We are abundantly blessed to have more than we could ever need. And unfortunately, many of us bring our abundance with us wherever we go and it’s not helping; in fact it could be hurting us. Keeping just in case items close at all of the time is draining and requires more time, effort and money to make sure these items are available if they could ever possibly be needed. Turns out these items are probably not needed at all.
I recently read an article that stuck with me, “Getting Rid of Just In Case,” and I think it helped re-drive home the point of the non-necessity of “just in case.” In it, the authors have purposefully live a minimalist lifestyle and have eliminated just in case items completely. Their theory is that any “just in case” item, if really needed, can be purchased for less than $20 and within 20 minutes of their current location. And they’ve found it worked for them 100% of the time. I’ve tried it and I agree, you don’t need “just in case” and the $20/20 solution is a good (and refreshing) back up to help you lessen your “just in case” load.
Test the “Getting Rid of Just In Case” theory yourself.
After reading the article, I’ve become even more discerning for the items we have in our lives (and I think we had a pretty good start). For our packing, especially for vacations, I follow my list and we’ve re-used clothes, which saved me packing time and space (the picture shows what we pack for a week vacation–blankets included!). I’ve found that we rarely miss the items I don’t bring–and even if it was something we wanted (like BBQ skewer posts for roasting marshmallows), we don’t need it bad enough to go buy one (sticks from the woods work just fine). Try it out, when you’re going somewhere, don’t pack anything except what you know you’ll need.
Think about what this means for you at home.
I’m not afraid to admit it, my food purchasing status some months is close to hoarder potential–I can’t pass up the good deals (especially price matched ones) I know we’ll use. I stock up on our food in the fridge, freezer and pantry–but only what we can use before the expiration date. And by spending time each weekend planning meals, maintaining my grocery list and making my slow-cooker healthy food, I’m able to maintain my active storage areas and use most, if not all, of the food we purchase (meaning I don’t throw anything away, even expired milk–makes a great homemade bread base). When grocery shopping, stick to the list of needed items, always know what you have on hand and find a way to re-use everything (mushy bananas are great for quick breads, healthy cookies and smoothies).
Set up a plan to remove “just in case” items from your life.
If you’ve got a system in place, it will make it easier to stick to your plan. Find bins, tubs or containers that you already own to use for donations and recyclables. I regularly donate items we don’t need to keep our active storage relevant. If you’ve forgotten you own something, if it’s a weirdo item/hard to store/gets on your nerves or if it isn’t useful to you anymore, give it to someone who can use it.
Some items seem hard to remove from your life, but they’re not. You can do it.
Expensive items shouldn’t be saved simply because of the financial investment, you probably can’t get the money back (unless you sell it), but think about the time involved. Sometimes it’s better just to remove the item from your life. The same goes for gifts and family heirlooms. If you won’t use it, don’t keep it. Donate it, recycle it or give it away to someone who will use it. Remember, the gift/heirloom is not the person, it’s simply a thing–and you don’t need it to have power over your life today, tomorrow or years from now. Remember, in 50 years, everyone will want to get rid of nearly everything you own anyway, including you.
Remember what you can gain.
It’s very refreshing to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives. And we know it can be a simple 15 minutes project to clean the kitchen, tackle the junk drawer, organize your desk or get started with your new simpler, more organized life. If you ignore it, you’ll have to ignore it forever. But if you deal with the “just in case” items, you can decide they’re essential and you’ll keep them or they’re unnecessary and they’ll be gone from your life for good. What a relief!
Quick Tip! If you want to start with only the easy things for a more organized life, try these tips:
- Find 2 boxes and label one donations and one recycling. Begin to use them for your donations and recycling.
- Pack a toiletries bag that you’ll use for all of your travel and keep it filled with only what you need.
- Keep a list of your needed grocery items, if it’s not on the list, don’t buy it. If it is on the list (and on sale) buy what you will use before the expiration date.
- Also, make the healthy cookies–they are delicious. (for more delicious healthy food, visit my Healthy Recipes Pinterest page)