When In Doubt, Get Rid Of It

When in doubt Get rid of it

While I take a minute to share an organizing thought, my 3 week old baby is sleeping peacefully next to me. I love hearing his little sleeping sounds. The last 3 weeks have mostly been a beautiful, sleepless blur, with plenty of bumps in the road. There are a few thoughts that have stood out to me and today I am going to share one with you.

As we struggled through infertility before my recent pregnancy, one way I attempted closure was to slowly purge the baby equipment remaining from my older children. Over time, we got rid of everything except one item I kept “in case”. It was a baby bouncer seat. The day finally came when I was ready to gift the bouncer to another family, so I loaded it in my minivan to drop off the next time I was out. Ironically, that same day I decided to take a pregnancy test. I wouldn’t have even taken the test if my husband didn’t suggest it, because I had given up all hope. I was hosting a baby shower at my house that day. Friends had already started arriving when I snuck away to the bathroom really quick to take the test. I knew I’d enjoy the shower more if I could officially squelch any distracting thought that I might be pregnant, because I truly expected the test to be negative. Next to me now is the proof that the test was positive.

After the baby shower, I went to my minivan and took the bouncer out. You would think that this is a happy ending and a case for keeping a plethora of things “in case”, but that is not the end of the story.

Since we’ve brought our baby home, we’ve been unable to lay him flat to sleep because of his reflux  One day it occurred to me that we could use the bouncer as an inclined place to sleep. Perfect! And I thought maybe the vibration will help him feel like he is being held, because this baby is happy as long as he is being held.

Unfortunately, the battery compartment had completely ruined in the 5 years since it was last used. The vibration was so important to me that I went ahead and bought a new bouncer seat that day. We’ve dragged our used bouncer seat that is large and awkward through a move and it has taken up unnecessary space for a long time, all the while it was self-destructing because we accidentally left batteries in it. Not to mention, the wear and tear that came to it when my kids found it and crawled all over it and bent some parts beyond repair. And because I tried to keep it, the seat was deprived of actually being useful for someone else. We would have been better off to sell it or donate it the instant we were done using it, while it was still in excellent condition and someone else could have gotten more use out of it.

There is so much stuff all over our homes that we are keeping “in case”, and these things are lowering in value every second they aren’t being used by someone who would appreciate them. By the time we get around to decluttering them, because the time will come, they are completely useless. Clothes being given to the needy are so much more useful if the clothes are still in style. And that doesn’t apply to just clothes. So many things lose relevance the longer we wait. {Do you watch those antique reality shows? Do they make you think the junk in your house is increasing in value?} 

I already know I’m going to get emails and comments about all the reasons you should keep this or that, trying to prove the purging principle incorrect. Go ahead, I love to hear from my readers, even when you disagree. However, I’ll go ahead and say that certainly I understand some things make sense to keep “in case”, but what I’m referring to are those things that do NOT make sense to hold on to – the things we SHOULD rid from our lives. I think you can all close your eyes and think of three things you have kept long enough. When in doubt, get rid of it!!

It is practically impossible to truly organize a space without purging and removing excess. What are you holding onto that needs to go? Go ahead, get rid of it! What will you get rid of this week? Tell me in the comments below or on Facebook!

Want to hear it from someone else? THIS article is a great read for purging/decluttering inspiration.


Happy purging,

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Comments

  1. Roxanne Thomas says:

    I so understand everything you just said. I really have held on to way too much stuff JUST IN CASE. Clothes I’ll never wear, sentimental junk that makes me uncomfortable and stressed out because of the clutter rather than making me feel a warm memory, the list goes on and on. I am starting to get rid of it. All of it. Each piece that leaves makes me feel so much better. Thanks for posting. (hugs)

  2. I am always trying to find space in our home, and it feels like a losing battle. I plan to make changes today & I cant wait to explore your other posts. Thank you SO much for sharing! !

  3. Totally agree. I have six kids and have given away many items in the interim, not knowing if the next one would come or not. So that means I have probably purchased 3 exersaucers, 3 high chairs, 2 baby swings, 2 cribs, but…that’s ok. I had the same issue where I did keep an item or two and then couldn’t use it. Give it away! You can always buy another, even it is your own back at someone else’s yard sale!!

  4. I used to struggle with this (still do every once in a while). Up until a couple of years ago, I had every piece of clothing that my then 8 year old had ever worn. I had kept it so long that a lot of the baby stuff was out of style. I managed to sell a lot at a consignment sale and donated what didn’t. I have kept of few outfits that have very special meaning but everything else gets sold or donated. My theory about this is “if God blessed me once with this, he will bless me again should I need it a second time”.

  5. I used to move frequently with my husband’s work, and I had to go through and get rid of things each move. Now that we are not moving, it’s so easy to keep things “just in case.” Your advice is great.

  6. Wonderful story and you definitely make your purging point! Congratulations on the new baby! :)

  7. Thank you!!! I have been struggling lately with the decision of getting rid of outgrown baby clothes and baby gear. My baby is three years old and we are having some fertility problems of our own. This totally confirmed that I’m doing right thing passing it on

  8. Marilyn Kok says:

    Clothes that I kept “just in case” I fit into them again. This post so convinced me to just move it. My loss will be someone else’s gain. Love your post. :-)

  9. The Lord always provides for our needs. I finally realized after our 7th of nine (slow learner) that I didn’t need to hold on to clothes, or stuff for that matter, for future babies. Thinking I was being frugal, I saved it all for future children. But then, generous friends and neighbors, even complete strangers, would give us clothes and baby gear. Most of these kind folks had one or two children and the clothes were in better condition than anything I had saved. In terms of young adult/adult clothing, I realized too late that even if I or my teens would wear it, by the time I finally passed it on, no one would be caught dead in it. So I should have just kept giving it all away as I went along. The Lord always provides, usually through others. I finally learned to pass things on, and He blesses others as He has blessed us. Still working on my attic, though! Thanks for your posts. All helpful. :)

  10. “And because I tried to keep it, the seat was deprived of actually being useful for someone else.” This one sentence says it all. Thank you.

  11. Excellent post! We just moved over the summer. We had been prepping and decluttering for a year in anticipation. Nothing new- uncluttered house sells! It sold in under 2 weeks, it would have been 1 day had the buyer financing not fallen through!
    We dutifully got a storage unit and diligently packed only what we thought we would need/want/ couldn’t live without and would use in the new larger house. We kept the Holiday stuff, the camping stuff and got rid of a LOT of stuff. But now the house has been sold and we are biding our time in a small apartment while bigger house is being built.We have decided to start purging again from the storage unit. Aside from the bulky holiday stuff and camping gear and a few pieces of heirloom furniture that will have a home in the new house- we are going to PURGE IT DOWN!! Starting tomorrow, our goal is to go through a few boxes every week, whether at the storage unit directly or bring back to the uncluttered apartment where we will have no choice but to deal with it. We have about another 5 months to go, give or take. I think we can do it. I think now that we have lived without it a year, and want the next move to go smoothly, we are definitely motivated to get rid of more stuff. So yeah- when it doubt- GET RID OF IT!!! WhoooHOOOO!

  12. Wow!!! I needed this today.

  13. I’ve got to get rid of things I keep hoping my family will finally get involved in, like board games. Never gonna happen! So your thoughts on giving it to someone while timely and in good shape strikes a note. To those of you purging knickknacks or items to which you are emotionally attached, a great idea is to take photos of the items and make/put in a photo album with the important info. It actually works wonderfully to purge, help you remember, and also be able to share with others who might like them, like family… And you don’t have to dust them!

  14. Heather Gillespie says:

    Thanks for your wise words. I think it makes sense to give things away when we have finished with them to bless others…. and if we need them again in the future God will provide. He provides for all our needs!

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