What if I need it one day? Ask this question can leave you holding onto a lot of items that you really don’t ‘need’ in your life.
From old magazines, to old chargers, to clothes, to kitchen gadgets.
This is a fear-based question that gives us some anxiety and then we make our decisions from this anxious place rather than from a place of abundance and the desire to fill our home with LIFE-GIVING things.
In this episode, I will walk you through how this question has held me back and how I have coached myself to new questions that bring me more freedom and peace in decluttering.
Links to topics mentioned on this episode:
The Finnish Way (great book on the art of SISU – on my list of Cozy Faves)
The Simple on Purpose Facebook Community Group (see past Q+A Lives *make sure to answer the entry questions)
Identity Clutter (read the post here)
Scarcity vs Abundance (the not-enough mindset, on this episode)
The Simple Saturdays Email (sign up for the FUN bi-weekly email!)
Renae’s Great Clutter Clear Out Challenge (sign up for the free 5-day challenge)
Full episode transcript (unedited)
Hey friends at Shawna, your nerdy girlfriend and life coach. From Simple on Purpose.ca This is our time where we stop, slow down, simplify, remove the drams and distractions on our lives so that we can show up for what matters the most to us show up with more peace, more purpose and presence for our actual lives. I’m so glad you’re here. If it’s your first time here, welcome. I’m Shawna I am a mom of three who decided that I would try out minimalism years ago, and it just sent me on this to jet trajectory. It’s hard to declutter my home, which turned me into decluttering my life and my heart. And I am a trained life coach helping other women do the same show up for their lives with more purpose, peace and presence. So how have you been this January, where I live in British Columbia, where I live, it’s icy. And you might know I walk my kids to the school bus every morning. It’s a few blocks away, but we have to go down this hill. And I’m just like, submitted to it, I sit on my butt, I got my snow pants on and I slide down that hill, like I get speed, I end up like bumping into my daughter and pushing her down to. So I’m going to wear out the butt on my snow bands. It’s fine. I’m still having fun. I’m showing up for that. I just love sledding, it is so much fun. Even if it’s my only way of protecting my body from fall I just go with it, I’m going to fall in advance. So that’s life here where I live in BC, we still have a little bit of a winter hanging on. And that’s fine. I don’t mind it. I really love getting out in the morning and walking the kids to school. Sometimes I even get my active minutes that way. But it’s just such a nice way to start the day, I have a personal goal to get outside every single day. And a book that really inspired me to do this is a book called The Finnish way. The Finnish art of C Su and si su is that term for just real grit and persistence and not taking the easy way out. And that book just changed my whole view on how of lightweight I am. One other thing that I started doing since I read that book is I will zap myself with cold water in the shower. Just try and build up my tolerance to cold water. There’s so many good endorphins that are released in your body when you are dunked in cold water. So I just want to hit it that I want to hit those good old endorphins. So that’s my own personal challenge. I’m totally going off topic. Here’s the topic I want to talk about today. decluttering things in your home when you think what if I need that one day? This was a question that was asked in the Facebook group recently because I said, Bring me all your questions I want to do a live. And that question is when I have too much to say on like I have a whole post on it. But I wanted to bring it back here, elaborate on it and share an episode with you here. By the way, if you want to hear the other q&a, we talked about putting your head in the sand, planning your day on when you feel like you just don’t have time we talked about those other questions as well. You can find the simple on purpose community Facebook group on facebook and join us there. So let’s think about picking up an item in your home. And you’re like, I’m probably going to get rid of it. But what if I need it one day?
What does this question cause you to keep? For me? Maybe it’s like old magazines. I actually have a stack of old magazines that I just thought I’m gonna do a collage. I’m gonna read those. Those are just nice to have. What if I need them? How about extra pans? Like I tell myself, I’m gonna make this huge family meal one time in a big holiday. forgetting that might have been only has three elements one is broken. So why would I need all of these other pans that I have enough? Or old chargers? I have a bag of old chargers in my office. I mean, it’s organized, it looks fine. But unless someone has a phone from the 2000s that they’re like, I need a charger for this then they’re just wired in my house. Industrial cherry pitter that’s something I held on to for a while. Because my ideal self would go one summer and by all of these cherries by flats of cherries, and I’m going to pit them and I don’t even know what then make a pie like I don’t know I’m gluten free when I make a pie. Sounds like a lot of work. But then what instead happens when we get all these cherries in the summer is we all eat them in three days and have tummy aches. Do I need a cherry pitter lots of clothes I’ve kept with what if I need this one day? What if I go somewhere fancy. What if I go to Greece and I need this really nice dress? Well, what if but like really, if I have the opportunity to go to Greece, I’m going to go be buying a whole new wardrobe. I’m not going to hang on to these old clothes in the back of my closet. No, I want fresh stuff. If that opportunity comes into my life, you can see that there’s a lot of things that we can keep that are aspirational, what I call identity clutter, those things that we keep because that’s the person we were
That’s what we used to do, or that’s the person we want to be, we want to become the person who uses the cherry Pitter, we want to be the person who goes to Greece, we keep all of these things. And it really is a burden to keep things that are building up this false identity. For us, it’s a burden to keep them but it’s really hard work to let those go to untie ourselves, like, give ourselves permission to let go of clinging on to that identity with the stuff, I have a whole post on that I’ll link that in the show notes as well.
But when we live from this place of we might need it one day, we start making poor decisions of what we let stay in our home, we stop editing the contents of our home, we stop filtering out the excess and focusing on the beautiful things. And instead, we start to fill up our home with security security items instead of life giving items. And there’s two psychological phenomenons that can really contribute to this. The first one is called loss aversion, which means we think there is greater pain in letting something go, then there is pleasure in acquiring it. It’s really weird, because now you’re like, I’m going to protect this $40 toaster in my home, more than you’re excited about winning a new $40 toaster. It’s weird, but we’re overprotective of our stuff, even if it doesn’t serve us. And the other psychological factor that supports us keeping things we might need one day is the endowment effect. And that is the situation in which we overvalue an item, simply because we own it, you can see these two things go together kind of it’s not that it has this market value, it’s that we place a certain value on it and overvalued because we own it. Like I don’t even need to like an item to justify keeping it, I just need to believe that there is value in it. And I will always have trouble of passing it on. And I think we can use this I might need it one day as a blanket excuse to warrant us keeping these things. Because really underneath that, I have trouble of letting go of something of perceived value, even if the likelihood is that I will never use it even if the likelihood is that I will never just up and buy a new one if I didn’t already own it. So our values need to be checked. We can’t live in a home filled with stuff that is there. Because we’ve turned our brain on autopilot. And we’re hoarding up stuff for the sake of not losing it that scarcity mindset that there isn’t enough we’re holding on to things for the perceived value. And we’re keeping that from a place of fear of not having enough rather than abundance and a place of trust that there will always be enough because you know what? there always has been. So keep these in mind. And let’s stop asking what if I need this one day? Because when our brain asks that question, it’s going to run away with the Panic of being in a situation where we’re without something that we need. That’s anxiety producing, our needs are being met in the future that causes us panic now that causes us to hoard that causes scarcity, like proactive scarcity, too. So we need to shift from what if I need this one day to? How will I handle it? If I give it away, and I end up needing it one day? And even deeper than this? How will I let myself experience the feeling of need.
Because the reality is we’re spoiled with stuff in his queue, the real problem for us, we are rarely in a state of need. And we are very out of touch with what is a need, versus what is a want what is convenient. And if we find ourselves in a state of need, we will still be okay. We can plan solutions right now to the problem being quote unquote, in need.
Out of all my years of decluttering there is nothing I miss. But there’s one thing I regret a little bit letting go one kitchen appliance. But I’m fine. Because I also learned I didn’t need it. It was convenient. But I have other alternatives in my life that work just fine. There’s other things that I other appliances I have that do the same job. And I am just fine. And letting go of all of the things through all of the years, all of the truckloads I’ve seen leave my house, that freedom in that space and that freshness I feel and that looking at my house and be like these are the things I love. Having this outcome is worth being like, Oh, I kind of could have kept that kitchen appliance so I could use it. That’s worth that. So instead of holding an item in your hand and asking what if I need it? Ask do I love it? Do I use it? Is it beautiful to me? And if the answer to those is no and you still feel this fear and anxiety about what could be and how hard it might be in a possible scenario where you need spare speaker wires and an extra bike or a past maker. Then let your thoughts be redirected. Here are some ones you can try that I like to go to. If I need it, then I can most likely borrow it. Buy it
outsource it or rent it like these things are still available in the world, I can get my hands on one. If I do need this, I can let myself be in a state of need, I can make a do I can get resourceful I can pit my cherries with the handle of a whisk, I can find new ways of doing one thing. Or I could pass this on to a friend who’s going to use it more than me, and I could borrow it if I do need it.
And then if I’m thinking openly, I can acknowledge the likelihood of me needing this item is extremely low. So I think the biggest perception we need to shipped with is that the user wants and not necessarily needs. And the other one is, we will be okay without it. If we need it, we will still be okay. So it’s more of a matter of letting ourselves be okay with being in a state of feeling need, and trusting ourselves that we’re going to be resourceful enough to find the next best thing. I hope that encourages you to let a few more things go this week, because I want you to give yourself permission, permission to declutter. That’s what I felt like I needed when I started this whole thing. Like when I learned about minimalism, it was like I had permission to get rid of these things that I don’t like and don’t want, I don’t have to use my basement to keep storing boxes, I can use my basement for like a play space. This is amazing. I needed permission. So I want to give you that permission in case you’re feeling like you need it, you have permission to go through your house, get rid of these things. And this is a list I’ve also shared in simple Saturday, so you have permission to get rid of things that you don’t love to look at. Things you never use. Even if a part of you wishes that you would that’s identity clutter, you have permission to get rid of things you used to love. And now you’ve grown out of, again, identity clutter, you have permission to get rid of things that bring negative memories instead of positive ones, you have permission to get rid of things that are broken, missing pieces have complete, you have permission to get rid of things that could be worth something. Because you have that perceived value. Other people probably won’t pay that much money for your stuff is you think it is worth does the cost of storing it at your place, outweigh any money you could possibly make off of it. And you have permission to get rid of duplicates, because I don’t know about you. But I don’t need four pairs of tweezers or 12 travel mugs. So you have permission to clear your space of these things because it clears your mind of these things. It creates more space for living more space for creating the life that you want. And that’s what I’m all about. Simplify, slow down and show up. Alright, if decluttering is something you are all about right now, then I want to send you to my friend Renee from rising moms, she is starting the great clutter clearout challenge. It’s starting February. It’s a free five day challenge. And people who want to take some serious decluttering action, I’m sending them her way. So I’m going to put a link to that free challenge in the show notes. And if you can’t find the show notes on your podcast player, just go to simple on purpose.ca. Click Listen, you will find the episode in all of the show notes there. Alright friends, thank you for being here for another simple on purpose episode. I really hope you will leave a rating and review if you haven’t already. I love to read them and reading and reviews help podcasters they help us show up in the search engines for podcasts, the podcasting machines, tiny robots, they’re looking for rating and reviews to consider us valid as a podcaster. So that helps our show validity. It also helps other people who might want to listen to the show, but they’re not sure what to expect. So your rating and review helps with that and I just really appreciate it. Alright, I hope you have a great week.