I have a number of "just in case" items that I have been hanging onto, even though they don't actually get used. For example, I have a collection of disposable bags that I have been keeping. They make the cupboard more difficult to use, but occasionally I want to bring a collection of things to people, and I need a way to collect them all together.
For example, I have been collecting a number of books to return to my mother. If I leave them on the bookshelf I know I will forget to bring them (ask me how I know!). So I have been collecting them in a paper bag, and I can leave the whole thing there or I can bring the bag back home. If I were to get rid of those disposable bags, what could I use instead? I probably have a cute basket I could use, and that would look nicer while I am waiting to drive up to my mom's house.
I need to look at a number of clutter-y items this way. I have things I use, but I don't like the way they are stored, or I just have too much and I would like to have more space. What could I do instead if I got rid of certain objects? Could we use the oven instead of the toaster oven (no, my family would riot and that would use a lot more energy to make toast).
I need to do this a lot more with areas that have a lot of things. We still have a relatively large collection of CDs, but we mostly listen to Pandora if we listen to anything (I like quiet). Can we get rid of the CDs in favor of Pandora? I don't know. I'll have to try this out on my family, and see how they take it.
We already do this quiet often with books. Unless a book is something we read regularly (at least once a year) I've been trying to let the library be our bookshelf. I should be able to find alternate sources or alternate uses for things, in order to increase the living space in our home.
Using creativity instead of stockpiling everything I might need, "just in case," is better. I just need to get back in the habit of creating solutions so I can clear more living space.