Drop Before You Shop

Getting new stuff is fun.  We all love having something new, whether it is something to wear, read, display, or play with.

Unfortunately, getting new stuff can lead to an excess of clutter.  The diagnosis I give most of my clients is that they have TOO MUCH STUFF!

Before you go shopping, make a list of what you plan to buy.  Having a list will keep you focused and will reduce the chance that you bring home items you had no intention of bringing home.

Whenever you are about to purchase something, ask yourself “Why am I buying this?”.  If you respond with one of these answers, then RUN, DON’T WALK, to the nearest exit of the store.

  • “Because it’s on sale.”  (You can save even more money by NOT buying it).
  • “Because I can always use another one of these. “  (Not unless you’ve worn out the old one).
  • “Because I’m bored, and getting something new is exciting.”  (That kind of excitement wears off quickly.  You’ll get longer-lasting excitement by spending your money on experiences, not things).

One last question to ask yourself before you plunk down that credit card is, “Where will I keep it?”  If you don’t have a clearly defined place in mind to store this item, then don’t buy it.  It will just turn into clutter once you get it home.

If your planned purchase has managed to survive both “Why am I buying this?” and “Where will I keep it?”, then be sure to follow the organizing principle “One in, one out”.  Take an item of similar function and size to the one you just purchased, and get rid of it by donating it (if it’s still usable) or throwing it away (if it’s not).

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