Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Groundhog Day

Do you ever feel like you are buying the same things over and over?

I've been doing some major culling around here, and am appalled at the volume of STUFF we have compared to the rest of the world. Having a teenage daughter and a new baby doesn't help, because both of those stages seem to be rather, um, acquisitive. Large plastic items litter the surfaces in my house, and my barely 5 ft tall girl has shown me just how expensive per square inch, little shorts can be.

I 'm proud of my reputation for being frugal. I order water at restaurants. My towels are the ones that went to college with me in 1987. Most of our furniture is from the thrift store. My Grandpa Harris would be happy, a bit more so if I could just up my twine game.

But there are some things I seem to buy again and again and again. Here are my top offenders:

1) Eyelash curlers:
I've been using eyelash curlers since 7th grade. They are made of metal, and should probably last a lifetime. Yet my teens, 20's and 30's are paved with discarded eyelash curlers. I'll buy one, carefully tuck away the extra rubber pads for safekeeping, and use it for a year or so. Then, it will start acting wonky, I won't be able to find the pads, and I'm off to buy a new one. It's only when we move, about every 5 years or so, that I find stashes of useless rubber crescents from the eyelash curlers of the past.

2) Door mats:
I buy too many of these because they hold so much promise. "Welcome to our house!" they say in their juicy summer colors, chevron patterns, or realistic fall leaves. They are like a mini-facelift for the home. A big monogrammed one makes me feel super-classy.  Until they get shmutzy, and moldy, and their message starts to say, "Stay away." I have yet to find a welcome mat that holds up to the weather, but as my many trips down the housewares aisle will attest, I won't give up trying. Oooh! Does that one have HYDRANGEAS on it?

3) Thermometers:
Nothing like been stressed about a sick child to make you go out and buy a new thermometer. "Where the hell is the thermometer? " we'll growl, stress levels rising. We even have a plastic basket in our linen closed that says THERMOMETERS on it, but at 2 in the morning, it's more like the failed thermometer graveyard. There's one that needs replacement batteries in a size I can never remember, and the Sponge Bob one that never seemed very accurate. I did find out from Tim recently that he thought when Sponge Bob played music, to indicate it was finished taking a temp, he thought "the happy music" meant you had no fever. So, I guess some of those mis-reads were human factor issues. Why do we keep the failed thermometers in the basket? I don't know. With the new baby we have a cool app-based thermometer that plugs into our cell phones! We'll see how that goes.

4) Throw pillows:
Never mind.  Throw pillows are life. You can never have too many. Kind of like buying a little bit of hope in the Target aisle.

5) Nail clippers:
I buy extra, even though I've never heard of clippers ever wearing out or being thrown away. I place them all around the house like the glasses of water in the movie M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, so that when Tim has an urgent nail clipping EMERGENCY, he doesn't freak out too much.

6)Fish Oil:
Yeah, I buy a lot of fish oil, knowing that it will lead to silky hair, a better brain, and God knows what else. Then I leave it in the cupboard until it expires, and do it all again. See also: Calcium Supplements.

I could go on. Shower Caddies, miracle eye creams, makeup brushes anyone?

So, I'm wondering if I'm the only one with wasteful habits in need of reformation!  What are you top offenders when it comes to re-buying?


Pat said...

Bravo for "culling"! We are in the process of that too! I just dragged out 10 bags of books, some double copies! We've lived in this house for 9 years. if I haven't re-read them, I'm probably not going to. Stuff I call detritus. How did it all get there and why did I keep it? Those pants? Do they reproduce in the closet AND do i REALLY think I'm going to go down 3 sizes? Anyway, good luck with it all!

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of moving in with my boyfriend and am shocked at how much stuff I have as I try to empty my full house into his full house. Tweezers seem to be my addiction... nightstand, purse, carry on luggage, packed luggage, nightstand at boyfriends, medicine cabinets, both houses, coffee table (I know gross)....both houses, of course. Oh and in all three cars, plucking in the car is a must. I blame this on age and the hormonal chin hair. Ugh.

I also have five sets of hot rollers (my house, his house, mountain house, suitcase and a set with a European plug). Please don't ask how many times I actually bother to roll my hair in the mountains or in Europe.

I am terrified to go through Christmas decorations for my move. I can't even...they all mean so much but there are so many.

I have a lot of work to do.

So, are not alone.

Glad you are well. Theresa in Denver

Delenn said...

We recently redid our kitchen cabinets and the amount of things I had duplicates of was astounding. I have enough griddles and skillets to cook for an army...I found water bottles from when my son was little...yet, we always need to buy more water bottles! We have a lot of glasses, like...a lot of glasses. And there is the vegetable peeler. I hunted and hunted for it earlier this year. I know I had bought a new one because the old one (that I had had since I was in college) broke off in my hand during the holidays. I had bought a nice friendly safe one--and for the life of me couldn't find it. Finally, I bought a new one about a month ago. Now...we have three.

Csmithfamily09 said...

For me it's those things you need occasionally but can never find and then buy again: envelopes, scotch tape, scissors, tweezers, pens, things like that. And hairbrushes, I can never seem to find one but I'm sure if I gathered them up from the car and gym bags and under my girl's beds, we must have 20.

owlfan said...

Nail clippers and scissors. I know I have at least a dozen of each, but somehow I'm always misplacing them. Twice in the last few years I have bought all 4 of us new nail clippers, plus we had nail emergencies for each kid recently in another city, so that's at least 10 pair in the last say 4-5 years. On top of however many we had before...
I'm about to go buy another vegetable peeler - I know I have 2, but can't find either. One is simple old-school plain metal that works great and the other is supposed to be ergonomic, but really just clunky and not as effective. But both are MIA, just waiting til I get a new one. I console myself with the idea that when my college kid gets an apartment, that I can unload some of the extras on him. I can hope...

Sherry said...

Writing instruments (you can never have too many); storage (not food) containers; reading glasses. My husband can't resist the next bluetooth speaker that comes out. We're in our 70s and should be going the other direction. Pathetic.

darsden said...

Must be in the air. I am pushing stuff out the door left and right. It's hard sometimes because the memories attached, I remind myself they will still be there. I myself electronic/music junkie. I draw the line on the phone I do not have a fancy phone just this side of a flip. I would rather make you talk to me in person :-)

Gigi said...

Yes, throw pillows are a necessity!

I know I have duplicates but not as many as my husband. That man is a hoarder of the first order - but mainly of's insane.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention eyelash curlers. I've bought about five of them in the last two weeks. Just can't find one I'm happy with. I used to love and use nothing but Shu Uemura, found a brand new one in my cupboard, and for some reason can't seem to get it to clasp my eyelashes. Oh, life's little frustrations! And I buy waaay too many clothes/shoes/handbags.

Elz said...

Pillows, throw blankets, and rice. Apparently, I'm a prepped for a fort building community.

twingles said...

Cleaners (have about 6 bottles of toilet bowl cleaner right now)
Various school supplies (rather than looking through the school supply closet to use one of the 20 binders we already have).
Light bulbs

Dirty Martini Queen said...

Baking ware seems to be mine because when we moved last year I found that I had 7 13x9 pyrex dishes....why???? Not to mention all the other sizes that I had multiples of and I'm happy to say post move I have 2 of each size which is a huge improvement for me. Did I mention there are only 2 of us and a cat in our family?

One crazed mommy said...

CHIP CLIPS - we get them every Christmas, in bulk, but 2 months later we can't seem to find any of them. I don't know where they go...but we are forever searching for a chip clip!

Hair bands - This I also buy in bulk, and they get used...but just as quickly they disappear. My daughter will be dying to put her hair up in a ponytail, and I'll be tearing up the bathroom drawers in search of one...just band.

Towels...Okay, how in the WORLD do you still have towels from 1987 that are in working condition? I have towels that are 5 years old that I can hold up and see through in places. I feel like we have to replace our "guest towels" every 2 years or so - when the towels in our bathroom start getting shoddy, I move the guest towels to the master bath, and replace the guest towels with new ones. No one else will see our old, holey towels. LOL!

Pens - we have a whole slew of pens, but can never ever seem to find one when needed. Very frustrating. Same goes for kids school pencils, and pencil sharpeners.

Anonymous said...

Throw pillows are definitely life!

Ellen aka Ellie said...

We have been purging for a year and a half now. A year and a half. Goodwill is a weekly stop, I sell things on Craigslist and Facebook, have given furniture to an organization that rehomes the homeless, sold my crystal to a replacement company, sold my not-worn-since-1978 HS ring, and most recently gave a young friend three large dressers.

But at the same time, we need new things for our new smaller place. And that is just weird.

I only have one eyelash curler though. Maybe because I forget to use it.