Avoid the “Just in Case” Clutter trap

Do you keep things around just in case?

  • Clothes that don’t fit- just in case you lose weight.
  • Old hobby supplies from 10 years ago- just in case you decide to start again.
  • Nintendo games from the 1990s – just in case they are worth money.
  • Furniture you aren’t using- just in case you decide to use it someday.

It is easy to hold onto something by telling yourself it is just in case but the reality is most of that stuff is just clutter.

  • Are you actively working on losing weight by exercising or dieting? If not, donate the clothes that don’t fit you.
  • Are you even interested in starting up your old hobby or do you even have time for it? There is a good chance that you have found a new hobby which is why you gave up the old one. Be honest with yourself and give away your old hobby supplies to someone who will use them.
  • Have you taken the time to look up how much your old NES games are worth now? Do you have any intention of finding out the best way to sell these items? If not, what makes you think you will do these things later? Donate them or create something with them.
  • Why are you not using this piece of furniture now? Did you replace it? Is it out of style? Donate it or give it away to someone who will use it.

Keeping something just in case is typically an easy way of putting off getting rid of something. When you come across an item that you don’t want to get rid of but you don’t need or use, think twice before deciding to keep it just in case. The sooner you pass an item on that you no longer need the better shape it will be in. How many times have you pulled something out of your attic or basement years after storing it only to discover that it was unusable and ruined?

Don’t take up your valuable space storing things for a just in case future. Let go of the items that you don’t need and embrace the present.

Do you use the just in case excuse? What are your thoughts on keeping something just in case?

Published by Suzanne- Happily Decluttered

Hi!! My name is Suzanne and I live in central PA with my husband and three girls. I love yoga, pickleball, camping, spending time with my family, and decluttering!

18 thoughts on “Avoid the “Just in Case” Clutter trap

  1. I am guilty of keeping old craft and hobby supplies. I used to be an avid scrapbooker and I have a ton of tools and supplies. I haven’t scrapbooked in years. When the time comes to declutter my craft supplies, I will have a lot of stuff to declutter.

    1. Craft supplies can add up quickly! I used to scrapbook a little as well. When I realized I wouldn’t be scrapbooking anymore, I repurposed some of my supplies to use with my planner, some went to my kids, and I found a couple local scrapbookers who were happy to take the rest!

  2. I came across this at the perfect time! I’ve been cleaning my closet and kept a lot of “just in case” clothes. After reading this I’ll be going back through that closet again!

  3. I had already read this post and am a great believer in decluttering but just a couple of days ago my daughter asked me for something (for a good reason) and I had got rid of this thing and could have cried.
    Sometimes you can’t win but mostly keeping thing for just in case is not worth it but I so wished I had done so this one time. LOL

    1. That stinks!

      I know of some other people who have a holding place when it comes to decluttering their kids things. If they want to get rid of something they just put it in the holding area (which is out of sight). After a predetermined amount of time they donate the item or pass it along if their child has not asked about it.

      I personally like to include my kids in the decluttering process when it comes to their belongings. I understand that this might not work for all kids (depending on their personality and when you introduce them to decluttering) but luckily for me my kids are on board.

  4. Almost every person I know has everything attached to them, including myself, it is hard to detach myself from things i have owned. Your just in case post, has opened my eyes to decluttering, the next time am home with enough free time, I will sort my things and remain with just what is useful today, and get rid of the rest.
    Thank you.

      1. Everything you said in your post is important, and with deep reflection, I relate it to emotions, the junk we keep on our minds as grudges. They block us from having new and clear thoughts and ideas, hence we don’t make progress in our lives.

  5. Great post Suzanne. I keep so much ‘just in case’ stuff but sometimes do go back and use old things so I tend to prove myself right in a way 😊. Having said that, I really can’t live with the current level of clutter so I think I’ll try your idea of a holding place. I sort of do this now in the garage but in a haphazard way. If I had a more organised system to keep items that I might want, I think I’d be able to reduce the level of clutter. I’m glad I read this today as I think it just shifted something in my brain. Thank you

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