When eliminating clutter in your home it’s sometimes challenging to combat the “I might need it again” feeling. Although often you won’t, or the cost of replacing isn’t near the emotional cost of keeping it in your home. Even still, here’s a few alternative resources to help you feel better about ditching your belongings.
Usually free, the library is an excellent resource for books, movies, and often much more. When we struggled to declutter what was literally hundreds of books from our home, we found much comfort knowing we could read them all again with a quick trip to our local library. Most libraries are now connected to a larger network too, which can allow you to order in books from other branches for no charge. This was also true for a lot of our kids’ movies! Our local branches have a variety of kids toys, most notably puzzles, so we were able to pare down those guilt free as well. The library is one of my favouirte places to spend lots of time and no money!
The Thrift Store
While not free, the thrift store is a great low cost resource for most household items and clothing that you need. Every time I struggled to get rid of an item I asked myself if I could easily replace it at the thrift store. If the answer was yes, and I didn’t want it, off it went. If I find I desperately need the item again I’ll pay the small fee to repurchase – leaving my closets empty in the meantime. I’m going to place a bet that I don’t re-buy a whole lot, but at least the option brings comfort.
When parting with media, it’s often difficult to give up hard to find items or “someday” entertainment. For every item I wasn’t using I looked at the option to purchase digitally. If it was there, I got rid of the item. If at some point in the future I desperately want to play that video game again (for example) I’ll purchase it digitally at that time. Again, chances are I won’t.
Friends and Family’s Homes
This probably won’t work for your casual acquaintances but for friends and family you spend a lot of time with sharing belongings can be a great way to cut down on clutter. If you have someone close to you who’s willing to share some less used items this is a great compromise. You can also agree on certain things, for example: “you can borrow their snowblower in the winter, they borrow your lawnmower in the summer”, and so on.
Many communities offer some kind of lending libraries but this varies from place to place. I’ve seen toy lending libraries, tool libraries, and educational resources, to name a few. These are usually free but you pay need to pay a small deposit. They’re also great places to donate your used items when decluttering.
How do you rationalize getting rid of stuff you think you might need?