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
- Stop shopping as a hobby. You’ll save time, money and reduce clutter by staying out of stores and shopping ‘just for fun.’
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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!