Clutter: Control What Creeps Back in Your Home Using These 7 Savvy Strategies
Shut the Door on New Clutter!
As clutter gets kicked to the curb, your home will start to look and feel different. More spacious, open, and airy. But maybe it seems a bit bare, which is unfamiliar, if you’ve had a lot of stuff for a long time. Now 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 June. Uh-oh, here comes the clutter!
How do you resist the habit of amassing clutter yet again? The key is to form new shopping habits which replace your old ones!
Today's Post Provides 7 Smart Habits To Adopt Which Protect Your Home From Bulging with Clutter All Over Again!
Habit #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 closet, pantry, 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 in beige, too?
No wonder we end up overpacking for vacations: we have too many clothing options! Decision fatigue is real!
And over-abundance applies to other rooms, too. For example, consider your living room. Perhaps you cleared out dozens of knickknacks and books which accumulated over the years. Naturally, your space will look a little empty 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!
Remind yourself what constitutes clutter. In fact, here’s a refresher to keep things clear: Clutter Definition: What Exactly Is It So We Can Confidently Declutter With Clarity?
Then observe a 30-day retail shopping ban on all non-essentials. During that time, appreciate the beauty of less: less running around, less dusting, less spending, and less chaos.
And then feel the value of more: more space, more clarity, and more freedom.
Habit #2: Stick To Your Shopping List
Creating a plan keeps us on track. 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. Shop your kitchen inventory first to ensure you actually use what’s there. This avoids pantry clutter.
Clothes shopping? Review what you have now to ensure you don’t buy duplicates. Keep your current lifestyle in mind. Otherwise, it’s oh-so-easy to succumb to an on-trend outfit that will rarely make it out of your closet.
Clearly, a shopping list is like a map: it provides direction to keep you heading where you want to be!
Habit #3: One In, One Out
Donating or tossing out an old item whenever a new one is purchased is fundamental to keeping your home streamlined and clutter free.
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, really!
Or, it could mean the old one served you well and so you’re a little sad to let it go. I get that, too. Just take time to figure out if you truly need both.
Ask yourself, “Will I continue to use both of these? Will having more than one make sense and make my life easier?” If the answer is “yes” to either question, keep ’em both. If not? Let the old one go!
Fewer choices can be liberating, but so can the convenience of having a few more things, if it saves you time or if it involves things that you use frequently.
In other words, pause to figure out which option matters more!
Habit #4: Beware Of Shiny Object Syndrome
Window shopping is both pleasurable and dangerous! “Just looking” can quickly morph into an unplanned purchase.
Whether you’re strolling at the mall or browsing online, the temptation to buy is real. Unless you have incredible self-control, it’s difficult to distinguish between true “need” and “want”!
So consider avoiding situations that may compromise your intentions and your wallet. Only carry your debit card or cash when you’re out for lunch and shopping with friends, to avoid the unintended purchases.
Also, create Pinterest boards for things that catch your eye. Just saving those images can be a substitute for the endorphin rush of actually buying something new.
Above all, be mindful of your expenditures. Keeping track of where your money goes can be very revealing.
Because knowing what your retail weaknesses are is the first step towards stopping new clutter in its tracks!
Habit #5: Be Mindful Of The Internet
Ads appear everywhere when we surf the ‘Net, Facebook, or Instagram. We are constantly bombarded with marketing messages to buy!
Anything you looked at on the Internet 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!
We are subtly (or sometimes not-so-subtly) coaxed to buy this or that in order to look good, feel better, or be relevant.
It takes stepping back to thoughtfully determine when we truly need to make a purchase.
This is why avoiding impulse purchases is critical. Especially around the holidays, when retailers are stellar at playing off our heightened emotions. Buying more is not the only way to show our family how much we love them! Nor do we need to reinforce our own self-worth with acquiring more clutter, do we?
Equally important, pay attention to which sites you tend to head to, when you’re online. Pare down the ones that will cost you money. Stick to the ones that enhance your quality of life without impacting your bank account.
Habit #6: Revamp Your E-Mail Lists
Even our email feeds are filled with suggestions to buy! Are we truly VIPs or are we simply being targeted to buy?
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 you decide 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. This eliminates the stream of subsequent emails with purchase CTAs (Call To Action).
Ultimately, this puts you in charge of when to buy!
Habit #7: Be Grateful For What You Already Have
In a go-go and keep-on-going world, it’s easy to overlook the value of a pause.
But part of an empowering mindful practice is to take time and appreciate all that we have right now. Consumerism is a pervasive and powerful movement. It dictates constantly looking for the “next best thing”. It urges us to constantly upgrade. And it hardly gives us a moment to use and enjoy what we have right now.
Clutter is frightfully simple to amass but painfully difficult to release. Once you’ve made headway with decluttering, carve out a few minutes to realize how it entered your home. Then, shift your shopping habits to prevent clutter from creeping back in all over again!
If you’re just beginning your decluttering journey head here to start strong: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!
And if you’re feeling stuck in general, it might just be about being between life chapters. It’s not uncommon so take a breath and find your center here: 5 Ways to Harness Your Midlife Transition and Avert a Midlife Crisis!
Ultimately, we all experience twists and turns as one chapter ends and another begins. Small pauses along the way are the key to getting our bearings and moving ahead … one step at a time!
The Wrap: This Post Was About 7 Terrific Tactics To Stop Clutter From Accumulating Again!
When we are bombarded with shiny things to buy, it’s ever so easy to succumb! We take a break from work or whatever the task at hand to reward ourselves. Or we schedule a shopping jaunt with friends. We enjoy the preliminary thrill of buying something new.
However, are you shopping out of “need” or “want”? It’s the “want” items that usually morph into clutter.
Give your newly cleared space a chance to provide clarity and peace of mind.
Take time to revamp your habits so you can live large with less clutter!
-Related Topics and Resources To Explore-
Declutter Like a Boss With The PopUpPurge™ Book
Uncluttering Your Life in a New Season Leads to 3 Priceless Developments
Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going (Even When You’re Not Always Feeling It!)
Decluttering Your House Demands Fearlessly Facing 3 Constant Challenges
Listen: Shopping Can Be A Genuine Addiction!
or, Listen to Lucia’s TED Talk About Year Without Buying!
- Do you think shopping is a sport?
- How do you manage your spending so it doesn’t manage you?
Drop your thoughts below …and thanks for stopping by!