Saturday Thoughts...Do I Need It?

When I’m shopping…actually for anything, not just food and household supplies, I have started asking myself this question…Is this a good or necessary purchase or use of money?  My husband is more succinct…his question is “Where are you going to put it?”
We can afford more than we buy, but do we need it?  Do I want to store it, care for it, use it up?  More to the point…do I want to clean it or around it?  Would that money be better used elsewhere?
After starting a decade ago to see our friends and neighbors' adult children sell, donate or simply add their parent’s cherished possessions to the landfill, because they are out-of-style or because no one uses good china, silver and glassware anymore because they entertain more casually, my husband and I made up our minds to only keep a very few inherited items, and to not keep anything we had purchased over the years that wasn’t something we used frequently or even daily.  Often your family will appreciate things you pass on sooner rather than later.  The holidays might be the perfect time to find out who might want some of those things you feel like you no longer can care for or store.  What isn't claimed can be donated for others to enjoy.  You might be surprised what people really would like to have as a remembrance and what they don't!  
Myrna and I experienced preparing for our Grandmother's estate sale after her death; she had gifts from friends and relatives  still in the original package because she had more than she could ever use.  We have both asked our kids not to gift us with "stuff" on Christmas and birthdays because of that.
We have purged collectibles, dishware and glassware, pots and pans, countertop appliances, cookbooks, other books, seasonal decorations, furniture, linens, clothing, you-name-it.  Myrna gifted my daughter-in-law Michelle with her pressure canner because she no longer uses it. 
Luckily, because my husband was in the army early in our marriage and we moved every time I would have had to really do some seasonal housecleaning, we hadn’t accumulated as much as many couples do.
If you are thinking of buying more "Organizers", maybe you should just donate the things you were going to organize.
I haven't kept anything that I don’t use because it is “too good” either.  When will it not be "too good" to use at our age?  My teenage grandson asked for a glass for water…when I got out a nice glass that belongs to my iced tea pitcher set he said “Oh, that’s too good!”  However, that set of glasses is the only one I have saved…we use them whenever we need them.  Who am I saving those "too good" things for if not us and our friends and family?
I don't even take free samples if it isn't something I use regularly.  I no longer subscribe to magazines and newspapers; a benefit of the internet.
When I buy groceries, I ask myself if I’m going to use the items more than once if they aren't my pantry staples or are they going to go stale or out-of-date in the back of the cabinet.
Even if something is a great buy at the thrift shop…do I want to clean it, maintain it and find a place to put it?
Myrna is at this point too…and probably doing better than I am.  But, we can do better…if we think we need to replace anything, we are asking if we even really need to.   And, as I am doing my fall housecleaning, I am passing on usable items and supplies we don't use anymore...while they are still good.  Less to store and clean...what's not to like.


  1. I'm doing spot clean outs. Need to do a major one in the kitchen area. I'll add what I don't want to my garage sale pile. Hopefully someone will buy the things even though I no longer need them.

  2. I always have to ask where will I put it. Fortunately the house is smaller, and so if I bring something in, something else should go. Experience this with my 89 year old MIL, so much. a saver.

  3. Great post and one we should all take to heart! Even though I'm not "a saver" I know I have some things that are just taking up shelf space. Cleaning, sorting and organizing my kitchen and pantry are on the list to be done soon so I'm going to do a better job than I have in following your wise words. Thanks!

  4. Great advice. I definitely need to do this. We have far too much stuff.

  5. My adult kids keep telling me that I should buy a Hot Pot and a Air Fryer. I've looked at them but honestly, I can't figure out how they would make my life easier.

  6. Very good advice. I hope I can head it!

  7. Wow, this post resonated with me. I am in the middle of a huge clean-out of my home (life lol!) I have always been a "saver" because my grandmother, who was also my best friend, was raised in the depression and taught me to keep everything "just in case." I have also raised and homeschooled eight children, and we have a large home, so you can imagine how much "stuff" we have accumulated. Now that my last child is one year away from graduating, I am wanting to downsize. But it is overwhelming when I see how much I need to get rid of. I have always thought that I would pass things down to my kids, but they have kindly let me know that they really aren't interested. I read an article last year titled something like "Your Kids Don't Want Your Stuff." Wow, it opened my eyes, and so I set out on a journey to do a major clean-out and sell/donate a lot of our possessions. As I get older, I am really tired of keeping up with and cleaning around everything. But it is a big job to declutter wisely and thoughtfully, and I look forward to it being "done." I am glad I am not the only one. :-)


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