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Old 12-30-2012, 12:20 AM   #1
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How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

Share some tips. one of my favorite blogs said that as they've been traveling around the US over the last 5 years, they've learned to pack light. So many people fall into a what if trap so they pack things they'll never need. They developed a 20/20 rule- most of the things they thought they needed could actually be replaced within 20 minutes and for under $20. If it fits the 20/20 rule, then don't pack it. they've only needed to replace 3 things in the last 5 years of travel.
While that rule has definitely helped me pack less (do I really need to take neosporin, slippers, and nail polish remover?), I also try to apply that mentality to my home. If its something that I could replace for free or cheap by asking friends or neighbors for help, or to borrow something, I pitch it. Or if I think I could find it in a store for under $20 if I REALLY need it, then I pitch it. Like an extra serving platter-if I really needed out, I could replace it. But I guarantee that if I pitch it now, I'll find when I go to use it that I didn't really need it, and will find an alternative rather than buying a new one.
How else do you all convince yourself to part with items?

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Old 12-30-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

This is my biggest problem. We've been so tight on money for years, that I've saved everything in case we need it at a later date. I don't want to have to replace it. I'm learning that a lot if can go but I'd gladly take some suggestions, if anyone else wants to comment on this.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

We are military, so move a lot. While we typically have a good amount of notice, I try to keep things so I can pack the house within a few days. If it will take me more than a week to pack or unpack, something needs to go. And by unpack, I mean put everything where it belongs, not just get it out of boxes.

Also, typically, if I haven't needed it in the last 6 months, it's safe to get rid of. The only thing I can think of that would've been nice to keep was a few baby items, but as there are 4 years between our younger two, it didn't make sense to keep the stuff for that long. There are a few other things that would probably fit in the category, but not many.

And some things, it's the amount that is saved more than the fact that we have some. For instance, do I really need to keep on hand 50+ plastic grocery sacks? No. It is a good idea to have some around -- sure, but not 50. We approach books and toys the same way. Instead of getting rid of all the My Little Pony toys or the Hot Wheels, or whatever, we keep a limited number.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

If I haven't used it in the past 2 months, it's gone.
with the exception of memorial items like photos.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

I just ask myself what the worst part would be if I found myself wanting it later. Most things are replaceable if I really missed them, or wouldn't be THAT detrimental to live without (I might wish I had a purse or sweater that I had gotten rid of, but it wouldn't make me sad every day or anything). I also remind myself that I get more satisfaction and have less stress when things are less cluttered, and that messes and clutter bring me down and affect my mental state and happiness levels. I remind myself that the less stuff in my house, the easier it is to clean and maintain. That I like when my house is always company ready, and I don't have to panic and start grabbing stuff and cleaning like crazy because someone wants to drop by for five minutes.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

This was/is my biggest hurdle with decluttering, because money is always so tight I feel like I should keep everything so I don't have to rebuy anything. I've gotten so much better mostly by taking my thinking to the end - so asking myself okay so I throw this away, what's the absolute worst that can happen? I may need to source another one at some point. How much will that cost me? - $2? $5? $10 - is the space more valuable to me and my family than that money RIGHT now? The answer is always yes. I have rarely had to purchase something again anyway so that tells me that it's okay to just let it go. My money issues are not improved by hoarding stuff, infact I think it makes it worse. I feel instantly better when I declutter so its worth it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

^ Well said!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

I like the 20/20 rule for packing. I do pretty well minimizing things at home but I seem to be getting worse in the packing category. I've been frustrated on our last few weekend trips because it always feels like we are taking too much stuff.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

GREAT topic!

We are minimalists at home, packed the van for a week of travel with the four of us (food included because we could not afford to eat out) and felt like I was taking the whole house with me. Add to that all the stuff we GOT from Christmas and its like I'm not a minimalist at all. To our family, they didn't think a thing of any of it. To me, it was overwhelming and educational!
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
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Re: How do you talk yourself out of 'what if's?

I (finally) just gave myself permission to (re) purchase that item if in the future I found I needed or wanted it. Especially when money is tight, it's hard to do, but it was so freeing when I allowed myself future purchases. I don't think I've actually repurchased anything I've gotten rid of, but knowing I could if I decided to take up that hobby again, or found I needed another shirt, or whatever, really helps me let go.
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