Home Forums Welcome Hello! uncluttering vs. frugality

This topic contains 50 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of Rosa Rosa 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #158920
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    I’m finding that sometimes these two goals, which so often overlap each other, are clashing on more occasions than I anticipated. Anyone else?

  • #174390
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Can you give us a few examples you’ve run into? I’ve seen more occasions where trying to be uncluttered has encouraged a frugal lifestyle. I tend to use the library more instead of buying books. I don’t buy anything decorative anymore unless I have s specific spot in mind for it. I suppose clothes shopping might not always seem more frugal with an uncluttered approach – since I’ve realized the wisdom of buying a better, long-lasting brand than the cheapest one available. But since I’ve thought through my purchase more carefully in the first place, and pared my wardrobe down to classic pieces, the more expensive items last much longer.
    Maybe it depends on what stage of the process you are in. It can seem anti-frugal if you are getting rid of things you wasted too much money on. Plus, if you are just starting on de-cluttering and organizing, the storage units and organizers can be pricey!

  • #174392
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    What seems to be missing, when we buy or store things “just in case”, and refuse to let go of them, is a realistic accounting of just what the purchase and the storage cost us, in the long run. The money we spent could have been saved and generated interest; space used for storage costs us, prevents other uses, and requires maintenance if it isn’t to become a health hazard.

    Also missing is a realistic understanding of whether or not we will EVER be able to use the stockpiled items. Being able to think of a convoluted scenario (“I should cut up these old shoes and save the leather because sometime in the future I might think of some project that would require a piece of leather”–which is something that my ex actually DID) is not the same thing as confidently being able to predict that we will need the down jacket next winter. When it comes to crafts and projects, we don’t realistically assess just how much time and energy we have. That leads to the stack of un-quilted quilt tops I have stored in one of my drawers, or the plastic bin full of ribbons.

    I’m guilty of all of this (storing stuff without counting the costs, over-estimating my time and energy) — just not to such a degree that I would qualify for an episode of Hoarders.

    Getting rid of stuff seems like an offense against frugality if you don’t count the storage costs. If you do, decluttering pays.

  • #174395
    Avatar of Vivace
    Vivace
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    There are some places where they can clash – I certainly don’t need the giant package of fifty rolls of toilet paper, and it takes us months and months to go through it, during which time it’s taking up space under the sink. But it’s a lot cheaper than buying them in packages of four (and saves the time and gas to go to the store more often, too). Even the most efficient Costco-style stocking up is not going to be “purely” uncluttered.

    Not to mention there are cost-effective projects that will be gotten to but require storage because they’re not being done right now – my SO buys sweaters and takes them apart for yarn, and has a yarn stash of nice yarn picked up at secondhand shops and the like for projects. Obviously this takes up more space than if we just bought yarn for a project as it came up, but it’s (a) a lot cheaper and (b) allows for some creativity and the ability to play around with projects without a cash outlay at the start of every scarf or pair of socks. (Those really nice yarns are not cheap. Believe me, the amount of rent I pay for the space they take up is really worth it, especially since we don’t plan to move to a smaller space anytime soon anyway.) I have more painting and collage supplies at any given time than I’m using for my current project, but it’s certainly cheaper to have a couple of large paint containers than buy the tiny ones new every time I start on a new project.

    People say “it’s not clutter if you use it” but there’s still a certain attitude that if you’re not using it right now, or you can’t say what the exact date is that you’ll use it, it’s clutter. I don’t consider it clutter, but I know other people on this site would, so in that sense there is a conflict.

  • #174400
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    It makes sense to save for the future (toilet paper) or future projects (yarn) if you have the capacity. If there IS space under the sink, fifty rolls of TP are not clutter. If you had a pallet of TP and were storing it in the living room, then it’s clutter.

    Hoarders don’t seem to realistically estimate capacity. If you have a good sense of just how much you can store, and still live in comfort and cleanliness, then frugality and decluttering aren’t in conflict.

  • #174409

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Luxcat, I too would be interested in a couple of your examples.

    On the whole, I have found decluttering to be compatible with current and future frugality but perhaps exposing my past profligacy :)

    Decluttering coupled with organizing has made me more aware of what we already own. We no longer will have to by a new trowel or a new boxcutter — because I’ve found about 10 of each and they now have permanent locations. I’ve also (I hope) learned what kinds of things I should not be buying. One is kitchen gadgets, which almost always remain unused. Another is stuff for future projects — even if they are on sale, even if i fear I might not be able to find that exact thing again. By the time I get around to the project (if ever) the thing I just had to have (a roll of wallpaper, a case of tile) is no longer what I want or need.

  • #174422
    Avatar of Ann
    Ann
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I have found this to be overlapping and somewhat confusing as well. I like nice things, some expensive tastes abound in my family, and we are collectors. Reconciling the collecting with decluttering has been a challenge. However, my efforts to declutter have eliminated a lot of extraneous and duplicate “normal” (that is, not involved with our collections) objects…and the organization of what is left has improved our purchasing ability…in that we don’t buy things we don’t need (outside of collections). I don’t think decluttering and frugality go hand in hand, unless taken to the minimalistic end.

  • #174426
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    i have always been inclined to buy ONE thing, but to make it the absolute best thing i could find.
    i want quality, partly because it lasts and partly because if a thing is good quality to start with, then i know i am much more likely to use it often and to enjoy using it for a long time.
    my husband subscribes to this theory 100% and whenever i am dithering between two items, he will say, get the one you love….because when you are using it and enjoying it for the next ten years, you won’t be thinking of how much you could have saved if you’d bought the other one.
    so, in that sense, decluttering can be counter-frugal….in the short term.
    in the long term, i don’t need to replace stuff nearly as often, so i believe it is more frugal eventually.
    i take inspiration from my mother, who has always bought the best (sometimes second-hand) and who hasn’t had to buy furniture or cookware or some equipment for literally decades.

    on the other hand, keeping small supplies of stuff around tends to encourage more thoughtful use of that stuff…..well it does here, anyway.
    i have had a very busy few weeks, with a visitor and a lot of orders.
    i was down to a very tiny amount of shampoo and i just couldn’t get to town to buy a new bottle…..and it is amazing for how many days i made that shampoo last.
    i know if i had had another bottle right there, i’d have used it up in half the time.

    decluttering has helped to really streamline my ideas of what i actually need in my home.
    it has made me realise there is very little that i need to buy to keep my life ticking along.
    i think i am moving towards minimalism.

  • #174464
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    to quote bandiccote:
    “decluttering has helped to really streamline my ideas of what i actually need in my home. it has made me realise there is very little that i need to buy to keep my life ticking along. i think i am moving towards minimalism.”

    this has happened to me, too. and i really mean: this has happend, it was not my “fault”/ my aim. but i love it! even though i must be honest: frugality is not my aim. i enjoy buying less but better (an more expensive) things that i could not afford before.

  • #174512
    Avatar of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I also don’t aim for frugality or minimalism, but for being uncluttered, i.e. knowing where stuff is, having only what I need and love. But like Mimi, I’ve learned to thoroughly think about what I let into my home. And “buying less but better” items mean that I value them more and they last longer, so that’s frugal in the end, right? I also agree with everyone who said that it makes perfect sense to buy stuff in bulk to save money – as long as I have the room to store it without problems and as long as I know that it will definitely be used up within maybe a year (or before the next move, LOL).

    And yes please, we need some examples ;o) Where do those ideas clash? I couldn’t really think of one.

  • #174528
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    This has been a struggle for me, because I spent so much of my life with very little money; DH came shopping with me last week to help me buy decent winter gear, and I had to be argued into buying the coat that actually does what I need it to do (keep me warm and dry when there’s a foot of snow that has to be shoveled off the pavement, with a zip-out liner to make it a three-season coat) rather than keep going with a sweatshirt under a short fleece jacket, or settling for something cheaper that wouldn’t please me on a practical or aesthetic level.

    I had a similar mental struggle with purchasing a Nook and a dishwasher: no, they aren’t essential to life, but they are both in constant use, we could afford to pay cash for them, and the levels of clutter have dropped dramatically as a result. When we move, it’s going to make it easier to sell the house, and the boxes of books that have to be shifted will drop to two rather than twenty.

  • #174552
    Avatar of Irulan
    Irulan
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    One area where I’ve noticed conflict between frugality and uncluttering is travel, both by car and by plane. Carrying your own snacks, drinks, entertainment, etc. can save a lot of money but also takes up a lot of luggage space or extra space in the car (like for a cooler). It also requires extra time for more preparation and packing.

    “Buy it when you get there” has been mentioned in a few of the travel threads, especially regarding toiletries. I don’t think that’s terribly useful, though, unless you are going to a place for long enough to use up the stuff, or visiting someone who can store it for you until next time.

  • #174553
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    dear lucy1965: imho, I can empathize with your feelings of wanting to save money. The purchases you mentioned in today’s post have been so positive and helpful in your life. If you notice the “I shouldn’t have bought these” or “I paid too much” thoughts popping into your head, try answering back with “Look how useful these new items are”. I believe I remember how happy you were when you got your e-reader recently. I think you are a very wise and careful shopper. Let yourself enjoy these three new purchases while you prepare to move.

  • #174620
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    *blushes, hugs SunshineR* *puts 4 more books that have recently become available for Kindle on the Amazon wish list, including two of my most used cookbooks!*

  • #174672
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    sorry it took me a while to get back to this post. it’s been “one of those weeks”.

    I think that the overlap I am talking about is *exactly* what was discussed here. Examples… buying a large box of fish tank filters and then ending up decluttering my fishtank recently… the huge bottle of hand soap that I bought to refill all our hand soap dispensers in the hopes of not only saving money but keeping stuff out of landfills… takes up a ton of space… the inability to buy more than 12 rolls of TP at a time… it would be great and save trips to the store and money… but no place to put it. and irulan’s point about travel is right on the nose!

  • #174678
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    lucy1965: awww!

  • #174685
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Goodness, I was about to burst of curiosity regarding the reason for the opening post, so thanks for getting back to us, luxcat!

    The overlap you’re talking about is actually not one, but two things:
    a) bad luck, if I may be bold enough to chuck the responsibility on something else than you, and
    b) restricted space.

    Decluttering a small space creates more space, but on the other hand the walls, floors and ceilings become the ultimate end point. I know exactly what you mean when you bring toilet paper up, as they simply take up too much space. On the other hand, living in a smaller flat usually is happening in a city setting and luckily the distance to a store is never very long. You can still strive for frugality elsewhere; clothing, furniture and so on of good quality, which will last longer. As an example, my parents bought their expensive sofa over 30 years ago and the upholstery has been changed once, but other than that it’s still going strong.

    Casualties of war are bound to happen. Decluttering is a major change on more than one level and so it can’t be expected to happen smoothly enough never to create any small mishaps, just like the fish tank you mentioned. Most of these situations, however, are usually nuisances on a psychological level rather than physical, as the problem – a superfluous item – is gone as soon as said item has left your home. The aftermath can last a lot longer, though, but I find consolation in actions such as coming to this forum for support, either active or as a lurker.

  • #174686
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I’ve travelled between two homes over the past six years and it’s more than annoying. During shorter trips, however, I use small bottles that I fill up with my own shampoo etc., and if the bottle itself came from a hotel or such, I can justify leaving it behind once it’s been emptied (I know approximately how much I need of each by now). Travel kits are too expensive and they usually contain other than my trusted cleaning gear anyway, and so this has become my favoured way of travelling. It’s frugal too :)

  • #174805
    Avatar of Irulan
    Irulan
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @ninakk: How do you clean those reusable bottles? So far I’ve taken to microwaving them a little bit before rinsing, but even that doesn’t always get rid of all the residue.

    @luxcat: refills are the bane of a small home’s existence, I think. I totally feel you on the “stocking up” front. That issue always hits me with after-holiday sales, too. I know that wrapping paper and decorations are ridiculously cheap compared to buying them in season, but then I’d have to store them for an entire year! Ninakk has a good point about the trade offs, but that always feels like cold comfort on the occasions that I find myself paying more for something when I actually need it.

  • #174812
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I think in the biggest picture, the higher cost of buying many small amounts of things is still a frugal choice if the reason is that you are living in a smaller space; the smaller space is a huge money-saver, almost everywhere. I know for us, we pay more not just in our mortgage but also in utilities, upkeep, and time for our larger-than-necessary space. It’s just hard to see day to day.

    And a lot of times there is a less cluttery and less expensive option (like bar soap, or getting a hotel shampoo bottle and refilling it at home).

    And stuff like buying ahead to save money and then changing your circumstances, that just happens, it’s a gamble either way – if you *don’t* declutter the fishtank, you end up paying more.

    Have any of you read The Paradox of Choice? I like it a lot – one thing the author talks about is the emotional and time costs of decisionmaking. I think cutting down on regret (by, say, not looking to see if something I bought went on sale later) is a good emotional decluttering move.

  • #174814
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Also, this is mostly just luck on my part, but we belong to a food coop that has bulk refills – so I just refill my shampoo, liquid soap, dish soap, spices, cooking oil, etc, straight from their big containers. It is a HUGE anticlutter strategy for me – I never have an “extra” bottle or three of shampoo sitting around, I have limited choices so shopping is easier, I don’t have recycling/not recycling/save this to find a use for it stuff around packaging.

    I know this isn’t available everywhere, especially for liquids, but I LOVE it and if it’s available where you are I highly recommend it.

  • #174832
    Avatar of Patch
    Patch
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @ Zora: “If you had a pallet of TP and were storing it in the living room, then it’s clutter”

    (LOL, sorry, just delurking a bit to comment on that funny visual!) :)

  • #174842
    Avatar of karacooks
    karacooks
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    “I don’t think decluttering and frugality go hand in hand, unless taken to the minimalistic end. “

    I truly don’t understand this comment. How can decluttering and frugality NOT go hand in hand? How does the concept of getting rid of clutter so you can see what you have, not accidentally (or intentionally) buy duplicate and triplicate items, find a place for everything, and make purchases mindfully NOT be a part of being frugal?

    And how does that have to be taken the the “minimalistic end” in order for it to work?

    Honestly, that makes absolutely no sense to me.

  • #174846

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I think what has been missing from this discussion is a definition of frugality. To me, it means avoiding waste; spending my money in accordance with our goals and values; getting the most value for our expenditures — it does not mean being a “cheapskate” and in my case, at least, it does not mean being a minimalist.

    It IS possible to be both cluttered and organized — my father was a perfect example. He kept *everything*, but it was all neat, clean, organized and easy to lay one’s hands on if needed. He was VERY frugal. He also had two garages, a big attic and a full basement.

  • #174848
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Susan – just this morning I went on a search for the definition of frugal, and found much the same definition. It’s being smart with your money and your time. I used to watch a cooking program called “The Frugal Gormet” (and yes, the host had other issues, but I’m talking just about his cooking philosophy). He believed in using the best available ingredients, but in a moderate fashion. It’s like a restaurant near me. They serve amazing food, but they overdo it. If you have an absolutely devine entree, you don’t need to – and in my opinon shouldn’t – then jazz up all of your side dishes as well. They end up competing and the experience of the wonderful entree is diluted. I’m not sure this is exactly frugality, but related in my book. :) I feel like I’m being frugal when instead of going out willy-nilly and buying the latest electronic gadget, I research it, and I ponder whether I will really use it – i.e. does it fit into my life as I want to life it. Hence, I have an iPad, I don’t have a Wii….

  • #174851

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I knew the frugal gourmet — we were alumns of the same university, and his son went there as well — and yes, there were those other issues . . it was a tragic end to a well-meaning and interesting person.

    More and more I’ve been seeing all this as a venn diagram — intersecting circles that sometimes overlap and sometimes don’t. Frugality and decluttering have a large overlap, but there are instances when they are at odds, such as buying in bulk and “justin case” stuff.

  • #174857
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    “avoiding waste; spending my money in accordance with our goals and values; getting the most value for our expenditures” that is exactly my definition as well susanintexas– except I would add in “value for/of my time”… for example if you have a ton of extras that you got for cheap, and will use, but they required a lot of organizing time or other time spent on them (such as moving them out of the way to get something else you use often) then it’s not a frugal choice in terms of time used and value of ones time spent. to someone who maybe has a surplus of time, it may be the most frugal choice however

  • #174859

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    luxcat: I agree about the time! There is a constant tension, I think, between convenience (time) frugality (money) and quality. The trick is to find the right balance, which will be different for every person. Uncluttering, on the whole, helps me meet all of these goals — not always, but usually.

  • #174864
    Avatar of sawn61
    sawn61
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I can’t help but see myself in so many of these posts and comments. I catch myself laughing at so many of them, feeling that they are describing me and my awful habits of collecting stuff. It is not that I am laughing at the problems of others, but seeing myself in every statement.I suppose it is good therapy to see what others are doing, since we refuse to see it in ourselves, in most cases, then gradually we will begin to accept that we do have this problem,too, and use some of these strategies to help ourselves.

  • #174878
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @Rosa: I did hear of a natural foods co-op about 30 minutes from my home.

  • #174884
    Avatar of jbeany
    jbeany
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Right, so can we add going green into the mix of uncluttered vs frugal? I want to be more environmentally friendly, I want to be frugal and I want to be uncluttered. These three things don’t always mix well either. The closest place to recycle is 40 minutes away, in a town I don’t have any other reason to ever go to. So in order to be frugal and save gas money, I have to store a great deal of recycling to take all at once. This is soooooo not an uncluttered look. Papers, glass and plastic bottles, cardboard boxes – how much can you stack up in a month? What a mess. They don’t collect anything for recycling at my apartment complex. It all just goes in the dumpster, which doesn’t thrill me either. But then, at least I’m thinking about it – the number of times I’ve seen usable furniture trashed in the dumpster is frightening. And really irritating, since there is a Goodwill drop-off right across the street!

  • #174886
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @Irulan: I would never microwave something that most likely isn’t meant to withstand such a treatment. I just add some water, then shake vigorously and repeat if this didn’t remove most residue. I might even allow myself to be unperfect enough to leave some in there, because it’s simply dried shampoo then. It’s not like I stuck a whole food bar and god knows what else in the bottle, which would leave bacteria to grow en masse really. Some will crawl in as it’s not vacuum, but then there are microbes everywhere.

    @jbeany: “Green” can be many things and in the frugal/uncluttered discussion, for me, it’s mainly about bulk size versus many small containers. I couldn’t possibly also try to add much more ethics to the table; local better or worse than organic things for instance. Too much at once for me. Really green products related to personal hygiene don’t have a long shelf life though, so they come in small packages, which by my definition is ungreener than bigger containers (unless you’re lucky like Rosa to have a coop nearby). Locally produced often has a much lower carbon print than something from overseas somewhere, be it organic or not, and so the discussion becomes even more complex. I groan loudly right now, because I simply don’t know which route is the greenest.

  • #174889
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    interesting point, the definition of frugality. i was thinking of “saving money” but there seems to me be more…

    the “going green” topic is interesting concerning frugality, too. when i was a student, i could not afford to buy organic food and it was one of the first things that i changed when i started to work: i ordered an “organic box”- do you have this in the US? it´s established in germany since a few years- farmers or organic supermarkets deliver their food in a box to your home weekly. you can order specific items or let them choose for you. i mix it, i just say: bring fruit and vegetables for 2 persons plus milk, yoghurt, meat and eggs etc. so i got to know some vegetables and fruit that i wouldn´t have chosen before.

    concerning frugality, it was a surprise. organic food costs 50-100% more then regular food- at least… meat is REALLY expensive but i don´t like to eat meat from animals that haven´t seen the sun in their lifetime, so it´s ok. i was prepared to pay way more, but in the end it turned out to be cheaper. why? they deliver weekly on friday and on monday or thusday i still (after some years!) get a kind of “i don´t have anything to eat”reflex while opening my fridge. but when take a closer look, it´s enough for the rest of the week and so i avoid buying more than i need and dumping the old food. and i don´t buy..whatever, new socks, funny candles, candies and all the stuff that´s not on my shopping list, when i don´t go to a supermarket. i just don´t think about it and on friday, in front of my door, there is the green box with my fresh food! green and also uncluttered: they don´t bring packaging: no cardboxes, plasticfoils etc, they bring the food and a box, that i they take with them the next week. pretty cool and uncluttered. AND frugal. yay, i love my organicbox :)

  • #174895
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @Irulan: I reread my comment and realize it may come off as harsh. I was merely referring to my own shortcomings as a notorious perfectionist who’s trying to work on becoming less drive toward perfect results everywhere and instead selectively choosing my battles :)

    I really wish we had more options that are also affordable here in Finland when it comes to local, organic food. There’s plenty of organic nowadays, but a lot of it has been shipped long distances. Then there’s local, but most of the time non-organic. Oh well, we’ll get there. My frugal way of dealing with the extra stuff that finds its way to the shopping cart is to shop for food in a very planned manner and as seldom as possible.

    It still creates the waste that jbeany was talking about, though, since the chain between source and endpoint is too long. We’re lucky to have a spaceous balcony with glasses/windows, so it stays fairly clean all year round, and that’s where we have a recycling central. I had to live for years without recycling containers in the backyard and must confess that separating recyclables wasn’t happening on a frequent basis. Cities and municipalities should do better and make it obligatory to provide inhabitants with all possible containers at as short distances as possible from their homes if you ask me; city dwellers in small apartments shouldn’t be “punished” just because there isn’t enough room to store bigger volumes. In the end my dream is still to produce as little waste as possible, because the more containers, boxes and wrapping materials there are, the more I need to *deal with* something; my free time will be less cluttered then too.

  • #174896
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Groan, “less driven” :D *shakes her head at herself*

  • #174897
    Avatar of morfydd
    morfydd
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @Mimi: In the US it’s called Community Supported Agriculture, usually abbreviated to CSA. What’s the German word? I’d like to see if there’s one in Hamburg. (I admit I wasn’t always good about using all my weekly food – I’m a single person who cooks irregularly. At least in the US I had a compost pile to alleviate some of the guilt.)

  • #174899
    Avatar of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    morfydd: BIOKISTE :)or abokiste, grüne kiste, ökokiste, bio abo, … you get hundrets of links by googling “biokiste hamburg”
    i wasn´t good about using all my food before- now i am, the regular pattern of the biokiste every friday is a good motivation!

  • #174901
    Avatar of morfydd
    morfydd
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @Mimi: Vielen Dank! I’m off to Google!

  • #174988

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    For me being frugal and green as well as uncluttered is also a challenge. I think it ultimately boils down to really thinking about what you bring into the house.
    I´ve figured out that when you are uncluttering you have to forget the frugality rule, and just think that others might be able to be more frugal by taking your stuff instead of buying it on stores. After you have decluttered, you can be frugal as well as decluttered by buying as little as possible.

    @Mimi & morfydd

    Oooh I love my German organic box too. It´s called Rollende Gemüsekiste in my town. I order a mixed box for 2 people, because I like getting surprised. If I don´t like something, I can always write to them not to bring it. They even send a weekly newsletter by email with seasonal recipes inside, so I always know what to do with anything that´s new to me.

  • #174990
    Avatar of JayEff
    JayEff
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    If an uncluttered person buys less stuff, he or she will likely save money in the long run. Will such a person be able to buy in bulk or keep things around “just in case”? Probably not.

  • #174992
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    We used to belong to a lovely CSA out of Washington state (3,000 miles away) and got a mixed box for 2 every other week. It was fresh (shipped via airplane!) and it was organic, but given the distance and the carbon foot print fromt the fuel, it wasn’t green! THere are some CSA’s that operate here in the summer. In fact, there is one less than 1/2 mile from us that opens to the general public (i.e. non-subscribers) on Friday evenings. However, we have our own garden, and I don’t have the need of a CSA. I visit the above-mentioned one sometimes as they grow different things than we do, and sometimes the same things sooner (they’re at a higher elevation), and I get some things at a Farmer’s Market. I freeze what I can, but otherwise in the winter we stuck with imported produce – often from long distances – if we want anything resembling fresh. :)

  • #175030
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    this thread has morphed from frugality to greenness!
    Rosa: I started a tiny co-op with some friends and it got annoying after a while: people all ordered stuff for themselves and then were unwilling to trade, so we all ended up with huge boxes of stuff, which defeated the point. Then the members all seemed to move at once so it folded! It was a good idea though, I should see if there’s something else round here. I still order occasionally from the wholesaler, but am selective in what I get, for example washing liquid is great as it’s very cheap and 5 litres lasts forever but isn’t too space-greedy. Ditto washing up liquid, hand soap, rice, stuff like that.
    pkilmain, it sounds like you have a very difficult climate to be green or eat seasonally in!! Makes me feel lucky we get fresh fruit and veg regardless of the season (though I am getting VERY sick of pumpkin as it’s been in my veg box every week for 2 months!). My allotment is currently: spinach, tiny bit of lettuce, (frozen) carrots, (frozen) jerusalem artichokes and kale. Not exactly a feast! Next year I will do brussel sprouts too. The problem with winter veg is it takes lots of space during summer too, so a balancing act.

  • #175033
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    I can contribute to the frugal side, maybe — (OMG will this cold never go away I am so tired of being sick)

    Due to a misdiagnosis, I spent two years wearing very specialized and expensive contact lenses, hiding from direct sunlight, and generally being miserable. After seeing a specialist, I have a different diagnosis (still uncommon, but more simply treated). You’d be surprised how much that changed . . . .

    1) Because PDS can lead to glaucoma, I can’t do high-impact sports anymore: when my current sports bras wear out, they can be replaced with something less heavily engineered. (Those of you who have ever tried to find a good high-impact bra for a “C” cup or above will understand why this is a tremendous boon to my wallet.) I do yoga at home, use a Nordic Track ski machine that I found at the side of the road with a “free to good home” sign on it — it needed a pin and a new flywheel strap — and I’m going to join the local women’s rowing club in the spring.

    2) I don’t need the expensive contact lenses; I DO need bifocals (I’m 46, it was going to happen eventually) and protection from bright light and glare. Rather than a storage case, a cleaning case, two different kinds of solution, eyedrops to rewet the lenses, different eyedrops to moisturize my eyes, AND sunglasses, I can now drop a titanium frame holding thin progressive photoreactive lenses onto my nose and walk out the door.

    (I still need eyedrops, but they’re prescription and will hopefully help me avoid surgery down the line.)

  • #175035
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Love the saving on the sports bras, Lucy! I’m a DD so I know whereof you speak. We have all sorts of eye-related paraphenaliz in our house – I wear contacts and all they involve, plus of course, I have glasses as well. DH has glasses, prescription sunglasses, and several kinds of drops – prescription and non – for his dry eyes. We are both in our 60′s, so bifocals are a given. LOL

  • #175050
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Lucy: LOL about the sports bra.

    I am also glad to hear you have received a new and less serious eye diagnosis. I made eyeglasses for many years, so your description of your new glasses is very familiar. I have extreme nearsightedness so I have to watch for retinal detachment from high impact, sneezing and even (excuse me) blowing my nose hard. My uncle has the sudden onset type of glaucoma so I am also watching for that. But I think you might be able to relate to the fact that I am simply glad to be able to see. I gave up on contacts about 6 years ago. I’m now 48. My eyes are very dry. Carting around all of the contact lens supplies, plus RX glasses and RX sunglasses as well, got to be a pain.

  • #175139
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    @lucy — I can relate to the sports bra issue (another DD over here; I run and do step aerobics, and any sports bra under $80 is usually a cruel joke), and the boyfriend can relate to the contact lens clutter. He switched from hard contacts to glasses last year (hard contacts irritated his eyes, he’s not allowed to wear them for another year or so), and we were both amazed at how much stuff disappeared from our bathroom following that switch.

    Sadly, my expensive bra problem can’t be uncluttered as easily.

  • #175140
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Anita and pkilmain: no joy at Title Nine? I was a DD while nursing 20 years ago and you both have my every sympathy.

    Sunshine: you made eyeglasses? That’s so cool! And yes, I absolutely understand that feeling of “Yay my eyes still work!” For all the swearing I’ve done at my insurance company — the specialist I need is out-of-network, and they’ll only pay 70% after my deductable — it’s worth it to have the best care possible.

  • #175153
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Lucy1965: yes, I made eyeglass lenses and assembled the eyeglasses. Now, if I was a designer of frames, there would have been more money in it.

    Have you tried to convince your specialist to become in-network? I know, it’s still worth it, but the higher co-pays declutter your wallet more quickly.

  • #175179
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Sunshine: the eye center is part of the university medical complex, and they have their own insurance (which DH’s employer doesn’t offer). Happily I don’t have to see him unless my regular ophthalmologist spots a problem with my IOP, and I can get an appointment immediately if I need it.

  • #175189
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    lucy1965: I’m glad to hear that; enjoy the good news.

    About greenness in fruits and vegetables: looks like we Eastern US folks will be hit with steep price increases in Florida produce. Just when those fancy giant navel oranges were beginning to look so tasty…..

  • #175210
    Avatar of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    uncluttering vs. frugality

    Lottie – our coop started out as a buying club like the one you described, back in the ’70s, in someone’s attic, and grew to the back porch and then a small building, and now it’s a largish grocery store, but with member-ownership and a nice big bulk section, plus an ordering department that is very responsive to members.

    It’s part of a whole network of food coops so they cooperate on stuff like coupons and distribution. And the nice thing for me is, I don’t have to do any of the work or extra storage.

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