When I first heard about The Compact, I was intrigued by the concept of not buying anything new for an entire year. However, I did not think that I could join on my own and did not think I could convince the rest of my family to join with me. I have since learned that I was wrong; an individual can join the compact even if other family members do not. So I decided to join The Compact and commit to not buying anything new for the year of 2010. When I shared my plan with my family, they surprised me by saying that they would be willing to join with me.
In many ways, this challenge will not be as difficult for me as it is for other compacters. My husband and I have been married for over 20 years and have accumulated all that we need. It could be difficult to be compacting with teens, however mine are through their growth spurts and do not mind “vintage” clothing. And my youngest is not aware enough to know the difference between new and used clothing or toys.
I expect the most difficult area to be gifting. I have given compacty gifts to immediate family members and close friends (used books, tickets to Itzak Perlman, baked goods, museum memberships, Jay, Jay the Jet Plane toys bought off eBay, charity donations, etc.), but I am a little fearful of how this will play out with the extended family. I have some skills which I can use to make gifts, but there are some family members who will look down on hand made gifts, so I am going to have to get very creative!
Tomorrow, I will tell you about our last shopping trip of 2009. For now, I will leave you with our exceptions list. The Compact is unique to each individual; each person making their own list of exceptions to the not buying anything new rule. Safety and hygiene items are universal exceptions.
1. Undergarments and socks
2. Replacement parts to repair cars and appliances
3. Violin strings for my daughter
4. Drawing paper and watercolor paper for my oldest son
5. rank insignia if my husband is promoted
6. running shoes