Would you pay $150 to store paper plates?
I have some sad news for you. There’s a good chance you do.
My husband and I have been on a declutter kick lately and we’re using the Konmari method of decluttering. We’ve been enjoying the process, as it has been nice for us to be able to have neat surroundings without much work. Neither of us are much into putting things away and the bar has to be really low for us to want to do so. Part of the Konmari method is getting rid of enough stuff that storage is easy.
Today, we tackled this weird storage area we have between our laundry room and our cellar. (It’s a cellar, not a basement — dirt floors and walls. Creepy as all get out and I don’t much like going down there). This is a space that is pretty much good for storage, but not much else.
When we moved into the house, it really became a catch-all for stuff we couldn’t store in the garage, but couldn’t figure out where to store in the house.
Friends, there was stuff we hadn’t touched since we moved in there nearly ten years ago – paper plates, boxes that turned out to be empty but for wadded up newpaper packing, vases we don’t like and never use. It was a serious mess that we never addressed.
It’s decluttered now and is being used as a cleaning supplies storage for brooms, the carpet shampooer, the vacuum and stuff like that. It’s mostly empty but for those few things, and it’s easy to access what we need. We like it.
In talking about it with my husband, I did the calculation on how much floor space we have in the house and how much we pay a month per square foot. One of the things we threw away was a set of paper dinner plate that did take up about a square foot of space. I did the math and commented to my husband that we had spent $150 to store paper plates WE WILL NEVER USE. We have glass plates for parties and stuff. When we eat out on the patio, we just use the regular dishes and we don’t do picnics all that much that wouldn’t be conducive to a bento. We don’t do stuff that really makes paper plates the more desirable option.
It was a little freaky to realize that those plates had used up $150 worth of storage space over the time we’ve lived here. We’re going to give them a home somewhere else where people will use them. But it was really weird to confront that. Marie Kondo comments that buying in bulk isn’t necessarily saving money, and while I think she goes further with the idea than I would, I do think that calculating what it costs to store those bulk bargains is a useful part of the equation.