Clutter: The But I Might Need It Syndrome

Clutter: The But I Might Need It Syndrome

Laure Joliet
May 6, 2008
But I might need these catalogs!
So we're trying to get organized this month (or at least take a stab at it, right?). Well as Flylady says, you can't organize clutter, you can only get rid of it. One of the ways we justify keeping clutter is the "but I might need this someday" syndrome that strikes when we're faced with actually letting something go.

Chances are, if you did need it someday, you wouldn't be able to find it amidst all the clutter!

I recently let go of an ice cream maker (But what if all I want to do this summer is make ice cream?), a bunch of old lamps that I thought I might use in future iterations of my apartment decor, empty frames (oh the horror!), and books that I loved reading but know I'll never read again (I gave them to friends). My main offense now is hanging onto magazines and things I've cut out of magazines in case I want to write about them. They sit in a pile, because filing them would mean I'm keeping them and god knows I don't need to keep any more magazines!

So, here's the deal. This is all about trust. Because if we're worrying about what we might need in the future, then we're trying to control things that we just cannot control. We can't know what we'll actually need 'someday'. But today we can keep the things we love and use and then let go of the things that are just taking up space.

We all have different baggage and different fears, maybe you're afraid you won't have enough later on so you hang onto it now, maybe you grew up poor, maybe you are poor, maybe you've lost things and really needed them, maybe you're just afraid. We all have something. So this is about trusting that you don't have to hang onto everything to ensure a safe future. Because the truth is that if you don't use it now, you aren't likely to need it in the future. Practice building the life and home you want in the present moment by letting go of one small thing you're afraid to today.

And in the off chance that you do need that 2nd can opener, you can buy, borrow or steal another.

Related Reads:
Packing Light at Home and on the Road
Inherited Clutter
Putting the Apartment on a Diet
Trying to be Green While you Clean

Look! Extra Storage in the Kitchen
PErsonal Organizer for your Cluttered Space

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