This explains the absolute mountain of knitting/sewing/craft NONSENSE that I have held onto for YEARS. These items were often obtained with the assistance of Excuse #2, but often it’s craft stuff that people have given me – “Oh, you knit? I have some yarn! Take it!”
The problem is, Jason also uses this excuse. That’s why we are hanging onto a iPod dock that doesn’t work, as well as scrap wood and metal, a stack of broken-down cardboard boxes, and two reams of oversized copy paper (11×17 and 8×17) that we found in a cabinet when we moved in. Because YOU NEVER KNOW.
It’s a plausible excuse. It seems downright reasonable….until you’re surrounded by stacks of impenetrable-but-possibly-useful junk.
Yes, in theory, the kids could use the oversized copy paper for art projects and wouldn’t that be adorable? But in reality, we’ve lived in our house for almost three years and they haven’t touched it. Same goes for the package of googly eyes that someone gave me 10 years ago. And the hardware to mount our 10-year-old TV to the wall (hint: it’s never going to happen). Eventually, you lose track of the things you “might use” and end up buying duplicates. This is no bueno.
My mantra has become: Everything has an expiration date. Obviously, we all have things that don’t get used frequently, like Christmas dishes or deviled egg trays, which are still useful. However, most of the “could be useful” stuff I hang onto does not fall into this category. It’s quite frankly selfish to keep things you “might” use, because most of the time there’s someone out there who WILL use them. Think of it this way – what’s the difference between getting rid of something and storing it indefinitely without so much as looking at it?
As with valuables, it’s important to store smart. If you’re going to hang onto miscellaneous hardware, it helps to separate nails from screws from picture hangers. I use small mason jars for this purpose. We have one folder for all the various owners manuals we’ve accumulated, and every year or so I go through it to weed out manuals for appliances or gadgets that have died or been replaced.
One of our biggest problems is making sure that like items stay together. We have many cans of paint – spray paint, paint samples, quarts and gallons of paint. They’re currently distributed in multiple locations throughout the garage, with a few living in the house. They need to get corralled into one location where they can be easily accessed. If I want to level up to Advanced Paint Organization, I can follow this woman’s lead.
Writing this series has been very cathartic, and I appreciate the positive feedback I received for it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some closets to empty.