I'm a lurker on this forum and have been inspired a lot by all of you.
I'm struggling however with the following scenario:
I just bought my son a lunch box since he started preschool and realized when we tried to open it that he can't open it without my help - not good! There is no way that I can return it since it had a seal on it and it needed to be broken in order to open it and I live in a country where returning things that have been opened is nearly impossible. So, what would you do with it? There is no use for this item in my household right now and it's just sitting in the back of my cabinet. Should I keep it for when he gets older? I'm tempted to donate it, but feel so bad about spending all the money - it actually was quite expensive for a lunchbox since it had some character on it (cars).
What do you do with things you've just bought and they don't work they way you expected?
In the past, I would have gotten rid of any item that wasn't necessary. If it's not useful or pretty or what have you at that moment, then it has very little use in your life, right? Wrong. My opinion won't be popular, but I'm going to express it any way... After years of living on the minimal side, if I could do it all again, I'd keep those questionable items. It's not always right to rid of things that don't serve you at that particular stage of your life. This is what my personal experience with decluttering for years has taught me.
When I read about people getting rid of family items/heirlooms because it's not serving them in their life *right now*, I often cringe and hope to god that in 5 years time from now (when there lives are so different), that they are not hunting down those very same items.
Now back to the lunchbox.. I would keep it. How much space does a lunch box take up anyway? It's not like you're keeping 4 lunchboxes in there for a 'just in case'. It's one spare lunch box that he can use when he is older. In financial times like these, it wouldn't be wise to rid of an item you would most likely re-purchase in 24 months time from now, especially if it cost a fair bit. Personally, I'm starting to look a lot differently at my de-cluttering efforts.
Edited: Because I realized I derailed a bit there.
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Unless you really need the cupboard space or unless you have already replaced it with something else, I would keep it.
He will need a lunchbox. He will learn to open it, as his strength and fine motor skills improve. With some practice, perhaps he can even use it later this year.
In the meantime, is it possible to use it for something else? A little treasure box, a coin bank, etc. Something that he won't need to open frequently and won't mind if he needs your help to open it.
Will he likely still be into Cars when he learns how to open it, or do you think he'll have moved on to new interests?
If you anticipate using it in the next year or two, I'd hold on to it. If you think it will be longer before you can use it, or you don't have room to store it, or you're not sure you'll ever get to use it, then I'd get rid of it. You can sell it on Craigslist or something to try to recoup some of your costs...
Thank you so much for all your advise! I really appreciate it! I have already replaced it with a not so "cool" item that opens up easily. My son doesn't seem to mind that there are no cars on it (he isn't into cars, more Thomas the train). But I will keep it for later - you are right, he most likely will use it in a few months!
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