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Friday, July 29, 2011

Yikes! I Just Watched Hoarders! (Part 3)

Okay, it's been a while, but I am finally back to write some more about hoarding.  Well, not so much hoarding, but just, uh, let's call it "keeping."  I like that because that makes me a keeper, as in "Crazy Mom's a keeper."  LOL

Before I get to the today's topic at hand, which is how being frugal leads to hoarding, uh, keeping, I thought I'd explain the above photo.  This is one of my little hoarder pockets.  You see, my son had cleaned out the van.  Now, when my kids or Sane man "clean out" a vehicle, what they really do is contain the mess in garbage bags which they bring in the house for ME to sort through and put away.  So, in reality, I am cleaning out the van, though they don't see it that way.

So, anyway, my son Dode Man cleaned out the van and left everything in a laundry basket.  Then he did it again and put it all in a bag.  There were a couple of other bags from other such endeavors and they were in my dining room.  Appetizing, huh?  Well, they had been there for a while, so I thought I'd condense them all into an overflowing basket, take a picture, and show you one of my little projects.  My initial intent was to also take a pic of the empty basket, but I never did.  I'm sure if you try very hard you can imagine what it looked like.  LOL

Now onto the frugal thing.  :)

So, I came out from the womb frugal.  It's in my blood, and it's just the way I am.  It's the one good thing I actually picked up from my mom.  You see, my mom is thin, energetic, organized, and in ten times better health than me, and she is 82 years old.  I figure I was born backwards so I got the reverse of everything she is.  That's my theory, anyway.  However, the frugal thing must have already been transmitted to me through the umbilical cord, so frugal I am.

Now, being frugal is normally a good thing.  Because I'm frugal I don't go out and buy tons of stuff.   I think my sister got that one.  If she finds a shirt she likes, she'll buy it in every color.  She gives me bags of hand-me-down stuff and there will be like eight black sweaters in the bag only slightly different.  And this is the stuff she is getting rid of!  BUT, she is also neat and organized and has a huge walk-in closet, so it's not really a problem for her.  I do like a good sale though.  I do sometimes stock up on things, like today I bought 12 deodorants because they were 99 cents, but that isn't really my problem either. 

So if I'm frugal, and don't buy loads and loads of stuff, how have I become a "keeper?"  Well, I have a really hard time getting rid of stuff!  I mean, you know, I might use it some day.  For example, I have a really hard time getting rid of clothes.  If it has a stain or tear, it can still be "work" clothes.  If' it's a tad small, I'll lose the weight.  (Yeah, right!)  Now, like I said, I don't buy tons of clothes, but over the years I have gotten bags and bags and bags and bags of them.  Even when my kids had more than enough of them, I'd still take them.  After all, I have eight kids, right?

And books.  I love books!  But I have only two large bookcases and a storage cabinet.  I also have about five bookshelves worth of books.  The bookcases are where I keep most of my curriculum, but I have baskets and Rubbermaids (c) of books everywhere.  Of course, if I actually want to read one, I haven't a clue where it is.    So, what do I do?  I sign up to do book reviews!  LOL  So now more and more books show up my mailbox on a regular basis.   

I guess when I really think about it, most of my "keeper" issues are with clothes and books. 

Soooo.....  here's how I am dealing with it.  :)

As far as clothes go, I have made a new rule for myself.  I no longer accept bags of clothes.  Recently I made the mistake of letting someone give me some clothes for my girls.  Now, I had pretty much only been given boys clothes, because I have six boys.  So I said I'd take them.  Well, what I got was like a dozen bags of clothes!  It took quite some time to get through them all.  I mean, I was blessed, for sure, but wow, I just was way overwhelmed.  So, when someone offers me clothes I ask if them have what I specifically need, or if possible, I go through the bag, get what I want, and give the rest back.  I just don't have the space or time to sort through a lot of clothes.  Also, I have been trying to bag up as much as possible that we don't use.  I need to be the one giving the clothes away!

As for books, I simply have decided the make full use of the library.  My son loves a series on Christian heroes which I just assumed the library wouldn't carry, so I've been buying them up.  However, on a whim, I decided to see if I could, in fact, borrow them.  Well, surprise, surprise!  They have the books.  Now to get rid of the books we no longer need.  This will be a seriously long and arduous task.  It must be done, however, and I'm going to do it.  One day.  :)

Oh, I did think of one more thing I have trouble with.  It's with throwing away things that seem valuable, but that I don't need.  For example, those ever so versatile margarine tubs, or a nice pickle jar.  I didn't have to make any rules about this one, however, because my city recently started an awesome recycling plan.  I mean, I'm no greenie, but I LOVE recycling.  I can throw stuff away without really "wasting" it.  We actually fill up a 96 gallon bin of recyclables each and ever week.  Yeah, it really, really, helps.  I mean, I did throw the stuff away before, but it always felt somehow "wrong."  Now, it feels so "right."  Yes, I do realize I'm a bit odd.  ;)  (Okay, really, really, odd.)

So, that's it.  I am frugal, and it makes me a keeper.  Are you frugal?  How does it work for or against you when you are trying to clean and organize your home?  Any tips to share with the rest of us?  Please do tell!


  1. A keeper! It does sound nicer that way. I know our house would be more organized and look better if I got rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff.

  2. Just posted this comment and realized it was on Facebook. So, copying it here for some blog love.

    I'm definitely a frugal lady and 'keep' things for future use. Hubby is the same way. That's why some day you might see and episode of Hoarders filmed in Alaska...

    Seriously, books are an issue for just about any homeschooler with more than one grade level of students. And, clothes are hard to purge completely if you have someone younger that might need them.

    My best tip...move! Okay, I know most of us don't have to move across the country on a regular basis. But, knowing we had to pay to move stuff made it easier to give away or toss a bunch. Almost all those 'work' clothes went to our recycle center (miss that awesome one in Maryland!) and I donate a ton after gifting friends. No one said you can't have a 'we might have to pack up and move in 2 months and I'd better cull the stuff' party.

    Laura O in AK

  3. I agree. Being frugal and a "keeper" does lead to a good bit of clutter.

    I do have certain guidelines about clothing. I do NOT keep boy's clothing because I have 9 years between my boys. Nope.

    I don't keep my older daughter's clothing for my second. Under 5 years between them, but different body build, and one is a teen and the other wearing a size 7-8. I do keep clothes from my 2nd to my 3rd daughter, because although there are 4.5 years between them, they are only 2 sizes different. Some t-shirts daughter #2 wore last summer are being worn by daughter #3 this summer.

    Most saved clothing gets relegated to plastic tubs and placed in the attic. And clearly labeled.

    Books--I'm still working out a system for, but I seriously need to organize and de-clutter.

  4. Crazy Mom is totally a "Keeper"! LOL! Great posting :)


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