Use It or Lose It: The Case for Giving, Donating or Selling Instead of Storing

Use It or Lose It: The Case for Giving, Donating  or Selling Instead of Storing at


The phrase “Use It Or Lose It” came to mind recently as I organized our cloth diapering supplies.

They had been boxed up for close to two years and after one wash the elastics in the legs and back fell apart.

Admittedly, I was surprised.

I had naively thought that those sweet pocket diapers were eagerly waiting for our second child as much as I was and would be in as good a condition as when I packed them away.

The truth: the elastics had been aging even without use. Even the PUL outer of one of the diapers had felt the effects of time and the waterproof layer was separating from the fabric.

Time, gravity and the environment will age your things even if you’re not using them.

Those clothes you boxed up for a former or future lifestyle, they’re wearing out even if no one is wearing them.

Read the rest of this post at Home Your Way

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  • And this simple post has just solidified my decision to sell all my stuff that I have boxed up waiting for that “someday use” or “TBD garage sale.” Consignment/donation it is!

  • Several years ago, we tried the garage sale route and it didn’t work out. And over the years, we have accumulated a crazy amount of “someday” stuff, a lot of it kid related. We’re done having babies now, with our kids being 6.5, almost 3 and 4 months. As stuff gets outgrown, I’m donating it. We’re hoping to move to a better neighborhood, which happens to have smaller homes. The more junk we can get rid of, the better off we will be and the easier the move will be. I also am awaiting charity pickup of a lot of my own “someday” stuff, lots of craft supplies, baking stuff and so forth. I’m tired of the mess in my house and hope someone will enjoy the bargain they find.

  • We have or have had a lot of “someday” stuff, but this year I am slowly but surely sorting, cleaning, and getting rid of soooo much! I am so glad I found this blog because it just seems to give validation to all the crazy “get rid of it” ideas I’ve had for years!

  • Well, that ended the tug of war in my thinking! Been contemplating how far do I go in getting rid of children’s clothes….half the stuff I have saved for my 2nd boy are the wrong seasonal wear as we live in a different climate now. I do challenge myself as to “these clothes could be helping someone dress their child now, rather than sitting in storage in my basement.” I’ve got things out in front of my house for the donation truck to pick up this morning. The truck has been to my house, I think, 5 times since I began my Spring clean out and declutter about 2 months ago. My husband is loving it and so am I. Thanks for being a constant encourager! It’s finally hitting home to me and making sense! (took awhile) :)Please keep up the great writing!

  • I gave away a lot of our baby stuff to my sister even though we hoped to have more children. I’ve had to buy a lot of new things for our next baby, but I don’t regret it. She was able to use the stuff while it was still nice, and now I have new things that are more current and fit our needs better. I am glad I hoarded baby clothes, though–most of them have stood the test of time, and I haven’t had to buy a single piece of clothing yet.

  • Just went through the closet and got rid of half a dozen “someday” dresses that are all perfectly nice dresses, I just don’t have the kind of life that presents any occasions to wear them! I’m hoping they can all find good homes with someone who will love and wear them!

  • I totally agree and even though I have 7 kids, I keep very *little* from year to year. Things that go into storage clean come out with mysteriously appearing stains. It’s just not worth it when everything I buy them comes from thrift, consignment or eBay anyway, not to mention the hand-me-downs others bless us with!

    Hear, hear :)

  • I have moved 16 times in my short 37 years on this planet. Each time, I take less and less. When we moved from CA, we had to put our stuff in storage for 4 months while we found a home in TN. By the time we found a home and unpacked, 75% of what was packed up was ruined from either rusting (CA coastline is beautiful but the salty air did a number on things like our bikes, toys, anything metal). We also found out that the 4 days it took us to drive the stuff from CA to TN, things got a little sweaty. Mold was growing over clothing, toys, decorative items, picture frames, etc. Not a lot was salvageable.

    Here is the kicker. I had taken what we truly needed with us to our temp. home. In the 3 years since this, we have added very little. Beyond new mattresses, a few new toys, some clothing and a newer car, we haven’t added much more and it’s been very freeing and my bank account is much happier. 😉

  • I always think of that old advice to box everything up you’re not currently using, and if you don’t feel the need to open the box within 1 year, you probably don’t need anything in it, period. “Someday” never comes when it comes to storage, I find – so much better to give things away to someone who can use them now.

  • I have tried selling our things but that just ends up being more hassle than it’s worth to me. Instead we give it away. If we haven’t used it in more than a few months, with the exception of seasonal items, then we either give it to someone we know who can use it or give it to Goodwill. I used to store things for someday, but then I realized I’d rather have less to keep track of. If I need something again I can find it at a yard sale, second hand shop or even buy it brand new if I absolutely have to have it.

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