If you’re starting your decluttering journey, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m on a journey to simplify my life and a big part of this is buying less stuff. I was never a Shopaholic, but I used to purchase a lot of things I didn’t need. I started my simplicity journey in June 2018, and I’ve been learning so much since.
Most of the things I’ve learnt so far have helped me to ensure my house is clutter free and as a result, I’m not a slave to cleaning or ‘organising’ my stuff. The tips I discuss below are things I always have at the back of my mind when I’m about to make a purchase.
Stop buying variations of things you already have
I’ve created a scenario for you to get a better understanding of this point.
I go to the homewares section of a major department store and see that limited edition mugs with some attractive print on them are on sale.
The ‘Limited Edition’ creates a sense of urgency: once these run out, they’ll never be made again!
But then I stop and think. I already have 18 mugs at home, 6 of which are a part of some limited collection from 3 years ago. I don’t use these 6. In actual fact, I’m still waiting for my ‘old’ ones to break before I use them.
Guess what I gathered from this? I didn’t need it. I could apply this to so many things: vases, salad bowls, picture frames, candles, fragrance diffusers, books, makeup eyeshadow quads, makeup brushes, – the list is ENDLESS.
Ultimately – if I already have things at home that will serve the same purpose, then I don’t need it.
Just because it’s free, it doesn’t mean you need it
How much promotional material have you received at a conference or exhibition, or from work? Do you have a cupboard or perhaps a few designated areas in your house where you stash the millions of free pens, stress balls, beer mug holders, key rings, caps etc.?
I used to and guess what? I always end up chucking this stuff out. What does this mean? Well, I don’t need it. The most simple way to reduce the amount of clutter I have to sort through ‘on a later date’ is just by saying no to free stuff I don’t need. By doing so I no longer feel bad about throwing perfectly fine items out.
Cut down on buying multiple items of clothing
Back in the day when I’d find a piece of clothing that just ‘worked’ for me I’d occasionally buy another for when the original ‘bites the dust’. But guess what? The original rarely did because I take care of my clothes. And then what? My body changes every 2-3 years and usually the ‘replacement’ doesn’t fit like the original did when I first bought it.
My style changes every few years. For example, in my early to mid twenties I lived in singlets and short shorts. Nowadays I prefer tops with sleeves and more modest hemlines. This means the replacements I bought end up becoming the clothes I wear around the house.
It’s not a good buy if you don’t need it
In essence, this is quite simple. It’s also a very helpful thing to consider whilst decluttering. If you see something on sale and you don’t have a need for it – then you’re not saving yourself any money or doing yourself any good by purchasing it. In actual fact, it’ll probably end up being that item you’re constantly trying to find a ‘home’ for when you’re cleaning. Furthermore, chances are in a few years it’ll end up at the front of your house or apartment complex for the next council pick up.
Decluttering may seem hard at first, but trying to change your habits and achieve anything of value usually is. Trust me, decluttering becomes easier the more you do it. If you keep the above in mind whilst shopping, you’ll find it easier to say no to things you don’t need. You’ll also save a lot of money!
Are you on a decluttering journey? How did you find it at first? Have you saved money from doing it?
P.S: If you’re looking for more tips on decluttering, I highly recommend taking a look at the website Becoming Minimalist.