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What Do Your Possessions Say About You?

My husband and are in the process of attaining a chair and ottoman for our living room. Our possession of these objects came about rather strangely. We were sitting in the living room of our friend’s home when they mentioned their desire to replace it. Without hesitating for a moment my husband asked if we could have it. They agreed, (as they planned to donate it anyway), and with that their furniture found a new home.

When I told my mom we were getting a new chair she immediately asked about the color. When I told her it was purple, she said, “purple, that won’t match anything in your living room.” The funny thing about that comment is that none of our furniture matches. We have two yellow chairs and a green and red plaid couch so adding a purple chair and ottoman to the mix won’t much matter. All of them are covered in cat hair and most are ripped and torn from our 12 year old cat’s claws.

While this isn’t the ideal setup, it certainly suits my family for now. There is no point in replacing the furniture with anything nice while our cat’s alive and still has claws. We’ll gladly accept hand-me-downs that can handle the wear and tear of our animal and our new baby who will be crawling around on it in no time.

So what would a stranger think if he walked into my home and saw our mismatched decor? Well he might think we’re cheap, have horrible taste and are terrible pet owners. After all, we clearly should have trained the cat by now.

But the truth is in the broader context of my life the furniture is simply not important to me. The furniture is a place to sit, to rest, to relax or to read. It’s a place to hold the baby and a place where he can sit up and look out at the world.

These days I’m not focused on our matching decor. I’m focused on saving our money and finding a way to stay at home with my son. It doesn’t matter if the couch and chair clash or the sides of our furniture have all been ripped to shreds.

While my possessions may look tired and tattered I don’t much mind. My goal is to spend money on the things that really matter. On raising my son, retiring early and pursuing my passions. For now the furniture is functional enough to provide exactly what we need: a place to sit down.

For those of you who read this blog on a daily basis I am applying this same logic to the pink car seat. Who cares what people think about it. A perfectly safe, but less expensive car seat will leave more money for the things that matter.

Ms Life

Tuesday 6th of March 2012

My stuff in my previous home said 'tasteful' but now my household furniture screams "IKEA!!" - not that I mind.

Pam

Wednesday 29th of February 2012

We have really AWFUL carpet in most of our house, but we have a much-beloved cat who pukes a lot. I have no intention of replacing carpet with new that will end up in the same shape. We also have harvest gold countertops and a cooktop that are original to the house. Why? Because they still work! I hate the color, but can't justify in my head replacing them. Life goes on.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 1st of March 2012

Oh ugly countertops! Love that one! We have some pretty awful countertops too! But as you said they are functional, so we keep them. Plus I don't feel so guilty if I put a hot pot on them or use a knife without a cutting board :-)

Beth

Wednesday 29th of February 2012

That's so funny that you said that about the cat! Our couches were the same way! Cat scratches everywhere! And our recliner was almost the same color, but not as the couches. My husband has been wanting new couches for awhile. We got ours when we got our house, and spent about $300 for brand new couch, loveseat AND recliner. It was cheap, but we needed it to sit on, so we didn't splurge. Now that we're ina far better place, and he wants the couches that recline we started looking. I did the numbers and he did the sitting and researching that way lol. I told him in no way were we getting new stuff UNTIL our cat stopped scratching the furniture! Why would I spend a ton of money on something she would scratch? So, back in the summer, I got some of those cat scratcher things. We had some in the past and gave them away b/c our cat wanted no part of it. I also got the double sided tape and put it where she scratched the couches. I also put the one post directly in front of the one she loved to scratch...so now she was blocked from it. Then after a week or so, I moved the scratcher a few feet away. Then the following week, kept moving it. Until it was on the other side of the room. I also got one for the bedroom as she loved scratching our molding on the doors. I also put the tape there. she now LOVES the posts and we got her the big house thingy with the posts on it and little cubes she can sleep in. We got our new couches in December, and she doesn't scratch...so you can teach an old cat to do tricks :)

OH, and DH's friend took our furniture for his house and said 'Wow, your furniture is in great shape' EVEN after seeing all the scratches...guess his dog did a number on his furniture!

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 1st of March 2012

I love your suggestions about our cat. The trouble is our cat claws at all of the furniture not just a specific spot on one. I'd have to buy eight cat scratchers to keep him away from it. Actually, I should clarify he doesn't scratch on it. He stretches on it. I wonder if that was the same for you. He grabs it up high and then stretches. As he stretches his cats rip the fabric. This is different behavior then when he uses the scratcher. He actually scratches on that. It's good advice though and something I would definitely try in the future.