Insane Clutter Excuses —
But I Might Need It Someday

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But I Might Need It Someday
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But I Might Need It Someday

Insane Clutter Excuses —
But I Might Need It Someday

But I Might Need It Someday -- learn to either use it before it's too late or let the damn thing go (#blogpost #clutter #excuse #simplify #rationale #organize #getorganized #storage #lettinggo #cleaningout) at up as I did with a depression-era-hoarder for a parental-unit, my childhood was filled with incomplete projects, not-yet-fully-realized ideas, and I-swear-I’ll-find-a-good-use-for-it-one-of-these-days stuff — every bit of which mi madre promised she would eventually transform into something amazing.

Unfortunately, most of it never happened.

Then time ran out.

After Pearl’s funeral, I spent three months having my grief triggered over-and-over-again as I cleaned out her house — by a seemingly-endless-collection-of-physical-reminders, each pointing mockingly toward that “someday” which would now never come. Every shrink-wrapped-video and left-in-its-shopping-bag-book hurt my heart. Each clipped-but-uncooked-recipe and outfit-with-the-tags-still-on-it blurred my vision. (Don’t even get me started on the woman’s eternally-present-yet-largely-unexpressed creative urges — or the tons of dried-up-melted-ruined-in-the-heat and-now-worthless art supplies I found in her garage.)

The whole thing made me sad. Then it made me angry.

At one point (as I screamed expletives at a trash can while throwing away five dozen jars of homemade fig preserves that had turned moldy — and which Pearl should have bloody-well shared with everyone she knew rather than wasting), I remembered my mother’s death-bed lament about “squandering money.”

That’s when I realized that being helplessly caught in a stockpile-more-than-you-need-for-some-unforeseen-future-rather-than-enjoying-today compulsion made her sad and angry, too. I don’t want this happening to you. So the best possible way I can think of to honor my momma is by offering a reality-check on any forgotten junk that’s been sitting untouched in your storage for the past decade.

(Or, if you’re like Pearl, five.)

This process begins with a good long think about what “someday” actually looks like. What (exactly) is going to have to happen in your life for you to finally use that dusty-neglected-space-wasting thing that you feel has so much frigging potential you simply can’t part with it? Or what (on the other hand) must occur for you to realize that it serves no purpose in your life, and you’d actually be better off letting it go?

  • stop pretending (if your sorry ass ain’t breaking a sweat except under duress at the gym, why own exercise equipment? it’s also okay to NOT be a fashionista — and embracing your inner-microwaver makes it easy to lose the al-dente-poacher-steamer-scrambler-rotissimat-plus-83-gourmet cookbooks)
  • convenient is the key to using it (you thought learning the piano would be cool, but trudging basement-ward to practice sucks — move the damn thing to a more accessible area, schedule daily noise-making in your calendar — then if it’s still not happening, that’s a decluttering sign from above)
  • make it functional or make it gone (that pool table you wanted so badly has become a catch-call for miscellaneous homeless junk, and the thought of having to clean it off deters you from racking ’em up — time to create more appropriate nearby storage/systems for these “problem items”)
  • get real about the consequences (at what point will a green-shag-toilet-seat-cover or the operational manuals from your last three jobs or a web page you bookmarked in 1993 be crucial to your survival? more importantly, what’s the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of them?)
  • get clear or get rid of it (when I ask when you’ll use that item again, “I might need it someday” isn’t an answer — it’s a procrastination-based evasion — if you can picture a specific, concrete instance when you’ll have use for that item in the foreseeable future, keep it — if not, buh-bye!

You know how they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

What they mean is that it’s paved with the clutter those intentions create.



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    4 Responses

    1. Mollie says:

      but I may need that blue mascara some day…good advice

    2. Sorry, I’m not giving up my guitar, even if I never play it again!

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