Saturday, February 20, 2010
A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Coffee Can Hardware Stockpile
I have learned much from my grandparents over the years. I was blessed to have both sets of my grandparents for my entire childhood and early marriage, only losing my dad's parents about 10 years ago. Some of the things that my grandparents taught me were intentional. Ma Ma Grace taught me all about plants, trees and birds. We went for walks every day that we were together, I learned much about the world around me as we followed that familiar path around her house.
Some things they taught me by example. Many of my penny-pinching ways were inherited through observation of careful frugality in both grandparent's households. Ma Ma Betty taught me to never throw anything useful away. Granted, I struggle with when something has lost its usefulness, sometimes (Hi, My name is Amy....and I am a packrat). But, this practice has often served me well.
For as long as I can remember, Ma Ma Betty had a coffee can full of nuts, bolts, washers and screws in her laundry room. As a child I spent hours digging around in that can, sorting and stacking the treasures inside. I still remember a few of the specific things that were always there...a roll of soldering wire, a rubber-tipped doorstop, those plastic clips that are used to hang un-framed mirrors on the wall...
When I started housekeeping, I went to the grocery store and bought a can of coffee...not for the coffee, but for the can. (I was 20, I didn't really like coffee back then...what was I thinking?) I don't remember what I did with the coffee, but I washed out the can and started throwing in the leftover hardware from various projects...extra nails from hanging curtain rods, extra screws from a ceiling fan kit, extra cup-hooks from my curtain tie-backs.
After over 15 years, the can has gotten pretty doggone full. I cannot tell you how many times I have fixed something, hung something, or finished a project by digging through that can. I sincerely believe it has saved me hundreds of dollars in last-minute trips to the store. I cannot remember the last time that I needed a piece of hardware and didn't find just the thing in my coffee can...it is one of my favorite things!