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Hoarding vs saving

 
master gardener
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Hi leigh,

The junk issue is a valid one.  It has now been over a year since I have been in a big box hardware store.  I find poking around junk stores to get better results ..... just as long as I am careful not to buy junk that originated in a big box store.
 
gardener
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This is a good thread.

I am pretty bad at hoarding vs. saving.  I tend to view virtually any resource—including what many would call junk—as potentially precious, as if the apocalypse were to happen tomorrow that junk would become gold.

I do tend to hold on to things for too long.  I guess my best “strategy” to deal with this is my wife who is far more practical than I am.

Eric
 
pollinator
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My wife said I was becoming a hoarder.  I was in construction and remodeling for decades and never tossed anything.

Well, we bought new property and was told to get rid of all that "stuff" before we moved.  I didn't.  It took a 24 foot U-Haul to move it all to our new homestead!

Building our new home, chicken coop, etc. I have managed to use up 2/3 of the "stuff".

How much did I save in $$?  I figured around $5000 or so.
 
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We have Goodwill, churches that collect for the needy, recycling options, places to donate building supplies. I try to keep unloved stuff out of landfill, including nails, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals.
Save a scrap from landfill, earn a breath of fresh air.
I like permaculture soil building with layers because it digests cardboard, precious paper & untreated lumber, the raised bed gardeners’ “old soil.”

I live in a city, so some of these things are easier than if I had to drive a long way.
 
pollinator
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My attempt at the conundrum this year:

1. Retire, so that all of your time is your own.

2. Acquire an empty house with no obvious deficiencies.

3. Slowly furnish it with the cream of your belongings.

4. Stop moving things in when you’ve reached perfection.

5. Take up unfinished projects as you find them, and finish them.

6. Start reading some of the great books you’ve been collecting.

7. Spend time in the old space with the remaining stuff.  Commune with it.  Scratch your head and consider what to do with the amazingly cool stuff you’ve accumulated over 66 years.  Feel glad there is little pressure for immediate action.

8. Sigh.  Admit you are a hoarder and enjoy it.  For a little while, at least.
 
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I am related by marriage to someone --back one generation-- who built a second farm house, because the first one was full o' stuff. Guess they'd lived through the Depression?

My Dad lived through the Depression and he did keep some stuff, but not everything. He kept his collections of books, LPs, etc. But used the same tool drawer for the entire time I grew up. It helped that he considered himself NOT handy, and hired carpenters, plumbers, gardeners, etc.
 
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I'm loving this thread. When I was a kid, I used to love to tinker with “junk.” I can’t even tell you how many “robots” my brother and I attempted to make from spare blender parts and pulleys and the like. As an adult, I’ve found that I have a good imagination for making something out of nothing. I credit this in part to my tinkering as a child.

All this is to say that some junk, if you have the space for it, can be good for its own sake.... just to mess around with. It can be especially good for kids and teens. Of course I grew up at a time when children played... but I think it can be a learned habit still.

My wife, on the other hand, hates clutter. A good compromise, and perhaps a good way to prevent ourselves from tipping into realm of hoarding, is to have a designated space for the items we are saving and to not go beyond it. Anything outside of the “junk” section of the barn that looks like it’s no longer useful is fair game for the dumpster.
 
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I'm pretty bad when it comes to keeping things, because I don't keep a thing unless I have a plan for it, but I always have more plans than I can implement in even the next 3 years, or even the next 5 years sometimes.  I hate to throw anything that I either paid for or that has a potential value or is readily fixable that I just haven't had the time for yet.

So my system is based upon prioritization.  Like I might have five steel shelves of "storage" in the garage and it's literally in priority from 5 to 1, high priority stuff at a 5 and low priority stuff at a 1.  The higher priority shelf has to get resorted shuffling things to the right...  so I reconsider whats high priority (to fit something new) and that means something already on there has to be what least belongs there so it goes down to a 4.  The problem is it's time consuming because every shelf is full and it's then a round robin as you move from 4 to 3, 3 to 2, 2 to 1.

But there is no 0 - it gets thrifted, thrown, or gifted if it doesn't belong on even #1 anymore.

Although the time consuming shuffle is a PITA this also makes you more aware (and burdened, which can be a good thing if it gives you the bravery to finally toss it) of just what youre keeping, and whether you should clear MORE than what absolutely has to go out to make the future juggle easier.  At some point you are paying more to keep things in storage or in shuffling maintenance than a thing is even worth, thats when it should go.  This also favors smaller denser more valuable items, or if you have light bulky stuff things that easily stack to the sky on the top shelf because I have a tall storage area.
 
master gardener
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Time for a confession:
"My name is Nancy and I am a hoarder".

I know I have far too many bits and pieces that will "come in someday" - project materials, broken things, kitchen utensils and books (See I said I had a problem!).
I think the trouble is that manufactured items are so precious. I think I must have an ancestral memory (as well as a little industrial experience) of how difficult it is to make things and therefore see it somehow as criminal to throw anything away.
The other problem I have is time. To make time to declutter is much less interesting than all the other things that I could be doing with my odd afternoons off.
 
John F Dean
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I suspect that part of my problem is an interest in zero waste.
 
Dennis Barrow
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Nancy Reading wrote:Time for a confession:
"My name is Nancy and I am a hoarder".

I know I have far too many bits and pieces that will "come in someday" - project materials, broken things, kitchen utensils and books (See I said I had a problem!).
I think the trouble is that manufactured items are so precious. I think I must have an ancestral memory (as well as a little industrial experience) of how difficult it is to make things and therefore see it somehow as criminal to throw anything away.
The other problem I have is time. To make time to declutter is much less interesting than all the other things that I could be doing with my odd afternoons off.



I love to declutter!  I find so many things that I was looking for and things I forgot I had!!  Like Christmas !!!

Yes, I am also a hoarder.  But it has saved me thousands of dollars over the decades I have had this affliction.  lol
 
master steward
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I have never considered myself a hoarder as I am more of a saver.

I do collect things to reuse.  And I do reuse them.

Those return envelopes that are in junk mail are used as scratch paper, seed envelopes, etc.

The bags from the grocery store are reused for lots of things, usually, things that will eventually end up in the trash.

Jars, especially glass ones to be used in the fridge or freezer, etc.

We used to have a motto "If you buy something then you throw something away."

This thread reminded me of my story about the Fly Lady:

https://permies.com/t/99222/permaculture-home-care-cleaning/purity/Decluttering-Minimalism#819119

http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/

 
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Tough call. Some relatives mock me because I have a lot of things out in my shop. Even my wife shakes her head, but years in, she know I probably have what she needs and that I can tell her where to find it.

Regardless what kind of screw you need for woodworking, I have it, in bulk. That includes T-nuts and inserts, dowel screws, piano screws (never know when I'm going to need to make another sultry) and so on.

Need to lube something, I have many choices. So too it goes with glues.

If you are missing a computer, stereo or other cable, it's in one of the categorized, labeled boxes in the garage bay section, on one of the shelves dedicated to that. They are accompanied by all manner of power supplies for phones or ones I built, transformers, diodes (LED and other), resistors (variable and fixed), capacitors, fans and so on.  Also, there are a couple spools of heavy duty tool power cord stock and quality plug ends.

Back from all that is, thousands of dollars worth of flat stock, wood blocks, burls, 2x's  and so on. There is even a cart with about five hundred pounds of wood too small for other than picture frames, edging for plywood and so on (it's all mahogany, teak, oak, maple and so on that was being tossed by a wood door manufacturer).

Near the door between the shop and the garage is a bakers rack. If you want to do something stained glass, it's, probably, there. So too are MANY other things that will spark imagination, like the old street light lenses.

A couple feet across from the bakers racks is metal storage. They hold everything from coat pegs I've bought and extra large ones I've made, and buttons and plugs for wood, to jewelry items.

A bit farther down the way is the cart with about one hundred pounds of various plastics (Plexi, Lexon.. . .) in different thicknesses and colors. Next to that is a rolling display of even more that was rescued when someone was tossing about 400 pounds of it.

I'm an hour from town. Though I get there often, it's nice not having to wait for that much needed USB version 1, 2, 3 or other.  As to the glue and lubes, those are self explanatory, I suspect.  Power supplies seem always needed for something. For example, that little phone charger is powerful enough to fire an LED or two to light a stair or to run a computer fan for a power supply project.

Next, jump to the monster shelves holding tubs of tarps and painting or sheet rock work tools. I only need them ever five to ten years, but when I do, what I have would cost a fortune to replace, or even to rent.

Spend a bit of time on a farm of any significance and it becomes very obvious pushing the line near hoarding can save you thousands. Of course, if you can't find it, it is just hoarding. If you have the room, can organize and find it, it gets a whole lot closer to an investment.

To be fair, I do a LOT of "hobby" things and I have a lot of equipment to do it with (e.g., over-arm pin router, carving machine, re-saw and scrolling bandsaw, plating station, cabinet saw, blaster, etc.), so I am always building or repairing something.

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pollinator
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To be fair, I do a LOT of "hobby" things and I have a lot of equipment to do it with (e.g., over-arm pin router, carving machine, re-saw and scrolling bandsaw, plating station, cabinet saw, blaster, etc.), so I am always building or repairing something.  



I vote Kelly has the BEST toy box, or should I say toy AREA!  So, when do you start your classes, sounds like you have enough supplies for everyone!  I am so jealous of your organizational skill and I think you "hit the nail on the head" if it is organized, it is not hoarded; unorganized and/or compromising health or relationships = hoarding.
 
Kelly Craig
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I wish there were locals to share knowledge with and to swap materials and such. I've even ran ads, but no one responds.  Even people I've know for years and who finally drop by the shop are surprised. They were expecting a 40 year old Sears bandsaw, radial arm and a miter. It's a public place, so I won't repeat the standard response when the finally walk through the door.  

I was lucky enough to be able to choose a career in which I could invest in toys, uh, tools that allow a lot of play options, in addition to doing construction, remodel and finish work.

All that aside, it's a safe bet to say many doing the things we learn about here are doing the same, but from many different approaches.  I have a nice shop and tools, but I don't have much dirt anymore. so don't have a desired root cellar, a larger garden and so on.
 
master pollinator
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Kelly, this sounds like a youtube channel that would generate lots of views and maybe even a little cash.
 
Kelly Craig
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Ha. I've thought about it, but I am destined to be limited to just bragging about making it to one side of my shop and back in under and hour, for the amazing accomplishment it is.  



To say there are shiny, distracting things everywhere in my shop is an understatement.  Consider the photos above, for example. I've not found anything like those anywhere on the Net.  The one is of turnings I made then decided to copper plate, after I learned how to copper plate things that did not lend themselves to copper plating (non-conductive). The others are unique turnings made by sandwiching transparent plastics in everything from maple to teak or mesquite.

Obviously, I'm all over the board on things that distract me.  As can be [somewhat] evidenced by a simple search. Run the words Imagination Unincorporated and I'll be the first hits. I guess people pay to get the Googaloids to get you there, and here I am wasting it.

Problem is, I get way distracted from the shiny thing of doing, rather than promoting (you should see the drawers of inventions and designs).
 
pollinator
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Adrienne Rayna wrote:
I hoard what I fear I won't have an opportunity to be.  For me this is books.
I have so many more books than I will ever read.  My Fear / Sense of Lack & Loss that makes me hoard these is the feeling
that I will never have the time to, the resources , the energy to learn and develop myself as I beleived I 'should',
as a part of me that never got the chance, or I never gave the chance to develop.

Instead of validatiing that time mulling over all the areas of interest to me was valuable, I baught books and set them on a shelf.
I dust my books, foundly.  I organize my books, to remember to discover what it is I am 'Quest-Ion-ing".   I have moved crates of books 6 or more times.
But I have read - relativley- only a few pages.   I never give myself the permision to take the selfish time to develop Me.

LIfe demands seem to steel this away.  It is a loss, a fear, a sense of great lack that makes me hoard my books.

Now that I am aware of this.  I am indeed giving myself permision to explore my interests - Even if I don't know what value this knowlege could
possibly have.  Even if it will never make $, energy, food, or any other accomplishment.  If I'm interested, I give myself permision to spend hours on exploring it.



One cannot hoard books, only collect them. They are infinitely valuable. Even only a few pages at a time.

We recently moved across the country. Upon preparing I was having a conversation with a (ex) co-worker about how to distribute the weight of my 'library' in my Uhaul. His response was "Why do you still have books??? We have the whole internet in our pocket." When I responded asking what happens if that all disappears, where's the knowledge? He scoffed and thought that impossible. Even when I pointed out all the things that we never thought would happen, happening. Books are a real life resource and should be cherished as such. I'm all about preparing for the impossible.

All in all we probably hauled 20 boxes of books, a dozen large rubber tubs of fabric, hundreds of empty mason jars and 2k lbs of dry food stock across the country in our packed to the brim moving truck. Hubs tried getting me to ditch the food. Not with the current inflated prices! That food is worth almost twice what I paid for it! I can find a couch anywhere right? Lol.
 
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I’ll revive this dead thread with something that may be discussed elsewhere on this great site I just discovered. On the topic of saving stuff, wouldn’t it be great if we looked at if from a local community perspective in addition to a personal perspective? Why does stuff have to go right to the landfill? Why can’t some stuff go to a sort of purgatory first? I’m imagining a big pole building full of categorized junk that is open to the public. Maybe like a Goodwill store for bones that still have a little meat left on them. Keep the stuff around until the categories get full, then start the process of filtering what is left into its appropriate waste path. Community hoarding or saving. I think this approach would greatly reduce waste. Much more could be recycled with better sorting and accumulation.
 
pollinator
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Michael Voigt wrote:I’ll revive this dead thread with something that may be discussed elsewhere on this great site I just discovered.



Welcome to Permies, Michael! Here, threads don't die; they just continue to ripen

Community hoarding or saving.



I've also pondered how this could work, and it seems to me the key component is management. Most people are happy to let go of their least valued things if they know that there's a good chance someone else will find value therein. Many would even take care to clean, sort and label their donations to the community pile. Of course, you would need people volunteering their time and effort to keep this space of value salvage from becoming an irredeemable cluster dump.

As it turns out, there are already people giving up damn near everything just to hold onto things that the greater world considers next to worthless. I think such people, given the opportunity to express the full extent of their interest in the stuff their society discards, could make this model of material goods reclamation work. Set up a structure with a really good system of organizing what comes in, and perhaps those habitual hoarders and junk junkies become salvaging sultans sorting stuff. Princes and princess of picking and repurposing. Tack on a repair cafe and a tool lending library, and you have the makings of a hip, funky small business with a focus on social capital.
 
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I just tossed some books that had been ruined by rodents.
These books had been boxed up and set aside for  donation, but I never got the final ok.
We would have been better off giving them all away without a second thought.
Keeping them served no one except the mice.
I recycled them, but there are still boxes of books and other junk waiting to become useless in turn...
 
Anne Miller
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A good new years resolution for everyone would be to unclutter our lives.

Consider uncluttering by not saving or hoarding.

When something new is brought into the house make a rule to get rid of at least one old item.  Throw it away or give something away.

set aside a day when I don't have anything else going on.  I would allow time for kids and fun breaks.

I would get 3 or 4 big boxes. I would mark the boxes "Keep, Give away, Throw away, and Maybe?" Then I would start with what is on the floor. I would sort everything into those boxes. Then I would move to the top shelf and use the same method.

When we sold our homestead, I had the job of getting rid of almost everything. I found the Flylady and she really helped me.

http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/



https://permies.com/t/150396/permaculture-home-care-cleaning/purity/De-Cluttering-life#1175840
 
Lorinne Anderson
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Per Michael Voights suggestion regarding regarding community exchanges:

Here in Canada,  or at least where I am there are recycling exchanges - everything from old appliances to tools to clothing, toys, and furniture can be dropped off.

There are also online resources under the headline USED (INSERT. NAME OF COMMUNITY) that provide free or nominal charges for just about anything.   You cannot even post "wanted" stuff.

Many communities offer 'oversize' pick up annually where the public is welcome to put stuff to the curb, for a week.

Habitat For Humanity seem to have many locations for household/building materials, fittings, and tools.

Clothing has thrift stores, shelters, and places like Goodwill.

Books can go to any school, community or 'tiny library ' collection; nursing homes,  hospitals also.

Storage ware, appliances etc. are often welcome anywhere food is collected/prepared for free meals.

Tools and/or small motors can be used by those teaching repair, often high school or trade schools would love these.

Working  old appliances such as washers, dryers, dishwashers,  kitchen prep appliances would be welcomed my most who serve kids in daycare or those assisting the homeless.

Of course there is always garage sales, flea markets and swap meets...
 
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John F Dean wrote:While I am a long way from making any reality TV shows, I notice that I am seeing more clutter than I would like. Many years ago, when I was not on a homestead,  I would ask myself if the item had been used in the past year or had some intrinsic value.   If the answer was no, it got tossed.  I am not convinced that is the right formula.  

How do others determine if an item stays or goes?



A hoarder has a completely disorganized pile of stuff. In the worst cases, there may only be a walkway from one room to another, the rest of the space filled by piles and boxes of stuff in no particular order. Impossible to get to, and even they may not even remember what they have or where it is. It is a mental health issue characterized by holding onto things in a way that cannot be justified by logic and reason. Often times they may have a full storage unit, and pay far more for storage over the years than the items in that storage unit are even worth, for example.

If all your scrap steel is in one neat pile that periodically gets taken for recycling (or better yet, cashed in), you're a saver. If a bunch of broken appliances are scattered around and have been there for a long time, with no particular plan other than "maybe fix them some day", you're a hoarder.

A prepper or saver may have a lot of stuff which may have utilize some day, but it is all neatly organized. All the empty containers in one spot, all the spare clothes in one spot, etc. Old clothes that are only useful as rags have been deliberately torn so they will never be worn again. Everything has a clearly identified purpose and if it has no purpose than it gets discarded.

Savers also have a limit to how much of any item they will acquire before some of it has got to go. For example, old containers can be used to start plants, but how many will you ever need? At some point you have to throw some of it out even if that means sending it to the landfill because it's not a recyclable item.

A prepper or saver works within the space they have available. As their living space (including, possibly, garage, barn, and outdoor structures) fills up, they will never exceed the space that they have available. As they acquire new things, they discard some old things, so that the space stays accessible and usable. A hoarder will hang onto so much stuff that they have far more stuff they should have, for the amount of space available to them.


 
Kelly Craig
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RE "If all your scrap steel is in one neat pile that periodically gets taken for recycling (or better yet, cashed in), you're a saver. If a bunch of broken appliances are scattered around and have been there for a long time, with no particular plan other than "maybe fix them some day", you're a hoarder."

It, also, is possible you are just a slob.

Back to the hording vs saving thing, I have tools I haven't used in years. Things like my airless sprayer or 12 horse pressure washer.  It would cost me a hundred a day to rent them when time comes to replace the shop and house.  When I do use them, I not only save hundreds in rental costs (and a long drive to and from town, about an hour away), I save thousands in painting costs.

To be fair, presuming new paint on a scale requiring those things every five years, I have one last job, then should sell them and put the money toward something else.

Then there is all the plywood, lumber, nuts, bolts, washers, screws, lubes and so on. My wealthy brother in law mocks me, but I am the one he comes to, if he needs a screw or bolt.

The simple of it is, hoarding is refusing to let go of things expired and things useless. It's letting things take over your life, rather than serve you (those walking spaces mentioned, resulting from stockpiling things that are kept only for the sake of stockpiling.  

The ideal homestead has a shop big enough to work in and to store things that are critical to the function of the homestead now or later. That could be a new toilet flap or wax ring, a pile of iron used for welding projects, wood to build a cabinet or what have you.

If you have no room for these things, then it could be having them is a problem. On the other hand, if you have a good sized shop where you can work and store things, the same things that would be a problem for someone else could be insurance and future savings for someone else.

 
pollinator
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I've realised that my wife and her family hoard packaging materials. Every cardboard box, padded envelope and piece of bubble wrap gets saved "because it might be useful".

Over christmas I helped my mother in law sort some of her garage. We pulled out a pile of cardboard boxes that was shoulder high and about 3m across when pulled out on the lawn. It took me two hours to carefully burn them all without setting fire to the garden.

Reflecting on this, their hoarding of packaging is a habit learned from when packaging was scarce. In the era of amazon packaging comes through the door on a daily basis. I think it takes a conscious realisation to reflect on an old habit that is no longer useful and change it.
 
pollinator
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I could/would be a hoarder in another world.  However, I have a trait that slows it down... an extreme aversion to buying anything new.  
But... I do dumpster dive, so things come home... and sometimes accumulate... because I can't bear to see it wasted.

Cloth: Any "junk" cloth item goes in the rag stack, which is an area in the basement bathroom.  Whenever I need a piece of fabric to patch something, that's where I go.  Anytime I need a rag to wipe a mess, there's a stack of old towels ready to go.  If I need a couple of pairs of pants to sew together into "snowpants" to wear in the barn-yard, they are there.  When I need socks to cushion goose hatching eggs I am selling, there are plenty to use.  But I'm getting to the point where I might have too many...

Clothes: Any wearable clothes, a size up or down from my current size, get saved... I have a full closet, dresser, and rack in the laundry room.  I have not bought any clothes in several years, but I "find" great stuff sometimes.  If it's more than a size or two from my current size, but still good, it gets donated.  But I have too much clothing. The only thing I'll need in the next decade is underwear, and I sort of need that right now, but I'm making do... TMI, I suppose.

Lumber:  I have a stash of lumber, mostly treated deck material, in the barn on my father-in-law's property.  He was teasing me about it, passively telling me it was a waste of time and space... until he started "going to the lumberyard" 2-3 times a year and taking my boards (I don't grudge him - they are technically in his space, and I just didn't want them wasted).  He doesn't say anything negative anymore.

Metal:  I have a bin of iron.  I need to get it to the scrap yard.  I try to go 2-3x per year, but I am behind, so it is over-flowing right now, and buried with snow, so that's a project for spring.

Food: I find/receive expired/damaged/unwanted food that is PERFECTLY SAFE to eat.  The issue is working it into our menu.  My wife is not fully on-board with eating "what we have" all the time (but she is great about trying to make it work within reason).  BUT it doesn't accumulate beyond a certain level, because I feed it out to the livestock.  Considering what others have said, I know of a box of food that has migrated into a spot that is not designated for it.  It's a bunch of packages of dried apples.  I resolve to feed them to the cows this weekend.  Nothing wrong with them, just too many for their home, and I don't expect them to be consumed by my family anytime soon.

Egg Cartons: I sell eggs, I need cartons, I never say no to a donation.  But, when I get too many, I put them up on CL in sets of 100 and sell them.  But from time-to-time my cartons exceed their home.

Tools: One user said he only wants one of each type of tool... I want a hammer in every chicken coop, a shovel in every barn, etc.  But I never buy them unless they are dirt cheap.  But when I find one discarded somewhere, I take my score home.  

Sporks & Condiment packages: these are a problem.  I get individually packaged sporks from a source.  Nothing wrong with them.  Hundreds of them.  They come in sack lunches that are discarded.  I can't bear to throw them out, no one will even take them for free.  I have a stash.  They need to go, but I am not ready.  

That's my treasure trove that looks like junk to others.  

 
Lorinne Anderson
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SPORKS: Is their a shelter or soup kitchen nearby?  Bet they would love the utensils and clothing!
 
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I feel like after reading "The life-changing magic of tidying up" I came to realize that I've been holding on to a lot of things with the intention of using them later, but in doing so my space has become so cluttered that I'm often reusing things less often because I can't find them/don't remember they exists, don't have time for repairs or mending, in addition to not taking care of or appreciating the items I do have because of the mindset of "oh I have a back-up".

This usually applies to things like clothes, stationary, sewing/knitting supplies, and kitchen items. The tool domain is mostly that of my husbands, I just have to remember to return items to where I found them. Although a lot of my garden tools/supplies I often find I run into the same problem. Instead of having one pair of pruning shears I take good care of, I have several in different states of disarray.

... but maybe this is a "me" problem.
 
Thomas Dean
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:SPORKS: Is their a shelter or soup kitchen nearby?  Bet they would love the utensils and clothing!


I've asked a few, no takers.  
 
William Bronson
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We donated some books to the St
Vincent DePaul's charitable thrift store.

My wife bought needed clothing,  my kid bought tchotchkes,  and I bought 3 file cabinets at 99 cents each.
One of which will become a stove the  other an outdoor  tool cabinet and the third more storage.
I certainly don't need another project, but I have this idea...
I might have a problem.


 
Douglas Alpenstock
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William Bronson wrote: I bought 3 file cabinets at 99 cents each. One of which will become a stove ...


I've wondered about file cabinets for unconventional projects like that. What is your plan?
 
Lorinne Anderson
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File cabinets are the best!

First off, they are commonly metal, perfect for storing items safe from rodents.  

Even the wood ones are built strong  - files are HEAVY.

Easy to paint or decorate.

Bedside table, console table,  chair table, all ideal uses for the two drawer one.

2-3 drawer ones are perfect height to become desk, counter, work surface supports; just lay stone or wood on top.

They will easily support an elevated bed, 2, 3, or 4 even 6 drawer drawer high....very strong.

Nice, deep storage that is often "just the right size".

That is just in the house!  In the workshop.....well,  I will leave that up to your imagination.
 
pollinator
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Anne Miller wrote:I have never considered myself a hoarder as I am more of a saver.

I do collect things to reuse.  And I do reuse them.

Those return envelopes that are in junk mail are used as scratch paper, seed envelopes, etc.

The bags from the grocery store are reused for lots of things, usually, things that will eventually end up in the trash.

Jars, especially glass ones to be used in the fridge or freezer, etc.

We used to have a motto "If you buy something then you throw something away."

This thread reminded me of my story about the Fly Lady:

https://permies.com/t/99222/permaculture-home-care-cleaning/purity/Decluttering-Minimalism#819119

http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/



Thanks for posting this! I supposedly was going to try and follow her steps but quickly became distracted and haven't applied it properly

I never thought of myself as a type A personality but reading her tidbits on 'we' being perfectionists and that getting in the way of making change is so true. Guess I'm part type A in that way!

Hopefully this reminder will help. I'm struggling with the fact we have a multi-generational living situation and other people's stuff is paralyzing me.
 
pollinator
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Rebecca Blake wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:

http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/



Thanks for posting this! I supposedly was going to try and follow her steps but quickly became distracted and haven't applied it properly

I never thought of myself as a type A personality but reading her tidbits on 'we' being perfectionists and that getting in the way of making change is so true. Guess I'm part type A in that way!

Hopefully this reminder will help. I'm struggling with the fact we have a multi-generational living situation and other people's stuff is paralyzing me.



Seriously, her thing is all about just jumping right in with whatever today's task is.  Whatever you are able to accomplish will make your space better.  I have her (OMG so many) emails filtered to a specific folder and whenever I have a lot of energy I go through as many at the top of the list as I can, and... things are better.

(I literally just opened Gmail and deleted almost 50,000 emails from her.  She will send me more. )

Other people's stuff is hard.  I don't have a solution beyond lots of discussion and negotiation.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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I'm going to point out something obvious, but that isn't so much as you collect stuff:  Stuff degrades.

Lumber rots and/or becomes an animal nest.  Tools rust.  Fabric gets moldy.  

(I may have always lived in damp areas...)

This brought to you by my recent hiring of a junk removal company to start making a dent in the thousands of pounds of stuff that was bought by my parents and put in the finished basement, that my mom finally gave me permission to start clearing out.  

It was all nice stuff, once.  Goodwill now recognizes her car, and will not accept anything from it, as the mildew and mustiness is a danger to their staff, and they can't sell it.  She can't bring it into the main living area to use it, as it triggers her allergies and immune disorders.  It sucks.  I like stuff, and I liked this stuff, and it was drilled into my head that it's all worth something.  Not any more.  Now it's just a burden on me, and more crap to fill the landfill.  At least the junk guy will get paid.
 
Anne Miller
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Rebecca Blake wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:We used to have a motto "If you buy something then you throw something away."

This thread reminded me of my story about the Fly Lady:

https://permies.com/t/99222/permaculture-home-care-cleaning/purity/Decluttering-Minimalism#819119

http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/



Thanks for posting this! I supposedly was going to try and follow her steps but quickly became distracted and haven't applied it properly

I never thought of myself as a type A personality but reading her tidbits on 'we' being perfectionists and that getting in the way of making change is so true. Guess I'm part type A in that way!

Hopefully this reminder will help. I'm struggling with the fact we have a multi-generational living situation and other people's stuff is paralyzing me.



To me, following the Fly Lady's principles starts with what she says about shoes.

It has been a long time since I read her recommendations tough if I remember correctly she says to put your shoes on first thing and maybe don't take them off until the day is finished.

At least that is what made it work for me.

I don't remember anything about Type A personality...
 
Rebecca Blake
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Anne Miller wrote:To me, following the Fly Lady's principles starts with what she says about shoes.

It has been a long time since I read her recommendations tough if I remember correctly she says to put your shoes on first thing and maybe don't take them off until the day is finished.

At least that is what made it work for me.

I don't remember anything about Type A personality...



She doesn't mention type A's just her talk on perfectionism made me think of that, although perhaps both types can have perfectionism and it just manifests in different ways. Hmm...

I hate the idea of putting shoes on first thing in the morning. I love being barefoot and only put on shoes when I absolutely have to, like leaving the house. I even used to drive barefoot if I didn't need to leave the car; now I try not to do that so if my car breaks down I have shoes lol

Maybe it's worth a try though.
 
Anne Miller
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Rebecca said, "I hate the idea of putting shoes on first thing in the morning. I love being barefoot and only put on shoes when I absolutely have to, like leaving the house.



This was me too.

Now we have concrete floors which I feel would be hard on my feet so I always wear shoes.

Since I developed a balance problem I only wear flip flops and try to buy the ones with the thickest soles, for more cushion.
 
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