In the He Says/She Says series, we discuss financial-ish topics where we agree to disagree and make our case with fighting words. We then promptly make up.
When our blog was first birthed, I did a He Says/She Says on Johnny’s obsession with saving receipts, and my determination to throw them out. Well, over a year and a half later, I’ve decided to come clean. It’s not just receipts that Johnny likes to save. No, no. The problem is much, much worse. Let me preface this by clarifying that Johnny is not a hoarder. There. He’s very clean and organized. But from time to time, he does have a hard time throwing things out. Like receipts. Or like the dozens of Wired magazines that he swears he’ll read someday. Or old clothes that he no longer wears.
Let’s focus on the clothes, since we’ve recently been trying to organize our closet — emphasis on the word trying. Johnny’s portion of our closet has at least twice as many shirts as mine does. And he wears maybe 25% of them. I could also have that many shirts in my closet if I held onto clothes the way he does. Actually, I have the opposite problem. I purge with a vengeance. And then a few months after one of my purging rampages, I go looking for a shirt, only to realize it didn’t make the cut and is now sitting in some thrift store. So, yes, I have a problem, too. But Johnny’s problem is much, much worse than my own.
Case in point, we currently each have tub of our winter clothing since it’s summertime right now. My tub actually contains winter clothes. Johnny’s tub contains winter clothes AND clothes that he knows he’ll never wear again but can’t part with. Like a faded jean jacket with a sherpa lining that he hasn’t worn in 7 years. Or a plaid shirt that just needs some altering around the waist to fit him better. Or a box full of bizarre-looking belt buckles that he collected as a teenager. The list goes on and on. If you asked him, Johnny would play the money card. He’d claim that someday he’s going to be really glad he held onto blah-dee-blah shirt, while Joanna will be spending her money re-buying an almost identical shirt to one she threw out years ago.
But I call bull on this one. The number of shirts he has at this point is actually hampering his ability to get dressed in the morning. The craziest thing of it all is he actually needs new clothes, but there’s nowhere to put them at this point. Maybe I’d be more lenient if our closet were bigger, but it’s kind of small. And while most of his shirts are in great condition, they’re not as stylish as they once were. Maybe they’ll come back into style someday. But in the meantime, I think it’s worth my sanity to throw most of them in a heap and douse them with gasoline. Who’s with me?
It’s time to tell it to us straight: Are you Team Saver or Team Purger? Do you think it’s wasteful to throw clothes out (even if you’re giving them to charity)? Or does purging actually optimize your outfit wearing, therefore eliminating waste? (YES. That one!)