts of stupid reasons for why I need something, and then it sits in the closet until (maybe) I repaint it. More than likely, it just sits there until we’re out of room and then we purge.

    Gaaaaah.

  21. My “deeper than stuff dream” may be a little funny to some. Like you, we rent and move often due to The Hubs’s job. I would LOVE to eventually have ONE home. For YEARS. Without moving boxes in the garage. My dream is to buy a roll of address labels and USE THE WHOLE THING. That is my dream. :)

    Also, to go along with yesterday’s post, here’s my favorite quote: An elephant for a nickel is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a nickel.

    :)

  22. We had a month of nothing in january….bought absolutely nothing that was not needed. No clothes, toys, books, magazines, house stuff, computer stuff – nothing. It was fantastic and we saved a ton of money! We learned that our happiness has nothing at all to do with buying things and shopping. And oh how much time we had! Game nights, craft projects (using items we already had), and wonderful, relaxing weekends. I can’t believe how much time I waste shopping – and being stressed out about running errands and buying things. It’s ridiculous! I have purchased a few things this month, but no shopping trips “just to go look”. What a great learning experience….I highly recommend it.

    Danielle

  23. Nester,

    I was watching an episode of Hoarders on Sunday where a woman went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store just about every day. As the camera followed her walking around the store with a shopping cart, she suddenly stopped and said her “Stress level” was very high because she couldn’t be in every part of the store to grab all the bargains. I suddenly thought “My God, that’s how I sometimes feel when I go thrifting.” I wish they would close the store and not allow anyone but me in until I went through everything in the store and was fully satisfied I have grabbed every bargain before anyone else did! Is that sick or what? It was not a good revelation!

    Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day cleaning my bedroom and purging and getting rid of stuff I don’t need or is just collecting dust.

    Thanks for the eye opener. God is always on time!

    Ana

  24. I was going to comment on yesterday’s post, but I was on my new iPhone which I’m still figuring out, then I forgot by the time I got to my laptop.
    Here goes: I am so happy to read this! Just the day before, I stumbled onto this lady’s blog who made me want to chuck all the stuff I’ve been feeling like I had to keep. I want the simple life, and it begins with getting rid of most of my ‘bargains.’ Besides ‘bargains’ I end up collecting spaghetti jars and soup cans, just ‘knowing’ I can use it for something someday! I also try to save clothes with cute fabric thinking I could make them into something else. Outside of that, I suffer from ‘I-can-make-that” itis. I stopped and asked myself one day why I insist on making an item that is so readily available and inexpensive! I realize that all that ‘stuff’ is just a distraction. Distraction from living life! I look at my pile of fabrics and just feel overwhelmed. When it comes time to actually sew something, I either don’t want to use what I already have, or I can’t decide, or there’s not enough of it, so I end up not making what it is I wanted to make. I have 2 sewing machines (one I got from the thrift store for $8), and I don’t sew that much!
    Well, enough. I want to live life. I am going to simplify. I am going to chuck. it. all.
    Thanks for the final shove.

  25. LOVED Dianne’s comment about “we can go broke from good deals.” SO true! If I look back on what I spent the summer before last, I could have saved enough for a swing set. I still enjoy yard sales and thrift stores, but I only buy things that I know I NEED…I’m on the lookout for a nice Colonial looking bench for my kitchen and a coffee table/end tables for my family room. I DON’T need any more knick knack paddy whacks. ;)

    Heading over to read the post you suggested!

  26. I missed the original post and just read it after reading the selected comments. I hate to shop. I don’t enjoy going to yard sales, thrift stores, the grocery store, or even department stores. (The exception would probably be book stores, but that’s just me.) I have been feeling lately, since I’ve joined the blog world, that I’m missing something and that I need to join in. Many of the blogs do have such beautiful displays and (I confess) that I did go out a couple of times and buy some seasonal things so that I could participate. (For example, I have never decorated extensively for Easter or Valentine’s Day, but now I’m doing more. I’m drawing the line at St. Patrick’s Day!) I do have a lot of decorative items, but most have been gifts and many of those have been quite lovely, so I have plenty of stuff to keep me happy. For me, I think that the secret will be to keep in mind exactly what I want or need, and to buy it at the least possible price when I can. That’s real thrifting, in my mind. Unfortunately, the mind-set seems to be “she who has the most stuff, wins” — as demonstrated by those who say “I scored this deal” — implying that it’s a contest between the shopper, the seller and other shoppers! I will also try not to cultivate a love of shopping for entertainment. I think that it may be like smoking; once you develop the habit, it’s hard to stop! Thank you for an interesting post and for all of the comments! Annie

    • hmm, very thought provoking.

      I still really enjoy seeing what others scored while thrifting, and hope I have more scores in the future {I sold 8 chairs and now we need 4 chairs for our table} , I think it all depends on how we let it affect our own mindset.

      • This brings up a good point. I’ve been doing some ‘upgrading’ in my home. I’m not buying more stuff necessarily, but getting rid of, say, builder’s grade bathroom mirrors and getting something more my style. Selling some old, tired things I’ve had forever, and replacing them with something fresh. That way I’m not accumulating as much, but I get to shop for fun finds.

  27. I’m glad you wrote the post yesterday and followed up with this one today. I just started reading your blog three or four weeks ago and I was reading some of your older posts about thrifting. You wrote that if you saw something you loved for $3 you bought it, even if you didn’t know where it was going in your house because if you love it and it speaks to you then you will find a place. I thought, hmmm, I’ve been going around doing this thrifting thing all wrong because I don’t buy something unless I have a good idea about what I’m going to do with it, even if it’s just $3. So yesterday and today’s post makes me realize that the way I’ve been doing it isn’t bad. I agree with all these comments, $3 here and $1 there really does add up. So…thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • So true, I’ve personally changed my thoughts about this over time, and I probably will again in the future. I do think there are people with empty houses who have some money dedicated to put towards decorating and they are so worried about exactly where a new purchase will go that they pass it up, even if they love it. I’ve shopped with those people before and they get caught up in perfectionism the same way we over shoppers do. Those people probably need to listen to that advice, people like me, who are apt to buy every deal they see if it’s darling and goes with their home, probably need to crack down once their house is full.

      you know who you are.

      • Good reply, I love your house pics so I think you have done well decorating it with your finds. I’m still working on mine…I moved in over a year ago but I’m having a great time along the way and continue to be inspired by blogs such as yours.

  28. Great post again! I loved reading all the responses. I agree with Tracey, now that we have started getting rid of things, I am finding more I am willing to let go of. Funny how that happens!!

  29. i just finished my great house purge.

    what worked for me?
    i emptied a closet onto the floor of my family room and while i sorted, trash/goodwill/save, i watched the show “Hoarders” on netflix. I have organized MANY times before, but completely emptying a space, sorting and putting stuff back made all the difference. It let me see each space with a new eye, and redecorate/label/sort in a new way.

    i even sorted my attic, my craftroom, ALL the kids’ clothes (I’m expecting my 7th), ALL my holiday decorations, toys, all my childhood keepsakes, etc… Just one section at a time, in my family room, while watching Hoarders (and sometimes “Psyche”). Today I can honestly say that everything in my house has been sorted and purged. I don’t believe I have every accomplished that– in 13 years of marriage.

    It was WONDERFUL (and only took my a couple weeks…)
    Good Luck!!

  30. I read Rachel’s post this morning and thought of sending you the link. Ha!
    I think everyone in blogdom needs to read it. Especially those who get caught up in the “thrift, then make it cute projects” battle like Judi posted.

  31. Stuff…when I read your thoughts on “thriftitis” yesterday it was speaking to me. But today…stuff has such a deeper meaning after a much reflection and prayer this weekend. Let me explain…
    My 16 year old son had an accident on Friday afternoon, single car, and he walked away banged up and bruised – but it could have been so much worse. He kept apologizing for his truck being wrecked, totaled actually – and all the while I am just thankful that he is okay. It’s a truck – it’s why we have insurance for when these things happen.
    Saturday morning I took him to the junkyard to see his truck and gather his things from it. I watched what a 16 year old boy considers “his world” all be reduced to a small pile of bits and pieces in the gravel. It just broke my heart. And while I know it’s only stuff – for a boy, it’s the only stuff they have – what they can call “mine” and mean it. He worked hard for those very few things…
    So – stuff – yeah, stuff can take over if you let it. Stuff also has a way of holding your heart when it’s done with purpose and intent (that little box of baby things from your kids in the top of the closet, the painting your hubby bought for your 10th anniversary) – not just the thrill of the hunt. Did I do a little purging this weekend? You betcha – stuff just becomes a little less important when you know that something you hold alot closer to your heart was almost taken away from you.
    Happy simplifying Nester – I will be right there with you this year.

  32. I so agree that stuff can take over and I have been guilty of the unneeded thrifty deal. I first read this post in Google Reader and when I got to the bottom of the post I saw this…

    Yippie! It’s a new Blessings Unlimited Catalog. Go ahead and click, you know you want to check out the new cute loot.

    OMG,I cracked up!!

  33. I had to comment, because this is an issue close to my heart. I grew up with a mother and grandmother guiding me to the good deals… We used to check out the salvation army in cities we vacationed to… And still my mother calls me about her finds, and tries to give them to me. The thing that changed is that I married a man doing his medical training, and to stay at home with our kids two things happened: we live in a 900 sq. foot house (with 2 kids) and we don’t spend money. Period. I have passed up beautiful furniture, mirrors, serving bowls, etc. because even $35 is steep for me.

    It has at times been a bummer, to see all of blog world shopping their house (if you don’t have it, you can’t ‘shop the house’) or finding great treasures. But ultimately, I am in control of what I have… It doesn’t control me. Living this way has taught me patience to wait for what I really want, and to see fads for the short lived seasons they are…

    Cheers to you nester… For speaking my language and encouraging me

  34. my all time favorite post

  35. Anyone else get a kick out of the end of this post? ;o) Sorry Nester…couldn’t help myself! Oh…just realized that this only showed up if you are reading via a blog reader…still funny.

    ___________________________________
    What is your deeper than stuff dream? Mine is to build a little house in the country, with lots of big trees around. And I don’t want crappy, meaningless stuff to get in the way.

    Yippie! It’s a new Blessings Unlimited Catalog. Go ahead and click, you know you want to check out the new cute loot.
    ____________________________________

  36. My two rules when considering a thrift-store or antique-store purchase:

    1) I must have a use for it. Right now. Today.

    2) I must LOVE IT. Simply liking it or finding it “OK” is not enough. (This is how I wound up with a closet full of clearance-rack clothes I NEVER WORE, only because hey, they were 75% off!)

  37. My deeper-than-stuff dream is to have no mortgage payment so I can quite my job and write full time. I go in waves of stuff-accumulation and stuff-purging, though I have been getting much better. My current problem is the amount of stuff my two-year-old son has. I have given a lot away to families in need, but my husband has emotional attachments to almost everything that he or our son has touched, so I can only really get rid of “my” stuff if I want to keep peace in the house.

  38. “Quit” not “quite.” :)

  39. what a fun read! i love all the comments you highlighted:)

  40. Preach it, Nester! I love going to yard sales and thrift shops, but I told myself this year that I am making a list of items I particularly want/need and if it isn’t on my list, I’m not buying it! Besides, it drives my husband crazy to have the house so disorganized all of the time. I’m also seriously contemplating getting rid of a bunch of our clothes. We are wearing them all (or else I would have gotten rid of them already), but the laundry (specifically putting away all of the laundry) is getting to me. Less clothes worn=less clothes to wash and put up.

  41. My husband tells me all the time that I am going to send us to the poorhouse saving us money! I have to remember it is only a good deal if it will be treasured, loved, and used, and is NEEDED! :) But even more imortant than that, I have to check my heart’s motivation for wanting it. Thrifting and decorating are fun, but for me, I am trying to just “be like everyone else” when I see their cute stuff. Blogging is a great hobby for me, but I have to really be careful to not constantly be comparing myself, my house, my kids, etc. to every post I read….

  42. I’ve always had thrift-itis, but it got much worse after I started reading blogs a few years ago. When I look back at how many times I’ve made “small” purchases at thrift stores or the Target clearance rack, just because it was so cheap and had so much potential, I cringe. I could have reupholstered my sofa with all the money I spent on those good deals.
    Now I try to stay focused on only purchasing what I need, or know I have a place for in my home.

  43. Our deeper-than-stuff- dream is to raise a house full of children the love the Lord with all their heart and show His love to the world around us. I noticed the domino effect in many blogs of gathering and then decluttering and it has made me chuckle more than a few times. Are we encouraging women to find their ultimate value in “stuff” that will break, loose its value and fade away or things of real meaning in terms of eternity?

    We stay at home and I love our modest home (only 5 more years mortgage!!!) as it is beautifully decorated with beautiful bowls, vases, pitchers, baskets and many bird themes (even before reading your blog!) Yet, as we fill our home up with precious children, we have less money for decor and less time to spend on it; I”m glad I chose timeless furniture and decorations that I haven’t tired of as money grows leaner on a one income budget and 9 mouths to feed.

  44. ACCCKK! I have been trying to fight the urge to “SAVE” money on things I don’t need. I try to look at the shopping bags as $/square foot of my house they are occupying:) My first reaction when I read your post was, Hey, I think I live close by, wonder what Salvation Army she’s dropping her goods at, I wanted to run over and score your cute castoffs :) But we are doing our first ever family no spend month, and I am using the month to purge my closets when I would usually be out scoring deals. I write a bit about our no spend month here http://4ourkiddos.blogspot.com/2011/02/for-lack-of-better-topic.html
    It’s not as drastic as some, but we have six kiddos so we have to have the basics. It has been an eye opener for sure.
    Blessings!

  45. We are our own worst critics, right? Well, one positive thing about me is that I am an awesome purger…not in the somebody call the doc she has an eating disorder, but a hey let me help you clean out your closet kind of way. I established rules for purchasing items about a year ago. It really has helped. http://www.containchaos.com/?p=35

    By the way. I love that you put the focus on the comments today. You are right. There are always some real gems!

  46. Ever since coming to this blog originally, I have been thinking I need to go thrifting. However, I just rarely have time nor do I feel the urge to get into the truck in the sub-freezing temperatures and go!

    But reading this I realize-I’m almost a minimalist. I don’t like very much “stuff”. I loved all the Nest houses, but I don’t think I would want to have quite that many decorative items. So, the Nester “look” is not for me, but that is not to say that I can’t use a lot of the ideas.

    I HAVE taken some Nester ideas and run with them-the old dark red/brown wood stain on all the doors and baseboards and trim is slowly but surely getting primed and painted gloss white, because it makes the house look newer, cleaner, brighter and bigger. I’ve found a couch that hubby and I could agree on and both loved, and I bought it right that minute! We’d needed a new one for 3 years but couldn’t find one we both liked. I’ve moved furniture around-what’s the worst that could happen? Some things don’t work-big deal! Didn’t spend a cent to find it out, either!

    I’ve learned that paint is one of the cheapest ways to totally redefine a space, even if you don’t change anything else. I’ve learned good quality furniture can be found at all price points-I did, however, already know how to upholster and sew, and have my own air compressor, pneumatic staple gun and sewing equipment! I’ve also learned that when you find designer fabric in exactly the colors you need for $3 a yard you buy ALL of it and get out of the store with it as fast as you can! LOL!

    So even though thrifting is not necessarily for me, I can still use a lot of the information here to feather my own nest, so…Thanks Nester!

  47. My name is Susan and I am a thrift-aholic! I’ve got to get a hold of myself before it gets out of hand!
    I love to go the the thrift store and make new things….problem is, like man, I don’t need anything else! I’ve got to find a place to sell my wares or I will be in big trouble!
    :) Great Post!
    Susan

  48. I’ve been contemplating a No Spend Month since Christmas got the best of our bank accounts, but after reading this, I think I’ll make it my Lenten sacrifice. Great way to step back from the unnecessary spending when I have much NECESSARY spending going on this year with the kids. My hope it that I’ll get even more creative when i can’t spend on my guilty pleasures. Obviously, a timely couple of posts, Nester!! Well done!

  49. My comment sounds like some of them on your post today,… I started reading blogs and saw all the wonderful things people were purchasing out in blogland. Started shopping thrift stores and flea markets. Some of the things are great in my house but others, not so great. What did I do? Started renting booth at the flea market and it is so much fun.

  50. My dream is pure contentment before the Lord. I want to leave the extra behind; I want to be content to leave the current pillow covers and not pick up the paint brush with each season. I desire true peace with Him… and the ability to focus on my daily walk without images of Pottery Barn and bird silhouettes flashing in my mind. I often fear that my dissatisfaction with the furniture arrangement is really the unrest in my spiritual walk.

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