Monday, November 13, 2006

Frugal vs Organized

I am frugal by nature. I like to save money more than I like to spend it. I live by the mantra: Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make do, or Do without. I don't like to throw out anything I might be able to use. I'd rather recycle or repurpose than spend money to buy something new.

I also despise clutter. Cutter makes me feel clogged up and bogged down. I can't seem to think clearly when there are piles of things laying around. I can't stand having the junk drawer, spare bedroom, and shed full of things that "I might be able to use someday." I like to be organized, and keeping everything organized is nearly impossible when there are mounds of "someday useful" things everywhere.

Is it possible to be both frugal AND clutter-free? I used to hear this issue argued in the back of my head all the time (It's like listening to children bicker). Since I'm frugal, my natural inclination is to save things that haven't been worn out, but being a clutter-hater I want to throw out, or give away, anything I'm not currently using.

So, what do I do? I decided to throw out or give away anything that is inexpensive and easy to replace, or that I don't really like anyway.

This list includes things like (this is an actual list of things that I had stored):

  • Old lamps that I don't like the style of
  • An old BBQ grill that is usable only if I use wire or a metal tab to hold one corner of the grill up
  • Cookware that has lost part of it's teflon or has a loose handle
  • Very old sunblock
  • Books, books, and more books (they weren't sellable and I can't re-read books)
  • Old clothes that didn't fit and I couldn't cut into rags (slips, bras, underwear, dress lining, etc)
  • Stereo/CD player that was nearly new but didn't work (water damage)
  • Crafts that I made that didn't sell (orange rag rug, letter pillow A, crocheted wash cloths)
  • An old Grab It swiffer-type dust mop that has a wobbly handle

After removing these things from my spaces, I felt much better. I could think again, and I didn't feel bogged down in details. I still save things that I'm sure I will use, but I use a rule to determine what will be saved. If I know I will use it within a year I store it. If I don't like the item or I can replace it inexpensively (when I actually need it), it goes away.

Now my clutter has been pared down to a minimum and I'm still true to my frugal nature. Looks like you can be both frugal and clutter-free.

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