Too Prepared Can Be Ugly & Clunky


the neshama project

You would think that moving 13 14 times would have immediately cured me from keeping unneeded stuff but actually it did the opposite. The curse of seeing the potential in every little thing and not having a lot of extra money can easily create the perfect storm for keeping EVERYTHING. Every time we moved, I was afraid of getting rid of something house related just in case I might be able to use it in my next house. The idea of regretting not keeping something seemed worse than keeping a bunch of maybes that we had to take with us everywhere.

I felt it was wise to keep stuff just in case. That way I’d be prepared for everything. In the process, I used up a lot of space storing the just in case. It complified things. It made moving a bigger beast.

There’s no way in life I can be prepared for every little thing that happens. Why was being prepared for any decorating issue such a big deal to me? It was a way of protecting myself.

I didn’t realize how dumb and detrimental it can be to insist that I keep everything with potential possibility. Because one of my best traits is that I can see the potential use in just about anything. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Looking back, I see my folly in carrying around that extra stuff just in case the perfect senario arose.

slope sittingsource

31 home  13

31 2014


  1. This is perfect for me and where I am in life! Thank you ~Sonya

  2. hmmmmmm I’m thinking you wrote this just for me. Yep I’m ready to purge. again.

  3. Oh My Gosh Girl! This is a picture perfect example of how I feel !!! Moving out & changing places every now and then can lead to a very weird state of mind. but guess what, this post really has uplifted my spirit!
    Jessica x

  4. This is so me, I box and pack and label things in case we need them one day. What day? I blamed being in my home for 15 years but now I realise it is a state of mind.
    Time to Spring Clean, I am in Australia, this time a deep deep clean.

  5. I have had a similar outlook due to the same circumstances, but finally came to the realization that a.) it’s just stuff; and b.) God provided in the past and will provide what is necessary in the future. I’m still working on it, but have found over 30 years of married life that the few things I have ever regretted getting rid of were items of sentimental value that went during some drastic purges. Everything else that has gone has been like a link falling from a chain, especially if I was able to bless someone else with it.

  6. Having moved my mom from three different houses she filled with “just in case” I can tell you that your descendants will be forever grateful that you had this epiphany sooner rather than later!

    And that photo illustrates this thought process perfectly! love it!

  7. What a thought-provoking post! This speaks to me as the wife of a just-retired career Navy man. Having moved at least 15 times during that career, we accumulated a semi-truck load of “just in case” belongings. After our most recent move, I’m still staring at boxes I will never unpack. Regarding other commenters’ references to elderly parents, how does one get them to detach from excess stuff? With them, it’s a matter of both just-in-case AND a lifetime of memories packaged in all that stuff.

  8. Oh, the slope sitting suit! How do you find these things?!

  9. I agree totally. What I realized is that I will always enjoy the hunt for the piece of possibilities, so I don’t have to worry about not having it stored somewhere. That is not to say that I don’t have my supply to resort to; it is just not that hard to let some things go. I actually love the feeling of getting rid of stuff; and if I can give it to someone else who has a vision for it, that is even better!

  10. Wow, you’re speaking my language! I too have this problem. And we live in a tiny apartment with NOT enough storage to begin with…why do I hold onto things just in case? It definitely does make things complicated!

  11. Love. That. Suit.


  12. Amen! Also, that picture is the best. Because, who doesn’t need a slope sitting suit???

  13. A few years ago, we were helping my FIL clear out some things before he moved. There was a set of encyclopedias from the early 1960s in the rec room. He fought us tooth and nail about getting rid of them.

    • I have that very same set of encyclopedias as decoration on my entertainment center b/c they were my husband’s grandmother’s. I am a purger and not very sentimental. My husband, on the other hand, is a hoarder. For example, I had to make him recycle his college textbooks from the 80’s. Can you say outdated??? We’ve finally reached a point where just about everything in our house (after six moves in five years) is used or kept for a very good reason. We started five years ago with two (yes, two) storage units and an apartment with lots of over-crowded space to a nice home with no storage units and not much extra “stuff.” It was hard work but totally worth it.

  14. I teach English…have taught grades 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12. I have kept EVERYTHING I ever used for teaching–including stuff from the time I taught US History (which I never will again, God willing and the creek don’t rise). Sometimes it’s good to purge.

  15. ^Consider it a 30 day cleanse for your life.

  16. Hey Nester! I had to pop over from my reader today to leave a comment because you totally struck a cord with me on this post! While we haven’t moved quite as many times as you (we are a military family and this is our 5th home in 9 years), I feel exactly the same way about our decor items and household things. It’s so hard to get rid of things that might work in the “next” house, but the reality is, we are dragging more and more JUNK around the country in hopes that it will someday work or fit. A year into our current house, and we’re mostly moved in and decorated. Time for me to clear out all those things in the garage that didn’t make the cut, there’s just no point in keeping it all – thanks for articulating this “conundrum” so well!

  17. I have the same talent/curse of seeing the potential in everything!! We have moved 13 times. Each time I’ve dragged stuff wih us just in case. Love the topic for 31 days.

  18. Kinda like those clothes in my closet that I might, just might, wear again one day when I shed 1,328 lbs? Ya know, in case all the stores close down or I don’t have the time or money to shop for new clothes when I drop said weight?
    Yep, I’m convicted.

  19. That picture! BAhahaha! :)

  20. Thanks for the laugh! The slope sitting suit was the perfect photo to go with your post.

  21. This is a great point! I love the idea of only have around what I needand use regularly….But I tend ti function in “what if?” mode. Not good!

  22. I used to do that, also. About 4 years ago my thinking shifted and now I only keep what I can use. Plus I do so much thrift store shopping that I have learned pretty much anything you need is available somewhere and the few dollars I pay for it is cheaper than me moving and storing it!

  23. yes! and that jogging suit is definitely ugly and clunky!

  24. I haven’t moved 14 times (been in the same house for 25 years) but I still have a horrible time getting rid of things. Thus the closets and garage are stuffed. Time to purge

  25. Haha. That last picture makes me laugh out loud. I’m somewhat the opposite. I’ve only moved a few times, but I’ve seriously purged every time. But, I’ve still carried around guilt that perhaps I should have valued my things more and kept them, that I should have hung on to whatever-it-is item because it would fit so well in our new place. But, the truth is something new is always provided, especially if we get creative. Letting those guilts go… Thanks!

  26. We have moved 15 times in the past 18 years, many times across the country. It has resulted in the opposite problem for us – we have kept very little. As a single mom, there was always the component of “do I really want to carry this down the stairs into a truck, pay to move it across the country, then carry it back up the stairs into the new home where it may or may not fit?”. We have finally purchased a home and are putting down roots and I actually find myself regretting many of the pieces I gave away. There is a balance between keeping what has no value, and valuing the pieces that tell your story. My motto is: Does it serve a purpose in my daily life? Is it a quality piece that will serve a purpose ten years from now? Do I love it? If I can answer yes to all three then it comes home with me. If not, then I admire and pass.

  27. Jenn Becker says

    Oh man I needed to be reminded of this. When we moved two years ago into a much smaller house I cut our belongings by more than half. BUT our basement I still littered with “just in case” items that have been crowding our much coveted storage space. Time to go through all the things…again.

  28. I find each year I get to a place where I’m ready to get rid of more just in case stuff. It’s hard, but so rewarding. It’s definitely a process.

  29. Wow! I can’t believe that lady has the same slope-sitting outfit as I do! I should’ve gotten in the orange. (Seriously, that pic MADE MY DAY! Hilarious!!!!!) I keep stuff for the same reason – I “could” use it, and I let homeschooling sometimes be a reason to hold onto 80,000 toilet paper tubes. I finally realized that the kids waste enough toilet paper and we have enough people in our family, that I can realistically get a new tube every two days. It’s the small things! :o)

    (By the way, I’m still laughing over the slope-sitting suit!)

  30. Melissa McIntyre says

    I find it very interesting (and hopeful!) that many people I know are starting to really evaluate their lives and all the “stuff” jammed into their lives and houses. Praying this trend continues and that our “first world” problems fall to the wayside and we (myself included) STOP over-consuming so many pointless “things”.
    And WOW……. that suit is seriously intense! Someone was incredibly bored the day that was made! :-)

  31. Getting ready to make our 8th move in 16 years and this inspires me to pack better this time. Even though I’ve been weeding out over the past couple of years, there is still more that can just go.

  32. You got that right…a friend of mine said to me once you have the “poor man’s mentality”…you keep everything with potential because one day you might need it…

  33. I want the suit. Seriously. My wardrobe needs a boost :-)

  34. My husband has taught me to be more open to surprises and spontaneity! Before I was too much of a planner and had to have control. I’m so grateful that he opened me up to this!!!

  35. A picture’s worth a thousand words. What an impact.

  36. That picture is hilarious, and so perfect for this post!
    I’ve got the opposite problem though, I pretty much don’t keep anything, which sometimes doesn’t prove to be a good plan!

  37. WHOA can I relate. Always saving stuff “just in case” it was right for the next house. The next move. Being on a budget and moving a lot can make you a borderline hoarder :)

  38. I love this! I have tons of crap that has accumulated over the years and I’ve only moved twice. Yikes!

  39. Wow! I have some of those potential possibility items. I guess it’s time to get rid of them! Thanks!

  40. Love it!! I was seriously *just* talking to someone about how I feel me God’s been telling me (for quite a while, but maybe I’m finally starting to listen!) to pare down and lighten my load instead of trying to be prepared for everything.

  41. LOVE the word complify! Anyway this post got me going…The Minimalists suggested letting go of stuff in the month of October…1 thing on the first, 2 things on the second etc. Well baby steps for me and I decided to let go of one thing everyday! However its the third and I have been too busy (lazy) to start. So I rushed (walked) upstairs and started a Goodwill box! Thanks for the encouragement!!:)

  42. I’m new here to the Nesting Place, but I feel at home and uncomplified already : ) The picture in today’s post made me laugh. Your new word makes me laugh. I like it!

  43. Wow! Did this hit a nerve. My husband and I have moved 10 times in 12 years – one of those moves we sold the house furnished. (I still miss things that we left in that house) We moved into our current much smaller house five months ago and have gone from two storage units to one (very large). We don’t have room for all that “stuff” so it is time to just let it go. It will happen – I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other – right?

  44. This really resonated with me. We recently made our first move together (but my 13th!) and I know EXACTLY what this is like. I had never thought about it as a crutch before, but now that we’re in a smaller apartment- obviously not our forever home- I can see how this may be more detrimental than I want to admit to. Thanks for the eye-opener!

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