Diamonds And The Dump

Most dreaded tasks are not as bad as imagined. Phone calls you put off or getting an oil change for your car or breaking the news to your husband that with the increase in his running mileage you think it is best to have separate laundry baskets, all not as bad as you build them up to be. In retrospect there was more to thinking about having to do them than the getting done part.

Going to the dump defied that rule for me.

I procrastinated about going for five weeks. That was four weeks with a corner of our living room piled with cracked suitcases and expired infant car seats and one week with all of it in our car.

I will confess that I have become a bit of a ‘greeney’ in the last two years. If 32 year-old me had ever told 25 year-old me that we would some day cloth diaper our son, 25 year-old me would have said, you are one crazy old lady. But I really like cloth diapering. It’s easy and yes, you do have ‘stuff’ for it but the ‘stuff’ for it can be reused and reused and reused. The cost savings is fantastic, the not having diaper smelling garbage around the house all the time is great and I think Henry looks extra cute in them.

Three months ago I invested in a set of microfibre tea towels, a load of wash cloths and a couple sets of cloth napkins. We have gone paperless in more ways that one. Also pretty easy, saves money and reduces waste. Confession: we are still using the Swiffer system. I feel bad about it and am searching for a reusable/washable alternative. If anyone knows of a good one please tell me.

You won’t find me in a Critical Mass bike ride – that is a rant for another daybut you will find me trying to pick up some habits that are easier on mother earth. Points if they are also easier on the wallet.

My new-ish green side was sickened by the dump. This wasn’t even the true dump, just a transfer station where you unload your stuff and then it gets trucked to the dump. There was a lot of broken particle board furniture, old couches and grossness happening. A lot of the furniture looked pretty new and was recognizable as IKEA. Yet another reason to invest in quality. A friend from high school left a comment on a previous post that she has left all of her books on the floor until she finds the right bookcase. Amen, sister. Wait/save/research and invest in quality and something that you love. Avoid temporary furniture purchases.

As penance for purchasing cheap things and not keeping the receipt to get them repaired under warranty, the exit from the dump was excruciatingly slow. We were stuck behind this milk wagon type van that, from its signage, takes other people’s stuff to the dump for them. I can see the appeal of this service in so many ways. The dump makes you feel bad and wasteful and itchy and full of first world problems. Kinda like the time I was in Marrakesh and Chris, Katy and I went to the non-tourist area of the Medina and got hissed at.

The dump trip was a boost to my minimalist resolve. I suggest a trip if you need a pep talk about keeping your wallet in check and your home clutter free.


This post about engagement rings by Tammy Strobel at Rowdy Kittens blew me away. If you sport a rock or are thinking about buying one I challenge you to read and reflect. While I was never obsessed with diamond rings like Tammy, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to spending some time on the Tiffany’s website.

Confession: I have some decent bling on my left hand. The insurance for my engagement ring is over $600 a year. Gulp. I like my rings a lot. My husband picked out the engagement ring and I picked out the band. I don’t see us getting rid of them anytime soon. But I also don’t see us making any large jewelery purchases in the future.


After six weeks of selling and donating and tossing my home was finally looking tidy. On Sunday I put away a box of items that are still waiting for new owners via Craigslist. Our living room was looking great and I was feeling quite proud of myself.

On Monday, my sister that is living with us at the moment, had the contents of her apartment delivered to a storage locker nearby. She then brought a few boxes home. No more tidy here. She has one month to sell/donate/loan out most of it. If you are in the area and looking for housewares keep an eye on her blog.

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  • In Defense of Bling: Every time I look at my ring I think ‘Nice. Greg did good.’ Long after the wedding is over, it remains. The dress hangs in the closet, the shoes won’t get worn and the photos just sit in the drawer. But the ring lives on my hand, every moment of everyday. I wash the dishes with it, I drive to work with it and make love with it. My ring reminds me of the time, care and sacrifice that my husband made to marry me. For that, I love my bling.

    • Maggie: I love my bling too. I have nothing but good memories associated with it. And I also love your bling. And I know you and Greg are excellent with your money so you truly bought what you could afford. When you live within your means you don’t have the same negatives associated with purchases that those that live above their means do. You and Greg are a shining example to me of people that earn well, live well and are smart with their money.
      Here’s an example of bad spending from my life: my honeymoon to Paris and Rome was awesome but Chris and I still feel like it was a bit of a downer because we used credit. We were quite deflated to come home from it and face our wedding and honeymoon debt. Our last Europe trip was saved for over two years with change in jars. We felt awesome about the trip and really good about ourselves for saving.

  • we got the bissel stick vac for $50 from Target and it is awesome. That + the dyson handheld and we’re set :-) I still use an old school mop.

    • By the way, the Method is a squirt and mop kind so even though I am using an old-fashioned mop there are no stupid buckets to deal with.

  • Henry does look super cute – I used cloth nappies for my second child but only sporadically as I did struggle with leaks (he sure can produce some liquid my second born) – but they are most certainly worth a try, even if for me they weren’t sustainable long-term (I know a lot of people for whom they have worked) – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

  • You might want to give a try — I have the mop system with reusable and washable cloths and love it. I dry mop and shake out the cloth daily, and don’t typically need to wash with every use. Her microfiber cloths are great too. Just be forewarned — Flylady is very enthusiastic and loves acronyms. The system works for me though!

  • I use the swiffer handle and base, but just put a rag on it. Attach the rag the same way you would the disposable swiffer cloths. Then, obviously, just toss them in the laundry. I use mine this way using dry rags or damp rags (my minimalist swiffer wet jet). Certain rags work better than others so experiment with the sizes and materials you’ve got until you find a few that work.

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