“Useful” clutter

I say “useful” in quotation marks because this clutter is not stuff you actually use. It is stuff you are keeping because of these deadly phrases:

  • It might come in handy sometime
  • It must be good for something
  • Somebody could use this
  • I am going to fix this

So the broken toaster remains, sometimes for years, even though you have replaced it with a working model. The plastic sour cream containers multiply in the cupboard. Rubber bands, twist ties, and bread tags take over a drawer.toaster

If you haven’t managed to repair it in a reasonable amount of time, admit that you’re not going to, and let it go.

Set boundaries on the amount of containers and twist ties you will keep, and set the others free.

When you find yourself saying “might be useful,” recognize that this means that you do not think it is useful now, and resist the temptation to hang on to it. If you do find yourself in need of a bread tag or rubber band, you will be able to find one at the store.

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