Succeeding at living with less isn’t always just about getting rid of things. Sometimes it is about sharing, borrowing and repurposing. I shall give you an example from recent events in my life.
I found out six days prior that my parents would be arriving for a short visit this Saturday just gone. As you know my children have both recently left home so space certainly wasn’t an issue. The issue was that both children had taken the duvets (doonas) and pillows from their beds when, or shortly after, they left. I didn’t mind because they are young and not so financially established as their parents and if they weren’t returned I am better able to afford to replace them. Which I hadn’t done for various reasons which I will explain.
We intend to give our daughter her queen size bed, as her spare, and my son is undecided as to whether or not he and his partner wish to swap his newish double bed, with scrumptiously comfortable mattress at our house, for the queen one she owned prior to his moving in. This means that some bedding doesn’t need replacing while at the same time I don’t know what size bedding I will need for the spare bed we end up with. So back to the story…
My parents were coming for a week and along with them and old family friend would also be staying for the night and I didn’t have enough warm blankets, pillows and bed covers to accommodate them. But never fear, being the frugal and environmentally friendly person I am, I decided not to rush out and buy stuff in a big panic, possibly ending up with items that might later become excess to my needs or not what I really need. Instead I improvised.
First off I took a look in my camphor wood chest to see what bedding items I had left after all my ruthless decluttering. I had a single bed duvet and several spare throw rugs. As there was only one person sleeping in the double bed this was enough to make up that bed and have some throw rugs spare for sitting about chatting or watching TV.
Then I asked my daughter, now that she is fully unpacked and settled into her new home, if she had enough blankets etc. that I could briefly borrow back the ones she took from me. She had a duvet and a blanket spare to loan me. This was enough to kit out the second bed minus a couple of pillows.
Since pillows need replacing on a reasonably regular basis my first instinct was, since the kids had taken the pick of the bunch, that I would by two new ones. Then possibly donate the oldest ones to an animal shelter when the guests had gone. However, in my travels throughout the house preparing the beds I spied something that had somehow, so far, escaped my decluttering efforts. I am not sure how, because this thing was taking up an enormous amount of space in one of the spare room closets. It was a body pillow. Same width as a regular pillow but twice as long. In an instant a clever idea popped into my head. I would cut this pillow in half and make two regular pillows and solve the pillow shortage crisis. Which I did. Bedding problem solved.
So not only did I manage to save my children from wasting money initially by sharing my stuff, I then was able to borrow stuff back from one to save me buying new. While at the same time I used a little ingenuity to repurpose something, effectively decluttering it buy changing it into something more useful to me.
When I know what my long term needs on the bedding front are, I will then address that problem but for now my extended family and I can work as a team.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something that you have too many spares of.
Eco Tip for the Day
Challenge yourself to put every piece of recyclable material in the recycling bin no matter how small.. It is easy to be blasé about small pieces of paper or plastic but so long as they can be recycled they are best kept out of landfill.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow