Little House on the Prairie Month

I am aware that diligent others are busy writing novels this month, or hitting the “publish” buttons on their blogs every day, but here in the BlogLily household, we are doing something different this November. 

 It all began with the observation that we have too damn much stuff, an observation I make every time I walk through my house.  Awash in it as we are, none of us seems to spend much time actually using all that stuff.  And when Christmas comes around, there’s a kind of overload that seems to occur about ten minutes into present opening.  We used to joke about how Laura and Mary were so thrilled by the orange in the toe of their stockings, and the corn cob doll, and wouldn’t it be nice if we were like that, but the joke began to feel bitter, resentful and a little hopeless — as though we’d never get a grip on the excess around here. 

When THAT happens, it’s time to do something, which is how Little House on the Prairie Month emerged.  It’s not very complicated really.  We’re just not going to buy anything this month except for food.  That way, except for crap people give you for free, no new stuff comes into our house. 

 Here’s my LHPM report for today, November 1, 2007:

 Got to work and realized I’d already blown it — told child he could buy a book or go to the library today.  Oops.  Maybe we should have had some kind of big, big kickoff thing so everyone would be jazzed.  Perhaps I should post some rules. 

Did not buy latte at latte place.  No big deal.  There’s coffee at work.  Anyway, I don’t even really like coffee that much.  I just use buying it as an excuse (I’ll admit it now!) to prolong the amount of time I spend not working.  Thought about whether paying for parking is included.  And how about the thing I bought on ebay in October, but had to pay for today?  What about money that’s just lying around the house?  Can we use that?  We’re going to need a guy in an eyeshade to help on some of these issues. 


8 thoughts on “Little House on the Prairie Month

  1. Oh! I like this idea, but I think I would have forgotten to NOT spend about 10 minutes into my day. Isn’t it amazing how much you spend without even realizing it? I laughed at your reasoning for buying latte to postpone work. I don’t buy my morning latte now, but a few years ago, when I had to walk 1/2 mile from parking lot to office, I would stop 1/2 way and buy coffee. It wasn’t because it was so far (because it wasn’t), but because, like Mt Everest, it was there — and it postponed the beginning of the day at a dull job. Maybe I should not concentrate so much on not acquiring new stuff (lofty goal as that might be), but on disposing of some of the useless stuff that clutters my life. Ugh! My closets might be a good place to start….but I think I’d rather go read a good book!

  2. I think this is a wonderful idea, although I’d have to be a little less strict – I need petrol to get to work, for example. But I’m definitely going to think it through and see how it would work in this household as well. I look forward to hearing how you get on.

  3. Cam — It is amazing, the way money sort of dribbles out, day by day. That and time wasting occupations seem to go hand and hand. We’re going for the disposing of useless stuff as well. Except for my really badly located conference next week, we have no plans to be out of town for the rest of the year pretty much. That’s when we will GET RID OF ALL THE SMALL CARS!

    Hello Ann — GAS! I’d forgotten about that. Not to mention a million other little things we really can’t seem to live without. We’ll see how it goes.

  4. It IS a good idea. Here clutter multiplies quicker than any bacteria known to mankind, and I don’t even know where it comes from. I have to say though, that it is largely made up of bits of paper, just to give our house that gerbil’s cage touch. I’ll be at the little house on the Prairie they didn’t have endless promotional Christmas catalogues delivered….

  5. This is a wonderful, wonderful idea! Can’t wait to read how you progerss. My guess is that it might be a little easier for those of us who telecommute and spend many days in a row never leaving the house except to go for walks with friends. Of course, judging by all the junk we just moved from one house to another (that I hate to admit neither of which is a tiny, one-bedroom cottage but rather multiple-roomed, bigger-than-we-really-need homes that still manage to fill themselves with junk), I’d say that telecommuting maybe does not keep one from accumulating junk.

  6. Emily, How it all accumulates is the mystery I am setting out to solve. I think I know though — it is that everyone in my family buys anything that catches his or her eye — we are like those birds whose name I can’t come up with at this moment, but the ones who like to line their nests with bits of aluminum foil and bottle caps and christmas ribbon.

    Litlove, I like the sound of your well papered house. Ours is not only well papered, but it’s also well peopled with small action figures and oh, there’s all that sports equipment!

  7. Pingback: On Editing « BlogLily

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