Just-in-case storage

While sorting through some boxes in a storage space, I found a tub full of over-the-counter medications.  Allergy capsules, cold and flu medications, throat lozenges, pain meds, itch cream.  All of them were long since expired.  I’m sure I thought it was a good idea to stay stocked up on these items “just-in-case,” but when they ended up in an unseen storage spot and forgotten all about, they became nothing but a waste.

While it’s important to keep a supply of basic first aid items on hand, it’s not necessary to keep several years’ worth of medications.  I recently read an article on decluttering and the author said not to keep items that can be easily replaced for less than $20 in less than twenty minutes.  I don’t know how I feel about that.  For example, if I’m sick and need a cold and flu medication, I don’t want to have to run out to the store while I’m feeling ill.  So maybe having one bottle in the medicine cabinet wouldn’t be clutter. It’d just be practical and prepared.

But I realize that I actually do have a lot of “just-in-case” storage.  Not just meds, but also clothing, books, kitchenware.  When I’ve watched shows like Hoarders, it seems the people often begin with a keeping things “just-in-case” mindset, but then it gets out of control for them.   Stumbling across my hoard of just-in-case medicines today gives me a lot of food for thought.

Why do I keep the things I choose to keep?  Is it sometimes fear of the future?  Needing a sense of security?

Do you have items you keep around “just-in-case?”