Stay Connected

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Turning My Week Around

It's been a week of setbacks, setbacks to our property, our car, my health, and the garden. When things just keep going wrong, I have to do two things: 1) identify those things that are going right in life, and 2) make a forward step somewhere in my life.

As for number one, as I was watering the garden today I counted 16 growing pumpkins and winter squash in my little pumpkin patch. This makes me very happy. I caught myself smiling and humming a tune as I watered and counted. Now that was a great way to change my perspective on my past week. The rest will turn around soon, too.

For the second item, I was at Value Village on senior discount day and found something on my list, a plastic gift wrap storage box in pristine condition.

The manufacturer identifies this as an underbed storage box. But it's the exact length of commercial rolls of gift wrap paper. Fred Meyer sells this for $17.99.

At Value Village, it was marked $6.99. With my senior discount, I paid $4.89. Not too bad -- a $13 discount for an item I needed.

Tuesday evening, as I was putting together my schedule for Wednesday's chores, I decided I would prioritize tidying up the gift wrapping supplies. Our assorted wraps, gift bags, tissue paper, cellophane, basket/bag fill, bows/ribbons, gift tags and cards, packing peanuts and bubble wrap had taken over an entire closet. I gathered up the packing peanuts and bubble wrap and set it all aside for our free pile this next weekend (will list on Craigslist if we can't get rid of it in the neighborhood). Then I brought all of the rest of the supplies to the dining room table. I sorted absolutely everything. 

When I finished, I had some torn wrap and tissue to add to the compost, stuff to give away, and only took up one shelf in the closet for our various packaging needs. 

One of the things that pleased me the most is I only had a handful of stuff for the trash can, less than what would fill a sandwich bag. When I set out to my task, I brought a grocery bag for the garbage. It turned out that I didn't need that bag at all.

And we now know exactly what we have and that we don't need to buy gift wrap, ribbon or greeting cards for a long, long time.

You know, the satisfaction in cleaning out that closet really helped to boost my mood. Between counting the pumpkins and sorting our gift wrap supplies, I now feel like life is going a lot better than I had previously believed. 

I hope your week has been a good one. 


  1. Sorry to hear of so many things that just aren't "right". Mostly, I pray your health improves since that is the often the "glue" that holds a lot together. Not to minimize your many issues but we too are dealing with a major issue in our life. I won't share as it is very sensitive right now but just pray.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I'm sorry to hear there's a major issue in your life right now. I just said a prayer for you and your family.
      You're right. When my health is is good, I feel like I can handle a lot more. So, thank you. Take good care of yourself and your family right now.

    2. What an insightful comment. Alice, about our health being the glue holding things together. So true.

      I am praying now for you and Lili. So sorry to hear about your troubles. I had noticed that we hadn't heard from you lately.

  2. Sometimes all you can do is to look for something good and move on. But it's hard, especially when things pile up. I hope that some of your issues resolve soon. I have a box like that for wrapping paper that I actually store under the bed. I have had it for years and it works well for us.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn.
      I have wanted a box like this for a long time. I love that it could also be used under the bed, if I change where and/or what I want to store. I'm glad to hear yours has been so useful for you.
      While at the thrift store this spring and summer, I've noticed that the plastic storage containers get snapped up quickly. One lady had an entire shopping cart full of plastic storage bins this last week.

  3. Hi, Lili -- I love this happy success for your week! This is the sort of thing I've been trying to look for, as well .... actually, both small successes AND a couple of plastic bins to accomplish some small successes! (giggle) I have kept the big moving box (made from two stacked moving boxes taped together) that I made to move our wrapping paper, gift boxes, bows and ribbons in a few years ago, as permanent storage. Since I have a 30 year tradition of buying ONE new roll of Christmas paper every year (originally to be from Santa, because even tiny, our boys recognized previous year's paper patterns LOL), along with tissue paper, other-occasion paper, and we save/re-use boxes and bows, I have enough to fit a 2x2x4 box without too much slop (though the past two years, I've had extra room, and also put in our old artificial table-top Christmas tree from the years we lived in a motorhome in there, and that's tightened things up a bit.)

    My hoped-for plastic bin "project" is to take some of the extra pillows and linens I have accumulated out of the linen closets, to store safely in another location (bottom of a regular closet or maybe stacked in the garage). I don't want to get rid of any of it, because I agree with my grandmother who thought you really can't have too many pillows and linens, unless you don't have anymore space for them. You'll wear something out and be happy to have a back-up (especially because I inherited a lot of mine, and she got hers in the old "white sale" days, when she had a few extra dollars to spend. What happened to yearly "white sales"?????) I didn't have to buy anything when I went away from home the first time, to design school. Grandma dug in the linen closet, and in a minute and a half outfitted me completely for the bed and bath. (I still have the violet-print towels, 40 years later!)

    Anyway, I think it would be a daily joy to have a little less digging to do in the linen closet (and fewer pillows falling on my head! LOL), so that's my next little organizational goal. I've been looking at garage sales (including a family combined sale we did last week), but as you said, bins are popular! But since we just made some money at a garage sale, I can put some of that money towards a couple of full-price bins at a box store, if I can't find cheaper ones.

    Continuing to keep you close in thoughts and prayers, as always. Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      Good luck with your linen and pillow organizing/storage project. I hope you find just the right containers. I agree with your grandmother, too. Pillows and bed/bath linens will always be needed at some point. I haven't had to buy bath towels because we received so many sets at our wedding and my bridal shower all of those years ago. Some have worn out and are now used for cleaning. But I've had that surplus as back-up to replace those worn towels.
      Thank you for continued thoughts and prayers.


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post