Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday's Fashion Fallout: The best things in life aren't free

Because when they are free, you tend to acquire them even if you don't really like them. 

We had these things called "free boxes" in college. They were on every hall and were a place you could drop off stuff you didn't want and grab anything you did. Me being me, I was always grabbing things from the free box. Come on, free stuff!  

Except that when it takes time and energy to hang on to the free stuff and keep it organized, and dig through it when you need to get to other things, it suddenly really isn't free anymore. This skirt was costing me space in my closet, and my sanity every time I put it on because it was too small and a funny length. Not to mention, it was terribly itchy because it was made of wool. Item 80: A free skirt that doesn't fit, looks funny, and itches like mad!

Have the "free boxes" in your life been a problem for you? 


  1. We have here in Berlin "Free Shops" (Umsonstladen in German), which is kind of the expanded version of a free box. It's basically a "shop" where you can bring stuff that's still good but you don't need and everyone else can just grab it for free.

    It's interesting that you see them as a source of clutter, because for me they were a big source of declutter and they helped me a lot in my journey to minimalism. It's a great way to get rid of all the stuff that
    a) I don't need
    b) is probably not worthy enough to sell, but
    c) is too good to throw away

    Giving it to the free shop there is a good chance that the stuff will be used by someone else. And that makes it much easier for me to get rid of the stuff.

    1. What a fantastic idea! I think I would do better with a free box/shop/Umsonstladen now that I've discovered minimalism. In college I still followed my father's belief that something's $0 price tag was more important than whether or not I needed the item.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. We have a free bench next to our apartment complex laundry room where people leave things they don't want anymore. There are some good finds there sometimes and other times stuff someone couldn't bear to put in the dumpster even though that is where it needed to go. I've picked up things, left things, and transported things to the dumpster. No problems with the free bench.

    My free problem is with my craft group. I have way too much stuff, like most of us. However, I refuse to give it away for free because doing that causes problems every single time. When I do free someone will complain they didn't see it, so-and-so took it all, how could I just give that away, why didn't I give them first dibs, it isn't fair, whine whine whine whine. It is crazy. So I put a token price on things and that cut down the whining and the complaints. Dunno why. Oh also people will buy the last item but no one wants to take the last free item which is odd.

    1. I should add that other ladies who bring free things don't have this problem. It is just me. I think it is because I am the leader of the group so somehow that makes things I bring in more special. Someone always gets her feelings hurt, so gimme a dime for that crafty thing and we'll call it good.

    2. strange. Us girls can be really weird sometimes! Particularly those of us who do crafty/sewing-oriented hobbies. Sounds like you came up with a good, creative solution though.

  3. I help host a monthly Free Market here, and it's been great for decluttering for me. Sometimes I take things just because they're free (movies & books are my big weakness) but then I can just take them back the next month if I don't really want them.

    the one issue I have is that my son always wants something decorative, and then we have to find a place for it in his room (which is overdue for a concerted decluttering already...people love to give him things.) This is why I now have a buddha-shaped butter dish. But we still have a net negative amount of stuff from each market, so I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity for him to learn about making choices and finding places for things...last month he turned down a really awesome giant transformer toy he had played with for the whole 2 hours we were there, because it was partly broken and he didn't think he could fix it. That lesson was worth the butter dish, I think.


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