Why Aren’t You Using What You Already Have?

Today’s topic is life clutter.

Specifically, those things that we have, but we are not utilizing.

Ironically, sometimes these items are crucial to our safety and/or well-being.

Yet, we let them sit idle hoping that we might use them someday.

What do you have that you’re not using?

The Unused Helmet

I was at a friend’s house the other day and I saw a red bicycle helmet sitting on a table.

It appeared new, and I asked him if it was.

He replied, “No, I got that when I bought my bike last year. I just never use it.”

I jokingly said, “Well, I hope you’re wearing it the day you need it.”

The conversation ended there, but it got me thinking about other important items that we have but we don’t use.

What do you have that you aren’t using?

  • Gym Membership – Having a gym membership may make your feel good, but using it is what gets you in shape. Why are you paying for it, if you aren’t using it? By the way, this is why gym’s love annual contracts.
  • BlueTooth Headsets – Why are you talking on your phone in your car while your headset is sitting back at the office?
  • Seatbelts/Helmets – Safety items can’t protect you if you don’t use them.
  • Alarm System – Why are you paying for that fancy home alarm system if you never set it? And “it’s too much trouble” isn’t going to cut it after something happens.
  • Employee Benefits – Do you have benefits (that you are paying for) that you aren’t using? Many people do not fully use the benefits that they are eligible for from their job.
  • Credits/Gift Cards – I bet you have at least one gift card sitting in a drawer. Or an unused credit that will expire at some point. (Airline ticket?)
  • Subscriptions – Magazine subscriptions, clubs, and more. If you don’t regularly utilize them, then unsubscribe.

Use It or Lose It

We all have items that we bought or acquired because we thought they would serve us well.

However, if you let them sit idle they can’t serve their purpose.

Additionally, they clutter up your life both physically and mentally. (That exercise equipment that is always in the way. Or the subscription that you have been meaning to cancel forever…)

Here are some tips to deal with your unused items:

  • Use Them – Some items are important, yet we still don’t use them. That alarm isn’t going to do much good if you don’t turn it on. Nor is that helmet if it is sitting at home. Make an effort to start new habits with the items that you should be using.
  • Get Rid of Clutter – You are probably saying, “But, I might need it someday.” Yet, that exercise equipment is covered in clothes at the moment. (As it has been for months.) Get rid of items that you are no longer using.
  • Stop Paying for Them – That gym membership you have used twice in 18 months? Cancel it. The magazine subscription that has piled up on the living room end-table? Unsubscribe. Save yourself the cost and the trouble.
  • Give Them to Someone That Will Use Them – If you aren’t going to use them, then give them to someone who will. Sell them on eBay. Or donate them to Goodwill.

What Do You Have That You Are Not Using?

In a society that is obsessed with the acquisition of more stuff, you probably don’t use many of the things you have.

Some of those items are important to your safety or well-being, yet you leave them idle.

Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, take a hard look at what you do have but aren’t using.

And by all means, turn on that alarm system when you leave the house.

Share in the Comments: What items or services do you have that you are not using?

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7 thoughts on “Why Aren’t You Using What You Already Have?

  1. I almost never watch TV. Why am I paying for cable in my “triple play?” I could either save that money or use it toward a faster internet connect (which I do use).

  2. This feels particularly relevant for me. I am a terrible hoarder and it’s got to the stage recently where the amount of physical clutter in my life is starting to make me feel so disorganised it affects my working life as well. I have just started on a major life laundry and although there’s still a lot to get rid of just one corner cleared, sorted and halved by packing things off to the charity shop or donating them on freecycle has already lifted my mood as well as decluttered the house a little. I’m working on a corner at a time otherwise the task itself gets overwhelming and never gets finished.

    • I recommend a fantastic book “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things” by Frost, which tackles this subject in a thorough, engaging, and compassionate way. I found more help in this one book than in hundreds of hours of decluttering, fresh-starts, garage sales, eBay , etc.etc.

  3. Great article.

    After a week of vacation, I realized I had accumulated a lot of electronic baggage over the past year. This week I unsubscribed to 15+ regular emails. From the grocery store to educational institutions, I decided that if I need to hear from them, I can simply go to their website.

    My uncluttered inbox has never felt better.

  4. Craig – We are on the same wave-length on this one, brother.

    I’ve decided that the Un-Cluttered Life (Home, Office, and Mind) is the life I want to have. All this extra ‘stuff’ is sucking the life out out me. I can’t (won’t) take it any more. It is physically and mentally draining. It’s crazy!

    I invite everyone to do a self-assessment to see what they can truly get rid of.

    Hope you have a great weekend!