And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Frugality VS. Hoarding

Frugality is a good thing. It is wonderful to be able to save money and still have things that you need, use and love.

But there is a price to be paid for that. To be frugal, sometimes you have to get things that need a little tweaking here and there. Sometimes being frugal means picking up that special something that is on sale (or better yet, free!), and holding on to it until you have the time/materials to finish the project. Frugality often necessitates keeping the odds and ends of a finished project, knowing that they will be useful for a future project.

All of this takes time and space. There comes a time when you really have to look at what you have and wonder, “Is this really necessary”?

Now don’t get me wrong. I love coming up with an idea for a project and finding everything I need in my various “stashes”. Right now, though, Barefoot Manor is bursting at the seams with stuff.

So I am purging, and it is difficult. There are the things that were given to us by folks we love. There are things that I know will be useful “someday”. There are projects I wanted to start, but now have to decide if they are ever really going to happen.

It’s a lot of work.

My biggest fear is to get older and find myself on the future equivalent of “Hoarders”. I can just see it, me standing there in house piled high to the rafters with miscellaneous junk, going “what?!” as some counselor tries to convince me that my home really is a danger zone.


Wish me luck, folks!


webb said...

You're in one of those tough situations that we all share. What to keep, but more importantly... how long.

Recently I emptied out my Mother's home - of only 10 years - and was appaled at what was left. This after she had been thru "everything" and thrown out everything that she thought she would not use again. (I still have a storage unit half full of things that I think I can sell down the road!)

In my younger days, I kept everything, too, until closets were bursting and even I was tired of living in the middle of the stuff.

So, here are some suggestions. For clothes, if you have not worn it on an year, give it to Goodwill. Exceptions may include fancy clothes that fit and "classics", altho if you haven't worn a classic for a year, you don't really like it. You may need to start with two years and work your way down!

For projects, five years. Work down to three. The kids will have grown too big and "it" will have gone out of style.

For household stuff, three years depending on space available.

If you give it away, you will have the satisfaction of helping someone else. If you have a yard sale, you will have the satisfaction of putting it to good use in someone else's home and using the money for something current that you really do need or can use.

One final plus is that you will look around your home/closet and say, "wow, this place looks great!" Good luck.

Finding Pam said...

I had the same thoughts as you when I was younger. I have a sister that is a hoarder and I am the opposite.

I like Webb's advice. I think it helps to take pictures of the things that you dearly love, especially things that hold a dear memory. Scrap book them and relate to the memory. I still have a blox full of my grandmother's doilies that while I don't use, I am emotionally attaced to them.

I thought I kept my stuff in good order until we moved two years ago. Going through all my stuff made me think about how I don't want my kids to have to do that when I am gone. I have pared it down a lot, but still have a way to go.

Always remember when you add something to your home that you need to subtract something in order to not have all the clutter.

Deal with it on a daily basis and it will be easier to handle. I wish you lots of luck. Remember it is just stuff.

Gorges Smythe said...

I remember older relatives who'd lived through the depression being the most inclined to hoard things, just in case they'd ever need them. Still, they rarely paid money out for foolishness and often did eventually put some of their "junk" to good use. I think that maintaining the proper balance is something we all struggle with.