How to resist ‘clutter creep’

By Alice Inoue Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove

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Question of the week: Every so often I take the time to clear out my clutter, but in no time it comes right back! Do you have any tips on preventing clutter accumulation?
Yes, I do! I call it “clutter creep,” and to beat it, it takes a conscious effort every day. I’ve overcome it, and so can you! Here are my top tips:

Tip No. 1: Deal with things as they arrive.

Procrastination can lead to clutter. A lot of clutter is created by things we fail to get rid of in the moment, even though we know we don’t need or aren’t attached to them. Before putting something in a closet or on a shelf, drop what is not needed into a wastebasket. Put wastebaskets in convenient locations around your home and use them regularly. Throw junk mail away as you are looking through it, and think twice before you save another shopping bag. (Do you really need to add another empty bag to the closet full of empty bags you already have?)

Tip No. 2:Don’t second-guess yourself.

When you feel like throwing out an empty jar, an item that is old and worn, or a broken unusable item, don’t think twice about it, just do it! You will save space and future clutter clearing.

Tip No. 3: Buy less.

Adopting the daily mindset to buy less will help you avoid clutter. Think before you buy, especially when something is on sale or cheap. It might be a good deal, but do you need it? If not, you are buying clutter. Don’t even bring it into your home!

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Tip No. 4: Shop from a list.

Don’t shop “just to shop,” as you’ll inevitably end up getting something you don’t need, which will eventually end up as clutter. Shop only when you need something; take a list and stick to it.

Tip No. 5: One item in, one item out.

If you bring home a new item, make sure you get rid of an old one. I have a donation bag on the floor of my closet. Anytime something new comes in, especially if it is replacing something old, I put the old item in the bag. When the bag is full, I take it to a donation center.

Tip No. 6: Say “no” to freebies.

We all love the idea of getting something for free, but if that item doesn’t truly have a value to you, then it probably is clutter. It will work against you as you work to make your home more efficient.

In closing, I hope that you are able to implement some of the tips above to conquer your “clutter creep!”

Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to alice@yourhappinessu.com. Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly educational establishment, where you’ll find inspiring classes geared toward personal growth and self development. YourHappinessU.com.