Most people keep things with a ‘just in case’ mentality. These items make us feel safe in the knowledge that if something breaks, needs replacing or someone else needs an item we own, we are prepared for any eventuality. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

However, what would life look like if you were to get rid of all these ‘just in case’ items? You probably wouldn’t notice, it would cost you very little to borrow or replace something when the time called for it (if it ever did) and the person you are storing things for could go out and source their own stuff. 

Look in your junk drawer, as this is often the place where all of these things accumulate and this will give you a clear picture of what you keep for a rainy day in your home. 

Joshua Fields Millburn puts it perfectly in this video...

Here are just a few of  the things we keep on the off chance that we might need them someday…

Buttons: Anyone else got a stash of buttons for coats, blouses, shirts and sweaters? Do you still own all of the things you still have buttons for? Have you EVER had to replace a button on something before?  Chances are the answer to both of these questions is no. If this is the case, rid yourself of having to store buttons by throwing them all away. If you have a very unique piece that cost a lot and you worry you will never be able to replace the button because it is so rare, attach it to the hanger of the piece so they will always stay together as a set. 

Keys: Have you moved several times and still have keys that you’ve yet to identify a lock for? It’s time to let go. If you’ve tried every lock in your home and you still can’t match said keys up to anything, they must be for something you no longer own or live in so send them off to be recycled. 

Bulbs: Bulbs tend to travel from place to place along with keys. You probably have some bulbs that no longer fit the lights you have in your home, in which case, try them out in all of your lights to be sure and purge any bulbs that are too dull or are not compatible with the fixtures you have in your house NOW. 

Cables: Most people I know have a box of random wires or a drawer dedicated to miscellaneous cables. Why let this tangle of electronics take up valuable real estate in your home? It may take you a little while, but spend a few hours matching up all your cables to your gadgets, label these so you will never struggle to identify them again and purge the rest. What remains are cables for things you no longer own like laptops and phones or cables you thought would be useful but aren’t. 

RELATED: Joshua Becker discusses his new app, the minimalist lifestyle and who he looks to for inspiration

Glasses: If you are someone who wears glasses, how many old pairs do you own? You only need two pairs- one you wear and a spare. That is it. The chances of losing both of these are very small so you don’t need all of your back collection, which you probably wouldn’t wear now anyway because tastes and fashions change. Most opticians offer a recycling programme for old glasses so take all of yours along to your nearest store and donate them so they can become useful for someone else. 

USBs: USB sticks seem to breed if you leave them alone for a while. But if you aren’t actively storing anything on them- why do you need so many? Check each one- if any of them are empty- get rid straight away and consolidate information from a few down to one or even transfer the documents all onto a hard drive or into the cloud so you can purge your entire collection. 

Paperwork: The Minimalists suggest that you should have a scanning party for all those documents that you’ve held onto ‘just in case’. Things like receipts, old bank statements, email confirmations you’ve printed out and vouchers are the usual offenders, but you don’t have to keep everything that comes through your door in a paper format. Papers such marriage and birth certificates need to be retained as they are, however most papers can be scanned and kept digitally and the paper copies can be shredded. Just be sure not to fall into the trap of scanning everything that lands on your doormat. 

If you are unsure what to keep and what to purge- books like The Paper Solution by Louise Woodruff can guide you through this process so you can be more selective about what you keep, even if it is on a file on your computer.  

Free yourself from just in case items and see how much better you feel!

RELATED: How to be kind to the minimalist in your life

Don’t poke fun at their lifestyle: As with any lifestyle choice, it’s not fun or fair to mock someone’s beliefs and morals. This way of life may not work for you and you might not understand it, but they clearly get value from living with less so what’s the harm? You have also made choices about how to live that they might not agree with, but they love you for it all the same. Extend them the same courtesy... to read more click HERE 

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