CAUSE _ karen kingston argues in her book “clear your clutter with feng shui” that the number one cause of clutter in our homes is the “keeping things just in case” mentality and its natural outgrowth of holding on to every thing that enters our home.
everyone fears tossing out something only to realize that they really did need it after all – even if that “after all” is six months, one year, or five years down the road. and holding on to things just in case may make you feel safe. but there are negative consqeuences to this thinking if it is not kept in check.
people don’t immediately realize that holding on to too many things is bringing negative consequences – such as a cluttered, energy-draining home. another negative consequence is that we begin to keep so many possessions in our home, we lose track of the ones we do possess and can’t find it when we need it anyway – thereby defeating the very purpose of keeping it in the first place!
i have seen this thinking lead to clutter in my own life whether it be holding on to an empty box (just in case i need to return that item), a kitchen utensil (just in case i want to use an electric carving knife next thanksgiving), an old aquarium (just in case i ever decide to set-up two at the same time), or baby items (just in case…)
RESOLUTION _ start be removing the things in your life that you know you’re not going to use again or don’t serve a purpose in your home (some decorations should fit in this category).
secondly, remove items that you haven’t used in the past year. if your “i should keep this just in case” mentality kicks in, put those items that you feel strongly about in a single box in storage with next year’s date clearly marked on the side (for example: “october, 2009”). decide in your mind any item not used in the next year will be minimalized from your home. from here, it’s a small step to reducing your clutter. and freeing your mind from this clutter-collecting thinking.