Dr.Q does frugality vs. organization

I’m a clearance rack shopper.  Almost nothing I buy isn’t clearance or on sale at the very least.  Lots of my kids’ clothes are second hand.  When faced with the task of decluttering I become nearly paralyzed with the struggle between freeing myself of stuff and one day, when I may need THIS.

There have been a number of situations when THIS has been exactly what I have needed.  Or it worked better than buying something new or fit some weird nook or cranny that would have taken ages to fit.

So, this extra stuff can often save the day and usually save us some money.  But what is the cost of saving that money?  That we have to lug weird things around with us each time we move?  That we are constantly tripping around things in hopes we get them put somewhere?

So I live in this neverland where I am never sure what to chuck and what to keep.

I used to be very resistant to the 12-month rule – use it within 12 months or you won’t – but have lately come to appreciate it better.  12 months, is a LONG time.  Before we had kids a whole year could slip by and I wouldn’t really think about it.  But now with all these extra people and their stuff around I constantly feel I’m being choked by our stuff.

There are two categories of things I have that have reached their 12-month expiration date.  1.  Things that I would LIKE to use but cannot for a specific reason.  For example, I have a lovely green vase that I adore.  However, I am deathly afraid taking it out of the cupboard would instantly mark it for kid execution.  Included here is also a cadre of clothes from when I used to be smaller, waiting until I am smaller again.  This is a whole other post.

1.  Things that I would LIKE to use but cannot for a specific reason.  For example, I have a lovely green vase that I adore.  However, I am deathly afraid taking it out of the cupboard would instantly mark it for kid execution.  Included here is also a cadre of clothes from when I used to be smaller, waiting until I am smaller again.  This is a whole other post.

2. Things that I haven’t used and should really rid myself of.  I keep them because I don’t pay attention or because they have some other sentimental value.

Back to my FlyLady, she recommends doing occasional 27 thing Fling Boogies where you basically fly around your house as fast as you can and find 27 things you can throw or donate.  This has been an appealing but yet underused tactic for me.  So today, I tried it.

I set a timer for 15 minutes and armed myself with a bin.  How hard could it be to find 27 things?  I bet I could find 22 granola bar wrappers little people threw behind the sofa.  Perhaps I could even find that damn lost Roku remote.

In the end, I found 28 things in 12 minutes.  Most of it was garbage or recycling, but I found the button of my hand mixer was broken and it was one of those 12-month things (stand mixer wins!), some pyrex storage containers with no lids who hadn’t been used in multiples of 12-months, catalogs, ill-fitting bras, and some other weird kid stuff.

Ah.

It was still hard for me, especially as I’ve been working on organization for a few months now and have decluttered a lot.

In the end, I have no answer.  I will always hang onto things for longer than I need to or probably should.  Some will be used, some will not.  But, fewer things will seep off the clearance racks into our house and everything will expire in 12-months.

Frugality and organization in harmony at last.

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