7 Things To Consider Before You Keep More Than You Need

7 Things To Consider Before You Keep More Than You Need

What’s the big deal about having more than you currently need? If it’s not your goal to become a minimalist, who cares if you keep a little extra?

While there’s nothing wrong with this thinking up to a certain point, reality often paints a different picture. If you’re being honest with yourself, are you keeping things because you may need them in the future, or are you keeping extra because you struggle with making decisions, you’re afraid you might make the wrong decision, or it’s just easier to procrastinate?

When It’s OK To Keep More Than You Need

When You Have Space

Extra rolled up towels in a cupboard

No matter how much you want to keep something, if you don’t have room for it, you can’t keep it. Without adequate space, you should let it go OR let go of something else to make room. The math is simple—you can’t exceed the space you have.

When You Care For What You Keep

When you decide to keep more than you currently need, you have to maintain it. You need to be able to keep it so that it doesn’t become a dust magnet or get crushed or broken and become non-functional.

When You Label What You Keep

When you keep something you don’t need immediately, it’s easy to forget where you stored it. An easy fix is to label the container or location where you keep the item so you can find it when it’s time to use it.

image of a handheld label maker

When You Limit How Much You Keep

You may keep extra food storage containers because sometimes you need them for church events. However, you don’t need to keep 30 pint containers when a spare five are enough. Keep a reasonable amount of surplus; don’t keep ALL the surplus.

Pushing keyboard button marked 'buy'

When You Exercise Financial Stewardship

If you can’t easily see what you have because of the excess and you re-buy things, that’s not good financial stewardship. Having extra items is supposed to help you, not become an expense

When Other Household Members Aren’t Bothered

If your spouse is unhappy with the amount of excess you’re holding on to, you need to work together to find a compromise. Keeping extra at the expense of a happy spouse is wrong.

When You Limit How Long You Keep Things

Assuming you’ve met the parameters above, it’s OK to keep more than you currently need . . . but only for a time. If you haven’t used the excess after a reasonable amount of time (consider expiration dates, fashions, your lifestyle, length of time, etc.), it’s time to let it go.

Man wearing very out of date clothing
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