Landfill OCD – Being a saver (not a hoarder!)

stickersMy husband likes to tease me all the time about the amount of stuff that I save. On the rare occasions we watch those hoarding shows he jokes that I’ll be having the same conversation with one of our kids one day where they’re trying to get me to throw things away and I just won’t budge. I’d never tell him, but I agree to an extent. I definitely form attachments to things that should probably be passed on (partially due to OCD, partially due to laziness). However, I am more than willing to pass things on if I can find a good home for them. I’ll call what I have “Landfill OCD”. I have a problem actually throwing things out (actual trash notwithstanding) as I can picture them sitting in a landfill and it bothers me. Of all my friends, I’m probably one of the greener ones but I don’t exactly consider myself a trailblazer of the eco-friendly path. I’m surprised that more people don’t think like I do. Why on Earth (no pun intended) would anyone want to throw away things that they may have a use for one day? I’m in no means trying to encourage hoarding, but here’s a list of things that I’ve found useful in my quest to be a conscious saver.

  1. Stickers – This one comes in especially handy if you have kids. Over the years I’ve collected stickers from goody bags, doctors’ visits, charity mailings, supermarkets, calendars, Christmas stockings, Easter baskets and a host of other places. I keep the stickers in a plastic take-out container (something else I have way too many of, but that’s for another time) and whenever the little ones need something to keep them busy at the kitchen table or on a long car ride, they can just sit down with some scrap paper and stick away! Since most of the stickers were free, they can use as many as they want and it doesn’t seem like a waste. They also love giving them to their friends and decorating homemade or store bought birthday cards.
  1. Take out sauces – You know the ones I’m talking about. Ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, duck sauce, Chinese mustard, sometimes a BBQ sauce or Italian dressing makes its way in as well. Call me wacky for hanging on to these, (also in a plastic take-out container) but there’s been many a time when we’ve run out of ketchup for our burgers or I have a recipe that calls for soy sauce and the bottle is just about empty, and who’s the smart one then?
  1. Cosmetics – Now this may be where I lose a bunch of you if I haven’t already. I know there are expiration dates on cosmetics for good reason but sometimes I feel like they set those dates too early. 3 months for mascara? Really? As a WAHM, there are times when I probably use my mascara once a month and there’s no way I’m going to throw it after using it three times. In addition to my regular cosmetics kept in a makeup case/tackle box, I also hang on to all the cosmetic freebies and samples I get. Just like the sauce packets, you never know when you might find yourself out of shampoo or conditioner and the little bottle you got at the Hilton last year comes in super handy. In addition to that, I also find these small items very helpful for packing on weekend getaways (rather than bringing an entire bottle of shampoo).

I probably shouldn’t be asking this (as I really don’t need to save anything else) but are there any other conscious savers out there? What do you save?