Prevent clutter: Don’t buy it

Before you buy anything take a minute to ask yourself some important questions.

  1. Do I really need this?
  2. Can I make do with what I already have?
  3. Why do I want to buy this?
  4. Where will I store this, when will I use this, do I have to maintain this?
  5. Is this built to last?
  6. Can I borrow this from someone I know?
  7. Can I find this used somewhere?

bleedingheartAfter asking yourself all of these questions, wait another minute. Do you still need the item? If yes, then buy the item and add it to your collection. If no, then you just saved yourself money and clutter. Say no enough times and you’ll see a difference in your bank account (more money) and your home (less stuff).

Purge. When you do buy something, immediately go home and remove something. You might even consider getting rid of several things, not to the trash but to someone else. If your ultimate goal is to have less clutter, then you need to remove more than you add to your home. Take the 10 minute decluttering challenge. In just 10 minutes time you can free space in your home. The end result – less stuff.

Gail Blanke, a contributor to Real Simple magazine, has a new decluttering book: “Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life“. Her premise is that you can’t grow if you don’t let go – let go of the physical and mental junk that is cluttering your mind and home. Give it away to someone else and move forward with your life.

Stay out of stores. If clutter is still finding a way into your home, stay out of stores (and online stores). You can’t buy if you don’t shop. The average American spends about 5 hours a week shopping. What could you do with 5 hours a week or 260 hours a year?

What are your strategies for preventing clutter? Leave a comment.

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2 thoughts on “Prevent clutter: Don’t buy it

  1. Good questions.

    I’ve started a year of Buying Nothing New, so that makes the questions a lot easier. And since it’s hard for me to get rid of stuff (I get attached!), it’s easier not to buy it in the first place!

    I just wrote a post about decluttering last week too.

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