As I continue on my journey to simplify my life, it is often a simple idea or statement that gets me thinking and stick with me in unexpected ways long after I first encounter it. This simple rule to consider while decluttering is one of those.
Don’t save things for other people.
I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. At the surface it’s a pretty simple statement, of course you don’t want to store things for other people – if they want it, they should use their own limited storage space to house the items.
But let’s consider that your future self could really be ‘other people’. I know I’ve stored things for some later time. I stored several boxes of my old toys for 20 years, waiting for when I would be a parent. But now as a parent, I don’t actually want my kids to have those old toys. Even only being 1 and 3, they have already collected their own vast collection of toys, thanks to doting aunts, uncles and grandparents. They do not need any additional items.
Another set of boxes holds a varied collection of linens and fabrics, that I was saving for the time when I might start quilting… I enjoy the idea of a homemade quilt, but I now know myself well enough to recognize that I don’t have the patience to quilt. I would rather spend my time working on smaller projects, working with fabrics purchased for the specific occasion.
But what if…
You know your own situation best, there might be times that it is helpful to save items for your future self. For example, it makes a lot of sense to save baby items that are in good repair if you don’t think you are done having kids. But most of the time, we don’t really know our future will bring. So unless something is of value to you today, don’t save it for ANYone else. When saving items for someone else, whether that is your kids or your future self, you are really just deciding to postpone making decision.
So be brave, as I continually try to be.