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Trash or Treasure or Trash?

Last post Wed, Dec 3 2008 11:44 PM by cherylm. 25 replies.
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  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 9:15 AM

    Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    How do you balance de-cluttering with the frugal mindset of holding onto something until it can be repurposed? Do you have rules about how long you hang onto something? Different categories?

    For instance, my husband has resurrected old appliances just by splicing an electric cord from a similiar "beyond hope" appliance. So we sometimes hang on to the beyond-hopers just for their parts. I love that he can bring a vacuum back to life - it means we get a vacuum for no money out. I only wish it didn't mean hanging on to other vacuum corpses to do so.

    One of the most frustrating things about de-cluttering is the argument that if you need one of whatever you threw out last week, you can just "buy it new." I read this all the time on housekeeping-themed sites. Buying it new is generally not an option for us, so we end up hanging onto the old even if we can't use it right now. Good for the budget - bad for the space!

    My ideal would be to get all of the beyond-hopers out into the garage where they can commiserate in peace without being eyesores.

     

    ~~~~

    Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
    ~ Lewis Carroll

  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 9:56 AM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

     Joyous, every farmer used to have a junk pile where he went when he needed a piece of metal or a length of hose or a handful of screws. It saved him a lot of money as well as time because he didn't have to go into town to buy a part that he could make right then and there. 

    I'm probably the last person to give advice on this subject, because I believe in having a "junk pile" of sorts regardless  of your living circumstances. There does come a time when too much junk overwhelms. I think the key is whether the junk is usable or not. 

    Making up rules like how long to keep it or how much to keep might seem like they keep things under control, but in the end, common sense does better. Do you have more than one of an appliance that may be needed for repairs? You may want to get rid of the worst one. Do you have room to store those appliances, or could you make better use of the space by storing something else there? I'd keep asking myself things like that. 

    (This from a person who is making a real rag rug right now and who saves string from bird seed bags....  

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  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 11:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    I used to be one to save everything, but the older I get, the more I want rid of the clutter. I don't have a good balance at all, because once something breaks, I do want to get rid of it immediately if there is no fix for it.

  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 12:10 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    Some things I've seen done with old appliance bodies:

    A fridge becomes a meat smoker

    A washer or dryer became a workbench.

    The perforated tub from the inside of the washer became a firepit.

    Parts for old things can be sold on e-bay.  I've found parts for my old sewing machines there.  Otherwise they wouldn't be available. 

    Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

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  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 12:15 PM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
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    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    Edey:
    Some things I've seen done with old appliance bodies:
     

    You reminded me that I have a couple of shelves from an old egg incubator. They're a large screen set into a wooden frame. I've used them for a lot of things like covering the strawberries to keep the birds away and as large dehydrator trays, covered with cloth and set in the sun. I'm glad I saved them; things like that can't even be bought by themselves.

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  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 2:19 PM In reply to

    • Gigi
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Posts 1,065

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?


    Create! Repair! Reinvent! Reassess!
  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 4:55 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
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    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    I think it is great to reuse stuff but if it taking over, time to cull the herd!     A reasonable amount like keeping 2 vacuums for parts and ditching the rest.   There is only so much you can hoard and use.    Set reasonable limits.

    No different then stocking up on food.

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  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 7:23 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    Pat:
    They're a large screen set into a wooden frame

    You could use them to sift soil, if you had a need to sift soil.

    Staple them with plastic, then use them for the top of a cold frame for starting spring plantings. 

    Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 7:55 PM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

    My dear SIL took me through a tour of my BIL's junk collection which spans 2 garages, a spare bedroom and the basement. The man had 13 gasoline cans 4 mowers and 6 weed wackers, among other things. But its amazing, if we need an odd ball thing, he manages to come up with it. My DH was starting to do the same thing and I made him clean things out and donate to charity. It sounds like between the two of you, you seem to be the "organizer". Would he let you to tear apart these items and strip them for small parts (screws, washers, wires) and glean larger parts (screens, trays, etc) and then get rid of the unusable stuff. Then use tool organizers and bins for storing things of various sizes.
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  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 7:58 PM In reply to

    • babs
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    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Trash or Treasure or Trash?

     I just made DH take a load of broken computer parts to the dump. He had finally thrown them outside. He would have left them there untiol spring. I knew if they had made it to the great outdoors, he wouldnt look at them again. Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
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