This to me sounds like a challenge, as American Consumerism may have completely stamped whatever word this was out of my language. Is there a word (that people know...) for knowing exactly when to get something and knowing when to get rid of something?

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

— Saint-Exupéry

The reason that I ask, is I'd like to research more on the topic, and I don't know what to search for.

  • Are you talking about minimalism?
    – Jim
    Oct 25, 2014 at 1:45
  • I'm not sure...I know two people who are like this, my boss and my aunt. They both have what appears to be good control over their lives, and I noticed that I was lacking it; thus I want to research how to do such things. But I'm not sure if minimalism is what this refers to, it's more along the lines of a character trait. Minimalism refers to design, not a character trait.
    – leeand00
    Oct 25, 2014 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


I would say frugality.

If you are a frugal, you don't waste anything that would be useful. Because you know that if you throw away something, you throw away money. But you exactly know when to throw away things, considering donating or giving away first.

It has a positive sense and differs from cheapness and hoarding.

Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.

In behavioural science, frugality has been defined as the tendency to acquire goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourceful use of already owned economic goods and services, to achieve a longer term goal.


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