And, yes, we've been "making do" plenty around here. I'm very impressed with Leo's tie rack. I could be saving so much money in the states. The difference here is that no one expects us to have everything. Everyone understands we are only here for a year and there is no need to have a lot of possessions. So we happily make do. Why don't we do that in the States? The kids would think having a cardboard tie rack made from your little brother's fireman costume would be embarrassing. But here he's proud of it. This materialism is clearly self-imposed by the perceived need to be cool or impressive or at least "as cool" or "as impressive" as what people expect. We should forget about that and just live simple. It's kinda fun.
Here is how I was making do in our closet. I bought a plastic bin, but used some boxes of things I purchased to organize other things. I made a little pyramid with the boxes and stuffed my shoes in the void. I know I'm not going to keep my shoes all neat and tidy in pairs on the floor so why bother. And yes, can you believe how down-sized my collection is? Only what I'll need, not more. I have a little collapsable makeup bag that I used to throw Henry's socks in. Notice only one sandal for Henry there. He does have another one somewhere. It will turn up. I know it will because there just isn't a lot of stuff here which makes it easier to find things. See, it's all so great!
I have a few more boxes on the closet shelf above to hold things. I'm gonna get my exercise clothes more organized and use the space on top of that red box, too. We also didn't buy any dressers because coat hangers are cheaper. And since we typically hang most of our clothes to dry anyway, it makes putting the clothes away faster. We just hang it from the washer right on to the coat hanger to dry, then put it in the closet. We could even hang it in the closet to dry because it gets plenty of air flow since we don't have a ton of clothes hanging in it. Works great.
Here is the bed made for TWO. I guess you could call it a double bed. We make this every night using the cushions from the two chairs I bought. We sleep at opposite ends and our legs and feet overlap in the middle. It's not so great for cuddling but it's a lot better than the two nights we tried to sleep directly on the floor, because basically we didn't sleep at all. And truthfully it's very comfortable. Tomorrow we hope to get our bed from the kind people who are giving it to us. Another benefit of living simple: some people feel sorry for you and give you things.
I bought plastic dinner plates at the grocery store. I have found ceramic and glass sets other places but they were pricey and I thought they were a little heavy. I finally found plastic stuff (not melamine) at the grocery store. They were around $3 for a set of four. BaddaBING. Got some plates and large tumbler cups. They go well with the small bowls and cups I got at IKEA for $2 a set. We have a tile floor so I won't even care if the kids drop them. And after one year, I will not cringe when I have to get rid of them. AND, I could afford to throw in an extra set of cups and plates for when company comes. Company. On plastic plates. Well, that does kinda make me cringe, but they will understand.
I have just one large cooking pot and two skillets which are not large at all. I made soup tonight. I fried the chicken in the bottom of the pot, then added the vegetables to saute, and then added the broth and potatoes. One pot. The high sides of the pot kept the splatters from getting all over. Works great. And everyone was hungry so they ate it without complaining.
I was less hungry because of those stupid "Choc Chip Cookies" that were only $2. They were so hard that they scratched up my tongue. But I still ate them. So when I tried to have a piece of cinnamon gum later (I was trying to keep my mouth busy with something else) my tongue was screaming at me. I'm so stupid. The cucumbers tasted better, felt better, and have way fewer calories. Why do we do these things? I'm not buying Choc Chip Cookies just because they are cheap anymore.
But THIS. This would be good.
Millie saw this at the fruit and vegetable market. It was labeled $3.95 so we totally were gonna buy it. But it rang up as $10.99. I said, oh, we don't want it that bad. Apparently the little bitty containers that are only about 5 bites worth of ice cream were the $3.95 ones. They were out of stock on those. So, no Ben and Jerry's for a year. It's okay.