no retail shopping challenge: 1 year later

It’s the one year anniversary since I finished the no retail shopping challenge.  Why did I do the challenge?  Straight from my original blog post:

I wanted to live differently, meaning finding creative ways to not buy stuff I really don’t need, to share stuff with others, to not be wasteful and to be more environmentally friendly.

So what did this accomplish?  Looking at it one year later, it accomplished a lot more than I could have ever imagined.  Since I blogged it every day for the entire year, I have a great record of how the year progressed and all of the lessons I learned through the challenge that many called crazy.  Let me share a few of the posts with you.

Top 3 blog posts, as chosen by readers:

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hello? hello? can you hear me now? [minimalist challenge item #346]

[item] Baby blue rotary dial phone… broken.

[purchase info] Purchased on eBay

[time in my possession] Approximately 6.5 years

[last used] Several months ago as a decor piece

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I was going to save this and make something artistic out of it.  It broke when I tried to hang it on the wall.  These suckers are HEAVY!  I’m sad it broke.  I still have my collection of them displayed in my entry way.

20 days to iron out the rest of this challenge [minimalist challenge item #345]

[item] Vintage olive green iron

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 years

[last used] almost 4 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I used this for art projects like melting crayons.  It’s cool, but I just don’t use it enough to keep it.  I hate getting rid of cool looking retro stuff.  Oh well, I still have my rotary dial phones.

**Only 20 more days in the challenge!!**

I’ll be famous and sell lots of art [minimalist challenge item #344]

[item] Archival plastic art sleeves

[purchase info] Purchased new online

[time in my possession] Approximately 7 years

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] It was a bit painful to get rid of these, just because I spent a lot for them.  I had great intentions of selling some of my artwork in a local art show.  Never happened.

you need gold leaf to seal gold leaf [minimalist challenge item #343]

[item] 2 new cans of spray gold leaf sealer

[purchase info] Purchased new at Hobby Lobby

[time in my possession] Approximately 8+ years?

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I have no idea why I have this.

my grandma said, “never do this.” [minimalist challenge item #342]

[item] Necchi sewing machine

[purchase info] Purchased at a thrift store for $30

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 years

[last used] 3.5 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I tried sewing a long, long time ago.  My grandma told me in so many words, that sewing is just not my gift.  She was right.  Not only is it not my thing, I find it kind of frustrating.  I bought this machine to sew paper in an abstract way for crafts.  I simply don’t have time to do that.  If I ever get time, I’ll buy another machine at a thrift store or I’ll borrow one.  I have a lot of sewing friends.

label everything [minimalist challenge item #341]

[item] Dymo retro label maker

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 7 years

[last used] Several years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] It’s just cool.  I didn’t want to get rid of it, but then again, I haven’t used it in years.  Why would I even consider keeping it?

oh no! my ph levels are off! [minimalist challenge item #340]

[item] Softub spa checmicals

[purchase info] Purchased with the Softub

[time in my possession] Approximately a year.

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] Okay, the number of chemicals you can get for a spa outnumber the rocks in my rock garden.  You can’t possibly need all this stuff!  What is you bought all the available chemicals and used them all at once?  Would you have a mushroom cloud over your house?  I’ve had the spa for over a year and the ph levels have never been off.  I use chlorine and one other chemical that helps with water clarity.  That’s it.  So I got rid of the rest.  If I ever have ph issues, I’ll have to buy something, but until then, I’m simplifying the chemicals.  #downtotwo

 

christmas lights [minimalist challenge item #339]

[item] LED Christmas lights

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 3 years

[last used] 3 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I want to use these, but if I haven’t in 3 years, what makes me think I will in the future?

why must I see everything as art supplies?? [minimalist challenge item #338]

[item] A tin tile and pieces of MDF

[purchase info] Purchased the tile in Canton, MDF was leftovers from projects at work

[time in my possession] Approximately 4 years

[last used] Tin, never.  MDF, several months ago for kids to paint on.

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None

[info] I just don’t need these anymore.  I have a garage full of “art ideas” and supplies I’ll never have time to use.