Security is an illusion – Security Clutter

Zine Organization
Photo by Kate*

The fourth kind of clutter that Colleen at 365 Less Things describes is Security Clutter.

You are probably wondering how does security fit into the clutter equation, and of course I am going to give you my answer to that. Sometimes we keep our clutter because we want to be secure in the fact that it will be there just in case we do need it one day. We may think we will need it to remind us of loved ones or good times and don’t want those memories to slip through our grasp. We may think we need it because it may actually come in useful one day. And in extreme case we may think we need it to stave off some impending disaster that might befall us.

Either way we keep things for the secure feeling they offer us.

Yikes.  This is another big one for me.  I have a very hard time letting go of anything useful until I am convinced that I no longer need it.  Believe me, I am very hard to convince!  I have been thinking about the questions Colleen suggests you ask yourself to determine if you can release those useful objects:

* Have I used it in the last three months?
* If I am not using it now, what are the chances that I am going to use it in the future?
* Could I get by without it even if I eventually did started doing the thing that it is useful for?
* Could something else I own perform the same task?
* Do I use it often enough to warrant the space it takes up?
* Could I borrow one from a friend or family member should I “need” one in the future?

I need to apply these questions to the huge pile of office supplies in my garage.  I have sorters, file folders, file crates, in box trays, baskets, boxes… if you can sort into it, I’ve got it.  I keep thinking that when my office is “done” or my scrapbook room is “done,” then and only then will I know which of these things I really need.  The problem with this thinking is that I may never be “done.” The extra cost that repurchasing whatever I felt was essential would probably be minimal.  Instead, I have cost myself lost space in the garage (we don’t park in it, but we’ve talked of making it a game room) and stress in my marriage.

Look for a big office supply purge in my future.

  • {Clutter} released: A Presto Burger Maker and The Everything Pot.  We got this pot for our wedding 19+ years ago, and we have two other much nicer pots of about the same size.  I’ll be sad to see it go, but I don’t need it any longer.  Perhaps I’ll take a picture of it and scrapbook it!

3 thoughts on “Security is an illusion – Security Clutter

  1. I know it’s hard. This one is especially difficult for me, too. I fear that my memory will fade to nothingness in the future, and so I need these things to remind me of … whatever. I also hang on to items because I already have strong associations with them. The ugly mid-century swag lamp – well, every time I look at it, it reminds of being carried into the house in my mom’s arms, my dad either kissing or patting my head, them discussing how sleepy I was. The item is a strong trigger so I can’t dispose of it. Take a picture and scrapbook it? In one of my many, many blank albums?


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