The worst thing that could happen when you let go of ‘someday’ stuff

Once strictly utilitarian, familiar canning jars take on new decorative lives at the Funk Junk Boutique in Sevile, Ohio. (Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

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Once strictly utilitarian, familiar canning jars take on new decorative lives at the Funk Junk Boutique in Sevile, Ohio. (Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

What’s the worst case scenario when parting with your stuff?

About 15 years ago, I woke up one morning with a new idea. I should can my own vegetables. I headed to the store and spent a small fortune on canning jars and supplies.

I spent the next several days sterilizing jars, washing and slicing vegetables (and fingertips), and cleaning up a big mess at the end of each day.

After canning my last jar, I proudly displayed them on our pantry shelf. While beaming at them, I thought, “I am never doing this again.”

My feelings were confirmed by my family’s indifference as they ate the fruits of my labor.

When we ate our last jar of vegetables, I packed up the canning supplies and headed for the basement to find a resting place for them.

Now come on, you’ve done the same thing. Made a purchasing mistake, and then hung it back in your closet, stuffed it in the attic or hid it in the basement. Why? Because you spent a lot of money on it, and someday you might need it again.

About a year later, I was straightening my basement and came across the canning equipment. There were the reminders of my failed attempt to impress my family. I looked at them and said, “I’m getting rid of you this time.”

As I reached for the boxes, the old tape played in my head, “What if I change my mind and need them someday?”

My next thought was, “Why am I letting these jars have so much power over me? Let them go.”

I put an ad in our local paper. It read, “Free to good home. Canning jars. Used only once.”

Days later, I enthusiastically helped a very sweet woman load all of the jars and supplies into her car. She thanked me over and over again. I was happy to bless someone else with my perfectly good, well, junk.

Fast forward to this year. Canning jars are all the rage. People use them for decorating, storing supplies, crafts, etc. Even my youngest daughter asked me to buy some canning jars for a project for her room.

My fears came true. I got rid of canning jars and needed them someday!!! What do I do now?

I happily walked into the store and bought my daughter some canning jars.

I have no regrets about letting go of my canning jars many years ago. If I used the rationale that I should have kept them, I would have to use that same rationale for keeping a whole lot of other things we didn’t need.

Because I chose to let go of those “someday items,” my basement became a playroom where my children and their friends spent hours playing, instead of a storage room for items I may never use again.

I had to buy new jars, but seeing them play in a clutter-free basement all those years was priceless.

When you struggle to let go of something ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that will happen if I let this go and need it someday?” This simple question will give you permission to let go of items that can easily be replaced, while allowing you to live in a more clutter-free home.


Lori Firsdon will teach an organizing class on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Washington-Centerville Public Library, 111 W. Spring Valley Pike, Centerville. It’s titled “Senior Solutions: Organize Your Home Sweet Home.” For information, call the library at (937) 433-8091.

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