My husband and I seem to generate an insane amount of trash.  Granted, 85% of what we toss goes in the recycling bin or donation pile, about another 5% is compost, and the remaining 10% is landfill bound.  It’s possible things are at a fever pitch lately because we’ve been doing a lot of purging, consolidating, reducing and using up stuff we have – but I am always amazed when garbage day rolls around how much stuff we haul to the curb – especially since we’ve been buying so much less this year.

Every now and then, there is something that can’t be left curbside – it actually needs to be taken to the dump.  Because it’s a bit of a process, and you have to pay to dispose of items there, Ron lets a few things accumulate instead of running out every time a dump-bound item pops up.  I get that.  HOWEVER.  There are times when he will let a pile of junk stack up in our side yard until it starts to resemble the set of Bill Cosby’s live portion of the Fat Albert show.  Weekend after weekend passes with no action.  It drives me crazy.  When I walk downstairs in the morning and look outside, that grungy junk pile is the first sight I’m greeted with.  So I start nagging.  And nagging some more.  And then yelling and giving ultimatums.

Recently, we were deep into the nagging phase and on the edge of the yelling/ultimatum phase over a discarded dehumidifier.  It had broken down a few months ago so we had replaced it, and Ron had actually made a trip to the dump since it had landed in the junk pile, but for some reason the dehumidifier got left behind.  I was annoyed, and getting more irritable by the day every time I looked at it.

And then a couple weeks ago, I got a recall letter in the mail from Kenmore, who had manufactured the dehumidifier, because apparently it was a known fire hazard.  I showed the letter to Ron more out of a sense of “Whew, weren’t we lucky ours just quit working and didn’t burn our house down”, but he took the letter and did some online research.  I heard him laugh suddenly from the other room.

“Guess what?” he grinned.  “As a part of the recall, they’re offering a refund of $100 for the faulty dehumidifier.  And all they need is for us to send in the cord.”

“Oh my God!”  I cried, jubilant.  “A hundred bucks?  That’s awesome!  Thank God we still have it…” I trailed off as I saw the smug look on Ron’s face.

Okay, so I guess he won that round.  Do I advocate continual procrastination about taking stuff to the dump because it worked out this once?  No.  No I don’t.  (So don’t get any ideas, RON).  But a little windfall of $100 was really helpful at this point, and I couldn’t wait to spend it.

We’ve been hard core about putting every penny towards our credit cards lately, and we’ve made tremendous progress.  However, we’ve also had a growing list of things we’ve been putting off replacing due to lack of money.  I asked Ron if he minded if we used this unexpected cash to get some things on our list, and he said go for it.

Our downstairs bathroom has been bugging me for a while.  We moved from a one-bathroom house to a two-bathroom house six years ago, and we chose to put our money into the decor of the master bath, and just used the decor from the bathroom in our old house for the downstairs bath.  Our new downstairs bathroom was tiled in very cool black and white schoolhouse tile, so I figured anything would go in there.  But if I’m honest, it does look a bit hodgepodge:

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Before

I’ve never bought one new piece of decor for this room.  I recently got rid of the fish-top basket you can see in the bottom left hand corner of the picture, and that already opened the room up more.  Here’s what I did to the rest of the room:

  1. Bought a black and white shower curtain on Ebay, for the exact amount of money I had left in my PayPal account ($11).
  2. Bought two plain, nice quality, all white hand towels for this bathroom – up to this point we’ve used a mix of different towels all from mismatched old sets.  I moved the old ones to the laundry area to use as cleaning rags.
  3. Replaced the blue toilet lid cover with a black one
  4. Bought a black tissue box cover to pick up the black accent even more
  5. Bought four nice quality tub mats, two for the downstairs bath, and two for the master bath, so now they are all the same and when we do laundry Ron does not have to be confused as to which goes where.  I tossed out all the old mismatched and fraying tub mats we’ve been using.
  6. Got rid of the rug, since that bathroom gets a lot of foot traffic and the rug just tends to end up looking dirty and gross

I think it looks prettier, and less cluttered – look:

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After

Although nearly every item I bought was on sale or purchased with a coupon after a lot of comparison shopping, I did go about seven dollars over my $100 budget, but I’m not going to sweat it.

Oh, but you know what I WILL sweat?  The fact that that dehumidifier is still sitting outside waiting to go to the dump…

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Gross

Back to nagging…

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