decluttering

The phrase I learned to hate: We might need it for something

Spending a lot of time at home means I keep thinking about getting back to decluttering my belongings. But because I don’t leave on my own, every time I want to throw out or donate an item that isn’t my own, I have to ask my mom if it’s okay to get rid of it.

And more often than not, I hear “no, you can’t throw this out. We might need it for something.” Or worse, I’ll hear a much less specific “we might need it later”.

I’ve written in the past about being minimalist when your family is not. I’ve shared what it was like to initially declutter books and clothes when my mom wasn’t sure what to say to that. Since then my mom expressed some envy about my new pared-down wardrobe where everything I have fits me and I use everything frequently. She even thought out loud about maybe decluttering her own closet.

Though nothing ever came of it.

I don’t think anything ever will. Mostly because every time I want to declutter things like kitchen utensils or, God forbid, plates, she immediately objects with the now-hated phrase.

“We might need it” for something in some event in the future.

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand holding onto something even if you use it once a year or something. But twenty people could eat a two course meal at our house and there would still be plates left unused… We have vodka glasses, wine glasses, crystal water glasses, regular water glasses and shit ton of mugs. While all those mugs can be blamed on me and my teenage obsession for collecting them, we don’t actually drink alcohol. I cannot fathom why we need so many alcohol related glasses. And why, even if we discovered an affinity for wine, can’t we just drink it from regular glasses…

No matter how much I’d like to throw something out, this hypothetical situation that will probably never occur is standing between me and my minimalism.

Try as I might, I can’t seem to convince my mom that even if we end up needing the item in the future, we could just buy one. Or do without it anyway, substituting something else for it.

Though, honestly, if we haven’t used it once since moving to our current apartment 15 years ago, what are the odds we’ll ever need it?

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