**Post by guest blogger Gretchen Kingsley**
As I’m writing this post, it’s July 4th – Independence Day. And today really has been a day of independence and freedom from *more* stuff. Yesterday and today have been filled with purging. How many trips can I possibly make to Goodwill and how many posts can I make to Freecycle before I’ve pared down to what is truly needed and wanted? And the boxes…oh, the empty boxes. In the past 2 months, I have ran to the recycling center with oodles and oodles of cardboard boxes.
Today, one of the greatest purges was a trash bag full of CD cases. Who needs them? You really can’t sell C.D’s any more like back in the good ol’ days. With all this new fangled technology there’s no need to keep those cases. And really, I probably don’t even need my C.D.’s if I would just upload them all to my computer. But that’s a trust issue that I’m not yet comfortable with. And the worst…or best…part was that I held on to 10 smaller cases for those times when you just need a case. What?! Fortunately, I came into my right mind after 2 hours of making that decision and threw those last 10 away as well. And I deleted my post to Freecycle for a set of coasters as I realized, “Oh, I could make these into really great repurposed gifts with photos or something else mod-podged on top!” Another step back into my normal way of thinking but I quickly realized the stupidity in that comment and actually followed through with the post. Aay!
With 2 ½ weeks until my due date, I’m in nesting mode. The toothbrush has come out and I’m scrubbing places I didn’t know existed. I’m also getting out all of the baby essentials. Every family has their unique list of baby essentials. What one family thinks is absolutely necessary isn’t for another family. My pledge to never (NEVER!) have an exersaucer enter my home was soon eagerly an accepted daily used item as I realized that I could now get dishes washed or cook supper while my little one bounced and played happily in it. Is it necessary? Definitely not. Do I love it and am I storing it for the next child. YES! It made it’s way on to my essential list whether I wanted it there or not.
I don’t want to share a list of my baby essentials since we all know children really don’t need a lot. Diapers, clothing, car seat. Those are necessities. Everything else, really isn’t. But there are other things that are essentials for each family. We each have our unique list of essentials. Slings/wraps/carriers, types of strollers, swings, bouncers, or exersaucers. Those ever-important items that help make life with children work well within each of our lives.
But I do want to share a list of baby items that I have found that I don’t need large quantities of. Have you ever seen the list that Babies R Us has on their “Must Haves Checklist”? Does a baby REALLY need multiples and multiples of sheets, changing pad covers, mattress pads, pacifiers, and every other baby item imaginable? As a first time parent, you can easily get sucked in to thinking they know best and buy those 6 sheets they say you should have. But with a baby, you are doing laundry ALL the time. There is no need for 6. You will have already done 4 loads of laundry by the time you would get through that many!
So, as I’ve noticed with other items I own (sunglasses, chapstick, etc) the fewer quantities that I have of them, the better I take care of them. I always know where they are and I’m not prone to leaving and forgetting them if I take them outside of the home.
I also take better care of these items. If they need washing, I wash them right away. The dishes and laundry doesn’t even have a chance to pile up. And we all know how helpful this is when all we really want to do is forget about loading the washing machine or washing those dishes piled next to the sink.
This is my list of those everyday items that I’ve found that I need very few of :
Washcloths and towels
Waterproof mattress pad covers
I have 2 of each of these items and all of them, besides the crib sheet and mattress pad cover, I could easily do with only 1.
Are there other baby essentials that you have cut back on or no longer find necessary? We can all use help with downsizing and the first step is to think about things differently than our culture (and Babies R Us) would like us to believe.
This post was linked to Your Green Resource at Live Renewed, Simple Lives Thursday at Gnowfglins, The Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, The Homestead Blog Carnival at the Morris Tribe, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, WLWW at Women Living Well