Clutter is so stressful! Piles on the counter, on the table, on the floor, even on the bed are depressing, overwhelming and now research says they are anxiety-producing too. Yuck! But how do we keep clutter from coming into the home in the first place? Here are 5 tips from this professional organizer for keeping clutter from invading your home:
Avoid impulse purchases at the store. It’s so easy to grab that little extra something at the grocery store while we are standing in the checkout line. We are also prone to grabbing things when they are on tables marked “Clearance,” “Sale” and “Buy One, Get One Free.” Resist these impulse purchases! Shop with a list so you already know what you are going to buy BEFORE you go into the store. This way, you will save yourself from the clutter AND save yourself money. That’s a win-win!
Don’t take home the freebies from hotels or conferences. I can’t tell you the number of homes I have been in that had handfuls or even drawerfuls of those tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion from hotels cluttering up the bathroom. The truth is, they aren’t so appealing once they gather dust in the back of the drawer. Bag all those freebies up and donate them to your local homeless shelter. And resist the free pens, plastic luggage tags and t-shirts from conferences you attend. They just eat up precious space in your home.
Don’t tell anyone you collect anything. Because here’s what happen. Maybe you started collecting figurines of frogs. And then you told your family and friends that you collect frogs. They start gifting you frog decor for every freakin’ birthday, holiday, and anniversary. EVENTUALLY you will get sick of all the frogs and will want to stop receiving them. Too late. Your family and friends won’t remember that you don’t like frogs anymore after years of collecting frogs. And thus the avalanche of frog decor will continue to descend on your house until you croak (Ha! See what I did there?) So don’t ever tell anyone you collect anything!
Ask for gifts of experience for holidays and birthdays. It’s the best way to make sure you don’t get gifts you can’t use or don’t want. Unwanted presents = clutter. Instead, ask for movie tickets, restaurant gift certificates, coffee cards, etc. My sister gifted me a Northwest Forest Pass this Christmas because she knows how often our family loves to go camping and hiking. It’s such a great gift!
Be cautious about buying vacation souvenirs. Gift shops are so fun to visit on vacation. I love browsing gift shops! But while that stuff looks great in the gift shop, it doesn’t always look so great with your existing decor once you get it home. Those items emblazoned with the name of the city, theme park or resort you visited usually end up becoming clutter. So if you like buying vacation souvenirs, aim to buy something you can actually use when you get home.
What tips do you have for keeping clutter from invading your space?
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