I could very easily become a hoarder. I blame my mother who taught us to wash out bread wrappers and save the twist ties. Just kidding, mom. I don't really blame you.
I learned some very valuable lessons on making do and making things last but I also picked up some bad habits. I don't give up items very easily. It has nothing to do with emotions; I'm missing the sentimental gene. It has a lot to do with "what if." What if it broke. What if I need it later. What if.
We've tried to curb my hoarding impulses by following a rule. It's the "Bring one in, take one out" rule. The rule doesn't apply to things we need but more for things that we want. For example, when we FINALLY bought a laptop computer, we didn't pitch our desktop. The kids are older and we need two computers. When I found an amazing blender/food processor at a garage sale, I donated my old blender because we don't need two blenders. (I thought we did but my husband disagreed.)
This past weekend we put our In/Out rule to the test.
I had my eye on a nice desk that was being sold at one of those outlet stores where the furniture comes in boxes and the directions are in Sanskrit. When it went on sale, I picked it up. It would fit our office much better than the current desk and we could Craigslist the old one.
My eleven year old son and I spent the better part of the morning putting together the new desk. The directions were all in picture form - no words - with lots of arrows. Periodically, one of us would say "What IS that?" or "Do we even HAVE one of those?" We persevered and got it done. I emptied the old desk, organized the new desk and mentally started on my Craigslist ad.
When I asked my husband how much he wanted to ask for the old desk, he looked hurt. Turns out, he wanted to keep it.
Since I'm the one that normally has a problem with the In/Out rule, I bit my tongue and got creative. This is what I did.
The new desk went IN the office. The old desk went OUT.
The old desk went IN the spare bedroom. The antique dresser went OUT.
The antique dresser went IN my closet. The ugly purple dresser went OUT.
I replaced the knobs on the purple dresser with some pretty porcelain ones I had in my stash. It's ugly but has some character.
The purple dresser with character went IN my daughter's room. The black table went OUT.
The black table will be up on Craigslist shortly. My back hurts and I've realized my daughter has too many pairs of socks. With all of the moving came reorganizing drawers which needed to be done but I was ignoring.
The absolute genius of my In/Out plan is that nothing had to be carried up or down stairs, except for the black table and the new desk. The black table is by far the lightest of all the pieces so I am thrilled to keep the rest up here.
Next time, I'm taking photos.