My 32 day decluttering challenge kicks off in a few days. Before it starts, I’m covering three common reasons we get stuck holding on to stuff. We’ve already talked about “but I spent good money on that.” Now, it’s time to tackle “what if I need it someday?”
One reason I’ve heard a lot of people say they really struggle with getting rid of things is because they worry that one day they’ll need it again and won’t have it. Yes, it’s possible you might get rid of something and one day five years from now, need that same thing. But it’s also very probable that if it’s been sitting untouched in the back of a closet for years, it’s going to keep sitting there, unused, taking up space. If this is a paint point for you when trying to declutter, I have three questions you can ask next time you come across a dusty box or appliance, but hesitate to throw it away because—what if?
Three Questions to Ask Yourself
Keep this list of three questions handy next time you start cleaning out the garage. When you discover something you haven’t used in years, but can’t quite convince yourself to get rid of just in case, ask yourself these three questions:
If I keep this, will I be able to find it again if I end up needing it (or will I even remember that I have it)?
If the answer is no—let it go!
If I keep this, will it still work by the time I end up needing it again?
If there’s a good chance it’s going to break or become outdated, it’s not worth keeping!
If I get rid of this, can I easily get another one?
Make a rule for yourself, like: if I can purchase it at Target for less than $20, I don’t need to keep it.
The “Just-In-Case” Trap
Just like first-time parents often think a baby needs significantly more stuff than it actually does, we can easily fall into the trap of saving things “just in case.” But when all those just-in-case items clutter up our home, it makes it hard to manage and maintain the things we actually need.
Stop getting stuck
Stop getting stuck in the “What if I need it someday?” trap and ask yourself these three questions for an easy way to sift through what’s worth hanging on to, and what needs to stop taking up valuable real estate in your home. If you’d forgotten you had it until you stumbled across it while decluttering—chances are you won’t miss it once it’s gone!