There’s a reason Marie Kondo was able to build a career out of helping people decide what “sparks joy,” which is that a lot of us just have too much stuff! All too often, we keep things we don’t really need “just in case,” even when the item in question has spent the past 5, 10, or even 20 years in storage!
Getting rid of those unnecessary items that are cluttering up our homes and storage units can feel very liberating, so it’s a practice that I encourage frequently here on my blog. But I’ve also experienced the regret that comes along with having gone overboard during a clutter purge, and it can be every bit as miserable as being overwhelmed by clutter!
So today I thought I would take a slightly different different approach to the decluttering conversation by focusing on the things you may not want to get rid of. So without any further ado, here are 7 items you may want to think twice about before throwing away!
7 Items You’ll Likely Regret Throwing Away
1. Leftover Wall Paint
One look at your scuffed up mudroom wall that grease stain next to the oven can have you wishing you had held on to some of that leftover paint from the last time you painted! Sure, there are ways to match an existing paint color (or at least get pretty close to it), but it would be a lot easier if you could just grab the exact same paint out of your garage.
Any time you finish up a painting project around the house, you can plan ahead for those moments by transferring some of the leftover paint to a smaller, air-tight jar. Label the jar with the color name, paint number, paint brand, and jot down where in your home you used that specific color.
The smaller containers won’t take up as much space as bulky paint cans, and you’ll know exactly where to find what you’re looking for when the high-traffic areas in your home could use a touch-up.
2. Handwritten Notes And Cards
In this digital age of texting and email, handwritten letters, cards, and messages have become increasingly rare. While keeping every letter or birthday card you’ve ever received probably isn’t advisable, I do recommend keeping a few meaningful notes and cards from your loved ones. Those heartfelt messages could very well become treasured memories down the road!
3. Important Documents
A good rule of thumb when it comes to tax documents or other financial records is to keep them for at least 7 years before tossing them in the shredder. (This is the longest period of limitations the IRS has to assess additional taxes, and although it only applies only to those who have filed a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction, it’s always better to be safe than sorry where the IRS is concerned!)
In any case, those important financial documents can come in handy in the event that you start a new job, apply for a loan, visit the DMV, or buy a new house or apartment. For non-financial documents with important information I may need, I like to take a photo or scan them and store the files in a password-protected folder on my phone and computer. That way, those documents are both backed up safely and easily accessible to me, even when I’m out of the house.
(Tired of papers cluttering up your office? Check out these tips for organizing your paperwork!)
When you purchase high quality cookware made of stone, enamel, or cast iron, part of what you’re paying for is its staying power. In fact, a lot of heirloom cookware is not only durable, but can actually get better with age. Any of your cookware that is damaged or rusty can be tossed, but as long as your other pieces of sturdy cookware are properly cleaned and stored, they’ll last you a lifetime. And if you have cast iron pieces, make sure to season and clean them properly so you can pass them down for generations to come!
5. Jars And Other Reusable Containers
Not only can glass jars and plastic containers be reused for food storage, they can also be used for a number of crafty DIY projects! You can turn old mason jars into beautiful water candles, and empty yogurt containers make great storage jars for spices and condiments.
The possibilities are endless, but in case you need a few ideas to get you started, check out this list of ideas for repurposing old containers.
While holding onto any sort of clothing can be a burden if you don’t have much closet space, belts are small enough to be considered an exception. As long as your belts are in good condition, you can roll them up, hang them, or otherwise stow them away until you have need of them.
7. Original Packaging From Luxury Items
Did you know having the original packaging of a luxury item usually increases its resale value? If there are certain items you splurge on like designer shoes, expensive watches, or fancy phones, be sure to hold on to the boxes, bags, and other packaging they came in.
If you ever decide to sell those items, having the original packaging may give you an advantage in the marketplace. The original packaging can also help protect items from dust and damage if you ever need to store the item away!
What item(s) would you add to this list of things worth keeping?