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.