Decluttering with Astrid (11)

This week: the motto “You Never Know When You Might Need It”

I live with a “You-Never-Know-When-You-Might-Need-It” man. Whenever he sees me about to put something in the trash, he says, “No, don’t throw that away! You never know, it may come in useful for something one day.” And that’s why our house is dotted with “You-Never-Know-When-You-Might-Need-It” areas; like the stack of empty shoeboxes in the spare room, which are (and I quote) “for when we need to make Easter lunch boxes or wrap a fragile gift.” And then there’s the mountain of photos that grows year in year out, too. He’s also adamant about keeping tax guides pre-2009 (“You never know when you might need to look something up again”); leaflets and cards from vacations we have been on (“You never know when we might go back there again”); old textbooks (“You never know, I might want to flick through them one Sunday afternoon”); half-empty cans of paint (“You never know, we may need to touch that wall/cabinet/chair up”); and old, worn-out sneakers (“You never know, I might not be able to find the same style again”). You get my drift…

For someone who wants to declutter the house, living with a “You-Never-Know-When-You-Might-Need-It” man is, to say the very least, an on-going challenge. People who like to analyze such matters believe that there’s a deeper meaning to all this; that it has something to do with why we got together (or something like that…). In any case, I can tell you from experience that if you do want to go down the decluttering path, start at the “You-Never-Know-When-You-Might-Need-It” areas. The following things can certainly go: Old jeans that “we might need someday when we repaint the hall;” mini toys for “when we need to make a Lucky Dip;” the kids old toys “to hand down to our grandkids;” size S clothing just in case you ever become a size S again; magazines with nice tips of places to go “in case we ever go to Valencia (or Rome, or Bali, or …);” and bags of wool on the off-chance you might take up crocheting again. One of my Flow colleagues has a stock of supplies in her shed—cans of beans, bottled water, that kind of thing—so that she’s well prepared in case we are ever hit by hard times. Each item she has is well considered, yet it still all takes up loads of space. But those “You-Never-Know-When-You-Might-Need-It” areas in your house can (and must) be banished—and kept banished—so get rid of them. And fast. That’s what’s happening in my home too. When the “You-Never-Know-When-You-Might-Need-It” man is out…

onstpullen astrid_11 kopie