Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stockpiling vs. Hoarding

It seems that two tenets of frugality are to buy cheap in large quantities and save what can be re-used. I have no problem with either. In fact, I’m trying to see how to incorporate more frugality into my everyday life by doing these things and many others. However, I have some concerns about it. I’ve read blogs where people profess to have more toothpaste in their hallway closet than they could possibly use in a lifetime. Can this seemingly benign and beneficial habit turn into something more sinister? Can stockpiling turn into hoarding? Where is the fine line? I know that I’m not in any danger presently of falling into the trap as I just discovered that we’re down to our last two rolls of toilet paper in the house. But what is a good balance?

I also must admit that I have a strong distaste for clutter and keeping things. I’m somewhat of a minimalist. So, when I see a recommendation to rinse out baggies and re-use them I automatically think about the mess of having a zillion used, washed baggies lying around my house. The same could be said of many other things that more frugal-minded people would balk at me throwing away. I’m not opposed to re-using bags or many other things. I simply hate clutter and really like things to be organized and put in their spot. A nice new box of bags is something quite easy to find when I need them and fits easily into my cupboard.

To me, both stockpiling and re-using things go hand in hand because all I see are massive quantities of stuff that I have to store. I live in a large house right now. We have more than enough storage for anything that I might like to keep. However, we’re planning on downsizing in the very near future. How do people stockpile when space is at a minimum?

I’ll be looking into the answers to these questions and posting about them in the future.

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