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Saturday, August 29, 2009

French Frugality and Decluttering

Today is the 4th anniversary of Katrina, or "the storm," as it's called in "the Katrina area." I was told by a psychiatric nurse that 4th anniversaries are occasions of psychological stress. I was awaiting stress and/or inspiration; perhaps luckily neither was forthcoming. I was lucky too in my storm: four big trees through the roof, while we were safe in a strong school building was definitely "Katrina Lite."

So, further thoughts on French frugality. My three new pairs of pants will, I hope, see me through the entire year, at least. Since they are made of new-fangled synthetics, I am not sure of their longevity. I have long thought that I could shop at Bergdorf's or Saks, given how much I end up spending at various alternative venues. Of course, I donate back my mistakes, so I justify them by saying that in buying and re-donating I am actaually donating to charity--twice. But the over-abundance is starting to get to me.

Each year, I set decluttering as a goal, and each year, I never quite complete the task. I am hoping that my three pairs of pants will keep me from temptation.

As part of my decluttering quest, I decluttered my inbox. In addition to deleting messages, I unsubscribed to many many tempting sites. I got on these lists by succumbing to an offer of free shipping.

Now I am off. No more Ann Taylor Loft, Talbots, Banana Republic, Steve Madden (shoes for Miss Em), Lands End, Levenger, and on and on. Honestly, it's better not to know about sales and special offers.

Now when I open my inbox, I can say "Ahhhhhhhhh."


Duchesse said...

Frugal, one reason why accumulation is not so prevalent is that European homes (whether houses or apts.) are so much smaller than what most Americans would consider "good size"; the rooms are smaller and storage space limited. Even prosperous friends living in the center of Paris have galley kitchens with tiny fridges.

Curious about the "4th anniversary" comment, wonder why this is? Any ideas?

Funny about Money said...

It's amazing that you can get off those kinds of lists... Often asking them to "unsubscribe" doesn't do anything except prove to the senders that there's somebody on the other end.

LOL! Having news of every sale wouldn't be good for my financial health. It's hard to turn down a sale!

Shelley said...

I found it much easier to be frugal if I didn't go shopping (or look at catalogs, etc) just for entertainment. That was just tempting myself unnecessarily. Now when I identify something I 'need' or, to be more honest, 'want' then I go looking for it. Still I have a ton of clothes, shoes, etc. to get rid of. I'm not nearly as good at letting go as I am of not latching on to start with.

Meredith said...

I succumbed to Chico's pants between my second and third babies. Even the ones I've bought secondhand have worn almost every day without showing wear. I think it's because they are always washed on delicate and hung out to dry.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--I too am curious about the 4th anniv comment and will ask next time I see her. My French friend has more space here, but maintains her French habits of shopping. Her daughter is a typical American overconsumer, however.

@Funny--I'm hoping that the effort works. I haven't heard from Steve Madden lately!

@Shelley--Exactly! Now the "sales" can come right into your inbox. Very dangerous.

@Meredith--I will follow your washing advice and keep my fingers crossed. Thanks!