Do you ever wonder how so much stuff got in your house? Me, too! It’s amazing how EASY it is for things to enter our homes, but how HARD it is to get things out. In this blog post, I’m going to give you four hacks to keep clutter out of your home. Ready? Let’s do this!
Add to cart then PAUSE
Nowadays, we shop online a lot. It’s SO easy to buy things online. All you have to do is click your mouse a couple of times, and a few days (or a few hours!) later something is at your door. This can become a problem because it’s so easy to let clutter into our homes, but it’s VERY hard to keep clutter out. My analogy for this is like sprinkling glitter on tape. What happens when you sprinkle a bunch of glitter on tape? It sticks to it. And the pieces are so tiny that they’re impossible to pull off. This is what happens when stuff enters our home – our stuff is the glitter, and our homes are the tape!
The point is, there’s another way. You can still shop online, browse the things you want to browse, get interested in something. That’s at least half the fun, right? Then add it to your cart. And pause.
Don’t buy it right away. Give it a few days. Give it a week. See if it boomerangs back around as something you really want.
If it keeps popping up in your life as a need, then consider moving forward. But ask yourself some questions first: Where is it going to go? Which budget line item is it going to come out of? Is this the right season of the year to buy it?
I recommend following this sequence to keep your buying in check and keep clutter out:
- You see it and you want it. It looks cool/fun/neat/might help make your life easier ——> PAUSE.
- Does that thing pop up again? Cool. Keep pausing.
- Does it pop up again? Ok…now let’s seriously consider it.
- Where will it live? Be specific.
- Do you have the money to buy it?
- If all signs still point to YES, buy it!
Don’t get a cart at the store
This is one of my favorite hacks. Is it possible to not get a cart? If you’re going somewhere just to browse, or you only need a couple of things, NOT getting a cart can be so powerful. (Or try the handheld basket instead!)
Just think, if you don’t have a cart, but you see a bunch of stuff you want, are you going to grab it all and carry it around the store for 30 minutes? Nope.
Conversely, if you have a cart, and you see a bunch of stuff you want, are you going to toss it in the cart? Yup.
I have done this time and time again and it’s SO helpful. Set yourself up for success and make it difficult to bring stuff home. The easier you make it to buy things (entering the store, getting a cart, browsing all the aisles) the easier it is to buy a LOT.
Where will it go? And When?
We talked about this above, but it’s important to reiterate again. If you’re going to bring something home, especially something large, where will it live? Will it go on the kitchen counter? If so, where? Does that mean something else has to move so that the new things can come in? Where is the old thing going to go?
See what I’m doing here?
We need to work through all of these steps before the item comes home so the item isn’t just sitting there. In a box. On the floor. With no home to live in.
Furthermore, when am I going to use it? Every day? Every week? Once a year? The less often you’re going to use something, the more you should question buying it. If it’s a crockpot that you’re only going to use once a year, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend? Think outside the box.
Know your alternatives
I want you to take a piece of paper and pen, and write down all of the things you love that aren’t things. Here, I’ll start:
- Playing outside with my kids
- Working out
- Going to the spa
- Making my favorite tea
- Sitting in the sunshine
- Talking to a friend
- Watching a new show
And so on and so forth. All of these activities do not involve buying something (Ok, ok, so maybe for my tea I need a tea bag. It’s consumable, OK?! 😉 I think we need to go through the exercise of asking ourselves what we truly enjoy. What we truly enjoy spending our time doing. Look, I love to shop and buy things just as much as the next person. Doing this is not inherently bad. BUT if we do it too often, or when we don’t actually need the items, or if shopping is just an activity for fun…that’s when it becomes difficult to keep clutter out. The glitter enters the house. And it’s so hard to get the glitter off the tape.
Which of these hacks did you like the best? I recommend picking the one that sounds easiest and start there. Tell me about how it goes in the comments! I believe in you, and I know you can do this!