Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

October 11, 2012

To keep or not to keep?

“You’re not throwing that away, are you?” sobbed my daughter.

The object of her concern? A receipt. Seriously? When asked how she could possibly become so distraught over a miniscule piece of paper, she responded, “That’s the receipt for buying my bear. It’s a special memory.” Oh, Lord.

People are either savers or pitchers. I’m a devout pitcher. If I haven’t worn it, used it, or loaned it in the last year, the item goes to Goodwill for others to enjoy. I’m surrounded, however, by savers — people who manage to cram as much stuff within the walls of our home as possible “just in case.”

For some, they save because their love language speaks in mementoes. Every card, stuffed animal and shirt has a memory attached which must be preserved. Other savers are convinced that any item they toss will be desperately needed within three days and choose to avert disaster by saving everything. Of course, under the piles of stuff packing our garage, we can never find said item when needed and end up going to Lowe’s to purchase another anyway — but that’s beside the point. So, how to pitchers and savers coexist?

Store. Storage containers become both parties’ favorite device. They give pitchers the impression that stuff will be used and savers the ability to find their precious items when needed. The best gift I may have ever given my saver-husband was to organize his collection of parts in the garage. I purchased plastic sets of drawers and tubs of various sizes. All electrical implements went into one set of drawers/cords in top drawer, small items such as fuses and tape in another, larger tools for working on electrical jobs in the bottom. Ditto for plumbing related implements. Tubs of differing size organized bolts, nails, sockets and wire. Instead of claustrophobia inducing piles, items were organized. Added benefit — fewer trips to Lowes when a job needs completion.

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