organization

Overcoming “What If I Need This One Day” Type of Clutter

One of the biggest questions that runs through a lot of people’s minds during decluttering is, “what if I need this one day?” Even I’ve battled with such obstacles from time to time. Those “just in case items” seem necessary to hold onto because you think you are saving money. “What if I need this quesadilla maker on the off chance I want to make a quesadilla?” “What if we go to Paris in the near future – this beret [ i’ve never worn before] may come in handy at that moment!” What if the person who gifted me that item [ I never use] questions where it is when they visit?” The scenarios could go on & on. And if you let this category of item get to you, you’ll find yourself in the midst of becoming hoarders.

The Scarcity Mindset

Sometimes the reason we develop clutter is through fear. We are afraid we won’t be able to attain said item again in the future. Many times this correlates with socioeconomic status & the growth from lower to higher income. It’s a subconscious fear you won’t be this well off forever. So, you decide to hold onto things with the notion you won’t be able to attain it later. But regardless of your socioeconomic status, everyone should follow the 20×20 rule instead.

What is the 20×20 Rule?

If you can replace the item in 20 minutes with $20 or less, you should probably donate or sell said item. From my experience, anytime I finally get rid of something, I rarely regret or need a replacement in the future. For instance, over last summer we hosted an engagement party at our home. We purchased a bunch of paper plates, foil pans to hold the food selection & plastic cups & utensils. We ended up only using not even half of the supplies, so I stored it in a cabinet for a while. This May will be a year since we hosted said party & we haven’t used the items since. The paper plates have begun to yellow & quite honestly in our town home, we don’t have the best storage space. So, although I thought, “we could use this for our next get together or party.” I ended up donating what was still useable to a local shelter. I’d much rather let those items go now & repurchase supplies when we do decide to host another party. Now, we have plenty of space for other necessities in this cabinet.

Doesn’t That Waste Money?

A lot of the reason for hoarding is due to the thought of “saving money.” If you hold on to xyz now, you don’t have to spend money later. But what I found with the kept party supplies was, they became unusable over time. Nobody wants to use paper plates that are discolored or broken plastic utensils. Who’s to say, when a get together did arise, I wouldn’t have purchased new supplies anyway? I find, when we fill our home with clutter – we aren’t truly saving money. We are losing time & energy, we are purchasing storage bins to keep the clutter contained. We are purchasing more cleaning supplies to keep the chaos of our homes at bay. I’d much rather let go of the unused items & spend a little cash in the future than fill my home with unnecessary things.

Conclusion

Even though you may think you need to hold onto every little thing you decide to purchase. In reality – there is a slim chance you’ll ever use that just in case item anyway. Save your home from the clutter & finally let those items go. Do you still own any items that make you say, “will I need this one day?”

-B