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Hoarding vs saving

 
John F Dean
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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 as 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?
 
Dustin Rhodes
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Location: San Diego, California
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If it breaks and i can't fix it myself, or it's not worth the time or materials to fix it, i throw it away.

If it's still usable, and i just have no need of it/space for it, I have a dedicated "Swap Meet" shelf in my shed - when the shelves are full, i have a yard sale or get a space at the swap meet - even if you sell each item for only a quarter each, by the afternoon most of the stuff will be gone and you'll have made $50-$100.  The key is having sufficient volume of items to make the trip worthwhile, and not being attached to them. When you're close to feeling ready to leave, just yell out that everything is now free - all the excess junk will be gone in a flash, and you might not have to bring anything back home with you (DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING BEHIND AT THE SWAPMEET WHEN YOU LEAVE)

I have jars ready to receive extra screws, bits of string or wire, etc.

I have a true hoarder/addict for a dad, and that memory/trauma keeps me from going overboard with the saving of useless things.

 
Brian Michael
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Great question, also looking to hear some ideas on this one.

I would say- to me hoarding seems to usually have a spirit of acquiring or keeping something specifically to prevent someone else from getting it.  The easiest way for me to get rid of something is for someone else to ask me for it, or use of it.  If I'm not using it often, I'm probably going to share it.  I don't feel like I have a problem with hoarding.

Saving, on the other hand, is a problem.  I, or someone I know, might need that at some point.  We could probably rig it up do do.... something.  What is it? Doesn't matter, we might need it.  At times I have gone with the same method of "have I used this lately?", and if not been rid of it.  That seems to be the best way to ensure that I am in fact going to need that item.  

Right now the most common reason - when I am tired of figuring out how to justify its continued presence to my wife.  

 
John F Dean
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Hi Dustin,

Great idea. I have been organizing my barn, and I have 3 more push mowers that I need ...for example.  Then, of course, there is smaller stuff.  Finally, for the past 20 years I have been clearing out a junk pile that someone made years ago. Most of it is junk.  Sometimes I find enough to take to the recycling center.  And, rarely, I find something that has value but I dont need.
 
Jordan Holland
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I'm currently wondering how many empty milk jugs is too many🤔.
 
Trace Oswald
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I'm pretty bad about this.  After all, nearly everything can be used for something.  I still have parts to fix computers that no one has used for 15 years.  The biggest stumbling block for me is remembering the number of times I've finally thrown something away after sitting on it for years, only to need that exact thing a week later...
 
Jay Angler
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I think Trace Oswald has nailed it!

The biggest stumbling block for me is remembering the number of times I've finally thrown something away after sitting on it for years, only to need that exact thing a week later...

I can think of a use for almost anything and much of what I keep does end up being used, but keeping it organized enough to be able to find it when needed is a challenge.

I also agree that giving away stuff cheap or free is helping me. I hate seeing useful - or potentially useful - stuff going to the dump. Recycle is only a minor step up because too much of "recycle" material goes overseas to pollute there rather than being responsibly recycled.

This is a small part of it, but trying *really* hard to buy quality so less stuff breaks, is a way to try and interrupt the cycle at least a little.

I wish it was easier to get parts and I wish things weren't 'plastic melted' together, so repairing was easier, as I feel that fits this area also.
 
John F Dean
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Indeed, there appears to be a need for balance. Do i need to keep a $5 object because I will need it sometime in the next 25 years?  What about a $10 object ?  Where is the cut off ?
 
Catie George
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I am prone to hoarding, so I like to put space limits on things. I lived in a 400sq ft apartment for 3 years, then a 600 sq ft one, and have lots of hobbies, so this is necessary.

For example - my acrylic paints which I looked at today must fit in a shoe box. This keeps it from expanding like my mother's, to fit three large drawers, with most of them being only half good, picked up at garage sales. I am starting water colouring. My watercolouring supplies will have a similar limit.  I dont buy anything that I "might" need some day, either. My shirts must fit in one drawer. My tools must fit in one dresser drawer. My kitchen appliances must fit on this shelf. My seeds must fit in this box.

Once the space limit has been set, I dont begrudge myself filling it to the max, or whatever is in it. But I dont let the category expand beyond the allotted space, that's when i start to get clutter and hoarding. If it wont fit- then i need to reassess what is in it, and what can be gotten rid of. I have one box of old electronics. It's a lot of stuff I will never use. But - it's just one box, and not expanding, so I figure that's ok.

I like to say that stuff expands to fill the space allotted to it.

(Just like work expands to fill the time allotted to it).
 
elle sagenev
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Yeah it was getting too messy around these parts so I started tossing things. No regrets yet. Unless it has an obvious use, like fencing or wood or metal, I toss that crap.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Catie George wrote:I like to say that stuff expands to fill the space allotted to it.


^^What Catie said.
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