One of my friends has three closets full of clothes and shoes (no, I am not talking about myself.) In fact, my friend is a very frugal person: she counts every penny, she evaluates every purchase, and she does her research before she decides to buy anything whether it is a car or a pair of sandals. She is a smart consumer who knows the value of money. Or so it seems.
I always wondered why she has so many clothes stuffed in her closets. I have a tiny closet (the benefit of a one-bedroom condo), and I have a simple rule about my closet. I don’t keep anything that I did not wear at least twice during the season. The item I did not wear, goes into a donation bag.
I was puzzled by the abundance of old clothes packed away in my friend’s closet. I could not help but ask her why in the world she stores so many clothes and shoes. According to her, she has a very difficult time of letting things go. It does not matter that she bought something five or six years ago and did not wear it for years. She spent money on this piece of clothing, it still looks good and she might be able to wear it some day… when it is back in fashion.
My friend is saving her clothes like some people save their ideas. She is saving clothes for a rainy day like many savers save their pennies. That’s when I had a revelation: I needed to buy some storage boxes and, instead of donating my clothes, I needed to store them for a better day.
Then, I took a step back and realized that my friend still is spending money to buy more new clothes and stockpile them away for a few years.
Is she really a frugal person or is she a hoarder, not an extreme compulsive TV show case, but nevertheless?
What makes you frugal?
- You try to maximize the value of things
- You try to stretch your money
- You make informed decisions
- You don’t spend money when you don’t have to
- You use items that you acquire as a resource
What makes you a hoarder?
- You accumulate stuff with an excuse that you might need and use it one day
- You almost never use stuff you have acquired
- Your actions are based on emotions and not necessarily logic
- You get anxiety when someone suggests to de-clutter and get rid of things
My friend would probably never call herself a hoarder. Instead she would call herself a collector of fashion. I don’t call myself a shopping addict either. I call myself a shopping enthusiast. But really, is there a difference?
How To Prevent Hoarding (from my point of view):
- No one wants to throw away a perfectly good item. It seems wasteful. If you don’t want to feel wasteful, donate that item! I do it all the time.
- Ask yourself if you are going to use it and not some day in the future but right now? This week? This month? If the answer is no, then you should not have gotten this item in the first place.
- If you have a piece of clothing, shoes or a bag, or anything really that is not essential, or something that you absolutely love then why do you want to keep it? Share it with others or try selling it on EBay, or at a garage sale.
If you need more space in your home, another option would be putting items you don’t use often in a storage facility. If you’re in the New York City area, Storage Courier will arrange for storage pickup in Manhattan.