3 Ways To Find Balance Between Saving & Letting Go

We remember when we were little, our home was full of fabulous collections of all sorts of treasures. Our parents and grandparents before them knew that almost everything can be used for something else, from empty tubs and containers to old sweaters and tin cans. But how do you know what you should be keeping so you don't end up buried underneath your well-doings to be frugal and green?

Growing up, it was always fabulous to have a stockpile of old Cool Whip tubs to make mud pies in or take to the creek and try to catch Crawdads in! But how do you know when to say no to squirreling things away before it overruns your home?

Here's a few tips we try to live by in our own space:

1. Test Of Time: If we haven't used something in a full calendar year, all 4 seasons having come and gone... it's time to part ways. This is our first and most rock solid rule and has really been our savior from not being overtaken by our supplies.

2. Break It Down Today, Not Tomorrow: Many times, the things we save will need work done to them before we can use them for something else. For instance, an old sweater needs to be unraveled and balled up to have new life, while shirts that can't be mended need to be cut up for material blocks. The downfall with items like this is that they have a tendency to pile up in our "to do" pile, meaning we put of utilizing them until the job is done.

3. Designate Space: In our home, we have a set space where we keep supplies or "things to do other things with later." There's no real fancy wording for that, but it's the pile of stuff we know we could use down the road. In that space, we fit what we can, keep it super organized (mainly so we can cram more stuff in) and that's all the space we allow ourselves. If you say, well it's ok if I stash a little here... and a little here... it's easy to get carried away and find piles popping up like spring flowers!

Do you have a tip for finding the balance in your home? Is it something you've learned over time by necessity or from your parents when you were younger. Share how you control the "save for later" clutter in the comments below!

(Image: Flickr member The Shopping Sherpa licensed for use by Creative Commons)