I often hear the phrase “just in case” when I am helping clients reduce their clutter. I will pick up an item and ask, “Do you ever use this?” The client will say, “No, but I want to keep it just in case.”
I work through this with the client, exploring the various scenarios in which this item will be needed again, and how likely these scenarios are. I usually conclude, “And in the unlikely event that you need it, you can always buy it again.”
This actually happened to me recently.
I am continually shedding my stuff in an effort to practice what I preach and live a less cluttered life. Every few years, I review my CD collection and get rid of the CDs I never listen to. I’ve sold some on eBay, and donated others.
I’m going to be directing a musical this fall. The musical is “Brigadoon”, written by the same team that wrote “My Fair Lady”. I appeared in this musical in college but never owned a CD of the score until a studio cast album came about 20+ years ago. I bought that CD but didn’t listen to it much because it contained all of the dance music, which is not as much fun as listening to just the songs.
When I decided to direct the show, I went over to my CD cabinet to find it. It wasn’t there. I can only assume that it was one of the ones I purged in recent years. So what did I do? I bought it again.
This wasn’t as easy as it sounds, since it’s out of print. I ended up buying a used copy on Amazon.com. For all I know, it’s the same one I sold a few years ago!
Was it annoying? I will admit that it was. But it’s a rare occasion for me to have to replace something that I got rid of. And it won’t stop me from continuing to shed my stuff.
In this age of on-line shopping, you can buy practically anything. In the rare instance that you end up needing something you got rid of, you can usually replace it with something newer, faster, and shinier than the one you would have held on to.