Bath ‘sheets’ are a bad idea, and other impulse buys to avoid

This letter comes courtesy of the major de-clutter season I’m in.

Mother and teen daughter smiling together

As of this writing, there is a freshly laundered Costco bath sheet folded neatly in the empty Gigi’s Cupcakes bag on our laundry room counter (waste not, want not, and the food was only in there for like 5 minutes, in a box).

In theory, these extra-roomy towels can seem like a smart purchase, especially when you consider the prospect of feeling wet and cold post-shower on a chilly winter day.

In reality, they are too big to hang neatly on any towel rack. They are too cumbersome to wrap around your body without partly falling to the floor. They get the washing machine (agitator or not) off balance, take too long to dry, and prevent an otherwise tidy stack of bath towels from standing up straight.

But I digress.

Before the weekend is out, I’ll likely have not only that bag full, but several others as well, so determined am I to rid our home of anything that is not purposeful or meaningful.

Save a few sentimental things we’ve kept should you have a daughter or a niece one day (hello, American Girl dolls that still make my wallet hurt to think about what I shelled out for them), we did a beautiful purge of your closet too.

Goodbye mismatched plastic Barbie shoes! See ya never, Shopkins! Au revoir, motley crew of various stuffed things (oh but if I could’ve convinced you to toss in the Build-A-Bears too – #goals). Between what we knocked out together, and what I’ve slowly tackled on my own, there have been so many trips to the Salvation Army drop-off I am now a first name basis with their volunteers.

And that feels ridiculous. Not the part about getting to know the gentlemen who always help me unload the car – they are delightful human beings – but the fact that we’ve accumulated SO. MUCH. STUFF. A lot of it, shamefully, things we haven’t even needed or used.

Case in point. A few weeks ago I loaded up a set of four emerald green Vera Wang martini glasses and donated them. Two wedding gifts bought straight off the registry circa 2003 – glassware I just had to have even though we don’t even drink martinis. Keeping them this long (including moving them three different times) is almost as asinine as convincing myself we needed them in the first place.

And that’s just one example.

At least some good has come from it, and I’m talking more than extra room in the cabinets and closets. But it’s taken me almost 45 years to get here. Hoping this letter, along with what you are already learning growing up Walden, will teach you this lesson a lot sooner.

A few parting thoughts.

If you have to strategically arrange your coffee mugs to fit them in the cupboard, you have too many (also, don’t register for the matching ones to your everyday china. You’ll never use them).

Cute tops and trendy jeans are fun. But if you end up with more than a season’s worth, you’ll end up wasting both your money and your time (as you stand in your closet, overwhelmed by the irony of having too many choices yet nothing to wear).

Easy does it on the candles (and most every seasonal soap, throw blanket, toss pillow, and dish/decor item that TJ Maxx aka HomeGoods aka Marshall’s sells). There is a very fine line between tastefully feathering your nest and turning it into a tacky takeover of imported junk.

Bottom line, Baby Girl, purchase prudently and purge regularly. And get really good and comfortable saying no to stuff for stuff’s sake.

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