Am I allowed to “waste” things?

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Given my interest in decluttering, today I found myself pondering over a dilemma. At what point is it acceptable to get rid of something which is useful, but which you don’t like? For me, this issue tends to arise particularly around toiletries. At the moment, for example, I’m using some Dove body moisturiser which was given to me as a Christmas present. I don’t particularly like the smell or the texture, but not to the extent that I refuse to use it. More subtly, I don’t enjoy using it. That has a knock-on effect with my moisturising regime, in that it removes an incentive for me. It’s not enough to make me actively procrastinate on moisturising, but if it’s a bit cold when I get out of the bath, or I feel like it’s a bit later than usual, I’m less inclined to bother, and having something unenjoyable to use seems to push me towards skipping it for a day.

Compare that to my current bubble bath, which is marshmallow-scented and which I absolutely love. it becomes a reason to look forward to having a bath. A more accurate comparison might be with my current hand cream. Again, I love the smell of it, so if I’m teetering on the edge of putting cream on, that might just push me over.

Now, body moisturiser is fairly cheap anyway, and this specific one cost me nothing as it’s a present. Therefore, in concrete terms I lose nothing if I throw it away. In opportunity terms, I’ll have to buy a replacement moisturiser sooner, but again, that’s not the kind of expense that’s going to break the bank. If I didn’t like it at all, I could have happily given it to the charity shop unused, and the cost wouldn’t have been an issue in any way. Still, I feel some resistance to throwing it away. Perhaps it’s the waste element. I feel bad that neither I nor anyone else will get any benefit out of the remaining part of the bottle. However, if I take into account the disbenefit to me – the reduction in moisturising regularity – that would seem to outweigh the benefit of using up the rest of the bottle. Environmentally, the unused moisturiser will go in the bin and end up somewhere undesirable. But I suppose that even the used moisturiser gets washed off when I bathe, with the chemicals going down the plughole. So it doesn’t seem to make a big difference to anyone or anything, except in terms of my enjoyment level. Yet I still feel some level of resistance to throwing it out.

I’m sure a professional declutterer would tell me to throw it out if I don’t like it. I suspect an environmentalist would tell me that the damage is already done when the moisturiser is produced, and that I should switch to more eco-friendly products, like soap nuts. I can’t think who would tell me to keep it and use it up, except perhaps an older person with a “waste not want not” attitude carried over from the Second World War and rationing. So how have I internalised this message that I’m giving myself?

It’s an interesting question, and even after writing it all down and giving myself all the logical reasons to get rid, I still feel like “Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow and see how I feel then”. What would you do? Do you know of any uses for half-empty toiletries that I haven’t thought of, and that would mean I could put mine to good use?

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Simplify – weekly wishes w/c 24/10/16

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Last week’s wishes – 17/10/16

  1. Routine: get back into weekly wishes after one week of illness and one week of holiday. 25% completed. 
  2. Social: go to language meetup. 100% completed. 
  3.  Social: see a film with friends.100% completed. 

Healthy habits

  1. Strength
    1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 6, Tues x 6, Weds, Fri, Sat x 3, Sun
    2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
    3. Complete a long and steady run. X
    4. Go for a bike ride. X
    5. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). X
  2. Flexibility
    1. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
    2. Do 5- to 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique directions. X
    3. Do super brain yoga. Weds, Thurs
    4. Body brush. Weds, Thurs
    5. Use Better Back: Thurs
  3. Mindfulness
    1. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. X
    2. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. X
    3. Do 5- to 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. X
    4. Complete mindfulness journal. X
    5. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Weds
  4. Eating
    1. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Weds, Fri
    2. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. X
    3. Have an added-sugar-free day. X
    4. Eat 5 portions of veg or fruit. Weds, Thurs, Fri
  5. Brain
    1. Come up with ideas (based on this post). X
    2. Write 750 wordsX
    3. Language study: Weds
    4. Work towards location-independent business: X
  6. Positivity
    1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Weds, Sun
    2. Listen to affirmationsWeds, Fri, Sun
    3. Volunteer: Thurs, Sun
Category Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
Strength  1  1  1  0  1  1  1  6
Flexibility  0  0  1 1  1  0  0  3
Mindfulness  0 0  1  0  0  0  0  1
Eating  0  0  1  0  1  0 0  2
Brain  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  1
Positivity  0  0  3  1  1  0  5 10
Total  1  1  8  2  4  1  6  23

Weekly wishes for 30/10/16

  1. Volunteer: complete two Samaritans shifts.
  2. Finance: call my credit card company to resolve a problem.
  3. Strength: go running once.

Simplify – weekly wishes w/c 26/09/16

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Last week’s wishes – 19/09/16

  1. Letters: finish one half-written letter. 0% completed. 
  2. Declutter: put two items on eBay. 0% completed. 
  3. Social: go to Portuguese meetup.  0% completed. 
  4. Volunteer: complete two Samaritans shifts. 100% completed. 

Quite an unproductive week in terms of my aims, some of which were being carried over anyway, so I need to think about how I can improve this.

Healthy habits

  1. Strength
    1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 3, Tues x 3, Weds x 3, Thurs x 2, Fri x 2, Sat x 5, Sun
    2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
    3. Complete a long and steady run. Mon
    4. Go for a bike ride. X
    5. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Mon, Weds
  2. Flexibility
    1. Do 10-minute yoga session. Mon
    2. Do 5- to 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique directions. X
    3. Do super brain yoga. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    4. Body brush. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    5. Use Better Back: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
  3. Mindfulness
    1. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Sat
    2. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Tues, Thurs
    3. Do 5- to 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
    4. Complete mindfulness journal. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    5. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
  4. Eating
    1. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Have an added-sugar-free day. Mon
    4. Eat 5 portions of veg or fruit. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat, Sun
  5. Brain
    1. Come up with ideas (based on this post). Weds, Thurs
    2. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    3. Language study: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    4. Work towards location-independent business: X
  6. Positivity
    1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    2. Listen to affirmations: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    3. Volunteer: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
Category Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
Strength  3  1  1  1  1  1  1  9
Flexibility  3  1  1  1  1  1  0  8
Mindfulness  5  5  3  3  1  1  0  18
Eating  5  3  3  1  3  3  3  21
Brain  1  1  1  3  1  1  0  8
Positivity  5  5  5  5  5  5  1 31
Total  22  16  14  14  12  12  5  95

Weekly wishes for 26/09/16

  1. Social: go to language meetup.  
  2. Volunteer: complete one Samaritans shift and one evening training session.
  3. Volunteer: attend full weekend training session.
  4. Family: go with family to scatter my father-in-law’s ashes.
  5. Strength: go running once.

Simplify – weekly wishes w/c 19/09/16

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Last week’s wishes – 12/09/16

  1. Letters: finish one half-written letter.
  2. Declutter: put two items on eBay.
  3. Social: go to knit night. 0% completed. 
  4. Social: cook something Whole30-compliant on Thursday when my parents stay with us. 100% completed. 

Healthy habits

  1. Strength
    1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 3, Tues x 2, Weds x 3, Thurs x 2, Sun
    2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
    3. Complete a long and steady run. X
    4. Go for a bike ride. X
    5. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). X
  2. Flexibility
    1. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
    2. Do 5- to 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique directions. X
    3. Do super brain yoga. Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri
    4. Body brush. Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    5. Use Better Back: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  3. Mindfulness
    1. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat
    3. Do 5- to 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    4. Complete mindfulness journal. Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    5. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  4. Eating
    1. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri
    3. Have an added-sugar-free day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri
    4. Eat 5 portions of veg or fruit. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
  5. Brain
    1. Come up with ideas (based on this post). Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri
    2. Write 750 words.Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Language study: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    4. Work towards location-independent business: Fri, Sat, Sun
  6. Positivity
    1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Listen to affirmations: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Volunteer: Mon, Tues, Sat, Sun
Category Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
Strength  1  1  1  1  0  0 1  5
Flexibility 1  1  1  1  1  1  1  7
Mindfulness 0  5  5  3  5  5  3  26
Eating  5 5  5  5  5  3  1  29
Brain  3  1  3  3  5  3  3  21
Positivity  5  5  3  3  3  5  5  29
Total  13  18  18  16  19  17  14  117

Weekly wishes for 19/09/16

  1. Letters: finish one half-written letter.
  2. Declutter: put two items on eBay.
  3. Social: go to Portuguese meetup.  
  4. Volunteer: complete two Samaritans shifts. 

Simplify – weekly wishes w/c 12/09/16

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Last week’s wishes – 05/09/16

  1. Schedule: work out what I’m doing on evenings and weekends this month, and schedule in pending activities. 100% completed. 
  2. Letters: finish one half-written letter. 0% completed.
  3. Declutter: put two items on eBay. 0% completed. 
  4. Finance: find out how to log into an old bank account, transfer remaining funds and close it. 66% completed. Logged in and transferred the funds. We have to go in-branch to close it.

Healthy habits

This week I’ve made a couple of changes. There were two activities with timescales that were causing me to resist, so I’ve reduced the length of time I have to do them for now, with the aim of getting back into them and then increasing the length – meditation and Alexander Technique. I’ve also added a new habit to “Brain” – working towards a location-independent business. At the moment, this means working through the Location Rebel and CopyHour courses, and setting up a new language blog.

  1. Strength
    1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon, Tues x 3, Weds x 4, Thurs x 2, Fri, Sat
    2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
    3. Complete a long and steady run. X
    4. Go for a bike ride. X
    5. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Thurs
  2. Flexibility
    1. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
    2. Do 5- to 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique directions. X
    3. Do super brain yoga. Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    4. Body brush. Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    5. Use Better Back: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  3. Mindfulness
    1. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Sat
    3. Do 5- to 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. Sun
    4. Complete mindfulness journal. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    5. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Mon, Tues, Sat, Sun
  4. Eating
    1. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Have an added-sugar-free day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    4. Eat 5 portions of veg or fruit. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  5. Brain
    1. Come up with ideas (based on this post). Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Language study: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    4. Work towards location-independent business: Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  6. Positivity
    1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Listen to affirmations: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Volunteer: Tues, Sun
Category Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
Strength  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  7
Flexibility  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  7
Mindfulness  3  3  1  1  1  3  3  15
Eating  5  5  5  5  5  5  5  35
Brain  5  3  5  5  5  5  5  33
Positivity  3  5  3  3  3  3  5  25
Total  18  18  16  16  16  18  20  122

Weekly wishes for 12/09/16

  1. Letters: finish one half-written letter.
  2. Declutter: put two items on eBay.
  3. Social: go to knit night.
  4. Social: cook something Whole30-compliant on Thursday when my parents stay with us.

Simplify – weekly wishes w/c 05/09/16

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Last week’s wishes – 29/08/16

  1. Social: host lunch for my mother- and brother-in-law. 100% completed.
  2. Strength: complete three Les Mills body pump workouts. 100% completed. Done on Tues, Thurs, Sat.
  3. Letters: finish one half-written letter. 0% completed.
  4. Declutter: put five items on eBay.100% completed.

Healthy habits

  1. Strength
    1. Walk for 20 minutes. Tues, Weds x 2, Thurs x 4, Sat x 2, Sun x 5
    2. Complete one primal sprint session.
    3. Complete a long and steady run. X
    4. Go for a bike ride. X
    5. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Tues, Thurs, Sat
  2. Flexibility
    1. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
    2. Do 5- to 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique directions. X
    3. Do super brain yoga. Mon, Fri
    4. Body brush. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat
    5. Use Better Back: Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  3. Mindfulness
    1. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Do 5- to 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. Sun
    4. Complete mindfulness journal. Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    5. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  4. Eating
    1. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues,Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Have an added-sugar-free day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    4. Eat 5 portions of veg or fruit. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  5. Brain
    1. Come up with ideas (based on this post). Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Language study: Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  6. Positivity
    1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    2. Listen to affirmations: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
    3. Volunteer: Sat
Category Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
Strength  0  1  1  1  0  1  1 5
Flexibility  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  7
Mindfulness  3  0  1  3  3  3  5  18
Eating  5  5  5  5  5  5  5 35
Brain  5  5  5  5  5  5  5  35
Positivity  3  3 1  3  3  5  3  21
Total  17  15 14  18  17  20  20  121

Weekly wishes for 04/09/16

  1. Schedule: work out what I’m doing on evenings and weekends this month, and schedule in pending activities.
  2. Letters: finish one half-written letter.
  3. Declutter: put two items on eBay.
  4. Finance: find out how to log into an old bank account, transfer remaining funds and close it.

Frugal – Year 3 of free fun – Month 3

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This month’s fun activities were:

  • Visited my parents for a week (£16.30 train ticket)
  • Exchanged my library books in Birmingham (included in above)
  • Visited my grandparents (on both sides)
  • Went for a drink with my sister and her kids (£7.56)
  • Visited an old friend at her house
  • Went for dinner with my parents and one sister (my parents paid)
  • Went for lunch with my dad and nephew (my dad paid)
  • Went to a spa with my mum (LivingSocial deal – she paid)
  • Read eight library books
  • Went to a barbecue at my sister’s house
  • Played with my parents’ new kitten
  • Went for lunch with my parents and my husband (my parents paid)
  • Went for coffee and cake with my parents and my husband (my husband paid)
  • Walked around a marina and looked at canal boats for sale
  • Had a takeaway (£37.95 – food budget)
  • Played a free online game (Elvenar)
  • Studied languages online with Duolingo
  • Went for dinner with my Japanese group and my husband (£30)
  • Went back to Birmingham to exchange my library books again (£3.90 metro ticket)
  • Had lunch with a friend at work (once for two different friends, free, took my own lunch)
  • Visited a friend at her house
  • Watched TV via Amazon Prime (paid for last year – Arrow, Parks and Rec)
  • Exercised using workouts on YouTube (£12 dumbbells)
  • Walked in the local park
  • Studied copy writing with CopyHour (course included with purchase of Location Rebel course)

Total – £107.71

I was lucky to get treated to lots of activities around my birthday at the beginning of the month. Towards the end, a couple of meals piled on over 50% of the month’s expenses.

I also bought a replacement phone and laptop as the old ones were broken / not fit for purpose anymore. I’m not sure whether or not I should include them here, but they cost £545 altogether.