The Psychology of Shopping and Decluttering the House

Indulge me today; I need it!

I came across this 3 year old photo while cleaning up some files on my iMac recently and thought I'd share it with you. It looks pretty much the same but I am decluttering the house and the dining room has lost a lot of stuff in that cabinet in the background. I'm being brutal in giving stuff to friends and sending 4 truckloads—so far—of stuff to one of the local thrift stores.

I told hubs how sorry I was to have spent so much money on frivolous things when we moved into this house. I see all the stuff being put into boxes to be taken away and wish with all my heart one of you bloggers who loves my style were here to give it to. It's been brutal to see all this stuff go to others but I'm committed, and once I'm committed there's no turning back. I need to concentrate on reality and reality is those things don't mean as much as peace and freedom and a lifestyle that doesn't try to keep up with the neighbors. I see many bloggers just trying to buy as much as they can to satisfy some thing inside them. I'm becoming not that person. I don't want to be so competitive that I lose focus of what really matters in this world. This is not just lip service, chicks. I'm serious about this. All I need is food, a home to live in, a car to get me where I want or need to go and my hubby and kids. It's been a real revelation realizing this but it is sooooo very true at this time in history.

See that little suitcase on the left? Not the front one but the one in back. It's going.

Also the little one up in the left hand corner on the other side of the living room. It's going also. Truly, I thought I'd be crying but funnily enough, I'm not. It actually feels good to get things out of here. Oh, this is an old photo and the curtains are gone and other very flowery ones are up at the moment. However, I just ordered a pink stripe fabric to redo them yet once again. That will make the 6th pair of curtains I've had in this room. Nothing is ever static around this house.

This etagere is gone already to a friend's house. The vintage school desk is sitting on my front porch ready to be sold on craigslist. If it doesn't sell soon, I'll put it around on the back patio for the winter and try again next spring.

As I sit here today struggling with all the things I'm getting rid of a few thoughts have occurred to me. Okay, okay, more than a few, but I'm being nice—thousands of thoughts have gone through my head today, not the least of which is: Why in the world do I take hubby grocery shopping with me? I can't for the life of me figure out why.

My whole life has changed since he retired and has stayed home with me. Okay, "staying home" isn't quite accurate as he does a lot of things for our church, the VFW, the Marine Corps League and teaches several classes a month on real estate. (The latter job is a requirement from me to him to help me keep my sanity.) But the thing I'm most perturbed about is grocery shopping.

My opinion is that men simply do NOT understand the psychology of shopping but specifically 'grocery shopping'. We women follow a set of unspoken rules of which men have not been aware since the beginning of time.

Today while shopping he again hangs on to the cart trying to direct me around people. I have been grocery shopping for us for over 50 years now and I think I'm qualified to handle a grocery cart without being thrown out of Wal-Mart. He won't let me pass them, pushes the cart with an iron grip and tells me to watch out for other people. For crying out loud, I'm nice!! I've never hit anyone, smile all the time at my fellow women and men shoppers and actually, on a regular basis, let them go around me by getting out of their way.

Then, there's the 'putting the item in the cart' business. He just grabs an item off the shelf, not noting that it isn't the regular item/brand I buy and then organizes it in the cart ever so carefully. I just toss it in. Yes, of course, there's an organization to MY putting things in the cart but he makes it a science and that takes two to three times longer. I get frustrated and just start pushing the cart away. I don't crush bread or fresh items but I don't take near as long. Bottom line: I want to do my shopping alone from now on and not worry about saving a few pennies with a brand I don't like. (I'm NOT going into the argument we had over Del Monte versus Heinz ketchup today.)

The checkout stand is entirely another issue. We women understand how to 'get it done' without being obnoxious but certainly being assertive—at least I do. I'm assertive without being obnoxious. I start loading on the belt as soon as there is a bit of room and negotiate my cart a bit to the right of the person so I can load the bags into it asap. Mr. Love Bunny, or Happy-To-Shop-Man, doesn't let me do what I need to do. He's giving me the evil eye and pushing the cart back. I tell ya, I just want to POP him!!!! I am never ugly or mean to people! I know how to shop leisurely and graciously without offending anyone! Truly, I do. The only thing I want him to do is carry the groceries in. So I just may have to go shopping alone from now on.

It's off my chest now. Well, that is, but there will be more shortly. Trust me on this.


Tuesday's customer inspiration - today starring Valerie and Margaret

Each Tuesday I post photos of something a customer has purchased from Jubilee Furniture with the thought that seeing things outside of our dreary warehouse might inspire you to: 1.) stop in the store either Friday from 1 to 8 or Saturday from 9 to 4 because you're impressed with what can be purchased there; 2.) try your hand at transforming something that's been bought at the store from okay to fabulous; 3.) realize that repurposing and recycling furniture from Jubilee is not only good for the environment but can look stylish and hip in your home too; and 4.) remember you've been meaning to take photos and email me at and you now feel guilty - again! Just kidding (sorta).

I love Val's email so much I have to share the whole thing with you.

Hi Susan - Love the blog at Jubilee. I read it religiously. Attached please find a picture of a chair that I got at your warehouse. I think it's ugly mustard color makes it charming. It's also really uncomfortable. Although it's true beauty is not apparent in the photo. It opens up into a soft cushy low-to-the-floor bed! I can host all three of my nieces to sleepover spa nights now that they have outgrown the queen sleeper sofa. It had gotten to the point that I would find one of them curled u on a chair or on the floor. Like I said, it's not very pretty but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Yes, that is a blue leather watering can purse in the background. Doesn't everyone have one? Just shoot me if I walk into your storing using it as a purse; I will have lost my mind.

I actually think the chair looks great and I love the pretty throw pillow! Add in Val's wonderful sense of humor and I'm wondering how I can get invited to the next sleepover/spa night!

Next up are some photos from Margaret - a regular Jubilee Furniture customer and a previous customer inspiration!

Here's Margaret's email:

Hi Susan, Back when we bought the patio set, we also picked up this matching set of oak Broyhill tables. We didn't really do much to them, just changed out the hardware. You might remember that the hardware was the hanging kind; we changed it to the cup kind because it looks a little more sleek and is also harder for a toddler to pull down (I figured that one out later). They're great storage for coloring books, board games, and (mommy's) Wii Fit Board. The couch has recliners on each end, so it helps to have a coffee table on hidden wheels (nifty little extra) that pushes out easily every time you recline.

I'm also adding the picture of the pine hutch because I don't know when I'm going to get around to updating the curtains in the room (but who cares about the curtains for now?). The hutch looks nice as is and our previously empty front/dining room is now just about done. Again, all we did is change the hardware from white to brass knobs.

Wow - with minimum effort Margaret made the lovely pieces works well for her and her family!

Thanks to both Valerie and Margaret for allowing us into their beautiful homes!

Take care, dear reader and I hope to see you back here on Friday for my weekly update post!

What’s in a name? A lot actually!

Several weeks ago a woman stopped in the store and purchased two of our prototype (never been used – from Serta and Comfort Solutions/King Koil’s research and development departments) queen mattress sets (mattress and box spring) for her sons who’re living off campus this year at college (we’re selling the matching sets for $475 – retail between $1,000 and $1,800 – definitely not your cheapest option but an amazing deal for a fabulous set).

As often happens, we got to talking and this customer was unfamiliar with Outreach (of which Jubilee Furniture is a division of and whose programs and services our proceeds – minus our expenses – help support) and I had an opportunity to tell her about who we are and what we do (I promise I stopped yammering when her eyes glazed over).

A week later she phoned to ask about picking up the mattresses and happened to mention she had seen our organization out collecting money at a busy intersection.  After explaining that wasn’t my Outreach, we ended our conversation and said good-bye.

Making the connection between purchasing a piece of used furniture to helping those most in need in DuPage County is something I’m constantly doing because I think it’s important our customers understand how shopping at Jubilee Furniture really does benefit others.  Connecting them to the right “Outreach” (Outreach Community Ministries) is a whole other can of worms!

Speaking of worms, there’s hardly any room to wiggle in the showroom due to how much wonderful inventory we currently have (pretty good pun transition – huh!).  Let me show you some of the new-to-us items available today (Friday) from 1 to 8 and tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 to 4 for purchase!

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these are amazing Krueger brand plastic? fiberglass? shell stackable chairs – there are six brown (yes, brown – not black) and 12 yellow/gold – found online for between $100 and $150 EACH – Jubilee Furniture price $65 each

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nice colors on this love seat priced $95

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looks like simply a great leather side chair – and it is! – but it’s also a wonderful recliner!  Priced $395

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Room and Board sofa – mint condition – from their Hawthorne collection, 85” sofa in charcoal (there are red undertones to the gray and you can see them in the photos if you look carefully) micro-suede w/down blend cushions retails for $1,299 – Jubilee Furniture price? $595

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fun glass and chrome side table for $45 and there are two of them

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cool silver table lamp priced $25 and there are two of them

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gray color arm-less chairs priced $35 each

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fantastic Lazboy sofa in excellent condition priced $325

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very nice moss green Lazboy rocker/recliner for $65

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love the wood arms/legs on these side chairs priced $8.50 each and there are six of them

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very nice sofa priced $85; matching love seat for $75

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pinkish wing back chair for $45 (and there are two of them)

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fabulous retro desk priced $65

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very nice dresser (no mirror) priced $95; matching tall chest of drawers for $125

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great rustic six drawer dresser priced $85

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both photos are trying to capture these stately, elegant, tall entertainment centers- there are two of them – and each is priced $265

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neat-o retro desk chair priced $35 (we have six of them)

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square white laminate table for $45

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amazing, fantastic, sweet Kroll armoire priced $225

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another sweet armoire priced $95

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heavy duty AV cart priced $55

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nice love seat with wood trim priced $125

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peachy/orange Lazboy side chair (some fading along top) priced $85

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lovely dining set by B. F. Huntley – drop leaf table with one leaf and six chairs (only one of the chairs has arms) priced $195; matching buffet (almost has a dresser look to it – but it is a buffet) priced $135

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rose colored sofa priced $95

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there are two matching chairs and both are sorta of evergreen-color priced $75 each

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marble inserts on this lovely coffee table priced $65; roundish end table with marble top for $45; square end table with marble top for $55

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high back and arms gives this sofa a contemporary look – pretty blue/green color – priced $85

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papasan chair and ottoman priced $65 for both

Though the Outreach I work for doesn’t do fund-raising at intersections – on my way home last night I did see the Kiwanis out collecting money and handing out peanuts. 

The Kiwanis have a mission statement which reads, “changing the world one child and one community at a time.”  How great is that!  Additionally, the Kiwanis Club of Wheaton “staffs” Jubilee Furniture once a month and have been doing so since the store opened in February of 2006!

So, please give generously to this fantastic organization!

One more thing – we’ve changed who processes our credit card transactions and can now accept Discover in addition to VISA and MasterCard! 

God’s peace, grace and love to you, dear reader!

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