Overcoming “Just in Case”

Getting into the mindset to declutter is a process. You have to have the desire to start and it can be really daunting if you have a house full of stuff. Then, once you get started, there are those things that make you hesitate. You ask yourself “do I need this?” and although you haven’t even touched it, thought about it, or known it was there for months (possibly years), you get stuck wondering if maybe you’ll use it later and how it may come in handy one day. 

I’m here to tell you that probably 99% of the time, “one day” never comes. That item will continue to sit, unused and unloved, right where you left it until you go through your things again. 

We know we don’t use these things that catch us up, but we still want to keep them. Why? 

Mainly because of fear. We’re afraid if we get rid of something, we’ll need it right after. As someone who has gotten rid of about 60% of what I previously owned, I can assure you I’ve never once needed any of those “just in case” items. 

Clutter overcomes us because we keep so many things we don’t actually need. 

But what if you’re the exception and not the rule here? Well, I’ve got great news for you. Here are some tricks to put your mind at ease and let go of those “just in case” items. Most of these are concepts popularized by The Minimalists, Josh & Ryan. 



There is a difference between those items that you really use less often (a hammer or ski pants) vs those things you are holding onto in case you ever need them (your old coffee maker you’re holding onto in case the new one breaks).

Things that actually add value that you use less often are perfectly fine to keep. If you know you are going to keep skiing, holding onto those pants is a great idea. Items like this are used for certain occasions usually and not part of the typical day-to-day. For me, this is camping gear. However, if your new coffee maker were to break, would you actually want to get your old one back out of storage? You probably got this new one for a reason, after all. My guess is you’d just go get another new one, so that old one needs to go! 

If an item is actually used but is more for hobbies or once in a while things like hanging pictures around the house, it’s a “just for when”. If it’s buried under other unused items and hasn’t been thought of in the last 12 months, and you’re just afraid to get rid of it, it’s a “just in case”. 


THE 20/20 RULE

Most of the items we hold onto thinking we’ll need can be replaced in 20 minutes for $20 or less. This means if you DID need that thing for some reason, you can probably get it within a 20 minute drive for $20 or less. 

Now, I know we aren’t all made of money and replacing things we already had seems pointless. But the truth is this: you never used it anyway, so there is a very slim chance you’ll ever need to replace it. And even if you do, it’s not something that’s likely to break the bank. This should ease your anxiety and allow you to move on and let it go. 


THE 90/90 RULE

If you haven’t used it in the last 90 days and aren’t realistically (key word here) going to use it in the next 90 days, it needs to go.

This typically envelopes the big season changes, but you can obviously adjust this to your liking. You can do 30/30 or 120/120, whatever works for you. But this allows you to see the practicality of the things you’re holding onto and if you haven’t/won’t use it within this time frame, it’s safe to let it go.



If you are really trying to get rid of things but you’re too nervous to take the plunge, create a hold box. Get a box of whatever size (or more than one if you really need to) and put those “just in case” items in it. Close it up and put it out of sight for a while. A month, 6 months, a year..whatever you’re comfortable with. Set a reminder in your phone for that amount of time, and if you haven’t needed anything in that box in that time, donate it. 

The key here is DON’T OPEN IT after the time is over. Don’t tempt yourself all over again. Just take the box and let it go. You’ll probably have forgotten all you put in there anyway!



I recently started tagging my clothes to keep track of what I wear and don’t wear. I have a roll of ribbon left over from my wedding and I decided to put it to use. I cut a small piece and tie it around the top of my clothes hangers. Whenever I wear something, I remove the ribbon when I put the piece back on the hanger. At the end of the year, if there’s anything still with a ribbon on it, it’s safe to let it go. 

Now, I do think there are exceptions for special occasion items, but that’s about it. This took me maybe 10 minutes to do and will save me a lot of trouble down the line by showing me what I actually wear in my closet!



This is a trick I use for my stuff. If I’m unsure about something, I post it for sale. Even if I’m concerned I might need it later. I mostly use Poshmark and ebay, but will use Craigslist for bigger items like furniture. If it doesn’t sell in set amount of time (I use 2 months) or I haven’t used it, I donate it. If it sells before then, I see how much it really means to me when I go to get rid of it. If I REALLY need it, I can always cancel the sale. But I’ve never had that happen and I have no problem letting it go as I would rather have the cash!



Sentimental items are the hardest to get rid of, I agree. We associate them with times in our lives and memories. But the truth is the memories aren’t in the things themselves, they’re in us. The things spark the memories. 

When I started getting rid of things and I finally got around to the sentimental things, I had a process. If I loved the item and was happy to have it, I kept it. I have a stuffed animal my grandpa gave me as a baby and although it’s so old and a bit ratty, I know I’ll never get rid of it because I still love it. But the things that I kept out of guilt but didn’t really like I would take pictures of and donate. My pictures didn’t take up any extra space and they still allowed me to look at the items and remember the memories just the same. 

Don’t feel obligated to hold onto things that you don’t love or that don’t bring you joy. If you think your mom would kill you for getting rid of something, ask if she wants it, or a sibling or other family member. Or don’t say anything about it! It is your life, after all. Once you get rid of these things that are holding you down, I promise you’ll feel much lighter! 


The truth is things are just things. Anything that you look at and think “I might need this later” when you haven’t needed it in a long time is likely just taking up space in your home. Donate it to someone else that can really use it, or sell it if that makes you feel better. 

Once you begin to declutter, I tell everyone it’s like a snowball. You get this momentum and the more you go, the easier it gets. If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of things the first go-round, you most likely will later.

My first big purge, I got rid of quite a bit and was sure that everything that remained was something I wanted to keep. But as time kept going on, I was acutely more aware of those things I wasn’t using and had just held onto for one reason or another. 

Almost 4 months later, I’m still finding things I want to let go of. Decluttering is a process and it takes some people longer than others, but if you’re really determined, you’ll get there.


Are you struggling with getting rid of things or wanting to get started but aren’t sure how? Leave a comment below or send me an email at thompsondanir@gmail.com! 

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  • Enjoying a wonderful long weekend trip to Wisconsin visiting Jake’s older brother and enjoying allll the cheese curds 🧀
I’m working on limiting my social media activity and only taking one picture to capture a moment instead of 30 trying to get them perfect. It’s been a nice side effect of minimalism and it’s helping me learn to not be so concerned with what others think, stop playing the comparison game, and live in the moment. I’m much more relaxed and happy without all the unnecessary drama and stress of the world. Definitely recommend trying it out if you struggle with anxiety like I do ❤️
  • I’m not a big selfie person so here’s one with my little ham to make it better while I show you my new hair🤳🏻
. 💇🏻‍♀️ I’ve cut off 8+ inches of my hair since my wedding. This last cut over the weekend was the big finale, an additional 4 inches off. Doing it slowly made it less of a shock and helped me confirm it was really what I wanted. This is the shortest my hair has been since I was 5!! My mom used to cut it and gave me a mullet once sooo I’ve kept it long ever since 🤣🤦🏻‍♀️ My sister @juliestanbridge loooves to tell that story to anyone that’ll listen. I was definitely ready for a change and I’m thrilled with this length. .

I’m really enjoying the simplicity of less makeup and less hair care lately 😌 it takes me 15 minutes to wake up and get ready every morning, including making coffee and my lunch! I feel more beautiful in my own skin which has been a life long struggle, laugh lines and all. This simple life is more than I ever expected in so many ways and keeps getting better as I go. How could your life be better with less?
  • Today is a happy excuse to share some wedding photos ❤️ .

I’d be so lost without my mom and sister. I’m so blessed to have such a close relationship with them both. It wasn’t always this way but I’m glad that as I grew up, I realized how much I needed them both. They’re my rocks. .

I’m thankful for my mother-in-law because she’s accepted me wholeheartedly into the family and she raised my amazing husband and taught him how to treat me. Not everyone is so lucky to actually love their in-laws so I really appreciate this and don’t take it for granted!

I’m thankful for my Godmother, Kim, my best friend Courtney’s momma who is literally like a second mom to me and I love her whole family dearly ❤️ they’re a constant blessing. .

And Happy Mother’s Day to the moms out there like me who hold their babies in their hearts instead of their arms 👼🏻 You are celebrated today, too! #happymothersday
  • Getting rid of the extra stuff in our house we never used has been the best way of keeping it clean and organized. Everything has a place. There are still pictures on the walls and decor items on the shelves, but I don’t feel the need to have EVERY INCH decorated like I used to. It’s nice to have more open space, it looks and feels bigger! .

I always thought I was disorganized, but the truth is I just had too much stuff. Because let’s be real, if organizing your stuff actually worked, wouldn’t you be done by now?
  • Happy Saturday ❤️ I’ve been super inspired to write lately so I’m working on multiple blog posts. It feels so good to write again.

When I started talking about minimalism instead of fashion, my engagement dropped dramatically. Like, 70% probably. It was pretty upsetting in the beginning, not gonna lie. .

But likes and comments and followers aren’t what matter. The people that followed me before followed me for something I’m not talking about anymore, so that change is really ok with me. I’m appealing to a new audience now and I love that. I want to provide value to you guys, it’s the only thing that motivates me. I don’t post just to post anymore. I just had to realize that the people that are left still want to hear what I have to say, so I keep going for you! Thank you for being here ❤️
  • I’ve really been enjoying my time away from social media, but I also still enjoy mindlessly scrolling through pretty pictures sometimes. Life is all about balance. I see a lot of my fellow bloggers also struggle with the balance of creating a successful page and knowing when to give ourselves a break. It can be overwhelming! .

I put up a new blog post today about why I decided to give up on my shopping ban and instead focus on a LOW buy year and not a NO buy year. The main reason is it makes more sense for my life because things have come up and I don’t want to guilt myself into not buying something if it will make my life a bit easier. Minimalism is not about deprivation, it’s about intentionality. You can see the post at DaniThom.com via the link in my bio ❤️

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