Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Psychology of Shopping and Decluttering the House

Indulge me today; I need it!

I came across this 3 year old photo while cleaning up some files on my iMac recently and thought I'd share it with you. It looks pretty much the same but I am decluttering the house and the dining room has lost a lot of stuff in that cabinet in the background. I'm being brutal in giving stuff to friends and sending 4 truckloads—so far—of stuff to one of the local thrift stores.

I told hubs how sorry I was to have spent so much money on frivolous things when we moved into this house. I see all the stuff being put into boxes to be taken away and wish with all my heart one of you bloggers who loves my style were here to give it to. It's been brutal to see all this stuff go to others but I'm committed, and once I'm committed there's no turning back. I need to concentrate on reality and reality is those things don't mean as much as peace and freedom and a lifestyle that doesn't try to keep up with the neighbors. I see many bloggers just trying to buy as much as they can to satisfy some thing inside them. I'm becoming not that person. I don't want to be so competitive that I lose focus of what really matters in this world. This is not just lip service, chicks. I'm serious about this. All I need is food, a home to live in, a car to get me where I want or need to go and my hubby and kids. It's been a real revelation realizing this but it is sooooo very true at this time in history.

See that little suitcase on the left? Not the front one but the one in back. It's going.

Also the little one up in the left hand corner on the other side of the living room. It's going also. Truly, I thought I'd be crying but funnily enough, I'm not. It actually feels good to get things out of here. Oh, this is an old photo and the curtains are gone and other very flowery ones are up at the moment. However, I just ordered a pink stripe fabric to redo them yet once again. That will make the 6th pair of curtains I've had in this room. Nothing is ever static around this house.

This etagere is gone already to a friend's house. The vintage school desk is sitting on my front porch ready to be sold on craigslist. If it doesn't sell soon, I'll put it around on the back patio for the winter and try again next spring.

As I sit here today struggling with all the things I'm getting rid of a few thoughts have occurred to me. Okay, okay, more than a few, but I'm being nice—thousands of thoughts have gone through my head today, not the least of which is: Why in the world do I take hubby grocery shopping with me? I can't for the life of me figure out why.

My whole life has changed since he retired and has stayed home with me. Okay, "staying home" isn't quite accurate as he does a lot of things for our church, the VFW, the Marine Corps League and teaches several classes a month on real estate. (The latter job is a requirement from me to him to help me keep my sanity.) But the thing I'm most perturbed about is grocery shopping.

My opinion is that men simply do NOT understand the psychology of shopping but specifically 'grocery shopping'. We women follow a set of unspoken rules of which men have not been aware since the beginning of time.

Today while shopping he again hangs on to the cart trying to direct me around people. I have been grocery shopping for us for over 50 years now and I think I'm qualified to handle a grocery cart without being thrown out of Wal-Mart. He won't let me pass them, pushes the cart with an iron grip and tells me to watch out for other people. For crying out loud, I'm nice!! I've never hit anyone, smile all the time at my fellow women and men shoppers and actually, on a regular basis, let them go around me by getting out of their way.

Then, there's the 'putting the item in the cart' business. He just grabs an item off the shelf, not noting that it isn't the regular item/brand I buy and then organizes it in the cart ever so carefully. I just toss it in. Yes, of course, there's an organization to MY putting things in the cart but he makes it a science and that takes two to three times longer. I get frustrated and just start pushing the cart away. I don't crush bread or fresh items but I don't take near as long. Bottom line: I want to do my shopping alone from now on and not worry about saving a few pennies with a brand I don't like. (I'm NOT going into the argument we had over Del Monte versus Heinz ketchup today.)

The checkout stand is entirely another issue. We women understand how to 'get it done' without being obnoxious but certainly being assertive—at least I do. I'm assertive without being obnoxious. I start loading on the belt as soon as there is a bit of room and negotiate my cart a bit to the right of the person so I can load the bags into it asap. Mr. Love Bunny, or Happy-To-Shop-Man, doesn't let me do what I need to do. He's giving me the evil eye and pushing the cart back. I tell ya, I just want to POP him!!!! I am never ugly or mean to people! I know how to shop leisurely and graciously without offending anyone! Truly, I do. The only thing I want him to do is carry the groceries in. So I just may have to go shopping alone from now on.

It's off my chest now. Well, that is, but there will be more shortly. Trust me on this.


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