this item was the kick in the pants I needed… [minimalist challenge item #314]

[item] Ikea full size mattress

[purchase info] Purchased at Ikea in the “as is” section

[time in my possession] Approximately 8 months

[last used] A couple of months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] We got a full size mattress from a friend of ours.

[info] So, this is a “long” story that I’m not going to tell right now, however I will give you a teaser…

I listed this mattress on Freecycle and quickly got an email from someone wanting it.  As it turns out, I knew these awesome people from church.  This mattress is for one of their kids moving into a “big girl” bed.  In the process of them picking up the mattress, I realized something else I needed to downsize.  But that part is the rest of the story that is still in the works.  I promise to share soon…


it’s waterproof [minimalist challenge item #224]

[item] Twin size waterproof mattress pad

[purchase info] Purchased new at a discount store

[time in my possession] Approximately 3 years

[last used] Several months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] eBay

[replacement item] None

[info] This is great, but it doesn’t fit any of the beds we have anymore.  It’s in like-new condition.

3 things rarely seen in suburbia…

There are just some things you rarely see in affluent suburban areas.  I decided to walk to work this past week, and what did I see?  #1, a whiskey bottle in a tree.  It was empty.  What?  You would have checked too.  I guess the good thing here is that the person drinking it wasn’t driving.  This was clearly placed in a walking zone.  I did have the desire to place a note inside the bottle to see if anyone would get it.  Maybe if it’s still there next week, I’ll do that.

Christmas in September is new to me.  #2, a dead Christmas tree.  Okay, okay.  I’ll stop the Dr. Seussing.   This tree was in my neighborhood since last Christmas.  It was in the alley for 8 months, then moved to the curb in the front.  In affluent suburbia, they don’t pick up stuff like this unless it’s cut into perfect 3′ sections, weighing less than 30 pounds, then neatly tied together with biodegradable string.  I don’t have a problem making it easy for the people picking it up, but I do think this is a bit overboard.  As for the tree… I have no idea how it got decorated, but that’s funny!  😉

This is only one picture of mattresses thrown away.  #3, queen size mattress.  All of the mattresses seem to be that size.  This one was in an apartment dumpster.  The other ones were in business dumpsters, one being behind the pizza place by our house.

I can’t wait to see what I find this week…

what’s your sleep number? [minimalist challenge item #198]

[item] Twin size Select Comfort mattress

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store in Kansas for $6.00.  Yes, I said $6.00.  That’s not a typo.

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 years

[last used] A couple of weeks ago, right until we gave it away.

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Given to a friend

[replacement item] Ikea full size bed

[info] My son has been wanting to upsize his twin bed to a full size bed.  His reason?  The small bed makes him itch.  Okay…  This is the first item I’ve let go without taking a photo.  The photo is a similar mattress, but not the right size.  These mattresses sell for a minimum of $500.  The people at the thrift store didn’t know what they had.  One guy thought it was a waterbed.  The lady working there thought it was a defective mattress.  It was in great condition!  We gave it to someone that needs it, as she has metal pieces in her back like I do.  Joe got his new bed and is very happy.  :)

what if nobody bought new stuff? [day 56]

“What if nobody bought new stuff?  What would happen to the economy?”  This was a question asked by Thom yesterday, and I might add, a very good one.

First let me say that I appreciate the people that have enough money and are willing to pay for new items.  Without them, people like me would have no used stuff or second hand stuff to buy.  We would have to resort 100% on dumpster diving?  Not sure what the full impact of that would be for thrifty types, but it would sure change things.

Our economy is built on plastic and filled with air.  When I started on this soapbox yesterday saying that “…it has to collapse someday…”, I was quickly corrected by Jerod that the proper word here is “deflate”.  So, in my opinion, the economy will ‘deflate’ at some point.  We can’t possibly continue like this long term.  I’m not an economist or a fortune teller, and I don’t know how this will happen, but it will.  It makes me want to stuff money in my mattress instead of investing it.  (note to criminals: I have not actually done this so don’t break in and look in my mattress)

Whether the Awful Inevitable Radical Economy Deflation (AIRED) happens fast or slow, and the amount of negative impact it will have could be lessened by everyone just being a little bit intentional about the way we shop.  We have the ability to support good retailers and not support bad ones.  I know all of this sounds radical, and maybe somewhat like a conspiracy theory, but could it happen?  Yes.  If you think something different, please comment with your thoughts.

In the mean time, here’s a few simple things to consider when shopping.  You can help make a difference.

  • Know where you’re buying your stuff. Is this retailer using unfair labor practices or are they paying fair wages?
  • What is a retailer doing to be green and help conserve resources? Green energy, materials and business practices are clearly evident if you do a little research.
  • Do they give back to the community? If so, support them.  No business has to do this but many choose to.
  • Is this something you can buy second hand? You could save money and keep things from going in a landfill.
  • Instead of buying an item, could you borrow it? Sharing things you don’t use frequently will give you less clutter and save you money while building community.

If you can find items that aren’t supported by Ed Hardy, you’ve done well!  LOL, sorry, I couldn’t resist typing that.  😉