Friday, May 13, 2011

Frugality and "Stuff"

Since I've been cleaning out our home and trying to simplify, one of the issues with which I've been struggling is how to cut down on what I bring into the house.  Because of course it's no good to clear stuff out only to replace it the next week.  Then it becomes an exhausting, never-ending cycle of shopping and purging.

I'm certainly not a shopoholic; I obviously consider myself pretty to be pretty frugal!  I'm pretty good about sticking to our budget, and I am not tempted by the typical "sale."

However, it would be prideful not to admit that I too am tempted by "stuff."  My weakness is definitely ultra cheap stuff - the yard sale, thrift store, and 75% or 90% off clearance.  While to a certain extent there is nothing wrong with my enjoying a little "retail therapy" in those ways, there is a downside as well.

First of all, it is shocking how quickly even ultra-cheap prices add up.  I have honestly been in the position of filling my cart with 90% off merchandise, because, "How could I pass this up for $.37?"  Then I've gotten to the checkout counter and I'm spending $20 on stuff that I would never have purchased except that it was such a great deal.

And that's just it, there can be a fine line between buying ahead in order to save money and buying just because something is a great deal - or, on the other hand, buying only what you need and buying without regard to cost.

Several of the frugal methods used by myself and others involve keeping some extra stuff around - for instance, stocking up on groceries when they're on sale or keeping a stash of gifts bought on clearance to pull out for birthdays and baby showers.  There are also the little luxuries - seasonal decorations, new toys, kitchen items - that I enjoy finding as bargains, because they would not be the budget otherwise.

Yet all these great deals have the potential to just bury us in stuff, which clutters the house, gets lost, creates stress, gets dusty, etc.  Our family of five lives in a small townhouse, and items that might not be out of place in a larger home we simply cannot store.

So I struggle . . . what is the right amount of stuff in my life right now?   How do I regulate how stuff enters and exits our home?

How do I control the stuff and keep it from controlling me?

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your de-cluttering successes, Liz! I cleared out a lot of stuff for the rummage sale, too, and it feels great! Like you said, now the challenge is to not replace it all. :)


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