Most of us keep a bunch of things we don't need, just in case. For example, the clothes that don't fit, just in case one gains or loses 10 kg. The extra can opener you don't like using, just in case the main one breaks. The books you've finished reading, just in case you ever want to loan them to someone or read them again (even though that is unlikely). The jigsaw with the missing pieces, just in case you find them. Etc. And why do we do this?
Because we are afraid - afraid that if, one day, we need or want this item, we will not have it. Or we are afraid that if we get rid of it, we will feel guilty for "wasting" the item or the money we spent on it.
Come on people! (I'm talking to myself here!) It's a WASTE to keep stuff I don't need cluttering up my life and preventing me from having peace and freedom. It's a WASTE to hang on to something that someone else could be using. If the WORST thing that can happen is I might want one or two of the 100's of items I'm keeping "just in case" one day, then what is there to fear? Better to have all that space and peace, and then buy the 1 or 2 again when I actually need them, than to hang on to everything "just in case."
I also selected 27 books to give away, 12 random items of junk off the shelves, 1 crafty picture made by my husband some years ago (I took a photo as keepsake), and 4 set squares (I kept one). But why did I have 5 to start with?? Just in case 1 wouldn't be enough when one of the family decided to do some technical drawing (a rarity)??
Here's the before pic of the bookcase. It's right next to the doorway of the hall, so tends to get used as a handy dumping ground. Which is why I'm not only going to declutter it, I'm going to move the bookcase!
The bottom shelf is full of craft, sewing, drawing etc books and magazines. Most we haven't used in years. Why do I still have so many? Just in case, of course. Just in case my crafty daughter suddenly wants a quilt or cross-stitch pattern, or that handy sewing guide. Just in case I suddenly have the time and inclination to make all those cute things. Bah!
I asked my daughter if there was anything she particularly wanted from that lot - she requested I keep one book. Conveniently, it's one I wanted to keep anyway. All told, I selected 13 items to keep, and 31 books and magazines to give away. I will ask my older daughter who recently moved out if she wants any of them (I suspect there might be ONE she wants) before I pass them all on.
- 11 posters (some of them from talks I did a few years ago, just in case...)
- 1 pink kid's bag (just in case it came in handy one day)
- 1 container of beads
- 2 visual diaries
- 1 pillow case (that I don't like, but you know, just in case the 30 in the cupboard...)
- 5 left over, slightly misused herb signs (just in case I want to repaint them and make more to go with the 15 completed ones in the garden)
- 4 dried out paint containers
- 1 good pot of paint - I have another one that colour that fits in the new container I've put paints away in better
- 1 tambourine - it was my great-Aunt's, and will go to my brother for his wee girl to play with
- 2 large pieces of coloured cardstock (just in case one of the girls need it for a project)
- 2 chore chart whiteboards (just in case I ever actually was that organised)
I completely emptied the whole bookcase, gave it a clean, and moved it down the hall to the spot vacated by the drawers the other day. All that has been put back on it are the few selected books I chose to keep, which don't quite fill one of the five shelves. The few craft books I kept have been put in an empty spot in the 9-cube bookcase in the living room, along with my Strong's Concordance.
I do still have a box of items to keep waiting to be assigned new homes, but I will sort those tomorrow.
What are you keeping "just in case"?