I talk a lot about space clearing in our homes! Why? Because I’m a firm believer that too much stuff is not only physically oppressive. It’s also emotionally, mentally, and financially heavy, too! Regardless if you’re just starting out, halfway there, or recently done with clearing out your house …. each room, each closet, and every drawer …. what happens next? Well, if you’re not careful, you may start to stock up again! Your half full closet beckons you to add a few more tops. An end-of-season sale entices you to pick up new bedsheets. Or Amazon Prime Day ads convince you to shop for Christmas in July. How do you resist the allure of acquiring [too many] new things again? Read on for 4 strategies to keep retail “creepage” at bay!
Decluttering tip #1: Get comfortable living with less.
It required effort to pare down your things. It also takes time to adjust to a more minimalist decor and wardrobe. Seeing space in your pantry, closet or bookcase will be a “new normal” for many. So often, when we discover something that we like, we automatically stock up on more. Find a navy sweater that fits well? Great! Why not get it in red and beige, too? Yet think about the decision fatigue that can set in when we have too many choices in our wardrobe. No wonder we can overpack for a trip: we have too many clothing options!
The same goes for your bedroom or living room. Perhaps you cleared out dozens of knickknacks and books which accumulated over the years. Naturally, your space will look a bit bare at first. But give yourself some time to appreciate the clarity and simplicity of displaying only your favorite things. Now they can really pop when they are on display, front and center!
In other words, allow yourself a 30 day retail shopping ban. Appreciate the beauty of less: less dusting, less spending, and less chaos. Feel the value of more: more space, more clarity, and more freedom. Drink in the peace of simplicity!
Decluttering tip #2: Be mindful of the Internet.
Ads appear everywhere when we surf the ‘Net, Facebook, or Instagram. Even our daily e-newsletters are filled with suggestions to buy! Anything you looked at gets tracked with cookies. Then those items “mysteriously” spring up in the sidebar as you browse. But nothing is a bargain if you really don’t need it. Saving 30%? In fact, you’d be spending 70% on something unnecessary!
Retailers lure us with promises of special discounts when we opt in to their mailing lists. They know that sending you regular notifications of “flash sales” or “advance VIP notifications” will increase the likelihood of a purchase. Your best defense? Disregard the ads. Shop only when it’s time to replace something essential.
In fact, consider taking one of these two actions: Have a secondary email account dedicated to on-line purchases. This keeps the compelling ads out of your primary account. Or, sign up for the mailing list in order to qualify for a discount. Then, unsubscribe once you’ve received your item. You can always sign up again when it’s time to make an essential purchase. Just don’t forget to opt out again afterwards. Now, you’ll be in charge of when to buy!
Decluttering tip #3: Stick to your shopping list.
Whether on your phone or an old school piece of paper, have a plan before heading to the store. Without a strategy, it’s easy to succumb to whatever catches our eye.
Grocery shopping? Take a few minutes to create a meal plan for the week. This avoids pantry overload. Clothes shopping? Review what you have now to ensure you don’t buy duplicates. A shopping list is like a map: it provides direction to keep you heading where you want to be.
Decluttering tip #4: One in, one out!
Lastly, donating or tossing out an old item whenever a new one is purchased is fundamental to keeping your home streamlined. Do you find yourself hesitating to release your existing jacket/book/lamp? Maybe it means you don’t need the new one! Perhaps you’re just feeling tired of the current item. Having a new one would feel exciting. I get that!
Yet is more always better? Think about how fewer choices can be liberating, especially when it’s about choosing among the things you truly need, use and love. Give your newly cleared space a chance to provide clarity and peace of mind.
We are constantly bombarded with marketing messages to buy. We are subtly coaxed to buy this or that in order to look good, feel good or be relevant. It takes stepping back to thoughtfully determine when we truly need to make a purchase. And it requires forming new decluttering habits to keep our homes clear.
Here’s another take on maintaining a streamlined lifestyle: click here
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Are you ready to live large with less? Ponder the benefits. And thanks for stopping by!