I noticed the same with my office. I used to be meticulous with paper files—everything had a labeled file to go into. These days I have very little paper files, but my “electronic clutter” piles up quickly.
A few months ago, as I let my pantry dwindle down and discovered some interesting staples that were hidden in the back, I had an epiphany: the more I had, the less I knew I had. This wasn’t just true in my pantry—it was true with my girls’ toys, with the clothes in my closet, and with my office supplies at work. I realized that the more I had, the more I thought I needed. This wasn’t because I was addicted to the joy of shopping, but rather because the more I had, the more things got hidden and buried–leading me to buy things I already had.
How many times have you gone through your closet only to discover that you tend to migrate to the same outfits all the time? Or how about the office supplies you just “had to have” in the moment, only to find it buried at the bottom of a drawer years later?
You don’t have to cut up credit cards or ban yourself from shopping to avoid clutter. Here are some simple tips to help you manage your “volume of stuff”:
- “Declutter” regularly: I have a regularly occurring task every two weeks on my to-do list to declutter one room. Because I do it regularly, it only takes 15 minutes. If you have a group of friends that are willing to go in on this project with you, consider hosting a “clutter swap” party—where you can swap clothes and other items. One person’s clutter could be another person’s treasure.
- Sort things by “frequency of use”: Whether it’s clothes, groceries, or office supplies, know were you have stuff that you use all the time and where you have stuff that you use occasionally. That way, the “occasional” stuff won’t get hidden or forgotten—you will know where to go to find them, and the “frequently used” things will be easy to find.
- Keep a “base shopping list”: I noticed that there are things that I use every week. I have a base shopping list, especially for the grocery store, so I always know that I’ll have these items. It also helps prevent me from impulse buying—which not only helps prevent clutter, but is great for my budget as well.
- Use the power of your Amazon app: Another great way to avoid impulse buying and clutter build-up is to not go to the store in the first place. How many times have you gone to Target for one item but walked out with a cart full of bags? I’ve fully embraced Amazon Prime and my Amazon app. When I run out of something or think of something I need, I add it to my cart. Every week, I’ll look at my cart, and ask myself if I still “need” those things. I edit my cart as needed, then then place an order. I buy everything but groceries (and even some of those) on Amazon. Not only is it great for clutter and my budget, but it is a huge time and stress-saver too.
These are simple tips that don’t take a lot of effort—and will save you time, money and stress in the long-run. Try them for a month, and see if you notice a difference.
Wishing you more happiness and less clutter!