They’re just three little words but be warned, they’re very dangerous. These words can quickly and easily throw your minimalist journey off track.
What are they? ‘Just in case’.
Keeping things was a terrible habit I had (actually it’s a habit I’m still trying to shake). It led to drawers full of string and odd screws, a bag full of wrapping paper scraps, suitcases with padlocks inside but no keys. The list is endless.
The amount of things I was keeping ‘just in case’ was ridiculous – what did I think was going to happen? Armageddon? Would I need to fashion a life raft out of some old suitcases and use the wrapping paper as a sail!
Since I’ve got rid of all those bits and bobs, well most of them, I haven’t been in a position where I’ve needed any of it. There’s no emergency that has called for string or a padlock I can’t open.
I wonder where this ‘just in case’ mentality has come from and I think there are two areas it has grown from, for me anyway.
The first is my mum who when I told her we weren’t keeping an old toaster that didn’t really work anymore, she asked me ‘why I didn’t just put it in a box and keep it, just in case’. She’s from a generation where the virtues of frugality were instilled in her and she doesn’t like to throw things out.
The second, which may resonate more widely, is that we keep these bits and pieces because stuff makes us feel safe. We think that if we have the screws in the drawer then we have the means to fix something. It’s the safety net of having it, even if you’re terrible with a drill and probably don’t know which way round a screw goes.
These clutter drawers (don’t pretend you don’t have one, we all do!) are black holes of stuff and they make us feel safe.
That’s the mindset I’m trying to shift because no amount of stuff can ever protect you, it can only ever be a barrier to the things you want to do.