29 November 2009

Hoarders

I could *very* easily see us living this lifestyle to a lesser degree if I weren't prone to giving stuff away when we're all done with it. D likes to save Cool-Whip containers, pickle jars, peanut butter jars, empty pill jars and ... about everything you can think of because "we might need it" and it's "useful." I honest-to-goodness have found uses for about everything. Yes, we use ice cream buckets to separate toys, and we have bunches of them. It's helpful to organize our toys that way.

But now he's bringing recyclables home from work because it upsets him to see people just throw their lunch leftovers away. It's not being a good steward. Arg. We have a 60-gallon container we've stuck INTO the little recycling container the trash company gives us... and it's FULL each week. He collects hundreds of yogurt jars, each carefully washed, and expects me to find a good use for them. Ok. We use them to paint with ... but we don't paint quite so often that we can use hundreds... so I am left sending my children to school with these yogurt containers. They don't recycle them (I think they're number four and our recycling only does 1 and 2), so the preschool, junior high and high school are well-supplied with these. They ARE useful. But it just drives me nuts. We have to save every container AND its lid because... it might be useful.

I've also saved every outfit Patrick ever wore from babyhood on because... it WILL be useful. But there is a 15-year-gap between the oldest and youngest child... so stuff sits in storage for quite some time. Imagine having the entire childhood collection of two older teens, a nine and eight-year-old, and a soon to be three-year-old because it might be useful... imagine the boxes and boxes of things... arg.

And yet, no way I'm pitching it to buy new for each kid. I have the boxes stacked and organized and dive through each season. D says I lose things this way, and sometimes I do. Suppose this 3t is really more like a 5, so you store it with the 5s... but the next kid is skinnier and uses smaller sizes, or chubbier and needs longer sizes... or you have to go through three YEARS worth of stuff, including shoes, to patch together outfits for each of the four children twice a year. I save a lot, but I miss some things with any system I rig up as well.

But at least I can say there is a general purpose to the hoarding, and that when the "season" is over, I will be glad to give things away. We're done with the baby stage, so giving things away like the car seat and baby outfits is just a natural thing to do. D usually wants to save it and find someone specific to give it to. I might cull a few of the nice outfits out and mail them to friends or that sort of thing, but generally speaking? I need the space and the sanity more than I need to fill custom orders for friends who "might" find our old stuff "useful."

How about you? Is one person in your home the pack-rat, and the other the tosser? Do you live in cluttered spaces, happy medium or bare minimum? I'm kinda doubting most of my readers are folks who have **76** dead cats and literally tons of rotting food on their properties as in the video. You will love the videos I linked to above. They are really... amazing. I spent an entire afternoon watching this.

12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I'd say it's a happy medium around here. I save old socks, cut them up and use them as rags, nylons to use in the garden, empty plastic coffee cans for EVERYTHING, and compost all veggies, fruit, coffee grounds, and newspapers. When it makes sense, I save jars. We don't have a nearby recycling center, which I really hate.

    CBD--I know God personally and I'm fairly confident that he has better taste.

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  3. PS. Clothes, by the way, are saved and reused until there's no where left in them. I'm impressed with your husband's determination to keep stuff out of the landfills. :)

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  4. God told me to remove a comment there LOL.

    Mary, he's VERY determined to keep stuff out of landfills... I just wish he didn't bring it all home.

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  5. I'm way to much of a hoarder and my kids have gotten it from me. Thankfully hubby keeps us in check.

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  6. With 6 people in 880 sq.ft. there is no room for anyone to be a pack rat at our house! I think hubby and I are very much the same. We tend to keep things thinking we'll use them, then when things get too tight we do a purge and throw away or recycle everything that isn't nailed down.

    I kept all baby clothes until almost three years passed after my second kid and no next baby. After giving them all away I promptly got pregnant, of course! After that I decided that the best way to get another baby was to give away all the baby clothes ;-). With the third kid, and now with the fourth I have given away everything but my very favorites when they're outgrown. I know God will provide through hand-me-downs from friends if we have another - He always has.

    I do have all my maternity clothes, though, because they are too expensive to repurchase, since I have to order them from the US (most Japanese ones are too small).

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  7. We tend to save things too, but we're running out of storage space. I keep building shelves in the garage and they keep getting filled up. It's hopeless. We need to start giving away some of our stuff soon.

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  8. I'm with Sue. We don't have room to save much. When I got rid of all of Cupcake's baby stuff we got Bubba. So, I have kept up that tradition hoping it means we get another baby. So far we have been blessed with hand me downs when we need them and I feel confident that will continue should there be a third baby Payne. You are a good wife to recycle things your husband brings home!

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  9. I am a major tosser. But lately I have started saving a few things I wouldn't have normally saved. Just to save money and re-purpose.

    However the zookeeper is a keeper. he never wants to throw anything away and it came in handy when making a list of things that were stolen. Now he is pointing to that little incident as a major triumph for him. hehe

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  10. I save my kids clothes too. I am behind on putting them in their proper boxes because I need to go out and buy more bins. I don't hoard but I do like to keep things from getting cluttered because then it makes it harder to clean house. I totally understand.

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  11. This is coming from a naturally messy person. I just work super hard to not be that way. I was baby of the family who never had to do anything for myself. I've had to make some huge changes after I got married for sure! Now my kids are having fun testing me in this area by always being so darn messy.

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  12. I am a hoarder. Then every few years or so I will go through the house and be totally ruthless and have a big clean out. Then I start gathering again lol.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)