Our recent move from a huge home to an apartment seemed like a good time to embrace the ‘only keep what you need and love’ movement. The cynic in me is sure that once enough people have discarded their excess clothing and general stuff the culture will encourage a resurgence of the ‘you deserve a little extra’ movement, but the downsizing we needed to do did fit the current mood of the times.
Truthfully, I enjoyed holding each book we own and donating the (very) few that I could part with; passing on our arts and crafts supplies to a friend with young children was fun; leaving behind some excessively well-used towels and other household goods was a relief.
Problems did arise, however. I can’t say that dozens of new rolls of paper towels spark joy (to use a term from a popular decluttering book for those items you should keep), but not having a new roll available when needed sparks annoyance. In our old house there was always plenty of room for the Costco sized paper towel packages–as well as toilet paper, tissues, fabric softener and myriad other supplies. The same extravagant storage area is conspicuously absent from our apartment. To be fair, with seven children grown and out of our home, we don’t plow through food or paper goods at anywhere near the same rate as we used to do. Whether or not we need to buy eight boxes of spaghetti at a time or 25 pounds of flour in one go avoids an important issue. While I may not love the item, I have been in love with Costco for years.
Almost without exception, everything I have bought at Costco over the past few decades has been good quality at a good price. Just as importantly, the stores in Issaquah and Kirkland, WA that I frequented were fun places. I invariably ran into friends, saw unusual offerings that made me smile, had pleasant interactions with staff and emerged grateful and appreciative of the abundance this country offers. Moving to the East coast diminished some of the enjoyment. Sadly, the stores near our new apartment were not as well run or as well stocked. With my need for bulk items reduced and the store not as much of an experience, I even downgraded my executive membership to an ordinary one with an eye to wondering whether we needed to belong anymore.
This week, my enthusiasm was reignited. Maybe it was snagging the parking spot right near the entrance, maybe it was a warehouse stocked to the brim as Thanksgiving and Christmas near, maybe they have instituted better employee training for my local store, but this trip reached the old levels of fun. Along with the cranberries and shampoo from my shopping list, I came home with an irresistible present for a grandchild, priced almost absurdly low and sure to come in handy.
The grandchild gift has been appropriated. We certainly don’t need it, but my husband immediately reserved it for our Noddy room, aka our guest room and/or grandchild playroom. He thought it was too good to give to just one grandchild; this way it is available for all. In the meantime, he is having a grand time setting up photo shots and sending them to our children. My husband grew up with dogs and misses having one while my canine enthusiasm is well in check, so I’m delighted with this solution.
I hope this blog doesn’t seem akin to the “I’m having tuna fish on whole wheat for lunch” posts sometimes seen on Facebook. For me, the shopping expedition and my husband’s joy in his fluffy new friend are a welcome respite from the serious issues of the day. Concerns for the future shouldn’t drown out pleasure in the present. I hope you find it a refreshing time-out as well.
There is always room for one more book! Take a look at our low-priced