Aug 11 2011

Minimal regrets when decluttering

You might have heard others say that if you get rid of some item that you “may need again someday,” that you can just replace that item when the need arises.

Some people hold onto things even if they aren’t currently useful to them, in case they will need it sometime in the future.

Today I finally decided I needed something I’d previously purged: a 3-hole-punch.

Sometime after college, I got rid of my hole punch, thinking I really didn’t have much use for it anymore.

I decided I wanted one again since I want to organize some of my documents in a 3-ring binder rather than in a file folder.

So, I went out and bought a 3-ring hole punch. Spent about $5 on it. The one I donated to Goodwill I think I paid roughly the same amount for it years ago.

Yeah, it’s $5 I wouldn’t have needed to spend again if I just held onto it. But it’s an item that I would have moved to different apartments a few extra times without needing one.

Out of all the things I’ve ever purged from my home, I can’t believe something so insignificant is what I needed to replace. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff over the years. This tells me that my purging efforts really are worthwhile — it’s not worth hoarding stuff for “someday.” Maybe I’ll need it again, but more than likely, I probably won’t.

A lot of our stuff is still boxed up from our Pittsburgh to Indianapolis move a few months ago. We’re moving again in a few weeks and I’m going to get rid of more stuff as we unpack. Looking forward to that!

Have you ever had purging regret? Or gone out and replaced an item you previously owned?

6 Responses to “Minimal regrets when decluttering”

  1. I love getting rid of things. Have I ever mentioned that? :) my husband on the other hand, likes to hold on to EVERYTHING. it’s annoying to move things over and over and never unpack them. I just opened a box that we haven’t opened in probably 4 years. I knew what was in the box, just never had the place for it. I remembered really liking them (it’s decorative plates my MIL gave us, ones she had in her house before my FIL died.) funny, when I opened the box, i hated the plates. I’ll never hang them up in my house… don’t know what to do with them now. but anyway… that’s the opposite example. we kept something that we’ll never use. :)

  2. You know I am a huge fan of decluttering. :) I am nuts. Every month or so I freak out and decide do go through things and get rid of stuff. It’s funny because our basement looks so different than it did six months ago- there’s so much less stuff down there! I regret that I didn’t get rid of crap sooner.

    I am one of those people that hates to get rid of things because I may use it some day. I have to be honest with myself and really think about if I will use it. I just went through my clothes and anything I hadn’t worn in 6 months to a year I donated. If I didn’t like it, gone. I was holding on to clothing that was cute but I would never wear it. How stupid!

    It is so freeing to get rid of things. I love that I don’t have a bunch of crap to clean around and take care of. It makes me feel good to see space in my house!

  3. Not quote what you asked but my friends mom once donated a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and told his Dad some item, I don’t remember what was either lost or broken. A few days / weeks later the dad came home all excites because he’d found a replacement for said useless item at Goodwill. Some time later he was informed he’d bought back his own donation. Now it’s the big family joke.

  4. I did have to part ways with a few pieces of furniture that I liked when we cut our living space in half with a move. But even then, they weren’t my most beloved pieces of furniture. I feel a slight twinge of sadness when I think about them, but the overall impact of downsizing was positive, so I can’t go as far as to say that I regret it!

  5. When we downsized from a 1500 sq ft apartment to a 700 sq ft apartment, we had to get rid of a LOT. I had this one table that we had gotten that I loved, and I was sooooo sad to get rid of it. When we moved into our house, I had to buy several pieces of furniture that we had gotten rid of in that previous move (guest bed, dresser, table).

    When I moved to a different country after high school, I had to fit everything in the two suitcases allowed on the plane. I got rid of a LOT of stuff that I regret, and kept other things that now I realize wasn’t as important to me. It was so hard at the time, and I know I did the best I could.

  6. I once tossed a cord that I needed for an electronic item. At the time, I had no clue what it could possibly go to. So I thought it was something old and tossed it. Now I realize what that cord was for and have had trouble replacing it :(

    So yea, I now tend to hold on to stuff… and every so often go through and sell it at yard sales, donate it or just throw it out. But it’s tough (though I’m certainly not a hoarder – those situations freak me out because I also can’t stand clutter!).

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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