Sunday, December 06, 2009


Imagine a huge warehouse with a sheltered parking lot and enclosed walkway into the store. Shoppers need not experience any weather to look for home furnishings at the IKEA store I visited at 601 SW 41st Street in Renton, Washington a few weeks ago.

I walked through bedrooms, kitchens, dens, and bathrooms that were completely furnished with a variety of styles. I judged the quality acceptable and the prices low. I thought about how different it is today when shopping for home furnishings compared to when my wife and I started accumulating household furnishings forty years ago. Today, one stop shopping at this store can supply all the needs of housekeeping.

I then thought about the expensive gifts we received or pricey purchases we made ourselves. Items like a place-setting for 12 of china, the same number of silverware, crystal, goblets, and more. We rarely use these pieces and have thousands invested there. We did use our silver daily for many years when our children were growing up. Now we use Polish pottery, stainless silverware, and regular glasses and cups to serve meals. All our "fine" stuff is stored and occupies space with little interest in it by anyone.

What does all this mean? It means that young people should spend frugally on only what is needed to be functional. Forget about "fineness" that is needed only by a few rich and famous people. Shop at discount stores and save your money for a rainy day as my father advised me when I grew up.

Have a good week!


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