I am much better at not buying new things than letting go of old ones, so a lot of my organizing posts tend to focus on purging rather than stockpiling items. Also this is a blog aimed at minimum wage earners who often have to move frequently and usually have less storage. So minimalism is often financially beneficial.
However, as you settle in life, the assets you have slowly acquired can be a great benefit. Something as simple as owning a broom, means you don't have to go buy a broom.
If you know anyone who grew up during the Great Depression, you may have noticed they tend to save everything, sometimes to an extreme, but during times of great economic distress holding onto items and repurposing them is an important survival skill.
Things You Should Hold Onto:
Detailed tax records that are less than 3 years old.
(Click here for more detailed advice from the IRS for individuals and here for self-employed individuals )
Receipts for non-consumable items within return date.
Warranties (until they expire)
Instruction manuals for things you may need to take apart or maintain/troubleshoot.
Clothing for next season (If you haven’t worn it in 3 years, it’s probably safe to let go, but there’s no sense in a new wardrobe every six months. A spacer saver storage bag may be a good investment if space for winter clothes is a problem.)
Deeply sentimental items. (If you’re someone who is sentimental about everything, work your way to minimalism by letting go of the things you care the least about but allow yourself a few representative items which are most precious to you.)
Everyday items that are useful in the long term. (A set of stainless steel utensils may outlive you if you take care of them.)
Useful scraps (any crafter knows this can go overboard, but if you have a ½ foot of wrapping paper left, you can save that by rolling it up with other large scrap pieces and securing with a rubber band, and use this collections for wrapping smaller gifts.)
Useful used items (recycling plastic bags is good, but you can also save them and reuse them as liners for small trashcans. Unless they're in bad shape, save gift bags for reuse. My best friend and I sent the same bag back and forth between us for several years.)
A set of tools and extra screws (you don’t need to be a handyman, but you should be prepared to do some basic repair work and/or furniture assembly by yourself. A dollar store bead sorter will give you a place to safely store odd nails and screws which are likely to come in handy at some point.)
Things that are likely to be important for major life goals, particularly within the next five years.
Exactly how much stuff you should save depends a lot on your available space and how frequently you need to change locations. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but I was beating myself pretty badly for holding on to certain items last weekend. And then I took a step back and realized I was holding on so tightly because these things were still important to my vision of the future. Because my family does have adequate storage space, it was still more cost effective to hold onto these things than get rid of them (and replace them later). I did still purge some less important items, but giving myself permission to hold onto the important stuff made that easier.