TWTYTW – that was the year that was 2010

Super Amazing Mum asked me to join her linky, and who can say no to her?

I like the idea of a review rather than resolutions, I plan to write my 101 list in 1001, but, see what I did there – it’s a plan – it lives in a bubble in my mind as yet a solid form. So I am happier at the moment to look back at the solid experiences of 2010.
2010 was the one where I de-junked, recycled, downsized, and lived (sort of) frugally.
At the end of 2009 my dear old cat died, sad, but without sounding like an insensitive Cat Bin Woman, it cost me a fortune in vet’s bills. Then the washing machine broke, then the TV, then the microwave and then the kettle. Although, we got some lovely shiny new stuff including a TV with HD (love it). By the end of January the credit card was maxed up and we decided we needed to move house.
It was time for Action (Aka dejunking/downsizing)
I hoard. I have this habit of thinking I may need it later, at some indeterminable point in the future. However, life has taught me a lesson in all this that I never really heeded. In 1999 I gave up my job, sold my flat and packed almost everything I owned into storage and headed to Southern Africa for 3 months (that’s a whole other story). Everything ended up in storage for nearly 2 years, so obviously, I didn’t really need it. Then the storage place caught fire and that was the end of that. What did I miss? One tea chest full of books and photographs.
So I decided to apply this lesson in life again in 2010, because over the past few years I seem to have acquired a house full of stuff, and actually, a lot of it I didn’t really need, and what I didn’t want to do was move it to another house. So in 2010 I decided to be ruthless. If I didn’t wear it or use it, it went.
Over the months, I sorted through, every drawer, every cupboard, every shelf and spent a lot of time in my attic. I was a woman on a mission. I hate throwing stuff away (part of my hoarder freakiness) so that became the last resort. I recycled, gave stuff to friends, charity shops and Ebayed. I had outfits that I’d brought for occasions only to decide at the next occasion I need something new; it all went on Ebay.
Being (sort of) frugal
The credit card bill had to go. Apart from food everything became a luxury. I do love shopping and buying clothes, but I decided unless I really needed it I couldn’t have it. I often spent ages in shops having little conversations in my head in which I talked myself out of; clothes, boots, make-up, accessories, shoes, soft furnishings, etc etc.
No more take-aways or ready meals (did fail a bit on that one). I did meal plans for the week and shopped on line to avoid buying extras. Joined Love Film, cheaper than Block Busters or the cinema. We enjoyed home cooked meals and a DVD on the sofa.
Using Martins Money Saving Expert website (love Martin), I changed the Utilities to something cheaper, sold old mobiles and changed my savings account. I swapped all the light bulbs for low energy but mostly ensured if we are not in the room then lights are off. Used the central heating timer more practically, we no longer heat the whole house if we are just in the living room.
No foreign holiday, 2 weeks in Suffolk instead (which was fabulous). I did splash out on a trip to a Festival but Mr. Noo didn’t come with us, so that saved some money (so less a splash more a puddle).
At the end of 2010, it’s not perfect and many do better than us, but the credit card bill has been paid off  and the credit card has been empty for months. I often stare at the card knowing its nakedness and think of lovely clothes and shoes and soft furnishings but then I give myself a slap and get a grip. We have saved money and made money which has gone in an account for the planned house move, and that’s my project for 2011.

11 Comments

  1. ChocOrangeCityMum

    Great post, I need to declutter (to move house) and stop spending so much (to quit my job!) so will take some of your 2010 actions and try to make them my 2011 ones!!

  2. kerryonliving

    I have nothing but admiration and drooling envy for anyone who can declutter so ruthlessly. I would love to but my husband starts twitching and sweating when he sees a clear surface or a bit of floor space. Hope the house moving plans go full speed ahead!

  3. I-Heart-Motherhood

    Wow and there was I all pleased with myself that I dejunked
    one tiny cupboard last week! I need to follow your lead cos with a
    new baby on the horizon we’re going to be strapped for cash. Nice
    post Gemma!

  4. Alexander Residence

    I can’t believe the storage fire story – wow! I have been very like you decluttering (but not as extreme as you – may take notes) and as the year ended a sudden money panic. May make Martin a friend too. I’ve found the 30 day rule. If you want something, vow to buy it in 30 days. It normally means I’ve forgotten about it…

  5. ella

    Well done for everything you achieved! I love decluttering and being frugal, it’s such a good feeling knowing you have only what you need and that there’s money in the bank (or at least not piling up on the credit card!)

  6. Superlittlemen

    Congratulations on the credit card bill, I am ashamed to say we had 3 credit cards between us, luckily the amounts on each were not running into too high a figures and we have now paid 2 off and it feels good and the third is well under way, plus a car loan has been repaid early as well. We too moved last year and your post reminded me of me, I hoard for a rainy day and got all harsh with myself. I don’t think I was maybe as successful as you but I was proud of how much I did get rid of, and am trying to live a better un-hoarding existence now!

  7. Pingback: Everything's Moving | Helloitsgemma

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