Keeping it simple: how to stop the clutter making a comeback

If you’re in a boat that springs a leak, you don’t want to keep bailing out the water. You want to repair the leak at its source.

Once you have decluttered or are in the process of doing so, the hardest thing can be keeping it so. But like after losing a little weight, it’s hard to keep off those extra pounds.

The paradox is that we will always have to consume something, even if it is food. And what we bring in is equally as important as what we throw out.

Hopefully through the process of decluttering you will find what is important to you and what adds real value to your life therefore making future choices more intentional.

Filter the incoming

Don’t accept freebies – Nothing is completely free, every time you accept a free newspaper or free pen you’re bringing more junk into your home that will cost you time and energy later to dispose of sustainably. Plus you reinforce the idea that we as consumers love “free” things.

Keep a 30 day buy list – When you feel the impulse to by something, instead, put it on a buy list with the date and see if you still want it in a month – even if it is on sale. If you wouldn’t buy it at full price, then don’t buy it just because it’s a bargain.

Ask, can I afford this? – Not only financially but can you afford the time, space, extra costs to maintain what you’re bringing in.

Be aware of the Diderot effect – Once you buy one thing it can cause you to buy more things. For example, you buy a car then car insurance, pay for servicing, fuel. Or you get a gym membership then you feel the need to get new workout clothes, a padlock for your locker, a water bottle. It’s inevitable that secondary purchases will need to be made but being aware of this can help you separate the necessary from the unnecessary.

Understand your possessions do not define you – We will always want for something, even if it is only our next breath. Wanting is a desire that can be overcome or at least understood if you can understand your true motivations that behind it.

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