Thursday, January 24, 2013

To Hoard or Not to Hoard...

We have a lot of our garage sale treasures stored in the garage. Our daughter kidded us recently about being "hoarders." Of course, in our case, we do maintain two vendor booths in an antique mall, so we are not hoarding, but storing items for the store.

But what if you do find yourself overbuying at garage sales and your house is starting to overflow with "stuff"? When do you determine when it's OK and when it's not?

That's something important to consider when shopping garage sales or anywhere else. If you're a bargain shopper like I am, it is hard to pass up great deals when you see them, but here are some questions to ask yourself before buying:

- Am I sure this is something I will use in the next 1-2 years?
- Is this something I need or just clutter?
- Where am I going to store this item?
- Is this a want or a need?

As a culture, we do tend to have way too much "stuff" and most of us could benefit from stopping to think before making any kind of purchases.

There are things that I believe are practical to buy and store, such as craft supplies (IF you will really use them), wrapping paper and cards, and gifts. Even these have to be thought out ahead of time. At our house, I have a huge amount of brand new yarn from garage sales, but I am using it. I am also to the point where I know I have enough and will have to put the brakes on if I see more. I also buy and store Christmas cards every year after the holidays at a huge savings, as well as wrapping supplies. During the year, if I see the perfect gift for someone on my list, I'll buy and store that, too. These are all things that are being used, not hoarded for years with no future purpose.

If you think you've gotten out of control, start by having your own garage sale and be ruthless. Anything that hasn't been used in the last 2 years can go, and if it doesn't sell, don't put it back. Donate it. There are charities that will bring their truck over after your garage sale and pick up whatever is left. After you have cleared out, you can start fresh and buy only what makes sense.

Enjoy those bargains, but be sure to think before buying!