Delay the purchase, be honest, and create your own vision

We sold our three-bedroom house in August and moved into a rental condo that is basically just three rooms: two bedrooms, and a kitchen/living/dining area. Before we moved I was thinking seriously about starting a small business, and I envisioned an office space in the corner of the master bedroom. So for the first three months we lived with an unattractive “office” pile in the corner of the new bedroom. The pile shrunk over time to include a paper shredder, a box of home office miscellany, a tote holding contents of our former junk drawer, some paperwork, some light hardware, and some computer and device cables. When friends saw the pile I said I was shopping for a desk.

And then I couldn’t stand it anymore and I just cleaned up the pile. I filed papers, I made a bag of items to give away,* and I threw things away (souvenir tiny bag of coffee beans magnet with worn off lettering from Costa Rica? gone). I was left with the shredder and the small tote, which fits in the bedroom closet and is still easily accessible whenever we need to write a check or use the three-hole punch.

I’m so glad I didn’t buy a desk.

Notes to self for next time:

  • delay a purchase to test the strength of the desire,
  • be honest about how I really live (the business idea is on hold and duh, laptop computer so don’t need a desk), and
  • create my own vision instead of trying to replicate what I see in lifestyle magazines or other people’s homes.

*I hate to throw away things that are truly useful, and not everything can go to Goodwill or the Reuse Store or be sold on Craigslist. One of my solutions has been to give things away at work. It’s a little odd in my conservative office environment, so I try to be discrete. I have found new homes for brand new light bulbs, partially used cleaning products, and gift wrap and holiday cards. Thank you, freegans!

5 thoughts on “Delay the purchase, be honest, and create your own vision

  1. Another great way to get rid of those items that will not “sell” either privately or at the thrift store is to use Freecycle. Freecycle is yahoo groups based on location. You list your stuff for free and people come pick it up. I also find this is a great way to get items I need but do not want to keep around my home. With 5 kids we are always having to do some kind of project for school. I use to keep all of our containers (jars, tubs, etc). Now I just go on freecycle and ask for what ever item I need. I usually have not problem find what I need.

  2. I love the detail about the mini bag of coffee magnet!

    A good way to get rid of small miscellaneous things is the “free” category on Craigslist. For example, I had a box of knitting yarn scraps. It wasn’t something sellable, and Goodwill probably wouldn’t want it, so I put it up for free on Craigslist. I got over 15 emails from people asking for it. 😛

    • You’re right about Craigslist — I did use the free section once to find new homes for unused disposable diapers and some Flor carpet squares from our old house. Thanks for the encouragement to try it again. 🙂

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