No New Clothes – a year on

This time last year I sat and wrote about the challenge I was about to embark on. It was pretty scary I have to admit. I wasn’t sure how well I would do, or if I could actually manage it. But then, isn’t that the point of a challenge? To push you out of your comfort zone? 

I set some rules that I hoped would make it a bit easier for me:

  • underwear does not count. I will not buy secondhand underwear for any of my family. I am, however, planning to make some of my own underwear again.
  • Running clothes and shoes. My current running shoes should last me until early next year but when they do need replacing I will be buying new. I wonโ€™t risk injury by buying secong hand. Running clothes, I will try to make do with what I have or buy second hand if I can.
  • Uniform/work wear. I wear my own clothes to work and therefore can get away with this but hubby canโ€™t. He is provided with a polo shirt but some of the other kit he needs may need to be new due to safety reasons. We will shop around and try to buy second hand if we can but I will not compromise his safety. School uniforms will be second hand as much as possible, however, due to the school logo, if it poses difficulty in buying second hand then at the last resort we will buy new.
  • Shoes. I wonโ€™t buy second hand shoes especially for the kids. They have both recently had new shoes so should be fine for quite a while.
  • I am allowed to make new clothes and buy second hand. I cannot however, buy a lot of new fabric in order to make new clothes. (Copied from original blog post) 

So a year on. How did I do?? Let’s see shall we?

New items bought for me:

  1. Two pairs of running trousers
  2. A pair of denim shorts 
  3. A new sports bra
  4. Two pairs of compression socks
  5. My running club hoodie
  6. A pair of running shoes (not shown)

I’m pretty pleased with that! Both the running leggings and running shoes were allowed under my rules, as was the sports bra. The compression socks were needed but on the other hand did I really need two pairs?? And the shorts? Well I could have made some if I’m honest but I really didn’t want to. They were an impulse purchase bought about a month ago. ๐Ÿ˜” So in all honesty I could have avoided buying them. 

In the interest of transparency I also received some clothes as gifts:

  1. Two pairs of jeans for Christmas
  2. A pair of furry boots (not shown)
  3. A pair of pyjamas (a Christmas Eve tradition – not shown)
  4. A running top which I had for my birthday

I have also received a few new training tops as prizes for completing races. I use these to avoid buying training tops. I do sometimes wish that races would give out trousers instead of tops occasionally so that I wouldn’t have to buy those ๐Ÿ˜‚

The kids had new pyjamas from Santa on Christmas Eve. Little Lady had a new leotard and two pairs of hot pants for her dance show and D had a new pair of bathers for his swimming lessons. Little Lady’s dance items were very specific so I would have struggled to find them second hand in time, if at all and D’s swimming lessons can be such a source of stress for him as he hates showing his body, or “performing” in public. The SpiderMan bathers helps to ease his stress as he knows SpiderMan is brave and if that helps him overcome his social anxiety then it’s worth every penny. 

In regards to making things I failed miserably. I have made a lot of outfits but unfortunately none for me. I do have a post to show you at another date of how Little Lady and I collaborated on a top for her ๐Ÿ˜Š 

We’ve talked about buying, gifts, and making but what about mending? I have done a LOT of mending this past year! 

I made shorts out of a pair of school trousers with holes in the knee:I also:

  1. Repaired a seam in my running tights
  2. Patched every pair of jeans I own over the year
  3. Repaired a seam in normal leggings
  4. Repaired a pair of shorts I had already made from a pair of jeans
  5. Fixed a jumper
  6. Replaced missing buttons on a cardigan 
  7. Shortened a dress to make it wearable
  8. Re hemmed two pairs of trousers
  9. Repaired a hole in the underarm of a cardigan

And I’m sure there were more but that’s all I seem to have kept a record of. 

All in all I think I did okay. There was room for improvement but I don’t think it was a complete failure. The big question now is: where do I go from here? Well pretty much all my clothes are looking tired. My jeans have been mended to within an inch of their lives. A very kind friend has just gifted me two new-to-me pairs of jeans so they will last a while but I could really do with some new clothes. I don’t intend to go out and buy all new and I will use charity shops as much as I can. But I do think this next year may be spent replacing the majority of my clothes. 

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Home Truths

It embarrasses me to admit that my house is constantly untidy. In fact if I were to take a photo of the front room floor at this moment you would see what I mean. Actually wait right there and I will…..

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If you were to visit me, you would need to squeeze past the pushchair in the hallway, negotiate shoes that have just been flung rather than put tidy and then clamber over the train tracks in the front room before you even get to sit down!

I always thought that when I grew up and had a house of my own that it would look like something out of the magazines. Perfectly decorated, accessorised beautifully and – more importantly – tidy! Maybe I’m not grown up enough yet???

Our main problem (if you don’t count the kids ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) is clutter. Basically we have too much stuff! No amount of organisation or storage is going to give us a tidy home. One of the items on my Day Zero list is to declutter 100 items. So far I have decluttered 78 items and I still have a long way to go!! To clarify, I haven’t been counting individual items but boxes or bags of items that have been donated or sold on, ie a box of toys so a lot more than 100 individual items have left the house already!

A bag of toys that was rehomed

A bag of toys that was rehomed

So far we have been through the play room and Little Lady’s toys and books. I have also made a start on my wardrobe and have so far removed 36 items, although according to my rule that will only count as 1 as it fitted in one bag.

Paperwork that was years out of date

Paperwork that was years out of date

I made a good start on old paperwork too and shredded two boxes full of bank statements that went back to year dot, well near enough anyway!!

In January I decluttered 31 items. There was a few individual items in that count as they were big things like my running buggy and D’s baby carrier and isofix base but mostly that was boxes of toys. I must admit here that the attic is chock full of pretty much every toy they have ever owned! I have serious hoarding issues ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I am doing my very best to conquer this though. I have given away pretty much all the kids’ baby clothes I had held onto and most of their baby toys.

There aren't even any "Nan's " in our family!

There aren’t even any “Nan’s ” in our family!

Originally keeping all our baby items was a good thing. They were all saved for “the next one” and poor D has lived with his sister’s hand-me-downs throughout his 3 years on this planet (toys not clothes I hasten to add!). But alas, there will not be another “next one” so it all needs to go. The items are being donated to various charity shops or to friends and other items are being sold on selling pages etc with the money going to Little Lady’s Disneyland fund! Well she did do a very good job of her bedroom. The box below is one of 4 boxes she decluttered! Like mother like daughter I’m afraid!

Books and toys

Books and toys

No wonder my house is never tidy! How on earth can it be with all this stuff?? I am a woman on a mission this year and I will get the clutter down to a managable level. We will never live in a minimalist house I know that but if I can reduce our level of “stuff” to a half then the house should look a lot better.

I hope! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Charity Shopping

I do like a good rummage in a charity shop I have to admit. If I’m in town I tend to pop in at least 2 of the many charity shops there. Yesterday while in town with hubby, who is currently off work with a torn bicep (ouch), we wandered into my favourite shop for bric a brac.

We were actually looking for a board game. While visiting the in-laws, little Lady was really taken by their version of Connect 4, so I thought I’d keep my eye out for a second hand one for her. They didn’t have the board game but I did find 2 side plates that match 2 dinner plates I already have.

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I love my dinner plates and was so chuffed when I saw these at 30p each.

I also treated myself to this rather lovely tea cup and saucer for the grand sum of ยฃ1

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Isn’t it pretty? The bottom says Harpers of Staffordshire which seem to be a china wholesalers. But I love it anyway.

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Have you bought anything lovely from a charity shop lately?

Spilt milk

In order to ease up on our finances a bit I have taken a second job. I work every other weekend in the evenings. This way it doesn’t affect childcare as hubby is home and it won’t affect my main job either.

I spent my first weekend shadowing and as a result didn’t have a proper pay. As it wasn’t a proper pay I decided to treat both hubby and I. We don’t treat ourselves very often so it was nice to have a bit of spare money to be able to ๐Ÿ™‚

Hubby chose a DVD. NCIS season 9. This was a DVD I was going to buy him for his birthday but at nearly ยฃ40 I decided not to. It has since been reduced and I bought it for just over ยฃ18 inc p&p ๐Ÿ™‚

Me on the other hand. What did I want as a treat? To be honest, there was nothing that I could think of. I must be getting old ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I have been frequenting charity shops looking for wooden photo frames for a project I have in mind for the front room and on one visit I saw this.

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A lovely jug and plate. Reminds me of the old wash bowls but in miniature size.

I was rather taken by it and since I have been looking for a milk jug for my tea set for a while, I decided to buy it as my treat! And at ยฃ2.50 who could say no??

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I’m not exactly sure if it was meant as a milk jug as the bowl throws me slightly. Anyone know what it would have originally been for?