The best New Year’s resolution that I ever made – and the only one I’ve kept – was to volunteer at a local thrift shop. I’ve been going almost weekly to the MCC Abby East Thrift Shop in Abbotsford for… gosh, it must be 5 years already! I love it. My job is to organize the toy section and since my son is now 20 years old, it’s a safe place for me to volunteer (although I have brought one or two stuffies home with me. I have a weakness for Eyeore.) I’m not there for very long, usually an hour or two a week, but if I have more time I stay longer, putting away clothes from the fitting rooms, straightening out racks, organizing shelves. And hunting, of course.
People assume that volunteers scoop up the best stuff at thrift shops but there are actually some strict rules around that. We are not supposed to “shop from the back” but on the occasions that we do, we don’t get our regular 25% volunteer discount. The discount is one of the many perks of being a volunteer. The others include: helping an organization you believe in, meeting new people and making new friends, knowing that you’re part of keeping stuff out of the landfills. If you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution yet, I highly recommend volunteering – anywhere – it’s a resolution that’s easy to keep because it makes you feel great.
My first thrift-related resolution for this year is to limit my thrift spending to $20 a month. I actually have no idea how much I spend at thrift shops on a monthly basis so this could be generous or it could make me crazy, we’ll have to wait and see! The reason for this is because I want to be more conscious of myself as a consumer. Just because I get a deal on something, doesn’t necessarily mean that I need it or that I should buy it. It’s still consuming. I also like the challenge of having a limit.
So I’m going to keep an envelope in my wallet with a brand new $20 in it and that will be my thrift only money. If I don’t spend all of it, I’ll carry it over to the next month. Where this will break down, of course, will be when I find those fabled Fluvogs I’m looking for and they’ll be more than $20. If that happens, I’m buying them anyway. Just sayin’.
My second thrift-related resolution is that for each purchase I make, I will have to get rid of something. This could get tricky too but it goes back to the same consumer issue. I don’t know if it’s an aging thing or what but I’ve been looking around my house a lot this year and thought what would I do with all this stuff if I had to downsize? My Christmas stuff alone would take up an entire storage locker (did I say that out loud?)
So there you go – my thrifty resolutions and you have to keep me accountable!
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year?