Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The least sexy chic technique ever!



I know you’re thinking ‘What, Fiona! What is it!’ Well, my favourite and least sexy chic technique is USING THINGS UP. I know you’re probably shaking your head, but perhaps you are actually nodding on the inside?

For me, I have the tendency to stock up, stockpile, collect and generally gather stuff around me. That’s why it feels so good to use the last bit of something and decide what to get next. I love pretty body lotions and am so thrilled to get down to five bottles. I used to have more… It will be exciting to have one or two.

Same with items in the pantry. I now hang off on buying some things until I get near the end if I wonder whether I’ll purchase it again or perhaps try something different. Even if it’s something I know I will, there’s no point in having two or three packets.

I cleaned out our fridge a few weeks ago and took the opportunity to use up a few items that had been hanging around. It feels so good to open the fridge now and see clean shelves plus a tidy selection of food – like a staged fridge in an advertisement!

Our big chest freezer in the laundry is quite full so I took an inventory to whittle down numbers. I can visit the supermarket whenever I want, so there is no risk in keeping low levels of food in the house. Of course I’m not going to have nothing, but if I can cook for the week, I’m fine with that.

Other categories apply too: closet, hobbies, books, stationery supplies, sheets and towels, social plans and obligations among many.  And the reason why this is one of my favourite chic techniques is that it just feels better – lighter – to not stuff your life full, to have space to breathe and feel free.  And yes, it does feel more chic and elegant.

What about you? Are you a naturally ‘sticky’ person who has to be ever vigilant of not feeling bogged down in circumstances of your own making? Or do you glide effortlessly and Teflon-like through life, never having to consciously use things up?

~Fiona~


PS. Would you like to read my books for free?  You can!  Simply request that your local library stocks them.  I have done this millions (well, maybe not millions but it’s been a lot) of times at my local library and it’s a wonderful service.

I was browsing the library catalogue online here where I live, and what popped up as a recommendation for me?  Only Thirty Chic Days!  Maybe they matched it to me because my name is the same as the name on the cover?  I was quite tickled!



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17 comments:

  1. Judith Gordon-NicholsApril 16, 2019 at 7:15 PM

    I so agree with this, Fiona. I have also stopped stockpiling and it is such a relief not to have loads of "stuff" falling out of the hall cupboard every time I open it or stuffed under the bed in the guest bedroom.

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    1. I love that too, Judith! The cupboards and drawers of mine that are minimal and organised bring me so much joy!

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  2. All it takes to trigger stockpiling is a period of financial uncertainty. Then, there is forever a cloud of "I have this today, but will I be able to get it tomorrow? Not sure, so I'll hold onto it for later."
    The best way to deal with it is not to toss but to use up (less guilt and better for the environment). I cleaned out all the cupboards in the kitchen and left stuff on the counter that needed to be used up. Visual reminder (plus I HATE having stuff on the counter). Same with cosmetics. Have them where you will reach for them first and don't buy anything new until you actually run out.

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    1. I agree it has to do with finance. For me it's not so much about financial uncertainty, but frugality. I've always been keen for a bargain, so if something is on a good special I'll stock up. Which is good in some ways, but bad if it gets out of control. When the levels get too high I pull back :)

      I never throw out if I can help it. It's rare that I will throw away food because I use things up before they're too old, and I happily make leftover lunches for myself. It brings me joy to be thrifty!

      Love the idea of leaving things out on the counter. Out of sight out of mind means items can languish in the pantry. Currently I have a body mist on my bathroom counter that I like to spritz on throughout the day. It has a tiny amount left and I should finish it today. Yay!

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  3. Yes! I love using the last bit of something and having one less thing. (Sometimes I love the beautiful container which is probably why I have one teaspoon of a Barefoot Goddess hand cream or some such thing.) My husband sometimes cooks from a recipe and buys a jar or bottle of some obscure ingredient which sits in the fridge forever. Or buys a giant jar of mayonnaise at Costco "because it was so cheap". I like the idea of setting things out until they're gone (but not the mayo) because it detest cluttered countertops too. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Karen! If I have a beautiful container that I really don't want to get rid of, I'll use the last of the product, wash it thoroughly and then repurpose. Maybe it will be a storage jar, candle holder or whatever it suits. And sometimes something is pretty but I can't see how I would reuse it so I recycle it.

      I am not one to keep empty perfume bottles on display but I have a small bottle of Chanel Coco Noir and it's black. Being completely opaque I will be happy to have that as a little ornament when it's empty!

      And yes, my challenge too is to use up jars in the fridge which have been used for one type of meal :)

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  4. "to have space to breathe and feel free" I love this line. I'm working on having less things and use up what I buy. Following your advice on 30 chic days (the book) I started a skin care routine. I've tried this before and I always end up throwing away the creams because I never finished them. But now I'm proud to tell that I've used up my night and day cream. I think I've finally build up the habit of taking care of my skin. As always THANK YOU for all the inspiration.

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    1. Yay, that's fabulous Tatanky! It's never to late to start doing more for your skin. Good for you :)

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  5. I too, love using things up before I get more. I am currently using a stockpile of skin care which I have been given, and, I have bought some of it too. I am deliberately restraining myself here: I do not want to buy more until it's all gone. When I lived on my own, I didn't stock pile nor waste food, but, I have noticed that when living with others, especially if they are a hoarder, it is much more difficult.

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    1. It's so satisfying to use up skincare! And what felt like deprivation before (I can't go shopping for fun) feels good when it is channeled into using things up at home and having organised cupboards.

      At our place my husband is Teflon-man, whereas I am the sticky one. Any clutter is all mine!

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  6. I too like to use things up so I can start afresh with something new. Whether body cream, facial cleanser, a fancy soap, or foods such as a jar of jam or a bag of rice, I only buy new when I am close to running out. I do keep a (small) stockpile of items like toilet paper, batteries, and the like. As you said, Fiona, my cupboards, closets, and refrigerator remain uncluttered and are so much easier to keep neat and clean. That makes me happy.

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    1. Ooh, I have so many fancy soaps and I am enjoying using them. I love soaps so much more than shower gel. It's exciting to see my soap stash diminish!

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  7. Love this! The hard part was going from a family of five down to quasi-empty nest when our three were in college. I have found I have more peace with the space and cleanliness than having "stuff" stockpiled. Except perhaps lipsticks... I probably still own more lipsticks than any one person needs! ;o)

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  8. I'm relearning it all. Our children have left home and it's hard to learn to shop and cook for two.

    I've no need to purchase new linen. Should have enough to see us out, lol. It was nice, recently, to discard a duvet cover! It became garage rags due to a couple of holes developed over nearly 30 years! Kept the pillow cases because they are blue and go with other things, lol

    Cosmetics are a problem item. I'm trying to use up a gwp size after every full size use. Lipsticks and glosses? Huge stash and I may never have to buy blusher or eyeshadow again.

    I have developed a love of Clarins Lip oil, unfortunately.

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  9. Love to use things up but am also something of a 'keeper'! We are travelling in our caravan at the moment and before we left home, I put a lot of skin care products in. Feels so luxurious to be living in a caravan and using top end cosmetics. Anzac Day here in Australia so the shops are shut and due to very sad pet duties yesterday, no food has been purchased. Needless to say, we used up quite a few odds and ends today but had such tasty meals. Love your blog, Fiona, and all your books.

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  10. I laughed at this. I'm a "if one is good, 5 is better; then I don't run out!" In this move, I discovered as I boxed all my scented lotions, I had a HUGE box full of tubes and bottles. I gave some away but kept all my favorites and finally began using them again. I am really learning to buy less and use it all up. I did finally toss tubes that had partial left in the bottom. No more beating the heck out of it on the counter to get the last drop!

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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