Welcome to the Fluff! Here I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Shopping and decluttering balance sheet 2017

This is the cut down of my joint shopping/obtaining (being given etc) and clearing out/using (up) list for the year.  Essentially, it's a balance sheet for the ins and outs over the year.  Digital things such as book, magazines and knitting patterns don't count as my purpose is not so much to control spending (although that's never a bad thing), but to cut down on physical stuff.

Some of the numbers aren't very consistent, nor are the size or scales of the items, and I even blatantly cheated when I added a whole jar of buttons my mum gave me as one item when all bought and used ones counted individually - even those that came out of the jar! I seriously couldn't face adding several dozen things in one go, but I do hold my hand up to hypocrisy on that one.


Although I'm on a long-term journey towards a minimalist lifestyle and I do like to count and inventory things, I don't believe that there's a magic number of items that one should own in order to be minimalist.  Everyone is so different and the concept has 30 different meanings for 30 individuals.  With that said, let's see how my numbers balanced up this year past.

* Physical print publications:
In: 23, including 9 kids' books I bought, breaking a 780 day book No Buy
Out: 38
Balance: -15

* Cosmetics and Perfumery
In: 2 foundations and one pack of foundation sponges
Out: 49 make up shades, 2 perfumes, 3 'tools'
Balance: -51

* Personal Care Items (other than the above)
In: 110 products.  Wow!  That really surprised me!  I added it up just now for this post and am genuinely surprised it was that many.
Out: 98
Balance: +12
I stocked up on some body lotions/butters and shower gels that were going off the market, and also some face washes that I found at Boots USA, so that accounts for the excess.  Won't need much this coming year, but it's interesting to know that I could get through about 100 products in one year!  Wow!

* Clothes, shoes & accessories
In: 32 items that can be used individually (so, a pair of socks or gloves counts as one, as does one t-shirt)  I also included the three garments I made
Out: 30
Balance: +2

* Stationery, art and paper crafts supplies
In: 8 - 4 pens, 2 rolls of tape, some tissue paper and mountboard
Out: 61.  Actually, this was stupid in a way, as airmail labels were counted individually, but the wad of scrap paper used up remained just one even when more was used up.....
Balance: -53

* Needlework supplies
In: 126, which included 31 individual buttons and one jar full, 23 sewing patterns and 40 odd threads, most of which were a gift from Kreinik metallics.
Out: 48, including 38 buttons!  A bit mad again.
Balance: +81

* Yarncraft supplies
In: 63, including 50 balls of yarn and 11 lots of tools (needles, stitch holders etc)
Out: 24 balls of yarn
Balance: +39

* Miscellaneous
In: 26, including 12 display stands for use at shows
Out: 8
Balance: +18

Grand Total:
Overall Balance, Personal Items = +33

I would have preferred the overall balance to have been lower, but there are several things that were bought last year and will be used up this, such as knitting yarn and sewing fabric, as well as planning to sell on some of the Kreinik gift threads that I wouldn't use and clear out several dozen books, both during the imminent book box cull and through studying up and then selling or donating.  So, hopefully, next year's will show a good drop in numbers.  Having said that, numbers are very hard to keep to a standard given the difference in size of various items.

Certain things that came in this year are long term keeps, such as knitting needles, sewing tools and things like that.  I won't need to buy them again unless I break or lose them, but they also won't use up.

In the coming year I expect to buy one or two books, some mascara, the usual supply of personal care products (although I have cut down on skincare products and have a fair amount of certain stuff in stock for the year already), a few yarns and pieces of fabric for future clothes projects and one or two things here and there. I'll be keeping the same list as I did last year, which you can see here, if you're very bored and want to take a look.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2018

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Some of those things are genuinely hard to assess, as you say. I wouldn't for one moment have expected you to tip out the button jar to count them all!