Practicing Patience

by Kelly · 8 comments

in A Frugal Home

This won’t come as any great surprise to those who know me, but I can be a tad, shall we say, impatient, at times. I want something done and I want it done now; I want to do something and I want to do it now. So when it comes to being frugal, one of my biggest frustrations is not going out to buy things.

I have two current obsessions.

The first is the room that we call our office. It is connected to our living room by an open doorway (wall 1), the second wall is our patio doors (wall 2), then we have an uninterrupted wall where we’ve placed our fold-out sofa (wall 3) and then a short wall with the door to the hallway (wall 4). We have an awkward shape compounded by the fact that there needs to be some pretty unattractive furniture in there- the desk, computer, shelves for all of my husband’s music stuff and a guest bed. The second point of obsession is the entryway. I want to find a way to store all our winter coats in there, but just haven’t been able to yet. We have an open shelving unit there now and it’s just all very unattractive and inconvenient, with things hanging out all over the place and no easy way to put stuff away.

But. We have no extra cash at the moment, and certainly none that can go towards buying more Ikea furniture and space saving organizers (Hello, my name is Kelly and I’m addicted to Ikea). So I’m trying to be patient.

This involves mostly powers of self restraint that I didn’t know existed, helped along by the fact that a) Ikea is now on the other side of town, b) the boxes of furniture are too heavy to put in my car by myself thus my husband would have to help me, which he would certainly refuse to do and c), oh yeah, there’s that whole money thing again.

I’m also trying to be more creative in my problem solving. For example, I want to get a bigger & better storage system for the front hall so that I can get the coats out of my closet and thus have room to put our clothes away. As a temporary solution I bought some big boxes to put on the shelf, but that’s not working out too well. Then, while writing this post actually, I had a brain flash- why not store the coats in the kids’ half empty closet… hmmm, I shall have to go and try that now!

What are your strategies for cultivating patience?


1 Laura@MoveToPortugal October 3, 2010

Um, I haven’t found one yet! 😉

2 Burnette October 4, 2010

Depending how many coats you have, you can buy a metal hanger with several hooks to put over the door. That way, when you’re in a hurry, your coats are hanging right there. Way less expensive than buying storage furniture.

3 Bette October 4, 2010

How are the thrift stores and flea markets in France? Or the rummage/yard sales? Surely there are some affordable options for used furniture? Great storage pieces truly are an investment and I think it is important to buy good ones to last over the years, even to pass down. They can morph into many different uses and types of storage over the years as one’s needs change.

Please show us a picture when you get something!

4 Rhona October 4, 2010

I have zero patience so I have no advise to give. I find a lot of areas are a struggle in my life as I want most things to be done yesterday so I can move onto something else which for sure will cause me anxiety as I want that finished also.

5 Laura October 4, 2010

I can be very impatient, but I am getting better. These days I stop and ask myself, “Do I (or we) REALLY need this right now?” or “Is this worth fighting for?” It’s amazing that most of the time the answer is “no,” and that I’m able to stop and think of an alternative solution or why I don’t need something right now after all. It’s been kind of amazing to discover that I often come up with even better (and usually less expensive) ideas if I wait for something, rather than decide I need it NOW.

6 Jenna October 12, 2010

Going for a walk forces me to be patient. Also, check out Apartment Therapy, they have a great collection of ways to re-do rooms and have Re-Nest, a sister site on how to be more be frugal / eco-chic.

7 raise credit score October 13, 2010

I think frugality have different levels or degree. In my case, I must say that I’m frugal in a way that I think twice before I do some decisions. If ever I want to buy something I have to assess first my situation if I can afford to buy this and that. Frugality doesn’t mean you want things to be so easy but you are just being practical for some reasons that few people might not understand.

8 michelle October 26, 2010

I’ve found that the most effective way to pratice patience is to do the same thing for myself that I do with my kids – distract and redirect!

When I have to be patient, I try to find something else to do. From drawing on a notepad or surfing the web while I’m on hold to completely tabling a project until I know I will have the resources to deal with it, I try to put my mind on something else until the time comes when I can focus on whatever it is I’m currently waiting to do.

By the way, how did storing the coats in the kids’ closet work out?

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