Recently I saw the above phrase from a book. Later it occurred to me that the phrase Positive Packrat probably describes my home and life.
This past week, I freshened up my abode for spring and early summer. I put the Easter decorations away and lightened up. I also made two gifts (one "crafty" and one not). I created a memory quilt, did some house repairs, and got ready to can homemade barbecue sauce.
I share some of my week not to show how energetic I am (on the contrary, laid back is my name when it comes to getting things done, as a later missive will show). The reason I mention some of my accomplishments is two-fold. First, I managed to do all the things I needed to do without leaving my home. I enjoy leaving my home on occasion, but when I choose to. Leaving to run around and do busy work or last minute shopping is not my idea of a relaxing or fun time.
Secondly, other than some fresh produce, no money was spent in these endeavors. I managed to make a scrapbook page, do minor home improvements, create simple decor items, make a quilt, can barbecue sauce and do all these things with items I had on hand.
I guess you could say being a Positive Packrat is about the other side of "stuff". Some folks would keep that word in huge capitals. I say, keeping stuff on hand can save you time, and more importantly, cold hard cash. For me, at least, some of the so called golden rules of decluttering kind of get lost along the way. The idea that you should love everything you own/and or find it beautiful is nice. But stuff (things, possessions if you will) enable me to live frugally, expending very little cash.
The same is true with the rules of use. Some years my canning jars get used once a year, others multiple times. The point (at least for me) is that the money I save by having a case of jars and canning supplies on a garage self is much more than the cost of the storage. I've made food for my family, homemade gourmet items, and multiple gifts (ice cram sauce sets, for example) for pennies many years.
Years ago, I decided that I could learn something from my kitchen pantry. If I was buying "staples" at discounted prices to make sure I always had what I needed on hand, why could I not do that with other areas at home. To that end, when my kids were small, I would buy socks for a year at once. I did this when there was a really good, unbeatable sale. I shopped for items that I knew I would need eventually. I kept a list. I bought things not because I necessarily needed them at the time, but because I knew I would need them and use them at some point. WhenI saw a basket for pennies at a yard sale, I scooped it up (even though I had no plan of what to do with it). Sewing fabric (assuming I liked it), the same way. Used flower pots, canning jars on sale, extra clothing since I have always spent time in two distinct climates-these are just a few of the thing that this packrat hangs on to.
Everyone has to decide what stays and goes depending on their own storage space and needs.. It's worth remembering though, that it will probably cost you more to replace something how that you disposed of six months ago. You'll also have to allow time to shop for ithe item as well as car expense. For me, I'll try and hang on to those possessions that allow me to live my life more frugally. A penny saved is at least two earned, after all.