Friends keep asking me how my experiment with buying nothing new is going, and I have to admit that it’s not that hard. Really. I’m not having Forever 21 withdrawals or drunk dialing Williams Sonoma or anything.
For one thing, I don’t really go to malls for recreation or even like to go to them at all, so I haven’t really been tempted. For another, as I’ve mentioned, I have so much already. And finally, the more I interact with other members of The Compact, the more I realize that it’s actually feasible to make this a permanent lifestyle.
One reason for that is the EXCEPTIONS. Most Compacters have plenty of them, and most of them give each other a lot of leeway with their own personal choices. The basic motto seems to be: Do the best you can. That’s hardly what I would call dogmatic.
So I’m going to add to my list of exceptions now. First of all, no one recommends buying running shoes used, because that would be really bad for your feet. But I’d already decided I was going to keep buying new running shoes when I need them. Also flip flops can’t really be bought used, and the same for reading glasses. I’m going to add bathing suits to the list as something I can’t imagine buying used, even though I won’t need a new one this year.
The other two things I didn’t think to write down, but had assumed as exceptions are charities, which I’ll continue to support, and services, like the car wash, dry cleaner, and nail salon.
In fact, what I think I like most of all so far about The Compact is that there’s really nothing the group won’t help figure out. So if you feel like there’s just no way you could ever do it because you’re sending a kid to college this year and they’ll need all those supplies, or you’re moving and you’ll need to paint and redecorate, or any other reason, they’ll be there to give you suggestions about how you could do whatever you need to do in a Compact-y way.
So here’s my new list:
1. underwear, bras, and socks
2. hygiene products- deodorant, toothpaste, etc.- plus lotions and prescription drugs
3. expendables- light bulbs, car tires, replacements for air purifier, etc.
5. athletic shoes
6. food, of course
7. flip flops
8. reading glasses
9. bathing suits
This list is getting pretty long. Do you think you could join The Compact if you were allowed to buy all these things new? What exceptions would you need to take to get you to consider it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.