no giftcards, please. (or: how i started cleaning and found $252.50 of forgotten money.)

i set a new year’s – not resolution, but – challenge for myself: to see how long i could go without buying anything new.

(and i might have already completely failed. but more on that in my next post. mainly because i’m too embarrassed to own up to it yet.)

as part of my effort during the first couple weeks of 2018, i quickly realized that the first step to not buying anything is to use what i already have. and the best way to use what i already have is to know my options. so i started to get organized and put everything in its rightful place.

in case you want to join along, i present to you (drum roll please):

shawna’s 7 step process to getting your shit organized

  1. empty out all of your shit (pockets and bags, boxes and catch alls)
  2. sort all of your shit by category (i.e. clothing from shoes from makeup)
  3. sort your shit again to create subcategories (i.e. separate your lip shit from you eye shit)
  4. realize how much shit you have
  5. rediscover shit you forgot you owned
  6. celebrate and be thankful for alll of your shit
  7. but, mostly, realize how much time and money you waste collecting shit

tl;dr – i have far too much shit.

i found three sticks of deodorant. one in the bathroom. one in a purse (for that b.o. on the go). one in a box of junk. (and i’m convinced i have at least one more in my car. four sticks of deodorant, y’all. at least i smell good.)

i also found a stack of old cards. business cards. customer punch cards. hotel key cards. things once valuable, now destined for the trash.

until i saw the gift cards.

at first, i figured they were all balance-free junk that was never tossed. but on a hunch, i called to check the balances.

here’s what i found:

  • trader joe’s – $10
  • chipotle – $.39 (not even enough for a side of guac – heartbroken)
  • peet’s – $20
  • in’n’out – $1.73
  • jamba juice – $5
  • bevmo – $10
  • nordstrom – $49.13
  • macy’s – $100
  • macy’s – $31.25
  • itunes – $25

$252.50 in forgotten money! imagine!

it’s one more indication of just how unintentionally i had been living my life. to have that amount of value just sitting around like trash in a forgotten bag in a forgotten corner of my room. what a shame.

it’s nice to be rewarded with treasure as i start down this path of intentional living. but there’s definitely some guilt attached.

while my new year’s challenge was a big fat fail, i’m still going to keep trying to use what i have before i buy anything new… after i redeem these gift cards. they’ve waited long enough for their chance to shine, don’t you think?



intentionally shawna

p.s. shoutout to all my exes’ parents for the gifts that keep on giving. (my family doesn’t shop at macy’s, and they definitely don’t do gift cards.)