8 Things You Keep 'Just in Case' ...

All but the most minimalist among us are probably guilty of this one. How many things do you keep just in case they might be of use some day? Of course they never are, and we end up with cupboards full of junk that we never use and don’t even remember that they’re in there. Time for a cleanout, perhaps, if you can put your hands up to any of these?

1. Papers

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Now, it’s important to keep some papers for a certain period for tax purposes, for example. But do we really need bank statements from 1997, or old school reports? What use are out-of-date leaflets, or the receipt for items we no longer have? Papers need sorting out regularly, or they seem to breed.

2. Kitchen Equipment

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You buy a yoghurt maker so that you can make your own healthy yoghurt. Then you get a breadmaker when you convince yourself that you’ll love waking up to fresh bread in the morning. As great as gadgets like this seem, what actually happens is that you use them twice and then decide it’s easier to shop at the supermarket.

3. Clothes

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How many garments do we keep in the hope that they might come into fashion again, or that we might gain or lose the weight to fit into them? What about those bargains that you’ve bought but still have the ticket hanging on them? Many a wardrobe is full of items kept ‘just in case’ – but the case never happens.

4. Old Shoes

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Now, I don’t like throwing things away, but sometimes they just wear out and are no good any more. The trouble with shoes is that it’s a temptation to keep them in case you want to do some gardening (obviously only if they’re flat). If they don’t get used for that purpose, then bin them.

5. Boyfriend

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Be honest. Have you ever held on to a relationship that you know is past its sell-by date, because you are worried that you might never find someone else? That, too, is a ‘just in case’ scenario – ‘just in case I remain single for the rest of my life’. It’s not worth staying with someone because you fear being alone.

6. Medications

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If you have a medicine cupboard full of items that you bought ‘just in case’, then you might actually be a bit of a hypochondriac. While it’s sensible to have a basic first aid kit, it’s really not necessary to have more products than a pharmacy. Anything that’s passed its expiry date should be disposed of.

7. Books

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I’m a book lover, as I’ve often mentioned, but I’m pretty ruthless in getting rid of them once I’ve read them. Many of my fellow readers, however, do keep books in case they want to read them again. This is fair enough, but only keep those you will definitely read, otherwise you may soon feel like you’re living in a library.

8. Food

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Like the kitchen gadgets, we sometimes buy more unusual ingredients for a particular recipe that we only use once or twice. Then it sits in the cupboard just in case we can make use of it again. Be honest – will you definitely use it? If it’s just sitting there gathering dust – bin it.

There must be lots more things that we keep ‘just in case’ that I haven’t thought of. But what about you – are there any unusual things that you keep in case you might need them at some point?

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