EXCUSE: I might need it some day!

Holding on to things that we can't use today keeps us from being present.

We can find a reason to keep anything.

Lately we’ve been reviewing a wonderful organizing resource book, It’s All Too Much, by Peter Walsh.

We really appreciate Peter’s style of getting right to the heart of the emotional holdbacks our organizing clients face. One section of the book covers all the excuses we’ve heard for justifying keeping things that are no longer being used. Here is a great one and Peter’s response:

 “I might need it one day.”

Excuse Buster: “If I can’t use it today, right now, for who I am in the life I am living, I don’t need it. (‘Just in case’ keeps me from living in the present!)”

 It’s okay to hold on to one or two items of reasonable size that have a genuine chance of a future life.  But let’s be honest.  Is it really only one or two items?

 Or are you saving enough stuff to furnish a whole alternate universe in which a skinnier you used that dusty abdominal crunch machine every morning before inserting all your photos into a new album and then dons that old wig you’ve been storing for a costume party you’re hosting at which everyone will be lounging in the extra chairs that have been languishing in your basement for the last six years?

 Clutter stops us from living in the present.  The future is important. But you have to consider the quality of your life today and strike a balance between the life you are living today and the multitude of possible paths your life may take in the future.

We agree!

Excuses provide us with a kind of solace while we cope with a changing world. The first step to changing habits is to notice.  We hope this helps you feel more open to releasing unneeded items from your home.

Is this an excuse you use to hold on to way more than you really need? What helps you change your mind about it?

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1 Comment

Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies

One response to “EXCUSE: I might need it some day!

  1. RW

    Of course! I often say this to myself. I like the author’s emphasis on living in the present (though his tone is a bit judgmental for my taste) – it’s something I’m trying to do more of in general. One of the tools that helps me, at least in theory, is putting the item away in a bag or box, and then seeing if I’ve missed it after some time.

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