Paying to Have an Old Mattress Hauled Away – Was it Worth It?


After mphty-mph years, we got a new mattress!

I won’t talk about how long we knew we needed it, or about how old the mattress was that we slept on for our entire marriage until last month.

But I will talk about my excessive cheapness and how that was a major factor in waiting so long.

Mattresses are expensive, y’all. And stressful to purchase since they’re one of those things you’ll spend a LOT of time regretting if they’re not as comfortable as you thought they were. Y’know, in those five awkward minutes of lying down and rolling around in front of an expectantly waiting salesperson/stranger.

But we did it. We finally did it. We rolled and shifted and rolled again and shifted again. We made awkward jokes about the shifting and the rolling and finally made a decision. And we ordered. And we paid.

But at the moment of payment, decisions are required. Because it’s never as simple as just paying for a mattress, right?

What about the old mattress?

Do we want to pay fifteen dollars to have it hauled away?

Really? Fifteen dollars to let someone else take my mattress? Fifteen dollars to basically throw something away? (Because that mattress was beyond redemption or repurposing or any of that.)

And haven’t I heard radio ads from other stores saying they’ll haul away an old mattress for FREE?

Oh, how my frugal brain looks for reasons to procrastinate when forking over big chunks of money.

But I said, “Yes.”

“Yes, I will pay you an amount of money that’s less than what it would cost for us to go out to eat at a fast food restaurant to not have to worry about getting rid of that old blankety-blank mattress.”

The second, wordy version of “yes” is what I said in my head. The first, single-word version is what I actually said to the woman taking my money.

Here’s the thing. I know how things go in my house. Many times, I’ve uttered an Auto No to something that will cost me money.

Many, many times, I’ve lived with large items sitting in my home waiting on me to get them out. Ummmm, didn’t I just write about a big, humongous chair that I stubbed my toe on many times between the time I decided I didn’t want it and the time when it actually left my house?

Sure, we could have saved fifteen measly dollars taking that mattress and box spring to the dump on our own.

Except we’d have to borrow someone’s trailer to get it there. And we’d have to spend a Saturday morning borrowing the trailer and loading up the mattress and driving to the dump. And I’d have to devote an hour or so in the week before to figuring out where the town dump is, and learning what we have to do to be able to dump there.

We’ve never even been to the town dump in this town. In past cities, though, we had to have proof of residency. And I seem to remember needing special tickets that we picked up at city hall.


That’s a lot of hassle, and it was worth fifteen dollars to me to not have to deal with that hassle.

Here’s the thing. If that mattress took up space in my garage for a few months, I’d probably be giddy with excitement to pay someone fifteen dollars to get it out of my way. I’m sure I’d be happy to pay someone fifteen dollars to free up a Saturday that would otherwise be spent hauling it myself.

But for some reason, I hesitate in those key moments when the salesperson asks if I want to pay extra on what is already an overwhelming purchase for a cheapskate like me.

But I said yes.

And I’m so so glad I did.

Because this was the scene in my living room for about 6 hours before the delivery men arrived with my new mattress.

The HUGE mattress in my Living Room, waiting to be hauled away

I’d taken the old one off of the bed so I could use this ridiculously-rare opportunity to clean out under the bed while there was no mattress or box-spring on it.

So worth fifteen dollars to me.

Would have been worth forty.

Thankfully, it wasn’t fifty. I may not have learned enough yet for that amount.

Yay for not moving (and moving around) that monstrosity sixty five times before it left my house.

If you’re horrified, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve pursed my lips in disapproval at people who “wasted” any amount of money on things they could technically do themselves. But that was before I understood and accepted the value of open space in my home. The value of a Saturday morning without the hassle of a trip to the dump or the dark cloud of needing to take a trip to the dump hanging over my head. It’s been a long road, but I’ve learned a lot.

Oh. And that guy who takes everything I want to donate? The one thing he won’t/can’t take is mattresses.

If you are desperate to change your mindset, and you want home management strategies that actually make sense (to us not-naturally-organized types), check out my new book, How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind. The book will be released wherever books are sold on November 8th, so pre-order now. HowToManage_3D



Painting the Bathroom! (Finally)

Painting the BAthroom Before and After at

I painted my bathroom over the summer!!!!!

(To be clear, the before photo isn’t actually “before.” I forgot to take a picture until I had already started playing around and painting that area to the right of the mirror.)

It was our half-bath. The one where we send guests. The one I started painting once before, decided I hated the color, and never really finished. Technically, all wall was covered, but it most definitely needed a second coat that I never added.

Y’know, about 9 or 10 years ago. Part of me wants to think hard and figure out exactly how long ago it was, but the sane part realizes there isn’t a significant difference between 9 and 10 years when we’re talking about a project I meant to get right back to.

bathroom before painting at


Anyway, I did it.

I’ve had the paint for over a year. 

But I DID it.

I spent the first few days of summer working on this project. I took my time. I didn’t rush. I focused on doing it well, on being careful. On really paying attention to the edges and on covering the walls well so I wouldn’t have a repeat of the other (super-ugly-even-though-it-seemed-cool-on-a-teeny-tiny-paint-chip) color’s issues.

This time, I had a whole gallon instead of two $5 sample sizes that I’d convinced my cheapskate self I could stretch to cover this tiny bathroom.

I was determined to do it right.

But I learned something about myself: I suck at painting.

The walls look fabulous, and I adore them. The color makes me happy every time I go. My double and triple coats covered that wall like nobody’s business, and I’m so proud.

paint the bathroom AFTER at

As long as you don’t look at the floor.

Or the baseboards. Details like making sure every last inch of floor and baseboard is fully covered and stays fully covered while the project takes days are not my strength. To say the least.

I just can’t. Even when I try, the paint drips mock me. The ones I catch, and especially the ones I don’t.

There are certain details in my life I can’t ignore.

Like which fingers touched my Kindle.

The Kindle I scooted out of the airplane’s aisle after I dropped it? The Kindle I scooted with a foot that’s wearing a shoe that just walked through New York City?

I’ll remember exactly which fingers touched my Kindle and not use those fingers for anything that will touch my face until the moment I can get to some soap and water. I can’t just shake that off.

But paint splats that sneak between layers of newspaper? Not so much.

I’ve learned to deal with this inability to see certain details in some areas of my home. I now see the point in loading the dishwasher even though I can’t stop and focus on every last detail. Details like drying the sink to prevent water spots or noticing that the dish soap is on its side and dribbling blue stuff onto the counter.

Even when I miss the details, I’m better off for having done the dishes. A spotty sink that’s empty is WAY better than a sink and countertop piled high with dirty dishes.

Yes. Do the dishes.  Because even if I do them badly, we’re all better off.

And because I can’t hire a live-in housekeeper to do them for me.

But . . . I could probably hire someone to paint my bathroom. And they’d probably know how to prevent the drips. And they’d be done faster than I was. And I could probably have had it done 8-and-a-half years ago so I didn’t have to cringe with embarrassment every time someone went in there. In there where I couldn’t go with them and laugh off the imperfection.

I’ve really started thinking lately about how my extreme frugality doesn’t always mesh well with my reality.

DIY is awesome. DIY is often my only option. But sometimes, I need to get over my extreme-to-the-point-of-hurting-my-home frugality and hire someone to do what I’ve proven again and again I don’t do well.

Am I saying I’ll never paint again? No. But am I saying that I need to be realistic about which home projects I’ll never actually do, or never actually do properly and seriously consider hiring someone to do them for me so they’ll actually happen and actually be done well? Yes.

I’m working on changing this mindset.

paint bath hang curtain at

And I finally, last week, I rehung the totally not perfect, still-never-sewn-into-a-real-curtain curtain. Yay for privacy and for hiding the paint cans that are still sitting on that ledge.

paint bath painting supplies at

Oh yes, I have issues. Many issues.

P.S. Another issue is that yes, someone (someoneS) has (have) been using that toilet paper roll without putting it on the TP holder.

P.P.S. I do love my Kindle, LaGuardia Airport germs and all. I consider it one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. This is my affiliate link to the one I have. 

Other posts about this Frugality Mindset Issue Thing:

My Changing View of Stuff and Value

Frugality Podcast

My Thoughts on Hiring Someone to Clean Your Home


I Painted the Bathroom over the Summer! at


Another Favorite Delusion: Tomorrow, I’ll Be a Potato Farmer

I love a good delusion!

Oh my word, y’all.

I abound with delusions. All sorts of them. Someday, I’ll be crafty, efficient, excited to exercise, and who knows what else.

When these potatoes started sprouting, it seemed like a great idea to hold onto them and start potato farming. I mean, I saw an instructional video years ago that sounded like it was super easy and all you needed was a trash can and some dirt. (At least that’s what I remember.)

My 10 year old (she was only 9 at the time) daughter was all for it. We researched, we dreamed, and we considered.

But we didn’t actually do anything. 

Making a potato farm out of old tires sounded fun. We kept dreaming and planning.

And then, the very next week on the way to the lake, we had TWO flat tires on our boat trailer!!! What luck!

Yay for us, the members of Future Potato Farmers of America, not so much for Daddy who had to change both flats and then buy and install new tires.

With the (totally rotten) spare, we had three tires to build our potato-growing contraption. But we couldn’t do it right then, because there was no room in the Suburban to actually haul them back home.

And then I never thought about our Potato Passion again.

Until my Slob Vision cleared on a day spent deep cleaning and I saw that the cute little sprouties of a few months ago had turned into alienish growths of terror.

And I gave up.

Goodbye, endless free potatoes.

Goodbye, dreams.

Goodbye, delusion.

I’m happy to do my part to support Real Potato Farmers. Besides, I learned we don’t eat as many potatoes as I thought we did. The bag of potatoes on the shelf below was scarily sprouted as well.

They all went in the trash.


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