You can move clutter around or you can cut it off at the source. Instead of buying new storage containers or calling Goodwill for a pickup, take a look at your shopping habits. Imagine how much more you can enjoy your weekends and paychecks when you break the cycle of excess consumption. Take a look at these strategies for bringing less clutter into your life.
1) Buy what you need. Ask questions before you complete your purchase. How will you use the product you’re considering? Do you already have enough similar items at home?
2) Focus on quality. In the long run, higher priced goods usually offer greater value. A fine cashmere sweater or sturdy kitchen knives may hold up for decades while bargain brands may need to be replaced annually.
3) Stick to a budget. Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend. Regard occasional indulgences as an exception rather than the beginning of a habit.
4) Find other outlets. Retail therapy may be masking other issues. Find a hobby or do volunteer work if you’re bored. Talk with a friend if you’re feeling anxious or lonely.
5) Swap things out. During holidays and other shopping seasons, try discarding at least one item to make room for each new purchase. Give your used computer to a local nonprofit. Sell your old bedroom set on craigslist, Kijiji, or Facebook.
6) Buy for others. Studies show that spending money on others makes us happier than purchasing things for ourselves. Similarly, buying experiences instead of merchandise leaves no trail except for the pictures on your phone.