1. Stop buying duplicates
As my client, Jennifer, (OK, that’s not actually her real name) and I decluttered some of her paperwork a few weeks ago, we came across two maps of the local area. She’d bought the second one because she couldn’t find the first one, even though she knew she had it.
How often have you ended up buying something that you know you’ve already got?
Or buying something you didn’t know you’d got and then coming across it? How annoying is that?!
One of the things about clutter is that you can’t find anything! And you lose track of what you’ve got and what you haven’t got.
When you clear your clutter and organise your stuff, you reacquaint yourself with what you’ve got, and you set your home up so you can always lay your hand quickly on anything you’re looking for.
2. Shop with a list – always!
Clearing clutter and staying clutter-free is as much, if not more, about reducing what you bring into your home as it is about clearing out what’s already there.
Do you shop as retail therapy?
Do you find it hard to resist a bargain?
Do you buy stuff because it’s cheap even if it’s not quite what you want? Clothes that you’ll need to alter (and then never do), or lose weight before you can wear (and then never do)? Food that’s not your favourite brand (that you don’t then get round to eating)? Toiletries that aren’t the ones you love (so then you buy the ones you love anyway and use them instead)?
Do you always come back from the shops with more than you intended to buy?
Shops are designed to encourage us to make impulse purchases and buy more than we planned to.
You don’t have to be their victim though. And your secret weapon is your LIST!
Always make a list before you go shopping. And then shop only for the stuff on your list. It may not stop all the impulse purchases. Sure will reduce them though.
And, if there’s nothing on your list…don’t go shopping. If you want to go shopping when there’s nothing you need to buy, have a look at what it is you want from that shopping trip, and see if you can get the experience another way.
3. Stop paying for storage
Sometimes my clients think that, if they put some stuff into storage, or move to a bigger home, they’ll solve their clutter problem.
Trouble is that, once they’re paying for storage, or higher rent or a bigger mortgage, the clutter creeps back.
Storage isn’t the answer. The answer is changing the habits, attitudes and opinions that cause clutter. That includes reducing the amount of stuff that comes into your home, and processing what does come in so it never becomes clutter, as well as clearing the backlog.
If you address all three of these, you can live clutter-free however much space you’ve got, without paying for storage.
4. Turn clutter into cash
As you declutter, you will almost certainly come across saleable items that you no longer want.
And, these days, it’s easier than ever to turn them into cash.
Look out for free listing days on ebay. Then you can list your stuff at no risk because, if it doesn’t sell, you don’t have to pay anything.
If you’ve got larger items, that would cost a lot to post, try local free classified ads.
If you’ve got enough stuff to sell, do a car boot sale or tabletop sale. And, if you haven’t got enough, share one with a friend.
5. Reduce removal costs
If you’re moving house, don’t plan to declutter at the other end. Declutter before you move.
It’ll save you money if you’re using a removal company. And time if you’re doing it yourself (and time is money, right?)
Plus, wouldn’t you rather start afresh in your new place? Don’t drag into your brand-new home all the mental clutter that’s associated with your physical clutter. Take with you only what you want or need in your new place.
How has decluttering saved or made you money? Post a comment below.