May 25, 2011

Go shopping at the store that is your own home

Blog, I had a sorta cool idea the other day. Well, yeah, I'm just a font of sorta cool ideas, aren't I? Anyway, you know how sometimes a person just gets an urge to buy something new? I was thinking how, with all the possessions some of us have in affluent nations like the U.S., we can actually satisfy that huge by shopping at home. And no, I don't mean on the Internet.

Here's the thing. Everyone has stuff. On a packrat scale from 1 to 10, in which 1 is "live like a monk" and 10 is "should be on Hoarders," Davie and I are about a 3.5. Nevertheless, we have lots of stuff in our house we seldom think about. We purge our home every six months to a year, so virtually all of it is Keeper Stuff and worth owning.

So why not occasionally take a look at some of said forgotten stuff and see if it can't be enjoyed for awhile? It's almost like getting something new and costs nothing! Let me give you some examples, Blog.

I recently got new salt and pepper grinders from a Pampered Chef fundraising party. In putting them away, I found myself once again organizing my spice cupboard. In doing that, I found a number of spices I've hardly ever used. Like garam masala. I got it for one recipe I wanted to try out last year. So I thought, why not make that recipe again and get some enjoyment out of this spice I own? So I did, and it was even tastier than I remembered. (Here's the recipe for Hot Dogs a la Rose.)

Meanwhile, a couple days ago I tossed out a plant that had seen better days, and used the pot it was in for another plant that needed more space. In the original plant I had put some glass rocks I got from who-knows-where, who-knows-when. (We all have some belongings like that, right?) So, I cleaned up these rocks. Like rocks often do, they looked better wet than dry. So I tried the same trick on them that I often use on polymer clay items: I painted them with a couple coats of Future acrylic floor polish.

What will I do with these rocks? I might just put them on display, or incorporate them in an art project. At any rate, I will enjoy them until it's time to rotate them out for something else cool that I own. The key to this idea is clear from two famous adages: "Familiarity breeds contempt" and "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." We take for granted what we experience every day...we love stuff that has been gone awhile. So, Blog,  why not get more out of what we already have by replacing familiar stuff with sorta-forgotten stuff?

A few ideas of where you can shop in your own home forgotten stuff:

  • Boxes of clothing you wore years ago. Some may be back in style or can be converted to a fun new purpose like a costume or a throw pillow. That tie-dyed tee shirt would work for either!
  • Wedding presents on the back shelves. Make use of that vase, dish, or candle holder out in the open for awhile.
  • Your old photo albums and scrapbooks. Seriously, when's the last time you just sat down to enjoy old memories? So many of us take photos or scrapbook, going through a lot of effort, but forget to enjoy the fruits of our labor later.
  • Your jewelry box. A lot of people fall into the rut of wearing the same rings, necklaces, etc. Bring out something new--it might go great with some outfit you got recently!
  • The scented candle cupboard. If you're like me you have a bunch but can't possibly display them all. Bring out a new one and burn it for a fresh experience for your nose.
  • Your recipe box. Take a run through your collection; I'll bet you find something you love to eat but forgot you know how to make! 
  • Your cosmetic cabinet/drawer. Another thing a lot of us have is soaps, lotions, facial scrubs, and other spa-items we haven't touched in awhile. Give yourself a facial, a bubble bath, a foot massage.
  • Your game cupboard. I bet somewhere you have an old board game you haven't touched in a decade. Might be fun to play again some night!
  • The closet where you keep the pictures you took down. We all get tired of the stuff on our walls and replace it from time to time. But the replaced art can be nice enough to keep. So why not see if there's some piece their you'd like to look at on the wall again?

You get the idea, Blog. Now, imagine if we all thought about shopping at home once a week...we'd get a lot more enjoyment out of our own belongings, and it wouldn't cost us a penny! I'm just sayin'.

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