There’s a lot of talk about living a clutter free life and getting the clutter out of your home which is important. Decluttering is a continual process because our seasons of life change.
What was useful to you this year may become clutter next year if it no longer serves a purpose in your home and life.
However, in order to live a clutter free life you must not only focus on what goes OUT of your door but also on what comes IN your door. In fact, this is a major step in avoiding a cluttered home in the first place.
So how do you avoid future clutter in your home?
Living a clutter free life boils down to one word: Intentional.
You have to be intentional about what comes into your home. One way to do that is being mindful as you shop.
It is so easy to pile a bunch of stuff into your cart as you roam the aisles. Most of the time all that stuff that you are adding to your cart is simply nonessential. Think about your latest trip to Target, Walmart, or Dollar Tree.
Did you really need the things that you purchased or did those things just add to the clutter?
It’s so easy to do.
As you are out shopping, you see something on sale and it’s just “too good of a deal to pass up.”
You may be shopping for a few items at Target or Walmart and you decide to check out the seasonal items. Before you know it, there’s a new dish towel, candle stick holder, and random flashlight in your cart.
You don’t know exactly where you are going to put it all, but it just had to come home with you. The dish towel is perfect for the holidays. The candle stick holder was on sale, and the flashlight could come in handy. one day.
I’m speaking from experience!
I used to come home from the store with bags FULL of items that I really didn’t need. I thought I was getting deals, making my home prettier, and buying things we would use.
But most of it just ended up in a closet or cupboard only adding to the clutter in my home.
Eventually, I’d go through those closets and cupboards and find the items that I just had to have taking up my valuable space.
After finally getting tired of this endless cycle with my clutter, I learned these essential shopping tips to remain clutter free.
How to Reduce Clutter
Shop less often.
It just makes sense! The less you shop, the less you will buy. Limit your just-for-fun shopping in order to prevent clutter. Read about how to Survive a No Spend Week.
Avoid parts of the store that are tempting.
You know the part of the store where you always spend more than you intended, avoid it! Maybe it’s the makeup section or the office supplies. For me it’s the home decor, seasonal, and clearance. Some days I have to completely ignore those parts of the store. Otherwise I end up with clutter in my cart.
Make a list and stick with it!
For those parts of the store that are tempting, make a list of specific things you are looking for and need. I keep all kinds of lists in my notes app of my phone. I have lists for clothes, home decor, makeup, food, books, ect.
When I do look in the tempting parts of the store, I refer to my list, so that I’m shopping with intention and not buying items that will become clutter.
But clutter comes from more than just shopping.
You have to stop it from coming in your front door.
and back door.
and windows. 🙂
So how do you stop all the clutter from even getting through the front door?
Say “no” to free things that you don’t need.
If something is free, it’s easy to say, “I’ll take it!” But if you don’t need it, the item is not really free. It will cost your space and your time only adding stress to your life.
Use what you have first.
You may find that you already have what you need, if you get a little resourceful. Dig around in your closets and basements and see if something you already have will work. Make sure you read How to Decorate with What You Already Have.
Be content with what you have and don’t compare yourself to others.
It is easy to want more things when we see ads or people around us proclaiming the latest and greatest must-have items. We live in a world that is constantly upgrading to the newest phone, shoes, house trend. And it never ends.
They are constantly pursuing the next best thing. And what happens to the old stuff? It becomes clutter.
You will avoid much clutter if you choose to be content.
The next time you are shopping in stores or online be intentional about what you purchase. Keep the clutter out of your house by mindfully taking note of what comes through your front door.