10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits

10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits

Simplifying, minimizing and decluttering seem to be popular buzz words these days.

Filling boxes and bags with trash, things to sell, give away to friends and donate feels great and leaves your home feeling a little less stressful and relaxing.

I’m a huge advocate of living with less.

However, if you don’t change your consumption habits, the clutter starts to creep back and soon your closets, drawers and storage spaces are once again filled.

So, how do you change consumption habits?

First, remember why you want your home to be clutter free. It really makes the atmosphere more relaxing, makes the things easy to find and makes your keeping your home tidy easier.

Then, take steps to really change your consumption habits.

10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits

  1. Stop shopping as a hobby. You’ll save time, money and reduce clutter by staying out of stores and shopping ‘just for fun.’
  2. Make a list and stick to it. Approach all shopping like grocery shopping. If you need to buy a new pair of jeans, when you go to the store, just find the pair of jeans and don’t browse for anything else – ignore the sales and clearance racks!
  3. Only accept the ‘cast-offs’ you’ll actually use. If you are given someone else’s ‘cast-offs’ (hand-me-downs, books, housewares etc.) go through and only keep the things that you need or really like. Pass the rest on to someone else or donate.
  4. Rent, borrow or purchase digitally.  Instead of buying every book and DVD that you want, trying renting, borrowing from the library, borrowing from a friend or buying digitally.
  5. Shop for clothing twice a year. Assess your wardrobes twice a year (spring/summer and fall/winter) and purchase the things you need for those seasons at the beginning of the season. Once your wardrobe for that season is complete, stop shopping for clothes!
  6. Stop buying stuff just because ‘it’s a good deal’. If you didn’t need or want it at full price, you probably don’t need it when it is 75% off.
  7. Know where you are most tempted to spend. There may be certain stores (both brick and mortar and online) that you can’t leave without buying something. Once you know where your ‘weakness’ is, you can be proactive and change your shopping habits.
  8. Stop buying toys all throughout the year.  If you’re a parent, you know that most children have a bunch of toys. They are slammed with even more at Christmas and their birthdays. It’s okay to buy your child a toy occasionally but don’t make it a regular habit or your home will be drowning in toy clutter. (Instead of buying them toys, buy experiences!)
  9. Treat gifts like flowers. Appreciate the gift, enjoy the thoughtfulness of the giver but don’t let guilt make you keep something you don’t need or want. You can take the gift back (if you know where it was purchased) for store credit or, depending on what the gift is, you can donate to a toy drive, homeless shelter or pregnancy center.
  10. Don’t over consume on holidays and special occasions. At Christmas, we know that our children will receive an overabundance of gifts from grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and extended family so we keep our family gift giving very simple. In the past, we have given them ‘something they need, something to wear and something to read’ as Christmas gifts. They receive 3 gifts from us and that’s it.

After working so hard to simplify your home, you don’t want to allow much clutter back in. Make an effort to change your consumption habits and keep the clutter out!

Have you changed your consumption habits in an effort to live with less? 



Are you wanting to simplify? My new eBook, Declutter: A Workbook to Rid Your Life of Excess walks you through each area of your home and helps you to rid your home of clutter!

responses to “10 Ways to Change Consumption Habits” 8

  1. So true! Lately everyone is talking about how we have too much stuff (which is true) but I love how you take it a step further and talk about how we keep getting there…great tips!!!

  2. Awesome tips! It’s so true that the clutter can creep back in so easily after all our hard work decluttering!

    #9 is one that gets us, well Jason, in this house. We recently had a long conversation about guilt vs appreciation/gratefulness. If he could, he’d never get rid of anything! At one point I ended up comparing our unused gifts/items to Andy’s toys from Toy Story…his toys were sad stuffed under the bed but were elated when given to Bonnie in #3. I pointed out our unused items/clutter were just collecting dust when someone else out there might truly need/enjoy them! I *think* he understands why I declutter so much better now but we still are working on it. I imagine it will always be a work in progress!

  3. These are great suggestions. We follow most of these. I think the biggest thing is looking at shopping as recreation. We don't shop for fun, only for things we need (we do a whole host of other things for fun!). I think this makes the biggest difference in terms of things coming into our house. Also, I don't think I've ever bought a toy for either of my children (gasp! I know), but I do buy a wide assortment of books, art supplies, and lots of experiences.

    I think people are especially tempted by buy things for babies. I've just started a series on what a baby truly needs. The first part is here: http://everydaymindfulliving.com/my-baby-turned-t… (parts two and three are coming soon).

    1. We've only purchased a few toys for our children – they have so much and receive so much from family. And, yes, people are so tempted to buy for babies but babies really are minimalists, they just want to be dry, to have a full tummy and to feel loved!

  4. What a wonderful post with tangible tips!! I'll be mulling over ALL of these today, especially here at the end of the month budget-wise. 😉

  5. Hello, Rachel! Thanks for pointing out to our mistakes. It is true, sometimes our purchases are not reasonable and we even don't notice that we spend a lot of money buying useless things.

  6. From this idea I have been able to see lot changes in my behavior about making extra expense all the time. It is really good when you are concern about making savings for the future.

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