It might come in handy one day!

Ever kept something you haven’t used in months because you thought might come in handy one day? It’s common for people to hold on to belonging for fear of needing it someday in the distant future. But when is someday and what does need entail?

When spring cleaning or decluttering your house, think hard before holding on to things you haven’t used. In 98% of cases, the kept item will not come in handy but will only create unnecessary clutter that you can do without. Take it from me, the minimalist and organiser.

So don’t keep stuff that you haven’t used in over a year or more. Of course, there are exceptions. Think of a person on maternity leave, they might not have worn their work clothes while at home with a baby. But they will wear them again once going back to work. Or someone seriously injured who currently can’t exercise but is planning to get back into it once they are well.

There are of course items that one uses on an irregular basis such as a suitcase, camping gear or the fondue set. Keep those as you are using them, if not constantly!

But as a rule, most things that you haven’t used in ages should go. Evaluate your lifestyle and be realistic about whether you are ever going to need it again. Think of that sporting equipment you bought to get into shape, only to discover that after 3 months you lost interest and that was 5 years ago. Exercising might be good, and you might know it in your head, but aspiration and reality are not the same things.

The same goes for clothing, you won’t diet back into a dress you wore 10 years ago and anyway the fashion will have changed.

You might say to me: ‘But Bettina I paid money for it! What if I do need it again?’ That might be true, you will have bought an item at some point or other, but how much did you pay for it and how difficult was it to obtain? Most items that we purchase are affordable and mass-produced. Discard those, donate them to charity or give them to a friend who will use them. On the rare occasion that you have made a mistake, you can repurchase. It won’t be much hassle and won’t break your bank.

Think about whether an object is rare or valuable. Most likely it is neither of these things. So, discard and on the odd chance that you need it again, rebuy it. A tenner spent is worth it as opposed to holding on to mindless clutter.

Over the years of being a minimalist, I have regrated parting with less than a handful of things. As stated above in 98% of cases it won’t come in handy one day and a tidy and clutter-free home will give you way more benefits.