Lisa and I have different views on throwing stuff away. She comes from a house, a bit like mine, where items were saved. However, she reacted in a negative way to this practice. She saw the mess in her parents' basement and wanted to purge. I saw the mess and wanted to add to it. I understand the concept of getting rid of stuff, but I am also a master of reusing it eventually. I have been proven right from time to time, but Lisa still continues to throw stuff away, some of which goes a bit too far.


Lisa's own wardrobe I can handle, mostly. Whenever she fluctuates enough in a certain direction in her weight loss or gain, she gets either excited or frustrated and tosses an entire wardrobe. When she changes sizes again, then she needs to buy clothes again. However, since styles change and she deserves to have newer clothes, I don't get way too upset with this.

It's my stuff (and to some extent, the kids' stuff) that bothers me. Lisa will tell you that I'm great at reusing items and fixing things that don't really seem fixable, without ever buying anything to fix them. Extra parts or parts from thrown out items wait around in my workroom until I find a new use. Whenever I throw something away, I take it apart and imagine what the pieces might be useful for in the future. As you can imagine, I have quite an inventory of odds and ends. This, of course, bothers Lisa, but she generally stays away from anything that looks like a tool or hardware. She doesn't ALWAYS stay away from my stuff, though, like when she decided to throw away my 30 year-old alarm clock just because one of the numbers didn't always work. Not only was that a gift from my parents, but it was the clock radio I listened to every night before bed. It even had a Desert Storm sticker on it. It always got great FM reception (unlike our daughter's new clock radio). Bottom line is that it was mine, and while I was allowing it to be used by the kids, it was going to remain mine to use in some other room after they no longer needed it.

The same week, Lisa also threw away a roll-on soap dispenser that our son had been saving in the shower. It was out of soap, but he liked to use it for "massages." Fine with me. She saw it as clutter and something that got in the way. He just wanted a bath toy for the shower. While Lisa and I both had toys from our own childhood, stored by our parents, for our kids to use, they will not have that at all because we donate the toys when they are done. I sometimes sneak a few toys up to my parents' house, and I have a storage tote somewhere with a few of their toys, but most of them are gone.

I can see both sides. Other people can get use out of toys or other items that will just look old twenty years from now. However, I kind of like being able to see my son play with my toy cars, so I can see where they might have liked the same thing. I'm not sure if it's a boundaries issue or not. Lisa does most of the cleaning, but she leaves my little part of the basement and the attic all to me. I guess if I want to make sure something is saved, that's where it has to go.