Friday, January 25, 2013

Don't Buy Stuff.

This is the first post in my series on getting rid of your clutter.  My first rule is to don't buy more stuff!

There is actually two parts to this.  The first one is quite simple; don't spend all week purging items from your home if you are only going to spend all weekend shopping and filling it up again.

Now I understand that this rule is not as easy as it sounds.  When my boys were young I was a stay-at-home mom and I couldn't wait to get out of my cluttered house on the weekends with Mr. P and the boys.  Many a weekend was spent wandering around a shopping mall buying things we really didn't need.  Those things only exacerbated the clutter problem in my home.  It became a vicious circle where the more my home was cluttered the more I wanted to go shopping to escape.  The more I shopped the more cluttered my home became.  I realized I needed to find other things to do with the family and I needed to make my home a place that I wanted to spend time in.

By de-cluttering your home you can actually make that circle work in reverse.  When you start getting rid of all those things that you spent your time buying you begin to realize how much money you were actually wasting.  It makes you be more particular about what you bring into your home.

Your home also becomes more inviting.  You will actually want to spend time there when you don't have to look around at all the work that you still have to do.

And for all you bargain hunters out there, it's not a bargain if you don't really need it.  I know people who, when they find a $75 sweater on sale for $25, they will buy 4 of them in different colours.  They will proudly tell me that they saved $200.   They don't see it the other way around, that they actually wasted $100 on sweaters that won't even fit into their already overcrowded closet and in a couple of colours that don't even look good on them.

The second part of this Don't Buy Stuff post is about containers.  Don't run out to buy a bunch of organizing containers because you are planning on de-cluttering your home.  Buying containers is part of the process but it actually comes next to last on the de-cluttering how-to list.  You need to know how much stuff you have to house and where it needs to be stored before you should buy any containers.  Otherwise the containers themselves will end up as clutter.  And many times you will find that you have perfectly good containers already in your home.

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