Day 7 of the January Money Diet – Give Something a Little TLC

In case you’ve just joined us, the January Money Diet is a challenge to take a 31-day break from nonessential spending. You can learn more about the money diet here — and jump right in!

Bicycle maintenance at Happy Simple Living

Photo by Joe Photo

“If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.” ~ Emily Dickinson

We honor our possessions when we take good care of them. A quiet January is the perfect time to tackle a few maintenance tasks. Perhaps your garden tools could use a good cleaning and sharpening, or maybe it’s time to defrag your computer’s hard drive and update all the programs. Or maybe your bike could use a good tune-up, or you feel like washing the windows or polishing the furniture.

I’m going to sharpen the knives and rub a tiny bit of vegetable oil into the wood handles of our cooking utensils, so they don’t dry out. I’m going to hand-wash a couple of cashmere sweaters, and if I get super-motivated I might try that intimidating “clean” feature on the oven.

Many of you left happy comments on Day #5’s post, when we repaired something that was broken. I felt happy, too, and I bet you’ll experience similar feelings with this task. It’s strangely satisfying to stop buying more, and instead turn our attentions to the nice things that already surround us.

Homework assignment #7: Is there something in your immediate vicinity that could benefit from some maintenance or “spit and polish,” as my dad used to say? Give one of your honored possessions a little care and attention — and be sure to let us know what you do.


Win a Deluxe Happy Simple Living Gift Basket

In honor of the January Money Diet, I’ll be giving away a gift basket of home and garden goodies plus several books at the end of the month. On January 31, 2013, I’ll draw one random name from everyone who commented during the month and that lucky person will win the gift basket. I hope you’ll stop by often this month and share your own ideas, thoughts and experiences about taking a 31-day break from nonessential spending.


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Day 7 of the January Money Diet – Give Something a Little TLC

  • Martha

    I tackled the laundry room. I’ve been using up the odds bits of laundry soap with handwashing and in various and sundry loads today. I’ve collected the odd buttons and put those in the button tin. Odd sock bag has been sorted through and there were many matches in there! Change has been put in the laundry change bin–we save that for fun night.

  • I love this idea. Taking care of your possessions is important. There is nothing worse than an expensive piece breaking or malfunctioning because the owner didn’t properly maintain it.

  • Mariah O.

    One of my child’s well loved toys needed some TLC. I mended a leg, a foot and part of the neck. Now it looks much better :o]

  • I can’t say that I did any thing special for my own home today, but I have been restoring an old jewelry box a neighbor found and gave me. When done it’s going to my youngest grand daughter. Just sanding off the old finish and painting it white has improved it much. Now to replace the fabric lining and make knobs for it.

  • Bobbie

    My office. Spent some time today dusting, going through paperwork and filing or trashing and organizing files for 2013. My car really needs a good cleaning as well, but it will have to wait for the weekend!

  • Deborah Gore

    The SUV got a good washing and cleaning out. I also clean and oiled my sewing machines. I am planning on cleaning and waxing the appliances on Tuesday. This is a great diet!

  • Melissa

    Defraging computer at home and at work.

  • Carolyn

    Those pool shoes – all stretched out as they are – need some TLC so I don’t have to replace yet – maybe some elastic and velcro? (So I can continue to exercise in pool at gym….)

  • Sara

    I choose to give my feet a little TLC, 🙂 a nice pedicure session with a fresh coat of pink nail polish to celebrate the shift from Christmasy red to Spring

  • Our washer and dryer are in the basement and basically forgotten when we aren’t standing right in front of them. Yesterday I cleaned the exteriors, the doors, the frame around the inside of the doors, deep cleaned the slot for lint trap (using a special tool just for that), and organized the laundry products that are in the pedestal underneath the machines.

    Next up: Cleaning the oven.

  • Anja

    For me it was my bike, it’s actually quite old since I left it in Germany when I moved 10 years ago. It hasn’t been moved in a few years and it’s been on my to do list ever since I got back. So that’s what I have done today, fixed the tires and gave it a good deep and now it’s ready for me when spring comes along.

  • Kris

    I need to give my minivan some TLC! It desperately needs a good wash and vacuum. Thanks for the inspiration!

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