Help?!?! With Clutter/ Saving Money/menu Planning

Lounge By TexasSugar Updated 25 Mar 2010 , 3:44pm by TexasSugar

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TexasSugar Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 7:58pm
post #1 of 71

Ill start by saying I am a clutter bug. I come by it honestly, my mom is one, her mom is one yeah, yeah I know. There are times when I walk into my house and the mess and cutter just annoys me. Im not a hoarder, but since I come from a line of, maybe I can use that for something, that I find myself doing the same thing. Plus there are those items that are passed done to you or given to you that you just feel guilty getting rid of.

Yes okay so I may have a few issues to deal with when it comes to keeping stuff. Im also really good at putting things off, so when it comes to cleaning house, Im always thinking, yeah Ill do that tomorrow. I also live alone, so I cant blame any of it on someone else, and Im pretty sure the cat and dog arent leaving papers/magazines/junk on the coffee table until there is no empty space.

So my first question is how does everyone else here fight the clutter in their house? Do you have any great tips to pass on how to beat saving those maybe Ill use it some day things?

I also tend to be a bit of an impulse buyer, so not only do I bring more clutter in, but I find myself spending money on things that I tend to just do nothing with. Which leads to my next issue, Im horrible at saving money. For a single girl with few bills that has a full time job and a part time job I dont have very much money in the bank, which I know is sad.

I opened a savings account last week, so I can start sticking money in it and hopefully forgetting that the money is there. Thats the key with me. If I know I have it, Ill spend it.

Ive also put a halt on clothes buying for the next few months. This is mostly because I have lost weight and am still losing weight. I want to save up money for clothes that will fit my new size. The reinforcing factor for me there is that I recently went through my clothes and I have more clothes that are too big for me than I do clothes that fit, and sadly a good portion of the too big clothes still have the original price tags attached. Which I know is such a waste of money.

My next question is does anyone have any money saving tips? Do you have a household budget? How do you stick to you? How do you have the budget broken up? How do you curve buying impulses?

I have trouble buying some food items in bulk because I cant eat it all before it goes bad, and I only have a side by side fridge/freezer right now so I dont have a lot of freezer room. Im also watching what I eating, so that plays a part into what foods I buy. Im trying to work on planning my meal ideas ahead of time. My biggest problem is that I get several (too many) ideas at one time and dont have enough meals in the week to eat them. Ill go to the store and the broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, oranges, grapes, strawberries and so on look good and Ill come home with a bunch of stuff to figure out what to do with.

Anyone do weekly or monthly menu planning? Ideas, suggestions or tips for that?

I know these are three sort of separate topics, but at the same time they kind of mingle together. Id love to hear anyone thoughts on any of them, on what has worked or what hasnt worked for you.

I just know I need to make some changes because what Im doing now, isnt working and is starting to really bother me.

70 replies
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Loucinda Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:15pm
post #2 of 71

I used to be the same about keeping thing others gave to me. UNTIL I stared watching Hoarders and Clean House. Now, I know how to say NO. If you don't want it, do something else with it, it isn't coming here. If there is no way to incorporate it into your decorating - get rid of it. If it is something that is worth saving, you should be able to display it proudly. If it is just stuffed somewhere, you are not honoring it anyways, so get rid of it. (and the guilt that goes with getting rid if it -which was harder for me - but I got over it!) If it hasn't been touched in a year, get rid of it.

Saving - can you have a certain amount deducted from your check before you see it to put away?

I have ideas on the food stuff too, but I have things to do right now, I will check back later.

I think it is very cool that you are taking charge and know what you need to do! thumbs_up.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 8:48pm
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Loucinda, I totally understand what you are saying about the keeping stuff. It is just hard. I know if I don't do something about it I will be like my mom and how my grandmother was where you have so many things and you don't know what to do with them. I already have a room full of cake stuff, really don't need another room full of other junk.

My full time employer does not do direct deposit. I wish he did, but I can't talk him into it at all. My Michaels check does go straight into the bank. I need to decide if I want it switched over to my savings account.

I know I need to figure out how much I can realistically live off of, how much money I want to keep in the bank account and how much should then go into the savings account. I've also been told my car isn't going to make it through the summer, so I need to figure that in to everything as well.

I'd love to hear any other ideas when you have time. icon_smile.gif

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SS385Monte Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:05pm
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I try to blame my cats for the mess around my house, but it just doesn't seem to work....

I would definitely consider switching at least part of your Michael's check to direct deposit. Even it's just a couple of dollars a week it's better than nothing.

When you go grocery shopping match coupons and sales. I went grocery shopping the other day and got the following deals:
3 boxes Pasta-Roni @ 10/$10 = $3-$1 off coupon -$1 coupon doubler = 3 boxes for $1
2 boxes Barilla pasta @ 10/$10 = $2 - $1 off coupon - $1 coupon doubler = FREE
2 bottles salad dressing @ $10/10 = $2-$1 off coupon - $1 coupon doubler = FREE
1 bottle Garnier Shampoo @ $2.99 - $1 off coupon - $1 coupon doubler = $.099

Check out a program like Quicken where you can enter all of your expenses and find out just how much you're spending on groceries, electric, fast food, clothes, etc...just be prepared. The numbers can be scary. icon_smile.gif

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Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:10pm
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Well...I am not a clutter bug so anything I cannot use or have no use for..I have no problem getting rid of..That being said I am not an impulse buyer either as we simply don't have the money to do that.Ever since I stayed home 9 yrs ago to be SAHM...we have had to change our spending habits greatly.I shop once a week with a list and rarely waiver from it....I never buy myself anything like clothes come first...We have sacrificed imensely so that we don't go into debt and over spend...It's hard and sometimes I get really down cause I feel all I do is make cakes to pay the bills and nothing more....but I also know that hubby has a huge promotion on the horizon and I think things will loosen up soon...My only advice is get a handle on it now before it causes serious debt problems and other problems.

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prterrell Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:21pm
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When you go to the store, whether it's the grocery store or the hardware store, make a list and stick to it. If it's not on the list, do not buy it! Eventually, you'll train yourself to not see a lot of the impulse buy stuff. Don't go shopping if you don't have a specific item to purchase. If you are going out with the girlfriends to the mall and don't have a specific purchase, leave the credit card and checkbook at home, take just enough cash to purchase your lunch or snack (make sure you set aside money each week for a "fun fund" for going to the movies/out to eat etc.).

When you get home from shopping, don't just plop the bags down, put every purchase away immediately. If somehow you realize now that you have purchased something that you really don't need, put it back in the bag w/ the receipt and put in your car to be returned immediately.

Get some big rubbermaid type bins. Go through your stuff and anything you know you don't need or want, either toss in the trash or put in a bin to be carted off to Goodwill/Salvation Army. Anything that you run across that you're not sure if you want to keep or not, put in a 2nd bin. If you find you actually want or need to use something that's been placed in that bin, then it can go back on the shelf/in closet (wherever it's "home" is). In 6 months, anything left in the bin is something you haven't needed, so all that can be donated. (Of course, you can do a yard sale to make some extra cash, and then donate whatever doesn't sell.) You can have a 3rd (or 4th) bin for stuff that you are keeping for sentimental reasons, like your HS yearbooks, but don't need/want out all the time. Store these in attic/basement/back of a closet/garage.

I find the biggest help is to pick a room/bookshelf/closet and completely empty it and reorganized it, making sure everything that goes in there is sorted and has a home. I like to use a label maker to label shelves so I know what goes where.

When you bring your mail into the house, don't just plop it down anywhere. Have a sorting station set up w/ a trashcan (preferably a shredder can). Go through the mail immediately. Anything that's junk gets tossed/shredded. Put all bills in one place (a folder/file), correspondence to be answered in another, magazines, catalogs, etc. Go through the bills once a week to pay and file. At the same time, go through your reciepts and either file or shred.

Put things up as you finish using them. Also, pick-up around the house once a day. If you get in the habit of putting things where they go to begin with, this might not take more than 5 minutes to empty dust bins, for example.

The best way to save money is to put it away and then live on what's left. Don't allow yourself to go into the savings to purchase wants (except for targeted wants, like saving up for a vacation, or a new cake gadget). If you've set aside the correct amount for bills and such, you shouldn't need to go into the savings for needs. The savings should be only for emergencies and targeted purchases.


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TexasSugar Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:25pm
post #7 of 71

SS385Monte, if I switch the Michaels check it will be all of it. I need to talk to the bank because I looked online today thinking that the savings account would be listed online with my bank account but it isn't. I'm not sure if you can set up a direct draw from the bank acct to the savings acct or not, but I do plan to decide on an amount and transfer it once or twice a month.

I'm also thinking about switching my shopping to cash only. I do okay with cash, once it is gone, it is gone ya know?

I don't currently have a credit card, though I am working on that one. It won't be to spend, spend, spend but to work on building credit. My bank account hasn't been over drawn either. So while I do spend more than I should, I do still have some limits.

I've just noticed that since I have the full time job with the better pay I am spending more money because it is there.

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prterrell Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:31pm
post #8 of 71

My dad was really good at saving money. One thing he would do, is when he got a raise, he might put a little of it into the budget, like in the "fun fund" so we had more money to go out as a family, but most of it went right into the savings account, like he'd never even gotten the raise. Now, my parents are really enjoying their savings by going on fantastic trips, like this summer they are going to Alaska.

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SS385Monte Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 9:40pm
post #9 of 71

Texas - I'd guess you could set up the money to direct deposit into your savings account. My checking account and savings account are at different banks. The bank my savings account is at isn't really even a bank. It's a little local one branch place that used to be the "Savings & Loan" now they are the Mutual Savings Bank. They don't have a website or an ATM and my account is still kept on an old fashioned passbook. icon_eek.gif If I want money I have to bring my passbook there and ask for a check. Their interest rates make it worth it though.

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kaat Posted 12 Mar 2010 , 11:34pm
post #10 of 71

Make sure you do leave yourself some fun money available. It's like dieting - it's the foods that you totally restrict that you end up craving...
I totally know where you are coming from on all fronts.

I'm a list maker and I find that making the lists and sticking to them are helpful. I have a daily chore list that I force myself to follow, that way DH and the kids will always have underwear! icon_lol.gif Having it broken down over several days is less overwhelming for me.

Food is harder especially cooking for one. Last year my DH worked a lot and was never home for dinner... I ended up buying a lot of convienence type foods, not great on the budget...

The general clutter in our house has gotten a lot better. Last summer I bought all kinds of storage shelving and bins - it has worked really well especially for the kids.

Good luck! It'll be worth it in the long run!

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Sox-n-Pats Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 12:23am
post #11 of 71

Here't the trick.

Pick one room. Get 3 bins- Those cheap collapsable laundry bins work great!!! they don't take up more room and make more clutter between cleans!! ((store them in between the washer and dryer in that 2 inch space that never goes away!!))

Label Them.... "PUT AWAY"....."Throw Away"..... "Give Away"

Start in the corner of 1 room, or the closet of a room.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Pick something up- put it, toss it, chuck it in a bin. No thought, no hesitation.

At the end of 15 minutes, take a break. Drink some water.

If your bins are full- take the "Throw Away" out to the trash and throw it away. (Dump it right in the dumpster if possible). Take the "Give Away" if full and put it right in your car- you can unload it at Goodwill your next trip out. (Put it in the FRONT SEAT where you will see it!!!!!

If you clear a shelf/table...- don't clean it off until after the timer goes off. (no windex or pledge until the 15 minutes is up- otherwise you will be distracted and never get the clutter done.) Same goes for putting things back.

If you feel like it- set the timer and do another 15 minutes. Repeat process. You will be surprised at how much you get done in 15 minutes. I turn on my iPod when I'm decluttering the garages.

15 minutes makes it doable- and not overwhelming. Starting in one corner and working around the room (not taking everything out) makes cleaning workable- you don't make one mess to clean another. Don't try or expect to do it all at once- you will get overwhelmed and then things usually get worse.

Do 15 minutes a day in that ONE room until you are done. Then decide on how to put things back.


I've gotten her emails for years!!! It's great. I don't do everything everyday anymore, but the lessons and habits learned stay with you. That's the important part.

this is the most important page on the website...
We do the "Fire Drill " everyday in my house- otherwise, my kids crap would be all over the house. My daighter is going to be doing the 27 fling boogie this weekend. We put on disco music and go to it!!
good luck!!!!!

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Sox-n-Pats Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 12:51am
post #12 of 71

I forgot to add, she has tips about money saving and menu planning as well


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TexasSugar Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 2:04am
post #13 of 71

Prterrell, I really like the idea about when you buy something to put it up when you get home. I'm really bad about sitting things aside and then dealing with it later. I'm also bad about putting off returning things to the store.

The house next door to me, an empty rent house owned by my dad's business, is kinda a garage sell to be dump spot. Everyone in the family drops stuff out off there. I also work next door from my house, so the only time I am heading into town is to go to Michaels to teach, so if I put stuff in my car to go to GoodWill, it won't make it any time soon.

I'm going to have to try the bin thing, I was reading about it earlier. I have quite a few plastic containers in my house, that were to be used in the cake room. I just need to pick a room and start sorting.

I had subscribed to FlyLady years ago, and all the emails every day really annoyed me. I don't know if she does that any more. And a few of the things she did was unrealistic to me. I'll have to go look around sometime to see if it is any different.

Guess I better put the cake for class in the oven and figure out what I am going to attack first. icon_smile.gif Please keep the ideas and suggestions coming!

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MnSnow Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 3:19am
post #14 of 71

Here's a couple suggestions for you as you sort through items and a way to raise some extra cash.

As your sorting into various bins/piles make one for selling. Have a garage/rummage sale. Whatever is left over from that, contact Goodwill or Epilespy Foundation. Both organizations will pick up at your home, so you won't have to worry about dropping it off anywhere. Take the money yuo earn from the sale and put it into the savings account.

Go through your bills. Pay attention to their due date and write them down for 2 weeks before their due on a calender. try to make them coincide with a payday and that's when they get paid. That way you can see what is remaining from your paychecks and budget it out for food, gas, and necessitites.

Hope this helps you some

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JaeRodriguez Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 3:48am
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I know that with us, we have a set "fun budget" a month that we get in cash and we (being me and my husband) can spend it however we want but once the cash is gone it's gone. There's no using the debit card after you spend your fun budget icon_razz.gif

My other tip is to definitely open the savings account but I wouldn't have the direct deposit to it because then you'll be taking money out regularly to put in your checking I would rather have it go to my checking and know how much I need to put in savings and when it goes in, it doesn't come out!

I hate that it's so easy now to transfer money from savings to checking online! My DH was bad about that when he was out he'd check on his phone and transfer money into the checking account from savings cause he wanted to do something! That was before the budget ;] hehe HTH!

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heavenlys Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 3:50am
post #16 of 71

I grew up with a mother that was a clutter queen. As an adult the site of clutter makes my skin crawl. My mother still buys too much "crap" A lot of times it is things for my kids. My rule is new things in, old things out.

I also have a small house on purpose. It is easier to control the amount of junk when there isn't as many places to shove it. I also have a big clean out 2x a year.

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indydebi Posted 13 Mar 2010 , 5:08am
post #17 of 71

When you go shopping, carry only cash. No debit card, no credit card. It's amazing what you can live without when you can only spend cash for it. Taking only enough cash to buy the bottle of glue you need from Walmart will eliminate the possibility that you'll also pick up 2 pairs of shoes, a bag of M&M's and a garden hoe.

Along the same ideas of the 15 minute clean, take a trash bag and just start in one room filling the bag with trash. When the bag is full, stop. You can pick whatever size bag you want.

I just went thru a decluttering process. we moved from a 4-bedroom, 2 story house to a 4-room apartment. Oh yeah baby did *I* learn to detach myself from the "stuff"! Sometimes you just have to choose. I had a collection of coke stuff and a collection of antique asian china. One had to go. It was hard, but I sold all of my coke stuff on ebay.

I had converted one of the small bedrooms to a storage room. Nicely organized with metal shelves and see-thru bins. Couldn't even walk thru that room. I figured if I haven't dug down to the bottom shelf to know what's down ther, then obviously I haven't needed it. Trashed almost the entire room.

I grew up poorer than dirt, so I'm sure that most of my clutter habit came from not being able to afford anything so anything we DID have because "valuable". Didn't matter that we really used it or not ... it was "valuable"!

I also think those of us in my age bracket (50 ish) had parents who grew up in or wer born shortly after the Depression. Those who survived the Depression had a VERY strong sense of "you don't throw NOTHING away!" because you just might need it. I saw this very much in my first MIL and see it very strong in my current in laws (in their 80's).

And TExas, I hate to be the one to tell you, but if you have magazines covering the tables until there is no surface left, then I think you're a hoarder or you are VERY MUCH on your way to being an official one. icon_rolleyes.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 12:07am
post #18 of 71

Jae, I do have the savings account now. And the only check I was considering getting direct deposited into it was my Michaels Paycheck, which is a small amount compaired to my full time pay check (which doesn't get direct deposited.

I was sitting there last night trying to figure out on average how much I make a month and how much to budget toward what. I know that I will make adjustments as I go, since I need to track spending for the next few weeks. I don't want to tell myself that I will only spend XYZ amount every week when in reality it may not cover what I need or may be way too much, and lead me to spend it cause I can.

My Michaels Paycheck varies month to month, so I can't decide if and how to figure it into "how much I make number" vs leaving it in checking for extra money or moving it into savings, so I won't think about getting it and it won't get spent.

With the bank I am at, you can only transfer money twice a month with out being charged. So that is a plus to me. I also am going to decided how much to keep in my checking account and anything over that can go into savings. I want to keep enough in checking that I won't have to go into savings unless something major comes up, or I decide to make a larger purchase.

Indy, okay so it isn't all magazines on the coffee table. icon_smile.gif But it is more junk that anything, the coffee table is the first surface area you come to in my house, so most things just get dropped off there when I come in. I really don't think I'm a horder (yeah I know one wouldn't admit it) but I do know that if I don't do something now, it could turn into something like that.

When I moved out 5 years ago, my dad went through their house and started cleaning out things. What they didn't want they sent to me. My brother moved in with his now wife a couple of years ago, what they had double of, went to my house. I'm not saying it is their fault I'm just say that some things do have a way of finding themselves at my house. And over the years I have bought things with plans to use them and it never happen.

BUT, last night I did start going thorugh things. And I did throw out two bags of stuff. I also cleaned out my freezer today. So I have started to make progress. I know decluttering and keeping things that way is going to have to result into a new mind set. I'm working on that.

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prterrell Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 1:33am
post #19 of 71

TexasSugar, if you can afford to do so, I'd say your best best is to put your entire Michael's paycheck into Savings.

While you are trying to track your spending to make a budget, make a list as you go to the store of everything that you purchase and what the regular price is (you know how the grocery store a lot of times has regular price listed and then a different color tag for a sale or special, write down the regular price b/c it's not always on special).

If you want to get a credit card just for emergencies, one way to make sure you aren't tempted to use it is to freeze it inside a block of ice and keep it in the back of your freezer.

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JustToEatCake Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 6:06am
post #20 of 71

Texas to me the best way to help you keep your house tidy is to invite friends over! I don't want anyone seeing my apt messy. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a neat freak I am about a 7. I have a small place and for awhile family kept trying to give me this and give me that and I finally had to say "you see how small my apt is? I am sorry I don't have room". They still ask sometimes but they understand now.

I will say this also my mother would not want me to fell unhappy with things she had just because she had them. I think a few very personal things are in order but the rest have to go. We had a meeting not to long ago and we all told each other "Do NOT feel obligated to keep any of my things when/if I am gone". I believe this a gift one can give their children also.

On the hoarder note, I have a couple of slight hoarders in my family, my dad being one, luckily mom made him contain to it his garage and not in the house and he likes a neat yard so that was OK. I think the difference in being a hoarder and just not having the drive to clean something up is a hoarder is attached to things and doesn't want them to go a non-horder messy person wants it gone but doesn't want to or doesn't make time to do it but if they came home and it was all tidy and straight they'd feel happy not lost and heart broken as a hoarder would.

The one thing I could REALLY have help with dusting, gosh I hate it, it's just pointless in my mind. My mom had OCD about cleaning and polishing furniture I think that's why I rebel with that.

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indydebi Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 8:56am
post #21 of 71

JustToEatCake, I agree that there is a fine line difference, but my limited knowledge, from watching the show "Hoarders", where they address the psychology behind the situation and don't just do a "let's clean this house!" show, is that many times the hoarders don't believe they are "hoarding" anything. They have logical and specific reasons why they NEED that stuff .... they just don't really realize what's behind the need.

I will say that I was on my way to being a little old lady with a path thru her house ...mine jsut happened to be centrally located in one storage room. But I also had 5 sets of dinnerware in my kitchen. Who the heck needs 40-50 dinner plates in their house!!!??? I tried to convince myself they had value (my aunt's set of dishes had a replacement value of over $500; hubby's gramma's dishes had a replacement value of over $1000); tried to convince myself I was a "collector" ..... collecting full sets of dishes takes up space and we never used them!!

I had a full rubbermaid tub (a tub big enough to put both grandchildren in) full of yarn and crochet thread. Gosh, you can't throw that stuff away! It's perfectly good! Some of the yarn not even used at all yet! That comes from my "growing up dirt poor" background ..... you don't throw "perfectly good stuff" away because you may not have the money to buy it later if you need it.

I hadn't had time to crochet for at least 2-3 years, yet here was all of this yarn just taking up space. Was I "hoarding"it? Nah! Not in MY mind! Did I feel "attached" to it? No way! I was being frugal! I was being "not wasteful". I was being thrifty.

It was the death of my sister 3 years ago that shined the light in my face. She lived in a nursing home room with a nice bath and lots of closet space. It took 4 of us siblings close to 8 hours to clean out this one room. I lived in a 2-story, 4BR house that was getting full. I realized that if I didn't get control of this"stuff" then it was going to be my kids who had to sort thru it all after I died. And I just didn't want to leave that chore to them.

This had nothing to do with "i just don't want to clean the house". I just needed to organize all of this valuable stuff I had!

Years ago some people were considerd mentally insane and it turns out it was before we discovered what epilepsy was. These people had a medical issue but the public just didn't know it was a medical issue, so they were unfairly ostracized and gossiped about and many times locked away in an institution.

From watching Hoarders, I realize how often that people who lived like that may have been unfairly seen as "she's too "lazy" to clean her house!" when that's not the case ...when it's very possible there's a real issue behind it all.

I'm glad to see that your family had an agreement not to feel they have to keep anything "after I'm gone", but I say take it one step further. If it's something they don't need or use, they shouldn't feel obligated to keep it while you're still around, either. thumbs_up.gif

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miss_sweetstory Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 1:28pm
post #22 of 71

Regarding money... starting a savings account was a great first step. But you really need to have your money working for you.

Does your employer offer a 401K? (If they do and they offer any type of contribution match, you are leaving money on the table. )
If 401K isn't an option, take a look at getting into an IRA. Don't be scared off if it all sounds complicated... it's easier than it first appears. There are many books and online resources that can help you figure out financial planning. Once you do you'll feel so much more in control.

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indydebi Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 3:57pm
post #23 of 71

I just wanted to share something I JUST came across in my kitchen. I'm unloading/loading the dishwasher and there are two empty butter bowls with lids in there. Hubby put them in the dishwasher.

I go to put them away and we already have 5 of those "No kidding this ain't butter" containers, with lids, in the cabinet.

now, when we moved from the big house, I had one entire 4-shelf kitchen cabinet LOADED with plastic butter bowls and other "disposable" containers that actually fell out everytime I opened the cabinet. THere is no reason we need more than 5 of those suckers! So the ones that were in the dishwasher? Straight into the trash.

Why did they get washed and saved? Because when we were kids, butter (aka margarine) was JUST starting to come out in bowls and tubs. Wow, what a great way to get some FREE bowls for the kitchen! Also when we were kids, the families were larger and moms stayed home, so the income was lower. Our best friends had 6 kids, my aunt had 5 kids, 2 sets of very close friends had 3 kids each. It was NOT unusual for there to be 15 to 20 kids at our house when we had visitors. Ergo we needed LOTS of bowls to serve snacks, ice cream, birthday cake, etc.

But we don't live in that time period anymore. We can buy real bowls at dollar general for next to nothing. Glad makes reuseable and/or disposable containers to take lunches in that are super inexpensive.

And we just don't NEED 37 "bowls" that have "No sh*t this ain't butter" written on the side (that's what hubby calls that butter 'coz he can't remember the name of it! icon_lol.gif )

We save things from habit, from how we grew up.

Just a short story to try to explain how it gets started. And how to get to the realization of how to stop doing it. thumbs_up.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 4:04pm
post #24 of 71

Prterrell, last night when I went to Walmart I was armed with a note pad and pen. I did make note of a few items I didn't need at the moment but know I will get. Such as my pet's needs, their food, treats and cat litter. And those items you can't live with out, like paper towels and toliet paper. I know it will take a little time to really get the 'right' number for that budget, but atleast it is a start. icon_smile.gif

Since I haven't had a credit card I don't think I'd actually use it very often. I would just like it for internet purchases (which I don't do that much of) and to help build credit. I really don't see myself going on a shopping spree with it.

JustToEatcake, yeah inviting people over is a good way to get things done. The only problem with that for me is that the extra stuff would get shoved into my cake room so that the surface area's look clean but the clutter is just hidden behind a door. I have had my house spotless, minus the cake room many of times, it just always comes back out again.

I actually have a two bedroom rent house. It has a living room, dinning room, kitchen with room for a kitchen table, as well as a room off the kitchen that all my cake stuff is. I guess you could call it a cake/junk room. So I have alot of room to put stuff, I just have way to much stuff.

For Christmas my SIL always gets me some kinda of plate, or platter or bowls for entertaining. They are almost all white so they will match what ever dishes I have in the future. And I do use them, but mostly just around the holidays. I have way more kitchen stuff than a single person needs but there is that one day I will have a family thought. And yeah I know that until then alot of it is collecting dust. I can say if I ever get married, I doubt there will be many kitchen items on my wish list. And as cakers we all know how the cake stuff can just keep adding up and adding up.

When my grandmother passed away my mother boxed up stuff from her craft room. We went through it right after she brought it home and some of it ended up going to my house (and is still in boxes) and some of it went to my Great Aunt and my mother held on to boxes and I mean boxes of it. Part of it was that it was her mother's stuff, and she wasn't ready to let go of her mother. So when we did first go through it I didn't push her to really get rid of things. We just boxed things in groups. That was about 5 years ago. This last summer we did go through a few more of the boxes, but after going through her junk room, she was already emotionally drained that she really wasn't mentally ready to get rid of any of her mom's stuff. There was also the "It is brand new, I can't get rid of it." "She paid alot of money for this." "I could use this some day."

And Debi, I do believe that both my grandmother and mother are like you were saying. They grew up in a time when they had little money and you used everything you could. My grandmother was the kind to wash out a zip lock and re-use it.

Maybe that is part of the difference in the younger generations and the older. In the younger generation, we didn't have to do with out as much as the older generation did. But I did grow up in a house where you saved everything. We'd always plan to have a garage sell and I remember maybe 3 of them the whole time I was growing up. We currently have a huge pile of stuff now to garage sell, it is just actually getting around to doing it. At least the plus to that is that our junk has a place to go outside of our houses while it waits.

I can see my mom and grandma in some of my tendancies and that does make me want to change things.

I don't feel I am a hoarder, though I guess from the outside looking in, I may seem that way. As was said above, while there is some guilt and emotional attachment to some things, I could also get rid of many other things with out a problem. It is just the act of it. Remember when as a kid you were told to clean your room and you looked around at the clothes thrown around everywhere, and the toys spread out all over the floor and you thought cleaning your room was the hardest thing in the world? That's how I feel when I look around areas of my house. I stand in the cake room and just think where in the world do you start. And most days it has just been easier to turn around and leave and say I'll do this some other time.

I'm trying to take this one step at a time, and hopefully before I know it, I will have cleaner house with less clutter. I'm trying.

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indydebi Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 4:10pm
post #25 of 71

Moving helps the process. You just don't want to pack up all of that crap! icon_lol.gif

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JustToEatCake Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 4:18pm
post #26 of 71
Originally Posted by indydebi


Years ago some people were considerd mentally insane and it turns out it was before we discovered what epilepsy was. These people had a medical issue but the public just didn't know it was a medical issue, so they were unfairly ostracized and gossiped about and many times locked away in an institution.

From watching Hoarders, I realize how often that people who lived like that may have been unfairly seen as "she's too "lazy" to clean her house!" when that's not the case ...when it's very possible there's a real issue behind it all.

I'm glad to see that your family had an agreement not to feel they have to keep anything "after I'm gone", but I say take it one step further. If it's something they don't need or use, they shouldn't feel obligated to keep it while you're still around, either. thumbs_up.gif

I understand what you are saying totally but I also believe there is some who are just being lazy when it comes to tidying up. Those are the ones who would be happy to have someone come in because they have just let go so long they are overwhelmed. Some hire professionals. I know this because years I used not be so tidy. I just had better things to do than clean. I didn't care about "collecting" or "cleaning". I wasn't dirty, liked clean bathroom and dishes done but clutter didn't bother me like it does now. So I do think there are people who aren't collecting and aren't bothered by clutter enough to clean it up.

Heck I throw out anything now, I tell people it's worth MORE to me gone than it is to have it here. There are some things I just like having but they don't bother my life.

And about the epilepsy you are dead on because MY great grandmother was institutionalized several times over this, we have the court records where my great grandfather had her committed and get this, it seems that pregnancy brought the "fits" on so what would happen? She'd go to the institution (Dorthea Dix mental hosp in NC) she'd have the baby, the baby was given to relatives. None of my grandmother's siblings including herself was raised by my great grandmother. So she had the baby she'd get "well", many times ended up working in one of the doc's homes or assisting him in some way (documented) she'd be let go after a year or so and meet up with great grandfather and what would happen? You guessed it, another pregnancy.This went on for many years.

I knew my great grand mother (Mama Sissy as called by her kids she didn't raise, half mom half sister) and her second husband "Grandpaw Zack" and she was a kind, tough lady. She lived in a OLD house most would call a shack. A wood burning stove, woodstove for heat, nails on the wall where clothes hung, tin hammered in the floor to cover the holes, tin roof, hand pump water in the kitchen, etc. BUT she kept an immaculate home. Every week her floor was scrubbed with sand and water. Her wood stove made the best biscuits but her rooster liked to chase me. I was scared but thrilled all at once. I think this must be how a bullfighter feels...haha

Oh, the "don't let my things become bothersome after I am gone" didn't mean you have to keep them while I am alive or even accept them just meant don't be so sentimental about things that make you miserable or not happy. Hey I think after I am gone my SO or niece, whoever, should come in, take what she wants and sell/dump the rest.

I'm about to get rid of some nice things because they are PITA to dust, did mention I hate dusting?

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indydebi Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 4:25pm
post #27 of 71

Wow, what an interesting and sad story. It's a wonderful chapter in your family history .... wonderful in the sense that you know what happened, as opposed to "we heard gramma was crazy or something ...."

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jadedlogic Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 4:47pm
post #28 of 71

I can't really help with the clutter because I feel I am constantly trying to get rid of stuff. For the stuff that we don't want to get rid of I have in big rubbermaid bins in the basement.
For curbing impluse buying/saving and budgeting though - I am addicted to it. Lol. We used to spend all our money and didn't have much if any leftover from paycheck to paycheck and now I do two things - I made a spreadsheet that has an area (per pay period) for our income and it automatically totals it, then there is a space where all of my outgoing bills go for that pay period ( you can also use it for known purchases like groceries pedicures clothes etc) then as I enter the bills and how much are due, another portion of it automatically calculates it - so if I have 1000 going out in bills for that pay period it will say amount pending - 1000.00 once I enter in that I paid a bill it deducts it - so it looks like this
[i]Total bills due XXX
Amount Paid Out XXX
Amount Pending XXX
Available $ Remaining XXX [/i
And it will update automatically as I enter. I have all my bills listed on the side of the sheet with the amounts and due dates so it's quick to fill out every pay period. Right now I know (granted our incomes and bills stay the same) exactly how much we have left over every pay until the end of August.
I also enter what I want to put into savings as a bill - so when I look at the totals I see what I really can spend and I have still put money into savings. I used to use this to also track where my money was going but I now use YNAB software and I love it. It has saved us so much money and I know exactly down to the penny how much I have spent in each catagory. That way we were able to see where we were over spending and it was shocking at how much we were spending on somethings.
Saving money grocery wise - I write out what meals I can make or almost make from what I have and then look at the flyers and make the rest of our meals from the sales. Of course we sometimes want something that we dont have the stuff for or need to purchase everything for and that's ok because we are not doing that for every meal.
I use coupons as well but only if it is something I was going to purchase anyways - otherwise it's not such a good deal

Edited to add: We had a problem keeping money in our savings account that we could see and very easily transfer whenever I went into our banking so I set up an ING SAvings account (free) that I can automatically send money to and it takes a couple days to get it out (still free) BUT this curbs the impulse spending because by the time the money is available to spend 2 -3 days later I have come to my senses but in a TRUE emergency it is still in my hands quickly. You can open as many accounts as you need once the inital account is set up with a deposit - so I have an emergency fund, new van, christmas, etc.
I was skeptical that I would "forget" the money was there at first but I honetly forget it is even there - hence the reason for the edit! Lol

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Jenny0730 Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 4:52pm
post #29 of 71

The fact that you threw out two bags worth of stuff means you are well on your way. thumbs_up.gif

Last spring, my husband and I decided to clean out the garage. He was going through some of his stuff and started throwing out his trophies from grade school through high school. My MIL stopped by and was horrified that he was throwing them out. We have no intention of displaying them and they are just taking up space in the garage. It was pretty funny to see the expression on her face though!

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JustToEatCake Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 5:03pm
post #30 of 71
Originally Posted by Jenny0730

It was pretty funny to see the expression on her face though!

I can't really see where that would be funny to see. Most likely your MIL was raised in a different time, as stated above, and she remembers all she did for her son and shared with her son that got him those trophies, so to her, he was throwing away her memories with him. Having said that, I don't think he needed to keep them if he didn't want them I just wouldn't find her expression "funny" more a bit sad to see it bother her.

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