May in Review & Empties + More!

This month both dragged on and got away from me, somehow, but the busy is not over yet.

First off, goal review:

Clothing: Everything from the summer bin has made it onto hangers or into drawers, and that’s a win for me. Rather than going through every item and adding it to the tracker book, I thought it would make more sense to add items as I wear them – which will make the book more chaotic, but I also feel like it’s a better use of my time to focus on what I’m actually wearing. Approaching it this way, I think, will also let me flag the items that don’t get worn, since I won’t be flipping through pages on pages to find what I’ve only worn once.

Books: My reading has been quite off and on this month – while I was able to finish the O’Keeffe book in no time, I felt like I needed a break overall from the topic of art history and from the format of the books (I’m not saying that the artists’ lives coming to an end was wearing on me, but most of my non-fiction doesn’t end on end-of-life topics). I’m going to choose one book at a time for now, and I’ll say what’s next in Thursday’s post for June goals.

Using what I’ve got: The cards were a hit with the students – they thought it was a lot of fun to be “invited” to the activity, so it was definitely a “good” use of the item.

Onto Empties:

This month, there was more “refill the tin” for tea, and then the rest of it was regular, “these have been emptied out.” I’m on the fence about how much of everything I still have left: should I be pleased that my prediction in January that I won’t need anything at least until June was correct, or should I do a deeper reflection on the consumerist habits that got me to this stockpile in the first place?

The “More”:

I have two points to address, first about the wish-list, and then about scheduling for posts.

  1. Wish list: Though there isn’t anything “new” that has caught my eye and met the parameters set in January, I have been ignoring the fact that I’ve had a small list of items that I’ve been cycling through considering and ignoring over the last few years. For the most part, these would be counted as “basics,” like a slip to wear under a dress, or items that fit well with the rest of my wardrobe, like a pair of navy flats or lace-up shoes – considering how much navy blue I wear and that I like my looks to be monochromatic. On the one hand, these are thoughts that have come up again and again – I think the slip has been on my mind for at least 5 years – so maybe they’re worth getting/asking for as gifts, but on the other hand, I’ve gone this long without them, so how much do I really “need” them? I dunno, it’s a wishlist, not a needs list, so I’m a bit stumped at the moment.
  2. Scheduling: I think for the months of June and July, I’ll keep it to one post a week. I’m going to combine outgoing and upcoming monthly goals into one post, and pair empties and bye-bye bin as another, so that I can still have two other posts on different topics. As for August, I’ll be working in a live-in language learning accelerated course, so I think I’ll take the month off for posting. This may change if I have time over the summer to plunk down and type out a handful of extra posts and just schedule them, but I also want to give myself the freedom to not work and be more present. Either way, we shall see.

Empties & The Rest of the Inventory

What I’m currently finishing up of consumables:

As much as I love dinosaurs, I don’t like my skin to be scaley. Winter in Canada is rough on the skin normally, so that majority of the products I use from November to April are all about keeping my skin from painfully chapping or my lips cracking and bleeding. First, I’m focused on finishing off the lipsmackers lip balm that I’ve been working on for most of 2021 – that I got in winter 2018/2019, as a stocking stuffer – which I genuinely thought there was none left, but then opened it today to take photos, and somehow a usable amount has emerged. I do have a second lip balm on the go (also from the same year), which seems to be unending, as I’ve been using it regularly and I still have a few months’ worth of use in it. For hand cream, I’m 2-3 uses away from done with the shea squeeze tube, and likely about a month from done with the body butter. The hand cream is better for warmer months (i.e., when the “Feels Like -37” line is long gone from my weather app), and the body butter is my best friend for now.

What my other categories are:

As I’d mentioned in my No Buy rules post, I have many categories that need to be used up before I bring in more. I wanted to switch it up for the remaining categories and give you visuals instead of numbers this time around, so you can see just how much I’m working with. I just talked about how much yarn I have left, so I’ll continue with the craft supplies theme:

Pens and other writing utensils:

I’ve whittled this collection down over the years, but this is what I have in my stock pile – meaning what’s not currently in my pencil case for planning or what I use at work. I do have a mix of artsy-er pens as well as a fountain pen mixed in with dollar store highlighters (some of which have been in the pencil case since I bought it, in 2012), so some of these will take longer to use. That’s my issue, though, is that I like to have something to use, but then if it’s too nice, I won’t.

Planner stickers:

I’ve kept every agenda or planner that I’ve had since grade 6/2006, since they tend to function more like a memory book than just a to do list for me (and I’ve never been much of a diary writer). Over time, I figured out highly detailed colour-coding and highlighting systems that I would use to stay on track of my academics, work/volunteering, and personal stuff in between through to the end of my undergrad thesis. Once I was off the shoestring student budget, I was drawn to planner stickers (I also liked stickers as a kid) to bring my weekly planner spreads to life. A lot were bought, and I limited myself to the size of a photobox from Michael’s of how many booklets I could have. I have decluttered a few booklets as well as pulled out sheets that I wouldn’t use at all (the quote-heavy ones, mainly) – and the irony of having three separate sticker books about budgeting is not lost on me.

Greeting cards:

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise with how much effort I put into other “pen and paper” stuff, but I have over 120 blank greeting cards. Some were gifts, but most were a mix of restocking what I’d used, sales while at the mall, and impulse buys from Michael’s (I’m sensing a pattern here). I used to write to friends and family for the fun of it after moving to a different province for work, but that has slowed down significantly with moving more to video calls for the sake of being able to see each other. I do have some ideas of what I can use these for, but that’s in some time from now.

Tea:

I got into DavidsTea in 2013, and the amount of money I’ve spent could have paid for a trip to Iceland. The amount of tea that I have now is less than half of what I had at my peak around 2016, and the stock pile of specific blends has to do with not wanting to order frequently (reducing emissions from transportation) and not buying outside of the semi-annual sale. Note that the tins aren’t all full – most are half full or less – but I’m not switching the contents of a tin until it’s fully empty and been washed. Also worth noting, about 1/6th of this is from gifts.

Body products:

Some of these have been on my shelf, unopened, for longer than others – most notably, the Maui shampoo, conditioner and mask sets, which were purchased in January 2020 (on sale). I haven’t been able to finish them yet since I cut off about half of my hair (it was to the small of my back, and now just over my shoulders), so I don’t go through shampoo and conditioner half as quickly as I used to, and the fact that I had another four sets of shampoo and conditioner – bottles and soap bars – to get through before reaching these. Some other stockpiles – the toothpaste, deodorant (medium tins), and body butters – are based on what I know I use regularly and need to have at a moment’s notice when I run out. I do have a pharmacy in walking distance, but I prefer to reduce my number of trips out of the house as much as possible (and I don’t have a car). The bar soaps that are all the same were bought in 2021, and I liked the scent because it smelt like one of my toy sets from my early childhood. Nostalgia as a driving force for consumption? Never heard of that before! I say that jokingly, however, as that wasn’t the intent behind the scent blend that the shop owner made. The rest of it? They’re remnants of gifts kits, sales, or shop displays doing their job. If nothing else has highlighted the excess of the body products stock pile, know that I bought a 3-shelf organiser from Ikea to store all of it.

Later this week, I’ll be talking about what my shopping habits have been like (which will definitely be a series unto itself), and today’s post works as a snapshot of where I’m at right now. Thanks for reading!