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Hoarding vs saving

 
pollinator
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote: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.



It's not you, it's me, I'm just like you...

I have a few pruning shears as well, some in the truck, at home, in the garden shed, another that spent the summer out in the yard, oh! and one right next to my desk at work waiting for one last step, before it goes back together and home to the other garden shed...
I have at least a dozen tape measures, I try to keep them handy, and I think since they get used so frequently, they tend to be on top...

I think if finding the thing is the problem, then there's two solutions: a.) one tool, one place for it.  b.) many tools. possibly in the many places they get used (or all one place, like a pencil cup)
If you are on a trip to the moon, you have one tool. If it is an expensive tool, you have one tool. If you are a minimalist, neat-freak, you have one tool because you couldn't use two anyways...and where would you put it?
If you need a tool in many places, or for many things, it can be a time-savings to have a dedicated one for each. A 10-in-one screwdriver in the kitchen drawer is way handier than a trip to the basement to get one, no, the other one, then put it away again.
If you set a tool down the last place you used it, rather than "put it away" then multiple tools can save frustration and time. If you are returning to a task, it's easy to leave the tool at hand, but if someone else is expecting/relying on it being returned.

I just managed to repair a toy wheelbarrow with some pallet wood I salvaged (better than new handles now), and am well on my way to a trifecta (but five, a pentafecta?) of a workbench with drawers... The bottom shelf of a cafeteria steam table with wheels, strengthened with some pallet wood, with four 3 drawer file cabinets side-by-side on it topped with a Formica countertop, all to be joined together with some salvaged plywood. All free. most of it within past 4 months, except the Formica which I've had for? five years? So, that's nice. I don't have a space in the garage to put it!!! (except for a Formica-sized hole) since that is full of other materials and projects... and things that got stuffed there over the years.

I'm in the "expert sooper dooper hoarder edition" of the "tile puzzle", the one with tiles that slide to make a picture... it's usually a 4x4,maybe 5x5, grid with one empty square. I think mine is dialed up to 25 or 30, or it might be the 3-D chess version, with one empty square on each tier...



 
master gardener
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:

I'm in the "expert sooper dooper hoarder edition" of the "tile puzzle", the one with tiles that slide to make a picture... it's usually a 4x4,maybe 5x5, grid with one empty square. I think mine is dialed up to 25 or 30, or it might be the 3-D chess version, with one empty square on each tier...

I can add another dimension. The people who always think the next job is more important than cleaning up after the last one. This is one big reason that on my farm we need multiple copies of the same tool - someone never puts them away. I've created a couple of storage spots - the back well shed, a kitchen cupboard, and a bucket in the garage where some of the tools are even engraved with my name, so if one of the "someones" swipes a tool from one of those locations and are caught with it abandoned at one of their unfinished project locations, they have only themselves to blame for the consequences.
 
pollinator
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I have to agree with the logic of multiple,  identical tools (tape measures, multi bit ratchet screw drivers etc.) to live where they are frequently used.

I keep a tape measure, vice grips, socket/adjustable wrench, flashlight/work light and ratcheting screw driver in each vehicle,  the kitchen,  the shop,  and the project "zone", aka the covered deck.  In addition,  I  got several "kits" of battery operated tools by the same company; this means extra batteries,  extra drills and saws (most used items).  These were standard in each kit, along with the "perk" tool; cutoff saw, flashlight,  impact driver...original goal was extra batteries,  but it seems having a drill and saw with spare batteries stashed in multiple locations has been super helpful.

Some may view this as wasteful,  but for me time/steps are more valuable than needing a tool and it being half an acre away.   PLUS, it means spare parts (drivers/sockets) when something, inevitably, breaks or goes missing.

I have never regretted NOT having a tool handy, and countless times rolled my eyes,  knowing I could have saved minutes if not hours for lack of a cleverly placed piece of equipment.  

Vehicle tools:  Just how are you supposed to know if that cool "thing" in the thrift store, dumpster or at the curb will "fit", and how do you take it apart to get it in the vehicle???  Oh, or if you break down,  of course!

 
Kenneth Elwell
pollinator
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Vehicle tools:  Just how are you supposed to know if that cool "thing" in the thrift store, dumpster or at the curb will "fit", and how do you take it apart to get it in the vehicle???  Oh, or if you break down,  of course!



Two opposable thumbs up!!
 
gardener
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Gonna quote myself from much earlier in the thread:

Dan Boone wrote:
If you knew that the $5 or the $10 object would be a trivial expense when it came time to buy another one, the problem is easy.  But how do you know?  Who can see the future?



Today I found this 1965 cartoon from Mad Magazine.  Who can see the future, indeed?

be-ruthless.jpg
"You've got to be ruthless! Everything out!"
"You've got to be ruthless! Everything out!"
 
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Valerie naiman wrote:Guess I’m a hoarder but I’m also artistic. Broken tools, if I’m not able to repair them, go in a pile outside ready for a sculpture. I have 7 broken shovels in that pile and know I’ll get to the sculpture next summer. Making stuff from “trash” thrills me. During this Covid pandemic I’ve been grateful to have stuff I can make something out of.



I'm the same- I'm not into chaos but I really love the creative aspects of repurposing things.
I remember thinking about how everyone had "Marie Kondo-ed" right before the pandemic and how some of that "junk" would be sparking joy right about then when everyone was stuck home with nothing to do.
I also realize that a lot of insecurity in my early life affects my impulses to make sure all my needs are met by keeping things for future purposes. I have a spouse that is kind of the opposite and keeping a balance between our needs (creativity, inspiration, and security with order, calm, and simplicity) helps keep the negative aspects of both of our proclivities in check.

That said, I probably have an excess of glass jars and bottles.
 
Jay Angler
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Mercy Pergande wrote:

That said, I probably have an excess of glass jars and bottles.

Every time I go to make jam, dang it if all my 500ml canning jars are full! Yes, I *know* I've got an excess, right up until when I need them!
 
master gardener
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Interesting.   For some reason, this year I am able to part with many more things that I could last year. On the flip side, bottles appear to be breeding in my basement.
 
Jay Angler
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John F Dean wrote:Interesting.   For some reason, this year I am able to part with many more things that I could last year. On the flip side, bottles appear to be breeding in my basement.

Mine are doing it on the kitchen table. I thinned out the community just before the heat wave (by local standards - it almost got to 30C) by filling them with plum jam. Keeping them full seems to be the trick for population control - maybe it's just that full jars don't seem as easy to define as "clutter".
 
John F Dean
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True, in my universe, full jars are not clutter unless the contents are highly questionable.
 
pollinator
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Kelly Craig wrote: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.  



Is there a covet emoji???

Kelly Craig wrote:Problem is, I get way distracted from the shiny thing of doing, rather than promoting (you should see the drawers of inventions and designs).



Can we please???
 
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Add to ALL this a scary fact:  There are many ignorant people out there who have no business cleaning and arranging someone else's life. For example, my rent a sister (I guess they call them sisters-in-law) knows ZERO about tools and equipment. Before I met my wife, her sister-in-law hauled many a valuable tool to the dump, to get rid of it, in the course of clearing the house of my wife's father's estate.

Let's use my table saw as an example. I paid fifteen hundred for it about seventeen years ago. Then I added:  (1) a Merlin splitter (to keep the wood from clamping the back of the blade and causing the three horse driven blade to kick the wood back; (2) a kick down outfeed table; another quick disconnect fence for the Unifence, for jigs; (3) an Excalibur over-arm dust collector-guard; (4) a tenon jig; (5) an Incra box joint jig; (6) a Freud dado blade; (7) anti-kick-back hold-downs; ( a large sled; (9) a host of blades; (10) . . . .

Today, all these years later, the saw will still bring the price I paid for it. Significantly more with all the extras that go with it.  However, if that sister-in-law were allowed to stick her ignorant (bordering stupid) nose in my wife's affairs, she'd give the saw away for $150.00, or have it hauled off. Too, she wouldn't even know the box joint and tenon jigs went with it.

Now figure in the 17" Grizzly and the 14" Powermatic bandsaws, the over-arm pin router, the 4' x 6' carving machine, eleven routers, a router table, drum disk sander, spindle sander, flat bed sander, sandblast station, 60 gallon compressor, sanding station, Hegner jig saw, copper plating station, electronics equipment, polishing station, lathe, and on and on.  Used these things could be sold to pay for a vacation of a lifetime, a remodel, or a very nice car or truck.



To help, in event of my demise, I'm putting a loose leaf together with the tools categorized (sanding, carving, drilling, cutting, polishing, etc.).  With the help of a glue stick, photos of things like the Festool hand sanders can been seen, along with an explanation that they run around $600.00 new and, used, can still bring $500.00, if they are in good shape and come with their goofy Systainers (carry boxes), and include the roughly two hundred dollars in hook-and-loop ceramic sanding pads.

The photo of the set of calipers, which doesn't look much different than the $30.00 Harbor Freight calipers, will inform it cost $130.00 and, unlike that HF one, the battery is good for five or more years, so the guy offering $5.00 should be told to go to hell and to leave the sale for trying to con an old lady      .

Then there is that "hunting rifle." Yep, it was only $600.00 in its day, but not seen is, the custom trigger assembly and so on. Then there is the 50,000 hour red dot, making the used price value of the toy, uh, tool, along with the "couple of boxes of ammo," worth a site more than was paid for just the initial gun.

Of course, these things could be very useful to an insurance company too, in event of theft, flood or fire.



 
pollinator
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I don't have answers, I  only have questions to ask.


1)   How long will I live?     ( sets a end date for when it will be your responsibility and someone else's)

      How long will I live here?     ( do I want to take this with me when I move, or will someone take it?    this also sets a boundary for moving day)


2)    How much space does this take up?       (saying yes to keeping this object, means I am saying no to other things that can fit in that space.     Sometimes  you have to pass up deals because you don't have the storage space to grab that item that is cheap or free.

3)     In $ value how much is this item worth?          ( placing an add on craigslist with X  amount for $   can help determine what it is worth )     I came to the conclusion that storing firewood in my shipping container is a bad use of space as compared to other items I could store which have greater value to me.

4)    Do you have goals?       ( If you do not have goals then you will often do things without placing a value on items in terms of what you want to get out of life.        Yes I can collect for free 2,000 plastic bottles in my shipping container space,  but then what?     Do these bottles need to be converted into something useful?        How much time does it take to convert those bottles to plant containers?         Do I need that many plant containers?      What is the saturation point for 2,000 plant containers that have been recycled?   Perhaps 30?       )        Being able to say, my life's mission is to have a clean orderly home that I do not trip over anything, and I can find what I need within 1 hours time.            If having 2,000 free plastic bottles gets in the way of that, then changes need to be made.         Going back to #1   our funeral day is coming,    "Is this the best way to use the allotted time that I have?"

 
Kelly Craig
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Early on, wifey kept asking why I needed all the tools I had.  Years in, she likes her new kitchen with lower drawers, instead of shelves. And that we don't have to spend a fortune every time a project or problem comes into our lives.

I think one of the best examples of "not hoarding, but storing" is, paint and sheet rock equipment.  I, several times, pointed out I only need some items every five or ten years, but, when I do, I need them bad and they can be expensive to buy or rent.  

We just painted the shop. We will be painting the house too.  The only thing it cost us to paint the shop was, painter's plastic, tape, caulk, a couple paint roller rolls and paint.  

Having the equipment, storing it for the last twenty years and doing it all ourselves allowed us to save at least twenty-five hundred dollars on JUST ONE job. Probably more, since I put a lot of effort into caulking what didn't get caulked when the shop was built, and everything got back  brushed and rolled.  Anyway, it would cost a two hour round trip, twice and a hundred dollars a day for rental of the pressure washer (a commercial, 12 horse 4,000 PSI one) and, then again, for the airless.

Then there are the little things. Those LED computer monitors have some pretty handy plastic for their screens. Nice thick stuff that can actually be used for router bases, or what have you.  

The other day, my wife wanted to get her little outdoor table fountain going. She lamented the fact she had to dump so many rocks in it to get the pretty rocks on the surface.  I went out to the shop, pulled a 15" x 15" piece of plastic, cut it into a circle, drilled a hole for the fountain hose, a notch on the edge for a power cord, and some drainage holes.  Now, her little fountain is, mostly, hollow, with three supports holding the plastic near the top, where all her petrified wood sits and the whole thing no longer weights twenty-five pounds, but works as she planned.

We're an hour from a real town. Having An entire bay of the shop set aside for storage makes life far more comfortable.  It just makes sense to take advantage of the space because I can.

There is an area dedicated to storing things like plastics, plumbing supplies (gaskets for lawn hoses, new toilet "wax rings," etc.), wood, more wood, then a whole bunch more. There too can there be found  yard sale scores on small pumps, power supplies, and all manner of computer, video and sound cords. There are all sorts of other electronics things, like rectifiers, diodes, resistors gauges and caps. They may be found near things electrical, like single and double duplex boxes and various gauges of house wiring so, when I discover I need four things plugged in, or a new exterior outlet, I can fix the problem without much thought on acquiring what I need to do it.

In the end, I operate my tiny, more city than urban home more like a farm or ranch than a city slicker dwelling.  That is, I have all manner of things stored for anticipated and unanticipated wants and needs.  Whether that is wise or not might be said to depend on if I make myself handy enough to take advantage of what I've stored.

Meanwhile, the shop is eighteen hundred square feet and it's going to be a sad looking thing when all that is in it is gone and it's just a big, empty place to collect real junk.
 
pollinator
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We recently moved a couple hundred miles to virgin ground.  My wife was always on me about getting rid of my "stuff" that I accumulated over the years.
When we moved it took an extra trip with a 25 foot U-Haul to move that stuff.
While building our new home I used almost all of my "stuff".
Savings was around $7,000 - $10,000.
 
echo minarosa
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote: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.



Also a 'me' issue
 
master gardener
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Well I've discovered the solution to sorting out our junk: get another project!
Mini Jiffy pick up truck barn find on trailer

Just bought the cutest little utility truck - a Jiffy, which is a kitcar based on an Austin mini, it's in the barn, but can't stay there, so we have to make room in the workshop for it. The workshop was filled with junk stuff, including a fair amount of wood, which should be in the Byre. The Byre is full of junk stuff.
So in order to complete the chinese puzzle, I spent yesterday riffle-sorting the workshop and organising my garden shed (removing a shelf unit from the workshop), and much of today moving roof tiles (which hopefully will go on our projected house extension in time) from the Byre outside onto a pallet. That meant we could get into the corner of the Byre, which magically, because it had been blocked off by the roof tiles, actually had a fair amount of space. We found some light units and other stuff that had been lost, some roof sealant and other stuff we had forgotten we had. Tomorrow we are hopefully going to sort the wood from the workshop and clear it out to prepare for moving the Jiffy in!
 
Seriously Rick? Seriously? You might as well just read this tiny ad:
Work Trade for the 2023 Garden Master Course
https://permies.com/wiki/190487/permaculture-projects/Work-Trade-Garden-Master
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