A few people have asked for more information and/or links on compacting. Here are a few that I’ve found from Google
Mama’s on the Compact
Out of the Retail Rat Race (very timely seeing as Christmas is so close)
Don’t Buy New
Living Green This article focuses on the environmental impact of Compacting, and states that there is very little environmental effect from Compacting. I think this is flawed, as the author doesn’t seem to take into account the environmental impact of manufacture, limited usage, disposal or even that fact that if an item is reused, recycled or remade into something else then that is one or more other items that don’t need to be manufactured/bought/disposed of.
For me, compacting is more about breaking my excessive consumerism habits. This was brought home to me by the fact that my nine year old daughter expected me to buy her a treat, toy or lolly every time we went shopping, even when I just went to fill the car with petrol. If I refused then we had a (minor) scene and at one point she said “But you always buy me something!” Oops…. She sees me go into a fabric or craft shop for one or two items, and come out with $100 or more of other stuff, that is then put into bags and added to my craft stash. What is this teaching her?
I don’t go in for ‘Retail Therapy’ as such, I don’t go and spend hundreds of $$$ on clothes that I wear only once or twice, but I have my own bad habits to break. And as a parent, I see it as my responsibility to teach my child that money is a tool, purchases need to be thought about and planned. The value of money is not necessarily the face value on it. And what is the value of having a cluttered home, a bedroom with so many toys that you can’t see the floor? What is it teaching her about blessing others when I allow her to keep every toy since she was two? Why does she need new toys all the time, when she has so many she doesn’t play with them all. And possibly the most important lesson, being able to say no to yourself!