Breaking the JIC

As I was sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor early this morning, I realized as hard as my husband and I try, we still collect things – more importantly multiples of things. Things purchased because it was a BOGO offer so we have two bottles of Club Soda and two bottles of Tonic water lined up against the floor of the refrigerator. (they really do need to be moved to the garage for storage but that’s for another sharing…) Things we have collected or outgrown like the 2.5 sets of 5# weights. Yes, I am up to 8 lb weights and hopefully will be graduating to 10 lbs soon, but keeping the 5s, just in case….. Six individual casseroles for those six individual crepe servings I will probably never make for a dinner party but, just in case….

I only have two arms…what’s up with this?

My husband and I chose to stay in our 1465 square foot, 1952 year model house (it’s 70 years old!) rather than move into a larger house. Over the last five years we have done some minor upgrades to the windows, kitchen and landscaping but no additional square footage. We are empty nesters and thought a lot about whether to graduate to a different house, maybe one with a third bedroom but the reality is, when we have company, we use just the one extra bedroom. We have our long-term retirement goals which do include a slightly larger house but at this point, we are committed to making a house that is 70% the size of the average single family home in 2009 work for us. So we have to manage “collections” and stuff. And we have to develop good decision making skills on the “just in case” (JIC) collections.

What helps me break through the JIC is to ask myself the following steps and process questions:

1) Have you used these items in the last two years? If not, list all the reasons why you have not used the item.

2) How many opportunities have you had in the last two years to use these items and forgot to use or chose not to use?

3) What is the probability to use these items in the next year (smaller time frame)?

4) Is the probability an pre-contemplated active choice  or an opportunity by chance or luck? (Probability may vary. For the weights, because we are getting a little older, there may be a probability we get sick and have to rebuild upper body strength so it may be good idea to keep one set. For the the casseroles though, lower probability unless I make an active choice to use.)

5) Is the space allocated for the item adequate?

6) If you give away or donate, is it cost-prohibitive to replace?

7) If you give away or donate, can you improvise with another item?

8) If you give away or donate, will you REALLY be negatively harmed in some manner (emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc.)?

9) How much pleasure would you feel if someone else got use out of the item?

10) What is the final space value and probability to keep?

Low -1 Medium -2 High – 3 Very High -4 Total Value Scores Highest Possible Score Probability of Keeping
Probability of Use 2 2.00
Level of Importance to your lifestyle 2 2.00
Final Score 4.00 8 50%

Start small. Focus on the items scoring 50% or less. As you build courage and resilience, and yes, it does take courage and resilience, move to 75%.

Au Revoir, Good bye and Auf Wiedersehen weights and casseroles!

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