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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saving Buttons

I posted this on my Peevish Pen blog back in January, but it's worth posting here. I originally titled it "Button Clutter," but it has to do with saving stuff that might be useful, so I figured I'd repost here. Besides, you never know when you might lose a button and don't want to have to go out and buy a whole card of buttons. It's eaasier to dip into your stash.

Whenever a garment wears out, I recycle it to rags. (My mother used to recycle old clothes—ones that were too worn to hand down or remake—by tearing them into strips and crocheting rag rugs. But I never learned how to crochet.)

Decluttering is apparently the current fad—at least in magazine articles and online stories I've seen. Apparently, at least according to the stories, I would be much happier if I stripped my life down to as few possessions as possible, but I don't think that's going to happen. I kind of enjoy burrowing into my clutter. And I like being around stuff I've inherited that I'll never use—stuff that generations before me touched and used.

I come from a line of women who saved stuff. My mother and grandmother lived through the depression, so they saved anything that might be useful again. My great-grandmother was born just after the Civil War, so I imagine her family saved anythig that might possibly be used again. Among the things they saved were buttons.

Many of the decluttering lists say to get rid of buttons. On this list,  #1 is "Spare buttons from clothes that you are keeping 'just in case.'" On the Embracing Homemaking list of "200+ Things to Throw Away," #66 is " buttons   

I can recognize a few buttons that Mama sewed on my clothes when I was little. She made most of my clothes until I was 10 or 11. But I don't know which buttons belonged to my grandmother and which belonged to my great-grandmother. I do know that the canning jars which contain the buttons belonged to my great-grandmother

I don't can, but I have no intention of getting rid of these jars, either. Seeing them and the buttons they contain—and knowing when I touch them I touch my past—makes me much happier than getting rid of them would do. 

"Waste not, want not."