A habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice”.
Do you have Clutter Habits? Ask yourself these questions to find out.
- Are you checking to see what you already have BEFORE you go shopping for new things, including personal care stuff, clothes, food, etc.?
If you’re not, start the habit of taking time to check your pantries, cupboards, and closets to see what you already have. If you’re not a list maker, try to adopt that habit as well so you KNOW what you need before you start aimlessly wandering the aisles at the store asking yourself if you really need another bottle of ketchup (you probably already have three at home).
- Are you buying or taking things you don’t really want, like, or need?
A coupon isn’t really a savings if you don’t really need the item. It doesn’t matter if it’s 50% off, you wasted 100% of what you paid for it if you shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.
It’s the same with “freebies” you take just because they’re free. If it’s not something you will ever REALLY use then don’t bring it into your space. You’ll just have to deal with it later, which is mental clutter you could have avoided by saying “no thank you” when they tried to hand you pens, bags, and caps at the Home and Garden Show.
- Are you keeping things you don’t want, like, or need?
Even if you paid a lot for something, it has no value to you in storage. Even if your Grandma gave it to you, it has no value in storage. Even if you’re saving it for someone else, it has no value (for you or them) in storage.
Nobody likes to think they’ve wasted money on something, but you probably aren’t going to get the amount you paid for it back no matter what you do. You could sell it and hope to recoup part of your spent cash or donate it and just clear the mental clutter of not having to deal with it ever again.
I completely understand Sentimental Clutter and wanting to keep something that holds a memory for you. That’s fine, AS LONG AS you are actually honoring that item and not sticking it in a shoe box in the back of a closet. If it REALLY is that important to you then it deserves a place of importance in your home. If it’s not important enough to do that then why are you keeping it?
I got in the habit of “saving” stuff for my grown kids when they all started moving out. I would keep decorating stuff, household goods like pots and pans, and furniture just in case they needed it. I did it until I realized that my house was turning into a storage locker for stuff they might not ever want, like, or need. I asked them if they wanted it. If they said “no” then it had to go. You don’t owe your kids (or grandkids) storage in your home (your sanctuary) AND you might be holding on to stuff they will never even want. Encourage them to be honest with you and ask them if they want it NOW. Don’t try to convince them to take it if they say “No”. You wouldn’t want someone trying to force you to take their unwanted stuff.
Changing your Clutter Habits is an ongoing process that takes work, but I believe that a slow decluttering is a decluttering that really lasts. That’s the goal, living a simplified life with less mental and physical clutter.
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