extra spatulas donate to goodwill

Getting Rid Of “Just In Case” – Next Level Simplifying

Getting Minimal And Simplifying Your Life Can Take Some Time

About a year ago I started my super purge, and it was really easy to get rid of a ton of stuff right off the bat, literally over the course of a weekend. But once that first “layer” was gone, I finally had to deal with the things that I kept thinking “I really should keep…” You’ll run into it too. If you’re really trying to get minimal and simplify your life of things you no longer need, it’s imperative that you deal with the things you keep around “just in case.”

READ NEXT: You Might Have Too Much Underwear.

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Cleaning And Simplifying Your Life: Round One vs. Round Two

For clarity, let’s just call them round one and round two. Round one of cleaning out your clutter is where you’re feeling out the opposition, and round two is where you really start throwing punches. Round one is like the first layer of the onion, while round two gets really under the skin.

If round one is like a nice bidet spritz, refreshing but short lived, then round two might be like a whole colonoscopy; it really starts to clean that sh*t out for the long haul.

empty the closets and minimize

Seriously. Who Needs 15 Spatulas? Simple Is Beautiful!

So round one of the purge really does go swiftly. It’s the extra 10 or so t-shirts that you never wear, or the stanky ones that you don’t wear in front of others. It’s the 3-4 pairs of jeans at the bottom of the drawer that are starting to smell like, well, a stagnant drawer.

Guys, It’s at least 10 of the dozens of ties that you own, knowing that you only wear about 10 of them regularly anyway. Gals, it’s probably 5+ pairs of footwear that you just never wear anymore. (Yes, I’m guessing that’s a conservative number…) It’s the handful of extra plates, bowls, or glasses that seem to never get used. The butter knives or other utensils that don’t quite fit the set, or that 15th spatula.

extra spatulas donate to goodwill
This is a picture I took at my mom’s house. The 15 spatulas reference was not a metaphor!

Round two; the deep clean

Round two of your minimalistic junk purge assumes you’ve skimmed that surface and gotten rid of the easy stuff. This is where you start to say to yourself, “Self. you may need that suit one of these days,” when you actually still own 3-4 suits.  All those beautiful place settings and crystal glassware you got at your wedding that you’ve never used? What about those boots that are just perfect for that one type of occasion…that has never happened and may not actually ever happen?

“Self, you look so good in that dress that you last wore at your best friend’s wedding two years ago…”

Dig deep to only keep what you really need

Do you really need 14 coffee mugs, or 10 wine glasses, or all of that Tupperware or leftover storage? Or could you clean half of them out? Just because it matches doesn’t mean you need it. If you got rid of 6 of 12 matching mugs, someone else would have six matching mugs, and so would you!

That awesome brown bomber jacket that looks like the one Vin Diesel wore in Triple X… with the fluffy fake wool neck/collar? That one you only wear like a dozen times a year because you most often wear your black peacoat?

Yeah. You don’t look like Vin Diesel, and the coat’s not helping. Deal with it bro.
(…he says to himself…)

I used to actually love buying mismatched plates, wine glasses, mugs, etc., at Goodwill or the cheap home goods stores. No more “which one of these identical wine glasses is mine?” when people are over, and the table just looks way more interesting! Eclectic can be a lot more fun than matching. It’s actually one of the reasons I like my life more now…it’s electing and an adventure more than boring and stagnated.

Spoiler alert: your friends wear clothes too!

If you’re a lady, you are probably freaking out the most here. Struggling to come to terms with getting rid of that round two of clothing in the closet that’s “perfect for…” but maybe gets worn once a year. Here’s the deal. Unless you’re some sort of social outcast, you likely have friends your size, or at least close.

Ladies, forgive my observation, but I’ve noticed that you often run in packs happen to conveniently contain friends of similar heights and shapes.

There’s your out. If you’re saving that dress for the perfect occasion, ditch it, knowing that you likely have a friend with plenty of clothes you can borrow.

Guys? Same deal. You only need 1-2 suits and a few ties. A handful of dress shirts, assuming you don’t work in an environment where that’s your daily attire. In either of these situations, in dire straits, you can run out and buy a new piece of clothing and return it. But you’ll be surprised that you’ll likely not run into that situation. In a year since my main purge, I haven’t.

Truth be told, I did shed a tear, for just a second, when I tried to find that bomber jacket months after my round two purge. That feeling quickly passed when I realized that my limited choices actually made my life easier!

But I love entertaining people!

I hear you. I love to cook and entertain in my kitchen or my back yard. But I was hoarding tons of stuff in the kitchen for those occasions, and most of it wasn’t really being used. Extra cups, plates, mugs, wine glasses… and the list goes on. Unfortunately, I didn’t entertain as much as I thought, and when I did it was usually only with 6-8 friends anyway.

I accepted the fact that if I got rid of a lot of these “just in case” items, I might need to ask friends to bring a few things, occasionally, when I have a shindig.

I’m now down to 4-6 of most vessels or flatware and 6-8 place settings, which I find still feels like excess. Most folks drink the beer in cans/bottles that they bring to the party, and the only fixtures I’ve really had to ask for were folding/camp chairs for outside, which I always asked people to bring anyway. What is that saying? Perception is your own version of reality or something like that?

What was also happening is that, by owning all of those extra dishes and utinsels, I would end up using them, stacking up the dishwasher and sink and becoming an eyesore and a source of stress for me. The same happens with too many clothing choices.

With less choices, I do dishes and laundry more often and as needed, which keeps my house cleaner. Win-Win.

Clean out that attic or garage

If you have a garage or attic, you likely understand that those places become depositories for “just in case” and “what if” stuff.

They’re essentially gigantic junk drawers that eat most of what you put in them alive, leaving you wondering years later “what the hell is this thing even for?”

As a guy who doesn’t hire contractors and does every project/build in my dojo myself, I had acquired many seldomly used specialty tools over the years. I’m not a big fan of our “throw-away” mentality/economy these days, so if I had extra this or that, it went in a bin or on a shelf. I also own a Jeep Wrangler, which has a lot of aftermarket diddlehickeys available, so I had extra lights, tops, mirrors, etc., sitting around. (I made that word up. You can use it. You know you want to. Diddlehickey.)

READ NEXT: Sleep in A Jeep Wrangler!? JKU Bed Platform & Storage Step-By-Step How To Build It

The old adage holds true here as well. If you haven’t used it in a year or so you likely don’t need it. Own three tents? Really? 7 fishing poles and 3 tackle boxes that are perfectly good…but don’t fish? Old tools from your favorite uncle that passed away, just because you didn’t want to part with them (him)?

If they’re not getting used he probably doesn’t feel the sentiment. Extra wood and construction materials that are likely waterlogged or won’t be used anytime soon? Burn it.

These are all opportunities. Giving gifts is so rewarding and personally fulfilling, especially when they’re truly wanted and will be used.

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

The tackle boxes full of tons of practically new lures (from my uncle the Muskie fisherman) went to one of my best friends—the Muskie fisherman. It was like Christmas morning and his birthday all wrapped in one. It feels great to purge, give, and know someone will appreciate those things.

Make a toolbox out of all of those triplicate tools and give it to a young guy or gal you know that likes to build or is on the verge of adulthood. All of a sudden you might be the favorite aunt or uncle…if you weren’t already!

All those Jeep parts sold for a pretty penny on craigslist. Extra tents (if they’re good ones) and outdoor gear, tools, fishing gear, etc., can be bulked together, then sold “as a whole” for a decent price. Gets rid of the haggle, and quickly gets rid of your bulk.

And I’m always a proponent of Goodwill or other sources that help those less fortunate. No matter what, just make sure you take those things to someone that will put them to good use as opposed to throwing them in the garbage or letting them gather dust in another garage.

READ NEXT: How Not to Suck at Craigslist – Selling

And be careful, since some of those donation places will actually trash things that don’t fit their stores or business models. No bueno. 

That’s it, a few examples of that next round of stuff that you might be fighting to get rid of. The bottom line is that if you’re going down this road, the reluctance to the purge is something you’ve created, and you’ll likely feel so much better when you get over it and go next level.

Get over the “just in case,” trap, get rid of it, and move on. You’ll likely wonder what all the fuss was about.

— Jason

Travel Planning Tips

Figure out where you are going & how are you getting there…
I suggest using at least 2 to 3 different travel search sites. Start with Skyscanner or Orbitz or Booking …or whatever aggregator site you prefer. Then when you see what airlines to use, check their respective sites for better deals or rewards flights.

Figure out where you’re going to stay…
If you’re interested in hostels, search Hostelworld or Hostelling International. For longer-term or more private digs, look at Airbnb, VRBO, or you can look for hotel rooms in the links from the search engines listed above. 

Get comprehensive travel insurance, or in the least, travel medical insurance if internationally…
Especially with Covid not going anywhere, get covered. Start with an insurance aggregator like Insure My Trip, or with SafetyWing, World Nomads, or another. Then decide what is important to you; trip cancellation, baggage coverage, medical, or all of the above. And get a yearly evacuation plan, since you’ll have to get home after your emergency! 

Need more resources? Click here!

This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs and may earn from qualifying purchases. You’re never charged more, but it helps out little by little! Check out “Privacy” in the top menu if you need to know more!

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