Old Fashioned Thrift

I have a copy of a 1924 Popular Mechanics for Women magazine that I inherited from my grandmother. And while I don’t suggest you attempt to build the terrifying DIY chicken wire playpen, I was struck by the advice to rotate stroller wheels to equalize wear.

play pen
1920s Portable Play Yard

The short article advised readers that when baby stroller tires are the same size, the rear tires wear down before the front ones. Rotating tires would make it “unnecessary to renew them until all are worn out.”

Thrifty mom saves herself from buying a new set of four tires until all are worn down.  

My Stroller Stash

I own three different strollers- three! The single, the double (which also has jogging wheels) and the umbrella. If one of the wheels were to wear down, I’d shrug and order a new set online. 

There is a connection between how much stuff we own and our sloppy care of our possessions. I’m willing to bet that ‘1920s momma’ didn’t have multiple strollers at her disposal.

Three strollers is actually my pared down minimalizing number. I just gave the single running stroller away as the amount it got used didn’t justify its storage for when we return to being a single stroller family.  The others I just can’t part with yet.

The double is the daily go-to for outings farther than a few blocks. The single does nicely for short runs to the library and nearby parks that are walkable for our preschooler.  The umbrella fits neatly into our packed car for outings and is light to lug onto our inaccessible street car and commuter train.

transit stroller

Taking Stock

The stroller tally doesn’t even include our other wheeled methods of pushing kids from A to B. The small wagon and push car.

I wish I could just let some of these go and clean up our front yard but its all so handy right now. While I sometimes long for a suburban garage to hide things away, I am grateful for the trade-off of living in the city where I can walk to so much.

Suffice to say, if we were in a condo without backyard spill over options our storage locker would be scary. Or maybe not.

With limited storage I’d have refused the kind offer of the push car and sold the single stroller. And maybe with less possessions to care for, after seeing that 1920s article I’d have even gotten out the tool kit and rotated the tires on my umbrella stroller.

No Sock Sorting

I don’t think anyone has noticed but I’ve been wearing the same pair of socks for the last two years.  Okay only kinda. The cashier did chuckle though when I walked to the counter with one dozen individual pairs of mid-weight navy women’s socks and another dozen individual pairs of men’s white socks for hubby.

Minimalism isn’t only about having less, its also about simplifying and turning down the stress in other ways.  Yes, as the chief laundry doer in my house, mismatched socks were a source of stress. There always seemed to be a loner sock that had to be put aside for its pair to appear. And how long should you hang on to the loner before admitting the other sock is simply lost forever to the dyer vortex?

I now spend zero time sorting my socks. An extra sock just means it’ll wait around until the next load of clean laundry. Granted I can no longer express my individualism and personality through my socks.  I actually really enjoy playful socks that say to the world ‘I don’t take myself too seriously’.

No Christmas or St Patty’s socks either. The trade off in terms of no sorting is so worth it.

My little ones have some seriously cute socks and I hope there will be no permanent damage to their development but I’m transitioning their sock drawers to identical socks too.  Neither kid can seem to keep a sock on for a day’s duration.

socks

I’m literally at ten socks without pairs for my toddler and tired of looking at mismatched socks on his feet. So goodbye truck and race car socks and hello a little more sanity for momma.

Are Quality Kid Clothes Worth It?

One of the pluses of a minimalist wardrobe is buying bigger ticket quality pieces guilt-free.  I own one pair of everyday boots that get me through the early spring, fall and most of Toronto’s winter. Being a Canadian I still do own a pair of serious snowfall winter boots mostly for out of city excursions- shoveled sidewalks being a nice perk of big city living.  Since I’m only buying one pair I look for something stylish that isn’t going to fall apart. So, I splurge on my Blundstones without any guilt about dusty forgotten ‘cute but man do these pinch my toes’ boots hiding in the back of my closet.

With the days getting cooler and my Blundstone’s soles looking rather sad after five years, it was time to scout out a new pair. I brought my toddler along on the shopping trip to get him his first pair of Blundstones or as they’re adorably called Blunnies.

Up till now I’ve gone the second-hand route for kids footwear but I’ve been finding it hit and miss on the shoe condition presumably because at this stage the shoes are getting more wear before being outgrown. At over $100 I’m really hoping that we will get a few seasons out of the Blunnies- fall, winter and next spring. I also steered clear of the army motif and bought a style that will work well for my daughter to wear as a hand-me-down.  By the time she’s three, she might have something to say about overly “boy” clothes.

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The Blunnies of course won’t get five years of wear like mine so is the investment worth it or should I have gotten something a little less durable? I’m thinking that at this point quality is worth it as both kids will be able to get a few seasons of super warmth and dryness from these and I expect to get a decent resale value down the line. And while I’m not too into dressing my kids like mini adults, these are just so darn cute.  Definitively worth it for the planet too, as I’m sure these are going to see a lot more happy feet before they see a landfill.