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The Joys of Organizing My Stuff to Save Money

  February 3

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garage saleIf you had a chance to read the Day In The Life post that I wrote recently, I mentioned that I am currently sorting through a massive pile of stuff, stuff that has been sitting in my in laws house for three years, stuff on top of stuff, and stuff I didn’t know I had in my stuff.

In case you didn’t pick up on this fact: I have a lot of stuff.

According to the Internet, you have a lot of stuff too. It’s not just America either. The UK has a ton of storage businesses like Strongbox Self Storage where people can, for a modest fee, store their stuff. I feel like the media always makes us feel like it’s the US who is the primary source of stuff-having, but really in developed and even undeveloped countries everywhere, people like to hoard their things.

Even in Grenada, where many of the locals were living in poverty, they collected and held on to things that they found or bought. There’s just something about owning a little bit of property, even if it’s a coffee cup, that we all just have to have.

Anyway, I’ve actually come a long way in terms of sorting through and trying to embrace minimalism. In 2011, just before I moved to the Caribbean, I got rid of over 2,000 items. Even with that massive purge, finding storage was still necessary. There were wedding gifts and nice kitchen appliances in my stuff that I couldn’t bring with me to Grenada. So now, I’m basically going through and re-opening all my wedding gifts again, which is actually kind of fun when it isn’t super overwhelming.

It’s amazing how many things we keep and how many things we don’t know we actually have. Just the other day I bought Frog Tape so I could paint the nursery, and of course, I found a brand new Frog Tape in my stuff when I was going through it yesterday. Go figure: there was stuff all up in my stuff.

The thing is, there is nothing wrong with storage as long as it’s organized and it makes sense. That’s what I’m working on right now, using the power of all the nesting juice that is currently running through my veins. The more organized I am, the more money I’ll save from not buying duplicates of things. I probably won’t have a garage sale, but I will bring a few things to consignment stores. That way, when the hubs and I move in May, we’ll have only just what we need, and that will be an amazing feeling.

How much stuff upon stuff do you have in your stuff? 😉

22 responses to “The Joys of Organizing My Stuff to Save Money

  1. I’m awful when it comes to stuff. I will decide I’m going to have a purge day and once I get started, I’m constantly saying to myself, “Oh, I will use that for something some day.” Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to!

  2. haha I’m really good at getting rid of stuff. I used to hold onto everything but have learned to let stuff go!

  3. I used to be so good about getting rid of stuff, but I feel like a hoarder lately. I keep thinking that I’ll get it together and list most of the stuff on eBay, but I just keep procrastinating. Honestly, sometimes the quantity of “stuff” in my life feels painfully shameful when I consider how little so many others have.

  4. I don’t have a lot of stuff, a bit is in storage at my mum’s, although now on a visit to the US I went a bit crazy with the shopping, I try that each thing has a purpose and a space in my home, or get rid of it.

  5. I have very little stuff. I’m a serious minimalist and I’m attached to literally nothing I own. Which is freeing, but my family thinks I’m weird for not thinking of furniture as a necessity and ruthlessly getting rid of stuff without sentimental attachment.

  6. I like to think we have a decent amount of stuff. Our home is small enough that it’s just about impossible to continually accumulate, and yet we still have way more stuff than we actually use day-to-day and have plenty of things if we want to do something a bit more random. Just last week this conversation took place:
    Mr PoP: “We should play tennis!”
    Me: “yes! My tennis racket hasn’t been used since probably 2005…”
    Mr: “you have a tennis racket?”
    Me: “in the closet in the guest room with your snorkel and flippers that haven’t been used since 2009… We’ll play snorkel-tennis!”


  7. I’m pretty good about getting rid of things – I went through a stage last year of donating a bag a week to the op shop, and purged a heap of books and CDs. My only hoarding problem now is my crafting and sewing stuff. There’s just so much of it that it’s a little overwhelming to get started. I definitely need help on that aspect.

  8. I think I’m in your exact situation, except a few years behind!

    In prepping my husband for Grenada, we packed up a bunch of boxes and left them in my in-laws’ spare bedroom. Even as we packed it up I was wondering if we would even want it two years from now… but at the very least we sold lots of clothes on consignment and made money on Craigslist from some of our unwanted items. It’s definitely liberating!

  9. 2,000 items? That’s incredible. I’ve taken some time off of purging our stuff, and this is a good reminder that it’s time to cleanse. Thanks, Cat!

    On a side note, I’ve always thought investing in a storage business would be a great side business. I doubt that demand is going away anytime soon.

  10. Funny on the frog tape….I was looking for super glue this weekend and couldn’t find any so I bought some at the store (in fact, I bought TWO just so I’d have some extra). I came home and found THREE other super glues. Sigh.

  11. Victoria has sold something like 200 things on eBay the past few months :0 We have been collecting, rather unintentionally, quite a bit of stuff. Ironically now that we have a house we are finally purging as much as we can. I think it’s hard to give up stuff because everything has a story.

  12. I try to focus on cleaning / organizing one area per month. By the time I ever get ‘done’, then I can start right back up again. It’s a never ending battle!

  13. I have so much stuff around the house, I’m sure it multiplies while I sleep. Seriously need to follow your lead and have a good de-clutter, and hopefully turn up some hidden gems!

  14. I must say I’m good at organizing my stuff. Every 2-3 months I usually fix my things and was surprised that I have that kind of things!

  15. My stuff is pretty under control, although of course I still have those items I’ve been meaning to donate or the storage closet that has who knows what. Probably the worst is when I can’t see what’s in my pantry and I end up buying marinara sauce when I already had two jars in there 🙂

  16. I totally have way too much stuff. However, when I’m buying things, I need them at the time… but then I still feel like I have way, way too much stuff. Good for you, sorting through everything! You will be much happier once you do.
    It seems every time I make progress on the organization in our storage locker, it comes apart a few weeks later!

  17. I feel like I always am getting rid of stuff. Our home is pretty organized, however, it seems like it piles up over the years in our closets and cabinets. I am actually spending today to list some items in the closet on Ebay and pocket some extra cash. Time to get to work!

  18. The whole minimalism trend that is going on right now kind of interests me. I think it is great to be organized and keep only what you need. I think it would be harder for people who do arts and crafts, because they seem to always need what they have even if it is a lot. I know that when you organize, it does help you feel more room to breathe.

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