Saving items for reuse–how much is too much?

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on February 7, 2013

As I finished off the instant oats the other morning I looked at the container and thought: There MUST be something I can use this for!

I mean it’s a nice sturdy cardboard container.  It’s got a metal bottom.  And a lid.

My mind immediately sped through the options-I could make a bank.  I could cover it with pretty paper and store things in it.  I could use it as a gift box (wrapped of course).

But here’s the thing:

I don’t need a bank right now.

Or a cylinder shaped storage container.

I’ve got an entire bin full of gift boxes upstairs.

I hate to throw out a perfectly good container–but as big as my house is I really only need so much random stuff cluttering it up without a purpose.  I hold on to a lot–I’ve got five or six sturdy shoe boxes that I just know will come in handy, an entire cupboard full glass bottles and jars in the basement, a trash bag full of bubble wrap from packages, a stack of file folders just screaming to be reused. .. but there really is only so much that I can store for “someday” when I might need it.  At least only so much that will allow me to keep my sanity.  So this time I just tossed it in the trash.

What do you think?  How much stuff is too much?  Where is the line between saving things for later use and hoarding?  Or between being sensible by tossing it out and being wasteful?

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