An awesome side-effect has popped up from all this simplifying we’re doing over the last six months: I’ve lost the desire to buy stuff. I had no idea that would happen. But it’s pretty fun now to actually walk around stores now and enjoy looking at all the pretty things without being tempted at all to purchase them.
This wasn’t something I had to make myself do. I still took my regular trips to Target to pick up household supplies and browse all the cute things, but right from the beginning, whenever I was tempted by something, the first thing that came to mind was how much daily effort was being put forth at home to get rid of excess stuff, and then there was the realization that in a few months, this item would likely be another thing to get rid of. Every item was put back on the shelf–and happily!
So here are a 5 tips from our experience these last 6 months:
- Try to get rid of one thing every day.
Even one thing starts to change your mindset about things. Once that starts happening, you begin to naturally lose the emotional attachment you have to things that are not actually valuable. You may not be able to get rid of that old sweatshirt tomorrow, but in a month or two, you’ll probably feel differently.
- Realize the current value of things.
We often keep things around because “I paid $XX for this!” Sorry, but the money is gone, and it’s not coming back. What value does it have in your home right now? Is it adding something to your life besides clutter? Peace of mind from a cleaner space is always more valuable.
- Don’t buy anything you don’t love.
You won’t use it as much as you should and sooner or later, you’ll want to replace it, which will end up costing you even more.
- Don’t buy anything you wouldn’t pay full price for.
(That means you don’t love it. See above.)
- Don’t save things that you only use once a year, or less.
Unless, of course, it would cost a lot of money to replace it. These are the items that hang out on the top shelves, or in the attic and garage. Is it something you could borrow when (if) the time comes to use it again? Is it something you could pick up off Craigslist or at the thrift store and then re-sell or donate once you’re done? I had a great big stock pot for 5 years that I used to make chicken soup twice. It took up an entire shelf in the pantry. It’s gone now and if I ever want to make chicken soup, I’ll just see if I can borrow a pot from someone.
Here is an infographic that sums up the cost of clutter pretty well:
Infographic authored by Married with Luggage, helping you achieve whatever you’ve always wanted to do.
Here’s a great article to go along with that too: How Much Money is Your Clutter Costing You?
So those are the 5 things that have really helped me the most. But different things work for different people! Do you have any tips that have helped (or you think will) help you simplify and declutter?