The Just In Case Stuff

We’ve all said the following or something along the same lines as - “I’ll hold on to that because I might need it when I move out of Mom and Dad’s house after college” or “this sweater is so cute that I should pack it just in case I decide to wear it on vacation.”

A lot of times our just-in-case items collect dust, take up space, or are eye-sores. How many times have we returned from a trip, unpacked a suitcase, and noticed that half of the items inside don’t need to be laundered because they were never worn? Or the rafters in our garage are bowing with the weight of boxes containing Christmas decorations that our kids “might need” when they move out?

We don’t notice this at first, but all of those just-in-case items don’t just take up space in the back of our closets or in the zippered pockets of our suitcases - they take up space in our minds as well. When we’re faced with less options and less decisions to make on the unimportant things, we have a clearer mind to be content with how we’ve prepared ourselves for the important things.

So, what would happen if we removed all of the just-in-case items? What if the empty space they left behind remained empty or was filled with something that had value? We probably wouldn't even remember what our just-in-case items were after they left.

The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, came up with the 20/20 rule to help the just-in-casers decide what to get rid of. The 20/20 rule is this: anything that is rid of which is truly needed can be replaced with $20 in 20 minutes of the individual’s current location. Free space, clear mind, decluttered.

What are you holding on to just in case you might need it in an unknown future?

Pictured above: a newly pregnant Celia (in 2017) with an unquenchable craving for dill pickles which were needed just in case..

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