Fun With Reverse Shopping

by This Old Housewife


Forward shopping is when you go out into stores, buy something, then bring it home whether it has a pre-designated need or not, whether it has a pre-designated spot or not.

Reverse shopping is exactly the opposite. It's taking something from the home and returning it to a shop (thrift store or yard sale) because it no longer fills a need and you want the space it occupies returned to you.

If someone were to propose to you a year-long trip to Your Personal Fantasy Land all expenses paid (including home bills), would you go without hesitation, or would you turn the trip down for fear of losing contact with your precious possessions?

If a year is too big to digest, try asking the Personal Fantasy Land question in shorter time frames. Instead of a year, try six months or a season. Which possessions could you live without making daily contact with, or monthly contact, or seasonal contact, or longer?

It's now time to begin planning the Great Jettison Party. Here's how it goes:

You have stuff in boxes you haven't even unpacked from three moves ago. Boxes and boxes of stuff you haven't looked at in ages, given to you by well-meaning relatives. In the "spare bedroom," there exists various organizational storage devices, but you still aren't organized, just better disguised. Closets heap with unseen stuff on shelves and in corners. Yet more boxes are stored away from home in storage centers, garages, and basements.

Here's the remedy. Invite your friends over to the Great Jettison Party, complete with real invitations and pizza, where they help you sort possessions into two boxes: KEEP and TRASH. They each get a box of stuff to sort out, and they continue sorting into "keep" and "trash" until the job is done. The trash then goes out to the trashcan, while friends further sort the "keep" box. They get to go through it and keep whatever they want. You keep the rest.

The Great Jettison Party is a way of de-cluttering and having some fun with friends without the emotional attachment of acknowledging each individual possession. It can also mean a new source of income, depending on how empty the "spare bedroom" becomes.


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