The just in case item has long been the enemy of decluttering. What if I need this thing that I've used one time in my adult life and even though I don't see a situation in the foreseeable future in which I would need said item; I’ll just hold onto it.
Our space can easily become filled with just in case items that we’re scared to let go of. In most cases even if that situation did arise you'd probably find a way to make due without that thing. We keep duplicates of things, just in case our primary thing gets lost or broken.
There is a big difference between a just in case item and a just for when item. Those three shirts you hold onto just in case you have to do some painting even though you haven't painted anything, ever. This is a just in case item, however snorkelling gear might be a just for when item. you're not using it all the time but when you go snorkelling you need it. Now this is where you need to figure out which category your stuff falls into, because snorkelling gear for one person could be a just for when item, however someone who is holding onto snorkelling gear, but has never gone snorkelling or doesn't plan to in the near future is holding onto a just in case item.
We pick things up here and there, we get gifts over the years, we start new hobbies and then realize a few years later it's not really our jam. It’s easy to acquire things without really thinking about it and then you go to move or clean out the garage and you have a mountain of stuff that doesn't get used. You may have everything neatly organized, you may even have a huge house to store all your stuff in, but if it’s stuff you're not using it’s still taking up mental energy. Intentionally going through our stuff is one of the first steps to living a more intentional life. Start asking yourself why you hold onto old items that you aren't using, and question whether each item is a just for when or a just in case.
There may be things that you collect that don't always make sense to the next person, I’m not trying to tell you which things will bring joy or value to your life. When we weed out the things that no longer serve us or bring us joy it frees up time and space to find out what is actually making us happy and what things we want to give energy to in our lives.
For those who have started decluttering their lives, you can feel the difference that it makes. The freedom in letting go of old stuff, the calming feeling of a clean and organized space. Organizing our physical space has a profound effect on how we feel inside. I find when my space is organized, it's easier for me to focus and I feel calmer and when my space is messy or cluttered I have trouble focusing on tasks and may even feel more anxious.
Decluttering has been a catalyst for me in finding clarity in my life, especially around how I want to spend my time and what is actually making me happy. I’ll be sharing some of my favourite resources and where you can dig deeper into certain topics that you may be struggling with or looking to learn more about.