Sunday, March 14, 2010

Almost-40 Realization #2: What Am I Saving it For?

(Don't jump to any conclusions by the photo above...)

I have always been a saver, which I'm hoping is a bit better than being a hoarder. I've seen those hoarder episodes on Oprah, and they're not pretty. In my mind, a saver is to a hoarder what chubby is to morbidly obese.

This rainy weekend has given me the opportunity to clean up and take a hard look at all the stuff I've been are a few things I found:

1. Expired Cans of Soup and Beans. Why didn't we eat these? Maybe it was overly ambitious to think our family would whip up something with pinto beans after work one night? We've never eaten pinto beans before. Hasta la vista, pintos.

2. Bag of Kettle Chips that expired in 2007. We moved here in mid-2008. Does that mean I packed the already expired Kettle Chips and brought them here? Or worse yet, that I paid a mover to pack and carry them? Chucked 'em.

3. Convertible Victoria's Secret Bra Straps - Never Used. I don't even know what bra they go with. I certainly don't wear it. Throw them away.

OK...along with the three items above, you'll be happy to hear I also tossed "IBS for Dummies," a lot of magazines (which I donate to children's ICU waiting areas, which illustrates one of my obstacles with getting rid of things, I need to find a good home for my old stuff. If I do, it's much easier to give away), way-too-many shopping bags, and handfuls of broken kids' toys. These items were just the warm-up. Here's where I start getting in trouble...In some cases, I'm not entirely sure why I'm saving these things, but I don't seem to be able to let go.

4. Used Pregnancy Tests. This seems weird - what am I saving these for? I have the children to show as proof positive that yes, I really was pregnant. Do I need to save these (once urine-soaked) sticks? Am I going to put them in a Martha Stewart-style scrapbox and hang it on the living room wall? I don't think so. But yet, I stash them in a bag under the sink. What's wrong with me?

5. Leftover Christmas Cards. We seem to have about 50 left. If you didn't get one, let me know, I'll send it to you. I contemplated throwing them away, I really did...but it's hard to throw away pictures of your kids, right? I have decided that I will use the back of them to write notes to school - like when my daughter has permission to go to someone's house after school. Weak? Maybe?

6. Remote Control to Air Conditioner in Our Old Apartment. It seems lazy and a bit mean to just toss this, when I could mail it to the new owners who would get some use out of it. I've been saying this for eight months.

7. Domino Magazines. Anyone who knows me knows I mourned the closing of this magazine. I've heard of single copies fetching $50 on eBay - not that I'd sell even one. These are collectors' items now - can't get rid of these.

8. Bag of Colorful Lipsticks. All I wear is a light lipgloss. But you never know...

9. Gift Closet Gone Crazy. A long time ago, I started a gift closet in order to be stocked up on presents in advance, so I wouldn't be making a mad dash to the toy store before every children's birthday party or would have a bottle of Champagne in a nice bag ready to go as a hostess gift. But we live in New York City -2 toy stores and 3 liquor stores are within a few blocks; how hard is that? Now, the gift closet has stagnated - it's desperate for a clearance sale. Time to get rid of it all and start over, yet instead of tossing, I'm adding to it.

10. Old Knives. I am saving these simply because I don't know how one throws away knives without becoming accidently linked to a homocide.

Above all, I've been saving gift cards and store credits...what for? It's time to use them or lose them (as I did with the Tower Records and Fortunoff cards.) So this week, I'll be booking three free Yoga sessions, dinner at Nobu, massages at Bliss, finding something to buy at Banana Republic, Burberry, and Bloomingdale's, buying a large clam shell (odd, but I liked it) from Crate & Barrel, and using $10 off at Shutterfly (the old me would want to save it to over-order cards next Christmas).

I think I am to crap what black pants are to cat hair - I attract it. But I'm entering my 40s with a cleaner slate. No more saving it all!


  1. I hear ya!I think I need to do a big throw away session. I think my place is too cluttered and would like to simplify my life.

  2. The second grade teacher got my first Christmas card note...she was a little confused at first, but I think ultimately found me to be rather resourceful. :)

  3. Did you toss the pregnancy test sticks yet? Eww gross!!!!