Lately I have found myself in a tug-of-war of sorts between the ideals of living a frugal life and those of living an uncluttered life. I realize that when it's all said and done, the two ideals are completely complementary. I think an uncluttered life is a natural consequence of being frugal and very careful about what purchases are made and aware of using resources wisely.
The tug-of-war regards decisions on what to declutter. As I ponder objects, I try to think of ways to 'use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.' Sometimes I amaze myself with the brilliantly creative ideas I come up with for the fleece from a badly lipstick-stained pullover. The trouble is these creative ideas will NEVER come to fruition because I just don't have the time. It is hard for me to say, "Nope, never will get to it." I am definitely an optimist when it comes to what I think I can get done.
It's difficult to set aside that frugal nature and part with something perfectly useful. Take this box of Swiffer WetJet pads.
This box has been sitting on my top laundry room cupboard shelf since May 2006. Only one has been used; the rest sit, perfectly usable. The Wet Jet itself is long gone; a victim of Paloma-induced collateral damage. Honestly, I was never a big fan of the Wet Jet. The cleaning solution costs more than a liter of gas in Germany, I found that it makes the floor cloudy, and it's an ecological disaster. Plus, let's face it: 3 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 mom who loves to cook. My floors are filthy by the end of the day, and a Wet Jet just ain't cuttin' it in our busy household.
Why I kept this unopened box for so long I'll never know. I couldn't justify just tossing it; it seems wasteful. But, I found a great resource center that will gladly take them, as they'll sell it in their thrift shop where it will go quickly.
The Mister shares in my frugal nature. When I explained to him my laundry room declutter and how I gave away the box of Swiffer wipes, his response was, "Why? We might have used those someday."
My thoughts exactly, my dear, for the past two years. This is just one of the millions of reasons why I love this man and why we have a cosmic connection. But it's also why we've had a bulky box of Swiffer wipes that, if we are honest with ourselves, we know we will never use, and they're taking up precious cupboard space.
Fortunately, I had a great talk last night with my dear and very grounded friend Melanie. She wisely assessed my dilemma and gave the advice to pitch what we don't need without thinking twice, and then be frugal with the rest.
Very sage advice, indeed. With that nugget of wisdom, today I shall go forth and tackle the Mister's closet and tie rack. He's in Vegas this week, so baby, there ain't nothing you can do to stop me.