Someday

You know how the saying goes ~ “Tomorrow never comes.” Well someday is usually even further away than tomorrow. So keeping stuff simply because you might need it someday is a fools game if you are attempting to declutter. Especially if they are items that, in reality, you could easily manage without. For example, silly little single use kitchen gadgets that do the same thing as a knife. That mass of household stationery supplies that could supply a large office for a year. That thing-a-ma-jig to fix that thing that you don’t even own anymore. Just to name a few.

Then there are items you once used but think you might go back to sometime in the future. Such as clothing that you keep just incase you lose or gain weight. The chances are those items will be unfashionable by then. Also in both cases these categories of clothing don’t bring positive feelings. That heavy winter coat you used way back when you lived some place cold. Sports equipment from your younger days that your now ageing body probably couldn’t handle using.

And of course there are those items you spent a lot of hard earned money on but you either never used much or lost interest in over time. You keep them just incase the interest is rekindled, and simply out of guilt for the wasted cash. Keeping them doesn’t change the fact that the money is spent, while selling them will at least recoup some of the money and free up space.

Prior to my decluttering journey there were so many useful things that I had kept just in case I might use them one day. They are long gone now and although every now and again I find myself in a situation where I could use one of them, I manage to improvise and achieve the same result efficiently without them. And I might add that, I feel proud of myself for my ingenuity. Although in most case the solution is simple.

Then there is the case of buying things, when you see them at low prices, just because you might have a use for them one day. Well that is also a fools game. If by some miracle, someday does actually arrive, I am sure the item will still be available to purchase or a simple alternative would suffice. What most people have a need for all the time is money, so don’t waste it on “might needs” so it is available for the important things or better investments. So you are best to leave acquiring stuff that you only might have a “need” for it until then. Now is not the time.

Oh, how much someday clutter did I accumulate when in the honeymoon days of my scrapbooking hobby? Hundreds of pieces of printed paper that were too beautiful, cute or useful to resist that I would use someday. The same went for stickers, embellishments, ribbon and rub-on words. All items I convinced myself I would be sorry if I didn’t buy them because this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity or a bargain too good to miss. Where are many of those fabulous crafting items today? Sold, given away and some still in my craft room. Yes some of it got used but some of it has been undergoing a use-it-up challenge for five years now. Recently I have come to a point where I am using it up more quickly and it is a nice bonus that I am now making money out of it by selling my creations. However frequently I encounter situations where I can acquire more supplies cheaply and even free so there was no need to stock up back in the day.

In this day and age of rampant consumerism what are the chances that something bigger, better, cuter, more fashionable… will come along at the same bargain price or better soon enough when you actually have a use for it? Experience tells me that there is every chance. So there is no need for people to be purchasing items for the future, a future that could be very different than one imagines. This is especially so for items that aren’t even necessary in the first place.

So find the strength to get rid of the stuff you have kept for some day, and have the fortitude to resist acquiring any more of these items from this day forward. Live for the present because someday is never guaranteed.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter crockery and cutlery that would only be required under the same circumstances as the Thursday mission.

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Clutter, why? Clutter isn't about what we have, it is about why we have it.  We acquire stuff for many reasons, aesthetics, functionality, sentimental, recreation and entertainment and even societal, […]
  • The problem is acquiring Clutter is very much about being keener to acquire than to let go. We acquire things we need or want but once their usefulness to us has expired we hang on to them. I feel that there are […]
  • Cascade Cleaning I made a mistake in my sudoku while having my morning cup of tea and needed my correction pen. One thing led to another resulting in a tidy bedside table and kitchen bench among other […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. My husband always says “someday is not a day of the week in his planner”

  2. Someday never comes. It’s one of those things like believing love is like a romance book or a romantic movie. HA!!

  3. Oh Colleen, we are still using up shampoos bought years ago! Some I bought, some other family members bought. It is currently saving us money because we won’t need to buy any shampoo for a long time. That is the best thing I can say about that LOL

    Our thick hand towels are being passed along to work as they get discolored. At work, we use them to line the hot stone bins (like crock pots). It doesn’t matter if they are discolored for that purpose, because they are just a cushion for the stones. I can think of at least 8 that have migrated there over the last couple of years 🙂

    I found some salt crystal deodorants in my extra toiletries bin and am endeavoring to use them up. Do to the nature of them, it is slow going, but hey it’s going… and it’s preventing me from purchasing more at the moment 🙂

    Every day I am grateful for your blog <3 <3 <3

    • Forgot to mention the womens shave cream that’s blue so you can see where you have missed… I no longer use it because I prefer depilatories… My elder daughter is using up the 3rd tube for me now! I don’t think I had any more. But it has been saving her money and it’s getting used, so it’s all good 🙂

      • Well done on the use it up challenges around your house Peggy. I quite often use other family members’ cast offs. I hate to see the stuff go to waste so if they are going to through it out they think of me and ask if I want it. I buy so little for myself because I don’t need to, while at the same time these freebies don’t come along often enough to cause clutter. So win win for me.
        And Peggy, since those crystal deodorants are supposed to be harmless you can use the on your boobs in the hot months so your bras don’t get so sweat smelly. Saves you having to wash them too often. which in turn saves you having to own too many. Just at thought.

  4. The honeymoon of scrap booking (&stamping for me) hit the nail on the head for me. The end of July I sold 25 stamp sets, tons of stickers, paper, page protectors, scrap books….you name it I had it. I didn’t realize how much I had until I saw it all together. I still have some stamping supplies, but if I don’t get the spark again out they will go too!
    Keep inspiring us Colleen!

    • Way to go Calla! Doesn’t it feel good to have that weight off your shoulders? I know it did for me. You go girl!

      • Thanks Deb J….it feels great!
        I always look forward to your & everyone’s comments as well as your occasional blog posts.
        Cheers

    • Hi Calla, crafting is one area where I improvise a lot so I don’t need to own too many supplies. At the moment I am making 3D lilies for spring decoration in my art space. Rather than buy flocking for the tips of the stamens I am using my fine microplane kitchen grater to grate cardstock scraps in the colours I need. Much cheaper, all at hand and I only grate what I need to, no leftovers to store.

  5. eek, I am still so guilty of someday clutter – partly as I keep sports stuff for all the reasons you list – it was expensive, I use it every 2-5 years, it doesn’t go out of date (much), I intend to go back to that hobby – someday. Aaarrgghhh.
    I still have my winter walking gear (boots, axe and crampons – cos I love it but hubs doesn’t so I haven’t used them in 10 years – ouch, that hurts saying that) my ski and snowboard gear – cos I use it every 2-3 years for 2-3 weeks, lol; a second sewing machine – that’s probably an ‘in case’ and ’emotional’ clutter (cos it’s a lovely museum piece, was my grans then mothers, and hey mine might break??); my wedding dress – just a beautiful dress (not a one off white fluff job), bought so I could use it again someday – no longer fits and haven’t actually worn it again (been married 7 years).
    Having said all that – I have recently taken the plunge and my motorbike is up for sale as I haven’t really used it much in 2 years, I got rid of some work clothes since I am giving up my job and I got rid of a posh dress and my 1 remaining pair of heels – can’t actually remember when I last wore those – found them lurking in the back of my wardrobe.

    • Wow fruitcake, it sounds like you have been a very active person in your life and tried lots of things. I can understand then that you would hope to get back to using some of that stuff more often. Decluttering is such a personal journey so getting rid of things like that is advice you can only give yourself. When decluttering stuff like that I usually identify it, as you have just done, then keep working on the other stuff you are happy to get rid of and revisit the idea of letting go of it later on. There were plenty of things I left until last when decluttering and when I was ready I let them go.

      • Yes, that has been my excuse – I’ve been through the kitchen stuff, books and clothes, done lots of use it up challenges and no longer get or keep DVDs, CDs, novels, photos and the paperwork is kept to a minimum – now I guess I’m all out of excuses on the next layer of someday clutter 😉

  6. This paragraph sums it up beautifully –
    “In this day and age of rampant consumerism what are the chances that something bigger, better, cuter, more fashionable… will come along at the same bargain price or better soon enough when you actually have a use for it? Experience tells me that there is every chance. So there is no need for people to be purchasing items for the future, a future that could be very different than one imagines. This is especially so for items that aren’t even necessary in the first place.”
    cheers

  7. Both my daughters decided to have a big clear out of their bedrooms this week which resulted in a huge pile to be sorted thru and distributed. I was hovering and suggesting they shouldnt be too hasty because they are both of limited means as students etc. As their main source of finance I wanted to be clear that I did not want this clear out to be followed by a shopping spree. They reminded me that most of the clothing had been swapped back and forth between them, much of it didnt fit nicely now and the younger one wanted to simple down her wardrobe in preparation of moving to University next year. So feeling much assured I helped them move it to the garage. Next week friends are coming over for a swap meet.

    • WooHoo! Don’t you just love it, Moni, when your kids do something like this volunteerly? I’m sure you are happy dancing to see it all go.

  8. Colleen, I just wanted to say what an excellently written post this is!!!! I’m sure we are all guilty of each thing you mentioned. Of one my Just IN Case items that came to mind as I read was an old raincoat in the closet. It is very lightweight and doesn’t take up much room, but I haven’t used it in years. However, I keep thinking about the time I had to clean out the driveway ditches in the rain years ago to keep my driveway from washing away, and I keep it. Another thing I have not yet acted on is my excess of rubber stamps. I have put them out at my last 3 yardsales and sold none.
    Yet, I know they sell great at thrift stores. I can’t figure it out! I don’t know whether to donate them all or try one more time.

    In regard to using other family member’s leftovers, I do that, too. My husband will only use the soap down to about one fourth of it’s original size. He thinks it doesn’t have as much lather then.
    Go figure!!!! So, I take it to the kitchen sink and use it for handwashing till it is such a tiny sliver it will stick to the next little bar.

    My favorite part of your post was where you said ‘what people have a need for all the time is money, so don’t waste it …………….’. That was profound!!!!! So very true! Thank you for another great post!!!

    • Hi Brenda,
      At my garage sale I sold 25 sets of stamps for $2 a set. The sets cost between $25-$35 each. I basically gave them away so I wouldn’t have to list on eBay etc. When I posted the garage notice on Craig’s list I stated that there were 25 stamp sets & the brand name. A lady bought all the sets.
      Hope these hints help

    • Firstly Brenda, thank you on the nice compliment on the post. I am not the best writer in the world but I do try hard to get the message across. As for those rubber stamps, you would probably do a whole lot better by selling them on ebay. Or check out if you have a buy-swap-sell Facebook page for your zip code. They are really simple, effective way to sell on line, they are pick up only and quick.
      And as for your husband and the soap issue. When the bar gets to small get in the shower with a new cake. Wet the smaller one before you start showering and put it aside. Then shower with the new one. When you have finished showering join the two pieces together while they are still wet and soft on the outside. Voila, one larger cake of soap and no waste. I do this all the time and never waste one once of soap.

    • Hi brenda, a bit late but maybe my comment still reaches you anyway …
      I am also bogged down by wanting to sell things that I think I should get some Money for – but of course nothing improves while I procrastinate. So nowadays I tend to set myself time limits how long I may try to sell and then it has to be donated.

      • Hi Ideealistin, it is nice to hear from you.
        Off topic here but just wanted to mention I will be living in Berlin for three months from end November to early February. I would love to catch up to my loyal German blog followers and wondered if you would contact me about that.