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(Almost) 10-Year Challenge: Remember Unshopping?

Does anyone remember that old buzzword, before KonMari fever sparked joy and rage in equal measure, because Americans love following self-help instructions and also because outrage sparks joy for Americans?

And will anyone remember the 10-year aging challenge on Facebook 10 years from now? (If Facebook still exists in 10 years, I guess "Memories" will remind us.)


Anyway, looking back at my old Facebook photos and my old posts on the Magic Nutshell, it seems that a decade of aging has transferred all the fat from my cheeks to my... other cheeks. Also, I started writing about unshopping (the trend that could have prevented the massive need for the tidying-up trend) almost a decade ago. And I obviously did not make up this concept; it's as old as civilization, probably, and had already become A Thing before the economy recovered from the recession and America began its mindless consuming again in earnest.

When I wrote about unshopping in 2010, I was a lot snarkier than sweet, gracious Marie Kondo--or my current self. My current self is somewhere between Marie Kondo and this snotty woman-child here. I guess having a baby and maturing into one's 30s will do that.

Post from 9 Years Ago:
"Unshopping for Health and Wealth"

My lifestyle hasn't changed much from when I wrote the above post. My relationship to unshopping and minimizing waste remains the same, although adding a kid to the household does make it more challenging--and humbling. I'm less judgy about the particulars. For example, I understand very well how there are certain times and places when paper towels and disposable plates can be a lifesaver. Depending upon where you live and where your paper and water come from and other factors, disposables can even be more eco-friendly than washing dishes. It's complicated! (Spoiler alert: These products will be used in my house for my daughter's upcoming birthday party.)

For the most part, I've held onto these unshopping practices, and they've served me well. At 36, I've still never once purchased a new piece of furniture. Not even from IKEA, seriously. I have kids and other animals tearing around my house joyfully every day, and I don't want to stress about my precious, new stuff getting messed up. I don't grow my own veggies anymore, but I now have an apple "orchard" of three trees that bear fruit every fall. At some future time, maybe I'll do container gardens. In the meantime, I still compost, though the worm bin has retired. I am now the proud owner of an electric car, replacing one of our two fossil-junkers. The wisdom beneath the snark of my "Unshopping" post has withstood the test of time. Even with a child and a pet, my home is cozy and fun and has the hygge, yet it's easily tidied because we don't wildly over-purchase or hoard stuff.

In fact, it's tidy and un-precious enough to allow me to host a birthday party for my second grader soon, which will spark oh-so-much joy. One of the guests asked my daughter what they'll be doing at the party, to which she answered, "Making messes and stuff."

I'll plan on taking before-and-after pictures of my house as we experience the joyous tidying and the joyous tearing-it-up.

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