Have you ever spent money in a way that you know others would find ridiculous? Have you ever looked in your shopping cart and thought, “Am I really going to replace a set of perfectly good objects with new ones”?
Sometimes my purchases have less to do with what makes financial sense and more to do with keeping my sanity. I’m sure I’m not the only person who does this, but as I’m filling my cart with brand new, clear plastic storage containers I must admit I felt a little crazy.
You see our basement is filled with plastic boxes. Downstairs you’ll find clothes, winter coats, gift bags, toys I bought at deep discounts and tons of hand-me-downs I received after my son was born. I just wrote about the overwhelming number of boxes down there yesterday.
I don’t keep a lot of stuff around the house. My living spaces aren’t filled with tchotchkes. The top of our dressers are typically free of clutter. I keep a few photos on the wall and the mantle but otherwise there isn’t much to dust around here.
I try to keep everything organized in closets and dressers. I make certain that these things are worn and used or they are moved into boxes and sent off to donation.
But the basement has become a holding place of sorts. A mecca for everything that I don’t want to contend with in our every day living spaces.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a free-for-all down there. Everything is neatly organized in boxes with labels and generalized descriptions. I had a rough idea of what was inside of each container, but it was driving me a little crazy that I couldn’t see through the boxes. Our shelves are packed tightly so if you want to see the contents of the box you have to take it down off the shelf, open the lid and peek inside.
I got sick of lifting boxes on and off those shelves. I wanted an easier way to know what was inside of the box without having to list the exact contents on the side of the box.
As I rotate toys in and out of my son’s playroom I wanted to be able to peek into the box, recognize the toy and swap it for one that was previously upstairs. I wanted to look into the plastic bins and know that it contained particular pants or shirts of various sizes.
I also wanted to use smaller containers. I don’t want to deal with one giant tub containing all of my son’s clothes from size 0 to 18 months. I wanted to break down the boxes by size and type. This one contains long sleeved shirts and long pants in size 18-24 months, this one contains short sleeved t-shirts and shorts in size 6 – 9 months. (This is all in holding until I figure out whether or not we’ll have another child.)
Anyway, I decided the best way to feel a little more sane about the situation was to buy some new containers that I could see-through and organize more easily. If a second child doesn’t make his or her way into our lives it’ll also be a whole lot easier to sell this stuff on eBay. Everything is already super organized!
Of course reorganizing this way meant that I donated a ton of perfectly good non-see-through containers. It felt strange to gather them up and leave them on the curb at the donation site. A more sane person probably wouldn’t have wasted the money, but I know I’ll feel more at peace if I reorganize this way. So one trip to Target and ten containers later I’m feeling relatively good about the way things look downstairs.
I hope someone out there will tell me that am I not alone. I’m sure there is at least one reader out there who spent money on something just to make them feel a little more sane or at the very least a little more organized.