How just in case takes away from our motherhood experience, and how to fix it

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

My friend was talking about this guy Justin and how he can really can really hold us down.

I was confused at first because I didn’t know him, and I thought we were talking about clutter.  He brought her nothing but grief. So much grief that she stopped inviting him over. She really hated the guy but sometimes she would let him come over and she just learned so much more how she really hated him. Just when I was about to go protective big sister on her, she told me it was her “just in case” clutter!
It gave me a HUGE mindset shift in the clutter that we hold onto and why. If it were a person, we would not be so tolerant of letting them come into our homes and purposefully bring us down, make us feel guilt, and keep us pigeon holed. 

So why do we hold onto things just in case? There are a few reasons that seem to be pretty universal, and true for me personally.

A fear of lack

We want to be prepared for that moment in the future that we need something and might not have it, or might not have access to it.
There is regret that we have already spent money on it, and we fear maybe in the future if we need it we may not have the money to get it. Or we fear by getting rid of it we are wasting our money.
It can also be us living in the past and fear moving forward. Or we are living in the future and fear a future lack of abundance.
Maybe it is some variation of..
I’m not ready, afraid to let go or I’ll need this and won’t have it.


The flaw in these thoughts is that too little is never our issue, too much is.
Most of us have too much! I would say almost ALL of us have too much. Yet we are stuck in these patterns of thinking that we either don’t, or at some point won’t.
Having too much stops us from doing the work that we love. It stops us from being able to spend time with people who we love.
When we left our life long home of Alaska to Florida, I talk a lot about how we moved with only one suitcase of things each. This is true – that is all we brought with us BUT we also left about 8 giant bins of “just in case” stuff at my in-laws house. It was stuff we held onto because we thought that at some point we may need it.. and we learned very clearly and powerfully that just in case actually means never.

We had things like…

  • my husband’s arctic gear just in case he ever went back to Alaska for a vacation or hunting trip and needed it.
  • Basketball shoes and soccer cleats just in case we ever went back to Alaska and wanted to play soccer, or just in case we actually paid to have those boxes shipped and then wanted to play soccer in Florida.
  • An actual broken old school Nintendo just in case my husband wanted to fix it so we could play with it again.

Be honest… how crazy do those sound reading them to yourself???? I can’t believe we were seriously going to spend thousands of dollars to ship BROKEN electronics? Or spend thousands to ship some shoes we could easily drive down the street and get?

By the way, my husband has never gone back to Alaska and needed his arctic gear. We also bought new soccer shoes.

I share that with you so that maybe you can start looking at your clutter in a new way.

Ask yourself –
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?

Be really honest with yourself when you start to purge your things. We can and will always come up with some reason to keep our things in the name of “Justin Case”. Once we can break free from his reigns we are given the chance to truly free up the time, space and energy to spend on the people and things we love most.

Even more though, we can start living in our present lives instead of worrying about the future, or staying stuck in the past.

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

  1. We just got rid of my husband’s arctic gear that he last used in 1981. I still have a pair of my ballet pointe shoes for my friend Justin Case.

  2. Thank you! I’ve been working on decluttering, and over time I know I am doing a lot better about getting things out and not bringing more in, BUT ol’ Justin has still been hanging around with the constant guilt and shaming.
    Your question of if I could drive less than 20 min and pay less than $20 to replace something really clicked with me.
    Yes, it’s worth the few dollars in the future if I ever need to get a replacement for an item I had declutterred. This made sense- it gave me a realistic amount to use when deciding if it is worth holding on to.
    Thank you!!!

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