I Own A Lot of Scissors

About a month ago a friend sent the following text:

Somehow my scissor collection became a topic of conversation at our book club. It seemed shocking to those closest to me that I would own a lot of any item. I do love to declutter, but believe there are certain items that should appear in virtually every room of a house (namely: scissors, pens, scratch paper, and tape).

And so, as proof to my surprised friends that I have long been a fan of multiples, I’m reposting something I wrote back in June 2021.

I don’t particularly enjoy spending money and deliberate over decisions ad nauseam in an attempt to maximize my returns. I’m also a big fan of de-cluttering and have realized the easiest way to maintain a clean-ish house is to have less stuff.

But sometimes, it helps to buy more. Specifically multiples. For example, I keep:

  • a toothbrush in both an upstairs and downstairs bathroom.
  • a set of scissors, a roll of tape, and several pens in (almost) every room. I think it is nearly impossible to have too many sets of scissors in a home.
  • a bag of swimming towels, a change of clothes, and extra sunscreen in the trunk of our car.

I sleep better with white noise and have a device that provides some form of white noise in every bedroom of the house (and a Google Speaker in our living room if insomnia drives me to the couch).

Other things we typically have set up in our home:

  • multiple charging cables for phones/laptops which we leave in designated locations – permanently.
  • a plunger and toilet brush in every bathroom.
  • an extra snowsuit for kids (I’m never able to dry the gear fast enough between trips outside and there isn’t anything worst than wrestling a child into a cold, wet snowsuit) + about 5 pairs of good winter gloves per child, which still seems to fall woefully short of the mark
  • a tube of lip balm, small pad of paper and a pen inside every purse/tote/bookbag.
  • an extra set of keys for the car, mailbox, and house.
  • a box of Kleenex in every room.

My father uses pharmacy-grade reading glasses and owns multiple sets: one for the table, one by his reading chair, one for the bedside table, and one for his workbench in the garage (unfortunately, he does still constantly seem to be looking for a pair).

I don’t sweat much when I exercise, so tend to re-use most of my gear across multiple workouts (with plenty of time for a load of laundry). But I loathe reusing my sports bra. Since I exercise most days, the math doesn’t work. I sourced half a dozen sports bras from local thrift stores and no longer have to scrounge for one in the bottom of the laundry basket.

Less is more...until it’s not. Sometimes life would be more streamlined with the right items in the right place. This might look big (two cars, instead of one) or small (an extra pair of sneakers that permanently stay by the treadmill).

Your turn. Where could having more of something make life easier or more pleasant?

Header photo by Rayia Soderberg on Unsplash

16 thoughts on “I Own A Lot of Scissors”

  1. I have several sports bras, cleaning supplies in each bathroom, and two Roombas, one for upstairs, one for down. I have three pair of scissors but hey, it’s not like I’m really using them all that much. Oh, and I have three yoga mats, one that lives in my car for teaching!

    1. I’ve still got to research the Roomba…you’ve spoken so highly of it.
      Three pairs of scissors? How do you live?
      I also do the cleaning supplies in each bathroom!

  2. SOCKS! For some reason, we periodically go through sock crises in our house. Don’t ask me what happens to them. But every once in a while, after scrounging desperately for socks every morning, I go out and buy everyone a new package- and then it’s such a relief to actually have MORE socks than we need.
    I actually have multiple scissors as well- but it’s because I can never seem to find one when I need it. I think people use them and don’t put them back. Maybe I should go to your system and have a designated place for scissors in each room!

    1. I do the same thing; we seem to get treacherously low on socks and then I stock up and socks are everywhere.
      I have THREE places in my kitchen where I keep scissors. Then scissors in each of the kids room, the office (two places), the laundry room (sometimes in two places!), and both bathrooms (top drawer). Like I said, I have a lot of scissors – haha.

  3. There are NEVER enough scissors! I remember my mother getting so mad when I was a kid about how the kitchen shears were never in the kitchen… and now I completely understand. Even though my daughter has a pair of scissors in her room AND a pair in the basement for her craft table, she STILL takes the kitchen shears! I need a pair for my office, clearly. (My husband also has a pair for his office.)

    Coasters are something that we have in virtually every room. And we also have multiple rolls of tape (masking and scotch) in multiple rooms. Our bathrooms each have a bottle of toilet cleaner under the sinks and a toilet brush in the corner. And I keep each bathroom stocked with toilet paper and paper towels and its own bottle of bleach spray.

    What else? Oh, I firmly believe in buying a camp shirt for every day of the week. It is MUCH easier to wash five T-shirts once a week than to wash one or two T-shirts multiple times per week.

    1. Despite all the pairs of scissors, I feel like the ones in the kitchen are constantly missing!
      Coasters – so interesting and I’ve noticed that in other homes as well. We only have them in our upstairs living room.
      I also do the TP + papertowel in each bathroom. So much more convenient.
      Also, what is a “camp” shirt?

  4. I think our philosophies on this are pretty much the same. We have scissors in most rooms in the house because you just never know when you’ll need them. I also have lip balm stashed in every purse, jacket, and car. There’s also hand sanitizer in every car, by every sink, in every purse, and in most rooms of the house.

    My absolute dream is to have a vacuum cleaner on each floor of the house. And a little duster/dirt devil for vacuuming the stairs. Unfortunately, I don’t see myself justifying the expense in reality, but a girl can dream, right?

    My husband keeps a guitar and music stand in several rooms in the house, so if he feels like practicing, he can just pick up an instrument and do it I think that’s an interesting approach to taking out any barriers that might prevent him from practicing.

    1. We have a hand-held vacuum (dust buster) on both floors. We only had one but then found one that needed a battery out for free on big garbage day. It has been amazing to have a second dustbuster. We likely wouldn’t have bothered to buy a whole unit, but saving one from the landfill and just upgrading the battery was too good a situation to refuse!

      I think the multiple guitars is genius and would certainly lower any natural resistance to practicing! I know people that do this with books (leave them out in little piles all over the house) to encourage their kids to read more. It makes sense!

  5. I also think we have a very similar approach to multiples. I used to only have one stick of deordorant in use at one time, but now I have one on the main level and one in our bathroom upstairs. We have scissors on every level of the house and multiple food scissors in our kitchen, but I use them so often that it’s worth having more than one pair! I can’t imagine not having a stack of sports bras. I think I probably have 7. The kids have a lot of pairs of pjs because they change them every night. I mentioned that I need to get Paul more pjs and Phil said they should just re-wear them… but they get dressed on the main level and then I bring their pjs down to the laundry in the basement. So it would impact our ‘flow’ to re-use pjs since they never get dressed in their rooms!

    One thing I have learned I absolutely do not enjoy is having multiple books going at the same time. I’ve done that at certain points for specific reasons, but I end up reading more slowly than if I read a book in one go. But I know many people like having multiple books going at one time!

    1. We do sound so much alike! Except…I tend to prefer to have multiple books on the go, but one tends to be my “main” book. I am an emotional reader so some days I really feel the need to read a specific genre or tone of book, and having multiples on the go lends itself to this approach.

  6. I seem to recall that there once was a lively discussion between some bloggers a long while back that revolved around scissors. Apparently, there are more of us than one would think. Currently, if we are counting kitchen shears and pinking shears, I think I have about eleven pairs of scissors floating around this house. And there might even be a pair or two in the garage that I didn’t count.
    I keep cleaning supplies in both bathrooms, of course. Same with toilet paper supplies, of course. There is lotion next to every sink and on my bedside table.
    Certain things just need to be kept in multiples to make life just a tiny bit easier.

    1. Couldn’t agree more about some things in multiples genuinely make life a bit easier and it’s just so satisfying to be able to find the right tool for the job ASAP.
      When Nicole mentioned only having three pairs of scissors, I actually gasped. But then, also, HOW MUCH CUTTING DO I DO IN MY LIFE? I think I also have about 11-12 pairs in the house. For someone who purports to be quasi-minimalistic, that’s a pretty high number of a specific item. But I use them all. Regularly!

  7. Haha, I am so soaked after most of my workouts that I have to have at LEAST a week’s worth of sport bras, otherwise, I’d probably have to start hand washing. We only do one load for my sports stuff a week.

    I am also a big fan of having multiples of specific items: since the pandemic we have hand sanitizers in multiple places, I have two hair towels (one for home, one for gym/travel), I own multiple hair brushes (regular size and small). I am sure I can come up with more if you let me think for a little longer πŸ™‚

    1. Multiple hair brushes – we have 3 between the two girls in the house, but no longer own a travel sized one and that would be so helpful!!

  8. Like usual, this is fascinating. I am someone who buys multiples of things that work for me (think clothing, primarily: sports bras, leggings, t-shirts when they’re on sale and I can get multipacks, thank you Old Navy). But I don’t typically buy multiples of *household items*. I have 2 pairs of scissors – one on the desk, and one in the kitchen. They’re about 7 feet apart thanks to the size of my apartment. πŸ™‚ Perhaps if I lived in a larger space, I would have more multiples of household items, as I can completely see the wisdom of your approach… but until then (which might be, um, never), probably not. πŸ™‚

    1. Scissors I just don’t think I can own enough of…but then lots of bigger things (like a blender, for example) I don’t own a single version of.
      I also think I’m pickier about scissors now because the kids are constantly using them, and then not putting them back. Argh.

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