How “Just In Case” Traps Us Into A Clutter Filled Motherhood

Want Less Clutter and More Peace at Home? Avoid These Rookie Mistakes.

Hands up if you dream of a clutter-free home where you can find things without a search party? Do you want it ASAP? Of course, you do! Perhaps you've tried every decluttering hack under the sun, only to find yourself drowning in the same mess.

In this post, I'll share 3 rookie mistakes many moms make when decluttering, specifically why holding onto things “just in case” is a trap you can easily avoid.

What is “Just in Case”?

My friend was talking about this guy Justin and how he really holds her down. I was confused at first because I didn't know him, and she's married. She went on and one about he causes her nothing but grief, so she stopped inviting him over. Me loving this secret drama was like yesss tell me more. But then she told me it was just, “Justin Case”… Just in case… Her just in case clutter. It's a bad joke and a fake story but let's get into why you're here today and that is dealing with this, too.

Before we dive into how to conquer clutter, let's define “just in case.” Imagine you're a parent facing a rainy day without raincoats, or a child's favorite toy suddenly lost. “Just in case” mentality means keeping items because you fear needing them later, even if they clutter your space.

For moms, this often means holding onto baby clothes, toys, or household gadgets long past their usefulness, just in case they're needed again.

The Number One Rookie Mistake: Clinging to “Just in Case”

Meet Sarah, a determined mom striving for an organized home amidst the chaos of family life. She kept bins of outgrown clothes and boxes of unused toys, believing she might need them for future children or sentimental reasons. Sound familiar?

The mistake? Clinging to items “just in case” creates clutter that overwhelms and steals valuable space. It's like stockpiling supplies for a disaster that may never come.

Here are some things I kept just in case that are very laughable in hindsight:

  • My husband's arctic gear when we were living in Florida. It's snow gear for when he worked in -60 degrees outside all day. “Just in case”…
  • Random craft supplies “just in case” I ever got inspired to create something random…
  • An actual broken Nintendo “just in case” my husband ever wanted to fix it so we could play with it again

Why Do Moms Make This Mistake? Lots of very valid reasons!

1. Sentimental Attachments: Items associated with memories, like baby clothes or gifts, trigger emotions that make letting go difficult.

2. Fear of Waste: Concern about discarding perfectly good items fuels the “just in case” mentality, even if those items are rarely used.

3. Parental Guilt: Moms often feel guilty about letting go of items they once cherished or spent money on, even if those items no longer serve a purpose.

What to Do Instead:

1. Set Clear Criteria: Establish guidelines for what to keep based on current needs and usefulness, not hypothetical future scenarios.

2. Prioritize Space: Your home is a living space, not a storage unit. Allocate space wisely to avoid clutter buildup.

3. Donate or Repurpose: Items no longer in use can find new homes where they'll be appreciated, easing guilt and clutter.

Mistake #2: “But What If I Need It Later?”

Beyond sentimentality, many moms hesitate to declutter because of the fear of needing an item after it's gone. This fear drives the accumulation of “just in case” clutter, undermining efforts to simplify.

Why Should You Avoid It?

Holding onto unnecessary items wastes time, space, and mental energy, detracting from a calm and organized home environment.

What to Do Instead:

1. Evaluate True Need: Assess the likelihood of needing an item again realistically. If it's rarely used or easily replaced, consider letting go.

2. Create a Transition Period: Box up items you're uncertain about. If untouched after a designated time, donate or discard without hesitation.

3. Focus on Present Utility: Keep items that enhance your daily life now, not potential future scenarios.

Mistake #3: Clutter as a Security Blanket

Some moms see clutter as a security blanket, believing it protects against unexpected needs or provides a sense of preparedness. However, clutter often creates chaos rather than security.

Why Should You Avoid It?

Excessive clutter breeds stress, hinders productivity, and prevents your home from being a sanctuary.

What to Do Instead:

1. Mindful Consumption: Adopt a “one in, one out” rule to balance new acquisitions with existing possessions.

2. Practice Gratitude: Appreciate what you have and let go of items that no longer serve you.

3. Seek Support: Join communities or enlist a decluttering buddy to stay motivated and accountable.

Bonus! How to Achieve a Clutter-Free Home

When I started my journey to a clutter-free home, I learned through trial and error what truly works. Despite decluttering everything when we moved from Alaska to Florida I still had to learn how to maintain my clutter free home, and break free from purchasing things for “just in case”. 

Here are three tips that helped me along the way:

1. Declutter Regularly: Schedule small decluttering sessions to maintain order and prevent accumulation.

2. Stay Consistent: Develop habits like daily tidying or a weekly decluttering routine to keep clutter at bay.

3. Embrace Simplicity, not minimalism: Shift focus from acquiring more to cherishing what you already own, creating a peaceful environment. In conclusion, tackling “just in case” clutter is a journey toward reclaiming space and peace of mind. Like many moms, I've faced these rookie mistakes head-on and found solutions that work. Remember, each step toward a clutter-free home is a step toward a happier, more organized life.

And ask yourself these questions when you want to keep something and aren't quite sure if you should…
1. Have I used this in the last year?
2. Do I have a purpose for holding on this?
3. If I ever do need this, can I drive under twenty minutes and replace it for less that $20?
4. Why am I keeping this?

Ready to start decluttering like a pro? Get my free training & checklist How To Create A Decluttering Plan That You Can Start & Finish Decluttering Your Home!

For more tips and inspiration, connect with me on [social media links]. Let's declutter together and create homes we love!


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