14 March 2013


The definition of FRUGALITY is: prudent in saving and the lack of wastefulness  ... and I DON'T have the book! 

Old habits die hard! By that I am referring to the way everyone was brought up to be economical. I’ve suffered with it all my life. You know the sort of thing: 
  • squeezing every bit of toothpaste from a tube by rolling up or cutting off the end
  • upending bottles until the last drop of liquid or solution is removed
  • saving all carrier bags for further use

Nail polish has defeated me, though. I tried saving the bottom quarter inch (the bit the brush won’t reach) by tipping it into another almost empty bottle, only to find that the mix was thick and syrupy and useless as nail polish. It was a gooey mess!

Then there are the time and energy-saving tricks which I revel in, like never leaving a room empty handed, or putting things ready for the next trip upstairs. I was taught never to leave a room without checking if there was something to take out ... and I still do that today.

Carrying too many items was considered to be a lazy man’s burden, but at least it was energy-saving. I became adept at finding the right way to carry a load of stuff with the minimum of effort, so much so that I found it a doddle when time and motion and other studies were introduced in the workplace.

Even though there is little effort involved it is surprising how these practices help to keep the mind active. Everything in its place was my dad’s philosophy and I agree with it. After all, constant searching for things is time consuming as well as frustrating and certainly not good for one’s mental state.

Being a self-styled organiser means recycling is no problem. I am in my element stacking, cutting, folding or flattening in order to get more in the refuse bags or boxes ... and, yes, I catch the raised eyebrows when Joe passes by. I’m not a mind-reader but I guess his opening thought is Gawd, she’s at it again.

Well, this gal was at it again’ the last couple of days after I decided to sort out my office. You can see by the picture that the Welsh dresser is home to a multifarious collection of necessary things to keep both entertainment, education and workload afloat. And that’s just the shelves! I flinch at the thought of tidying the cupboards, but not for long. I do so enjoy sorting things out.

Even the windowsill has its uses. Do you like the tiny drawers on here and the dresser? I am fascinated by the amount of things I can keep in them: sewing implements, USB flash drives, luggage tags and locks, super glue, plugs, Jabra earpiece for phone, dongle and plug, hooks, camera connection for PC, indigestion tablets and pain killers, hand cream, plasters, mirrors, hooks, small pots, and eye drops. Now you see why those eighteen drawers are absolutely necessary. There are boxes for this and baskets for that, and I daren’t even try to count the folders!

So what do you think, isn’t this room just perfect for a dedicated organiser?

You might ask what all this has got to do with frugality and I guess in this case it's more a case of preserving energy and my mental state. After all there's nothing worse than mental fatigue just because hours have been spent looking for unfindable objects!


  1. ha. i could probably do for a bit of your organizing....i look at it as controlled chaos...hehe

  2. I am that person who spends time looking for stuff. DD1 is the person who has a place for everything. Since this move I have tried to put everything in its place, but then I have to remember its place. Kudos to you and DD1.

  3. Ah. Anal retentive is what he-who-just-shoves-things-here-and-there calls it. And then he asks "where's the zip ties for the holiday garland".

    UH huh....left bottom drawer in the kitchen, right hand side.


    Ohhhh.....spring tidying! :-D

  4. I LOVE IT, VALERIE!!!!!

    Two things....

    "squeezing every bit of toothpaste from a tube by rolling up or cutting off the end"

    I do the SAME THING!!!!!

    " I was taught never to leave a room without checking if there was something to take out ... and I still do that today."

    Same here! My mother taught me that when I was a kid, and I've forgotten it!

    I too am frugal and organized. And I learned much of this through living in Japan for 2 1/2 months. The Japanese don't waste a thing and are extremely organized people. And they have to be this way because of the small spaces they live in.

    GREAT post, dear lady!


  5. I'm with you on this Valerie. I love organising and believe a place for everything and everything in its place is a good way to be. However, I don't always achieve the best results. There are some things that defy me! With L coming over in the Autumn, I am forced to have a really big clear out. I'm doing it and pleased with my efforts so far.
    Your dresser is perfectly organised and I commend you on it. You should be proud of that (I'm sure you are).

  6. Brian, organised chaos is a good description...smiles.

    Banker Chick, I suppose remembering everything is only achieved by repetition :O)

    Mel, *giggling* I too know exactly where things are... sometimes to hubby's disgust.

    Ron, hahaha my mom used to send me back to get things, a sort of punishment for forgetting. Come to think of it, when I had a tiny flat I was forced to be tidy.

  7. Some people think I am too organized.....everything does have its place.. my desk and Bob's are complete opposites... but as cluttered as his desk is.. he can tell if one piece of paper has been moved..

  8. Great post, Val! I'm a pretty good organizer too. I like a place for everything and everything in its place!

  9. I try to keep a minimal amount of "stuff" around the house, and do my best to keep everything tidy. It's a habit I picked up from my dad, and again during my stint in the Air Force. When I turn on the television and see these Hoarder shows my stomach starting doing flip-flops at how disastrous their homes look.

  10. Hi Herman. I've seen some hoarder shows on the television.... they're positively frightening. I collect and save but nothing is thrown on a heap and left

  11. I think you and I are twins separated at birth Valerie! LOL

  12. I loved your tips on organizing Valerie. I need all the help I can get. I also enjoyed seeing your home, lovely! Wishing you a great weekend and I hope the weather isn't bad your way.

  13. Hi Pearl, my long lost twin. How nice to find you at last :O)

  14. Now I am embarrassed. My sewing room cries out for organization. At least the quilt fabric is nicely sorted and in clear bins.


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