Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living

Holding Onto Things? How To Let Go of the 'Just In Case' Mindset & Embrace a Clutter Free Life #89

February 13, 2024 Caroline Thor - Professional Organizer - KonMari® Consultant
Holding Onto Things? How To Let Go of the 'Just In Case' Mindset & Embrace a Clutter Free Life #89
Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living
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Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living
Holding Onto Things? How To Let Go of the 'Just In Case' Mindset & Embrace a Clutter Free Life #89
Feb 13, 2024
Caroline Thor - Professional Organizer - KonMari® Consultant

Ready to unlock the secrets to a clutter-free life? Ever feel like your belongings are suffocating you? Dive into my latest podcast episode, where I, guide you through the transformative journey of shedding the 'just in case' mindset.

Join me as we look into the psychology behind our attachment to stuff. Together, we'll unravel why we hold on to things we rarely use and discover the freedom that comes with letting go.

Say goodbye to clutter-induced stress and hello to a home that sparks joy! I'll share practical solutions, including tips from the renowned KonMari Method, to declutter every corner of your space. From decluttering your wardrobe to tackling that overflowing junk drawer, we've got you covered.

But this isn't just about tidying up—it's about reclaiming your space and your sanity. Imagine waking up to a bedroom that's a peaceful oasis or stepping into a kitchen that's a joy to cook in. It's all within reach, and I'll show you how.

So, are you ready to embrace a life of simplicity and abundance? Tune in now and let's embark on this clutter-busting journey together!

Links mentioned in this episode:
Join The Living Clutter Free Forever Facebook Group

Join our online membership Clutter Free Collective

I would LOVE to hear from you. Text Message me here.

Thanks for listening! For more organizational motivation, support and free resources:
Join my online membership Clutter Free Collective
Join my podcast Facebook group Living Clutter Free Forever Podcast: KonMari® Inspired Organizing | Facebook
Visit my website www.caroline-thor.com
Come and say 'hi' on Instagram @caro.thor
Follow me on Facebook @carolineorganizer

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to unlock the secrets to a clutter-free life? Ever feel like your belongings are suffocating you? Dive into my latest podcast episode, where I, guide you through the transformative journey of shedding the 'just in case' mindset.

Join me as we look into the psychology behind our attachment to stuff. Together, we'll unravel why we hold on to things we rarely use and discover the freedom that comes with letting go.

Say goodbye to clutter-induced stress and hello to a home that sparks joy! I'll share practical solutions, including tips from the renowned KonMari Method, to declutter every corner of your space. From decluttering your wardrobe to tackling that overflowing junk drawer, we've got you covered.

But this isn't just about tidying up—it's about reclaiming your space and your sanity. Imagine waking up to a bedroom that's a peaceful oasis or stepping into a kitchen that's a joy to cook in. It's all within reach, and I'll show you how.

So, are you ready to embrace a life of simplicity and abundance? Tune in now and let's embark on this clutter-busting journey together!

Links mentioned in this episode:
Join The Living Clutter Free Forever Facebook Group

Join our online membership Clutter Free Collective

I would LOVE to hear from you. Text Message me here.

Thanks for listening! For more organizational motivation, support and free resources:
Join my online membership Clutter Free Collective
Join my podcast Facebook group Living Clutter Free Forever Podcast: KonMari® Inspired Organizing | Facebook
Visit my website www.caroline-thor.com
Come and say 'hi' on Instagram @caro.thor
Follow me on Facebook @carolineorganizer

Speaker 1:

Hi there, I'm Caroline Thor, professional organizer, konmari consultant, teacher and mum of three. I started off my life as a mum feeling overwhelmed, disorganized and desperately trying to carve out some time for me amongst the nappies, chaos and clutter. One day, one small book called the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying changed everything, and I began to learn strategies for making everyday life easier. Today, I have the systems in place that means life can throw almost anything at me, and I want to share them with you. If you're an overwhelmed mum struggling to keep it together, then this is the podcast for you. Grab a coffee and settle in for a quick chat with someone who gets your reality. Hello, and welcome back to the latest episode of Living Clutter Free Forever. I am so excited to have you here with me. Thank you for giving up your time to listen to this podcast. I really appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

Now, today is going to be a much shorter episode than lots that I've done recently, and it's on a topic that I know you will relate to this mentality of holding on to things just in case, and why letting go of these items is so, so hard. So we'll get started on that in a moment, but before then I wanted to remind you, or maybe you've not heard this before, but as of February 2024, there is now a Facebook group just for people who listen to this podcast, and I would love to have you there. If you're not already, you just need to go to caroline-thorcom forward slash podcast and there you will find the information you need to get yourself into the Facebook group. I will also put the links in the show notes. What you're going to find. There are lots more resources to do with the topics we're talking about. So this week in the Facebook group, I'm going to be talking about why we can't let things go going into a lot more detail, about it getting discussions going so that people can really start to think for themselves why they have these items that they hold on to just in case, and perhaps we can find some solutions for them. So I would love to see you there in the Facebook group. Come and join me, because then I can actually get to meet you rather than you just listening to me every week. I will actually be able to connect with you and meet with you, and I would absolutely love that. So come and join us there, okay, so back to today's episode topic why we hold on to things just in case.

Speaker 1:

So, first of all, what is the psychology behind this? Why do people hold on to things just in case? The reasons are many and they're varied and they're always unique to your particular situation. But sometimes it's a sentimental attachment, so we've attached sentimental value to the item. Even if they're not particularly useful or necessary, they may be reminders for a special moment or a person in our lives. I'm sure you can think of things that you're holding on to because you have a sentimental attachment to them.

Speaker 1:

Then another reason we hold on to things is because we have a fear of needing things. So we might get rid of it but fear that we might then need it in the future. And this could come from a desire to be prepared for any situation or a fear of regretting getting rid of something that could be useful. I know I have a lot of clients who worry about money in the future and feel that if they get rid of something now because they don't need it now, that maybe in the future they will need it, and then they won't be able to afford to buy it. And this is a very valid reason why people feel they have to hold on to something, and it's something that's very hard to then let things go. If you're feeling this financial burden, in the future you might not be able to afford to purchase that item again.

Speaker 1:

Then we perhaps have a perceived value of the item. We may believe that either it's got a monetary value or its functionality is so valuable, so we hold onto it in the hope of either using it or that its value will go up and we will then sell it in the future. So perceived value is another reason why we hold onto things. Then, of course, there are environmental concerns. Some people hold onto items because they want to be environmentally conscious and they think they can reuse or recycle them in the future rather than sending them off into a landfill. And very often one of the reasons we hold onto things just in case is purely down to a lack of time or energy.

Speaker 1:

Sorting through and decluttering items can be time consuming and it can be emotionally draining, and as a result of this, people will often procrastinate or avoid decluttering altogether, and this in turn leads to a build up of unnecessary items in the home that we end up hanging onto. We tell ourselves it's just in case, but actually, if we're honest with ourselves, it's just due to a lack of time, energy or inclination even to declutter or organize. And another reason that's very common for why people hold onto things just in case is due to insecurity or anxiety. So it could be a way of coping with feelings of insecurity or anxiety if we surround ourselves with familiar objects that can sometimes provide us with a sense of comfort and stability. And again, people will say they're holding onto things just in case, but actually there is an anxiety to letting go of that item because it comforts them or makes them feel stable in some way. I think it's really important that we understand these reasons, because it can help us address the underlying motivations behind the clutter that we have in our home, and it will then make it easier to let go of items that we no longer need or use.

Speaker 1:

So if I asked you to write down the top five things that you think people hold onto just in case, what do you think they would be? So I've been doing a bit of research and here's a list of common items that people tend to hang onto just in case. You won't be surprised to hear that top of the list is clothing those outfits we haven't worn in years but we keep thinking we might need for a specific occasion. So clothing is top of the list. The second thing on the list is kitchen gadgets. You know that avocado slicer or the pineapple courier. That seemed like a great idea at the time when you bought them, but they rarely get used, and I'm sure you can think of an electrical appliance that you have in your kitchen that you never or rarely use. I think lots of people have got juicers or smoothie makers or waffle makers and they hardly ever get used, if at all. Then there's books. Lots of us have switched over to eBooks or audio books, but we've still hold on to the physical copies just in case we want to read them again, and this is something I see with clients all the time. It's sometimes really hard to let go of physical copies of books just in case we might want to read them again.

Speaker 1:

One of the things that has become a massive problem in our home is electronics. We hold on to old phones and chargers and cables that we keep as backups. Even though we've upgraded all the appliances, we hold on to all these electronics just in case they might one day be useful with something that we have. This is rarely the case that we will need them and they're getting cheaper and cheaper to buy as replacements if we find that we do need that one cable or that one charger. So is it really worth having boxes full of the things which I see an awful lot in people's homes?

Speaker 1:

One thing I have got to go through and sort and make some changes within our home is craft supplies. I have got quite a few drawers full of supplies for projects and we haven't touched them in ages and I did hang on to them just in case, and I did say that to myself. I'm going to hang on to these just in case, because my children were of an age where we were often doing craft projects together and I might suddenly need that thing that I had hidden away in a drawer somewhere. But they've got older now and the craft projects that we're doing are getting less and less and less and each of them has sort of developed into a niche of things that they like to do and, if I'm really honest, I don't think most of the things that are in the drawers are ever going to get used by our family. So I'm going to look at donating them to a local kindergarten and that's something that I'm hoping to do this week because my kids are on holiday this week. So the craft supplies I've hung on to, just in case we might want them someday. I am going to make a point of doing that.

Speaker 1:

One thing I am really good at going through regularly but I know a lot of people aren't is medical supplies medicines We've often got expired or half empty bottles of medicines. The worst thing is tubes of creams that we've been given by the doctor but once they're open they've got a really short shelf life and we hold onto them just in case we need them for the future, but they've either no longer valid or good to be used or we don't actually remember anymore for what they were. They've always got these weird names, haven't they? And then you look at the packet and you think, oh, what was that for? I can't remember. So going through medical supplies and medicine is a really good one to do, because we very often there in this category hung on to things just in case. Another thing we hang on to just in case is toiletries, samples, hotel toiletries that we accumulate but rarely use, and we hang on to them just in case when we go on holiday we might like to take a sample with us, but if you're anything like me, you'd forget to take them with you anyway, and they still stay in the drawer. So toiletries is another one.

Speaker 1:

One that I see a lot with clients is stationery the pens, the notepads and other office supplies that we keep just in case we run out, even though we rarely use them. I was at a client's last week and we found so many rulers for underlining, for drawing lines, so many rulers, and we established that probably if she kept four, that will be enough to keep her going to the end of her life. We decided so. She donated an awful lot of them, but she had been hanging on to them just in case. And then there's household tools, speciality tools or gadgets that we rarely use but we think we might need for a specific task. This is a bit like the stuff that we have in the kitchen. And then back to the electronics, but a little bit more specific. We've got cables and cords, miscellaneous cables and cords that we keep just in case we need them, even though we're not actually even sure anymore what they're for. Now, if you're listening to this and thinking, hmm, yes, this is me. I have things that I am holding onto just in case, then perhaps this episode is going to inspire you to have a look at some of these categories and see if you can declutter a few things Now.

Speaker 1:

Another thing that has become very, very common in people's homes is holding onto the boxes from items we've purchased. So Amazon have sent you something and there's the box it came in, and then perhaps the item itself was in another box within the box, and we hold onto them and they can take up a lot of unnecessary space. So product packaging boxes, the plastic clam shells they put in, and blister packs from electronics and appliances that we've bought, shipping boxes, card boxes that we hang onto from online purchases that we think we might need for future shipping or storage. I'm guilty of this. Oh, I'll hang onto that If I ever have to send something this sort of size. I've then got a box for it and then, moving on from there, we sort of morph into things like gift wrapping supplies, wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbons that we save after receiving gifts, plastic containers from takeouts if we're talking about food containers, or if we purchase something from a deli and we hold onto them for storing leftovers or organizing items, but we've already got drawers full of Tupperware and storage, so do we really need them? I think not. There's broken items that we've got every intention of fixing some day, but I know very well that day is never going to come.

Speaker 1:

The next one is huge instruction manuals. There are so many appliances and gadgets that come with instruction manuals, but actually they're online a lot of them if we need them. So check first if this specific instruction manual is available as a PDF online and if it is, you can get rid of the paper copy. And then there's old magazines and newspapers that we think we might read again or use for crafts. I was talking to a client on Friday and over the years she has collected lots and lots of magazines to do with sewing and knitting. She's really big into crafting and she's actually been collecting them together and going through them and decluttering and organizing them and selling them online, and she's made 400 euros so far selling secondhand magazines that other people are very happy to take on because they want a specific pattern or a particular craft idea out of them.

Speaker 1:

I could keep going forever with this list, but I'll stop with broken or unused electronics or old phones, tablets or gadgets that are broken or no longer used, but we hang on to them just in case somebody might need them someday. Now you can resell, for example, your Apple electronics back to Apple and make some quite good money for that and the return on investment. These days for secondhand gadgets, if they're a good make, online reselling is really quite good, but we just tend to hang on to them and we've got drawers full of all these things. These items in all of these categories can accumulate quickly and they take up valuable space in our homes. So letting go of them can help free up some space, reduce the clutter and it's going to make your home more organized and functional and easier to keep tidy. And, let's face it, that's what we're all after.

Speaker 1:

So let's finish off by looking at how you can overcome this problem of holding on to things just in case, because if, for example, you're holding on to it for sentimental reasons or because you're worried about money in the future, you do need to work through that and find a way of being able to let the item go. So here are some tips for ways of letting go of things that you've hung on to, just in case. I'm going to say and you know how I feel about this, embrace the Konmari method. It encourages us to keep things that only spark joy and let go of the rest. So if you focus on what truly brings you happiness and fulfillment, rather than holding on to items out of obligation or fear, then it's much easier to let these items go.

Speaker 1:

Another thing you can do is visualize your ideal lifestyle and really think about how you want to live. What activities do you enjoy, what kind of environment do you want to come home to, and by really using this vision as a guide to your decluttering process, it will help you determine which items align with your ideal lifestyle and which ones don't, and then it will be easier for you to let things go that you've hung onto. Just in case, if you're struggling to let go of items due to sentimental attachment, take a moment to acknowledge the emotions associated with them. I need you to really think about addressing those emotional attachments and thank the items for the role they've played in your life, and take some time to sit there with the memories and how this item makes you feel, and then you will be able to release that item with gratitude, knowing that their purpose in your life has been fulfilled, that you no longer need them. This is something that takes a lot of practice, and if you are someone who really struggles with emotional attachment with items, it may be a good idea for you to find a karmari consultant that is near you who would be able to work through these emotions with you and help you understand how you are able to let items go with gratitude.

Speaker 1:

Then, moving on, it's important to set realistic goals. So break the decluttering process down into manageable steps and realistic goals for yourself. When you do this and you declutter one category at a time so, for example, you just start with books or you just start with clothes and set yourself a timer and do a little bit each day it makes it feel much more manageable. It stops you feeling overwhelmed and then you're more likely to be able to realise when you're holding onto something just in case, and to be able to let it go. If you can cultivate a mindset of gratitude for the things you've chosen to keep in your life focus on what you have rather than what you lack you can shift your perspective and reduce the urge to hold onto unnecessary items.

Speaker 1:

Now, I've already mentioned before, if you struggle with an attachment to emotional items, it might be important to seek support. Decluttering can be emotional, so you could ask friends or family or a comari consultant or a local professional organiser or so many of us now offer online services as well to just be able to sit and talk through with you the struggles that you're having, but, more importantly than that, having someone to cheer you on and hold you accountable, because this will make the process seem much more manageable. And then I will end this section by saying that once you've decluttered and organised your space and you've focused on those items that you were holding onto just in case, you then need to look at developing healthy habits that will help you maintain a clutter-free environment that will stop you from holding onto things just in case in the future. But this, really this last point, is something fore further down the line, when you have made that shift in your mindset. So I hope what I've been talking about today resonates with you. I don't think I've ever been to a client and there hasn't been something in their home that they were holding onto just in case, and for some of us it's more items than others. But I know you will relate to a lot of what I've said today. So think about what I've said, and try and look at items that you've got in your home in different categories. Start by taking small steps and gradually let go of items that no longer serve you Now.

Speaker 1:

One place that you can get lots of support in this area is in my membership clutter-free collective. Here we're talking all the time together and supporting each other and helping each other work through why we're finding things difficult and people are making so much progress on their decluttering journeys. Up until the end of February 2024, you can still join the clutter-free collective for the founding member's price of 22 euros a month. You can join just for one month and see how you find it. If you love it, great, you're welcome to stay, and if not, you're welcome to cancel your subscription. There are absolutely no strings attached. So we would love to see you there, because I know we can make a difference for you. So I would like to express my gratitude to you for finding the time to listen today.

Speaker 1:

I hope you found this topic useful. Come and join me in the Facebook group for this podcast. I would love to see you there. The links are in the show notes, and I wish you every luck and joy with letting things go that you've been holding on to. Just in case, until next time, if you've enjoyed this episode, please send the link to a friend you know would appreciate it, subscribe and leave a review. I look forward to bringing you more organizing tips next time, but if you can't wait until then, you can go to my website or find me on Instagram, at carrowthor, or on Facebook, at Caroline Organiser. Thanks for listening and I look forward to guiding you on your journey to find your clutter free ever after.

Letting Go - Just in Case
Letting Go of "Just in Case" Items