Due to a system error yesterday that didn’t allow comments on this post I have chosen to repost it today in an attempt to fix the error and to give Moni the joy of responding to your thoughts on the subject.
We’ve all said it. “I’ll keep it just in case I need it again”. That moment of hesitation where our de-cluttering confidence wanes and doubt creeps in and prevents us from parting with something that serves no functional purpose.
Recently fellow 365’er Dizzy pushed me in the direction of a book called “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston, I bought it as an e-book as it was only $8.00 as it was not available in my local library. Karen talks about the reasons people hang onto clutter in chapter six and “Just in case” was especially interesting for me as it might as well be the family motto for many of my relatives.
Karen feels that keeping things ‘just in case’ indicates a lack of trust in the future.
We’re not talking about the necessities of life here, or something that has a high chance of re-use or an upcoming specific purpose – we’re talking about items where the words ‘might’, ‘maybe’, ‘possibly’ apply or where the scenarios or people are imaginary. They may even have names such as ‘someone’ or ‘somebody’ and the time frame for their use is usually ‘sometime’. My husband recently wanted to keep our Lego for our grandchildren. We have no grandchildren. They are imaginary people born to adult versions of our currently teenage children. What is reality is that we have a young nephew who will get hours of fun out of the lego now. I recently heard from a friend that “someone might want to use it someday” and although I gently pointed out that no one wanted it today, he couldn’t comprehend the idea. You can’t win them all.
Karen goes on to talk about how people worry that they will need something after it has been moved on, then sure enough, very soon afterwards, your subconscious mind will create a situation where you “need” that very thing, however obscure it may be. In actual fact you could have averted this need by thinking differently. This was very interesting to me as I have a friend whose work centers around the subconscious mind, and she has told me that our subconscious takes everything that comes out of own mouths, quite literally. Getting back to Karen’s perspective on this topic, it may on the surface sound like a good thing, something may get re-used, however, the 200 other items stashed in the household will not, and it encourages future hoarding. Most importantly it reinforces a frequency of not trusting, vulnerability and insecurity about your own future.
A light bulb moment for me recently was a 365er comment, I’m so sorry I can’t recall who – but please put your hand up and take a bow – that the things we get hung up on getting rid of, generally are worth less than $20. This is so true. The only item that I regret getting rid of in the last year is a ring binder, and when I say regret, it was more of a ‘damn’ moment, not sorrow. Only because 9 months afterwards, my daughter broke the mechanism on hers. Would it have been worth hanging onto the 10 or so empty ring binders just in case we needed one? It cost less than $5 to remedy and it was one less box hanging around my garage floor. Having clear space in my garage is certainly worth the $5 to me, it actually feels like a thousand bucks!
After reading Karen’s comments, I came to another realisation, over the last few months – obviously I have grown more confident in my de-cluttering – but I have developed this little ritual when I am umming and ahhhing over something where I say to myself “you know you won’t even miss it when its gone” – and guess what? I never do, in fact I can’t even bring to mind the items I said this about. Whether it is me programming my subconscious to not miss it, or very simply out of sight, out of mind, it doesn’t matter it is all a step towards this clutter free home I really want to live in.
Apparently the key to finding out if something is a “just in case” is to not worry about possibly needing it in the future…..find out! Get rid of it and see if you actually ever miss it.
What “just in case” item are you prepared to let go of?
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter items accumulating in or on the bedside tables.
Today’s Declutter Item
This little items had got lost amount some boxes in the garage. I found it while doing one of my periodical reshuffles out there. After a quick double check with my husband, since it was something he owned before we were married ~ yes that long ~ it got moved to the donation box.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
Trying a new recipe. Even though it didn’t live up to my expectations I was just glad to be adventurous enough to try. A few tweaks should make it better next time.