Just-in-case is not your crutch

Have you ever said to yourself “just-in-case”? What were those circumstances? I bet in all likelihood, it was towards an object.

I’ve been trying to figure out why we need the “just-in-case” items in the first place. Is it because we have some apprehension and uncertainty about our lives? What doubts are we trying to mask by keeping these items around? I, for one, continue to struggle with “just-in-case” items, although, I have come along way from lugging around items that I didn’t truly need. For me, “just in case” is stronger on three occasions: when packing for a trip, when buying something and when we are de-cluttering and minimizing. It seems to be a crutch for most of us.

The Minimalists had a post about this awhile back and they used a 20/20 Rule to decide if they really needed an item. That is, if a “just-in-case” item is needed, they should be able to get it for under $20 and within 20 minutes. It seemed fair enough, but my problem with it is that it could be very wasteful to replace items often.  What I venture to guess if we just go without said item, we probably will find that we don’t need these “just-in-case” items in the first place. 

I think “just-in-case” has a very strong pull on us because we don’t know what the future holds. We are bad predictors of the future and perhaps fantasize and idealize our future selves. This results in scenarios in our heads that are outside the norm and we have to compensate for it. In many cases, we probably also do not want to get caught surprised and unprepared. The thing though is we really only have a few needs. Our wants are great, but our needs our few. So the next time, a “just in case” scenario pops up, decide if it’s really needed. Count how many times it has happened in the past and decide if that 1 out of 10 warrants bringing or keeping that item. I bet statistically the odds of an event happening is so small that “just-in-case” doesn’t make sense. I also believe that we all need to start being a little resourceful and on some occasion stay in the uncomfortable zone and learn to live without. What’s the worse that can happen?


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