Lately I’ve been thinking about just how often I feel the need to declutter and how much stuff makes its way into my home. I think it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed with belongings nowadays. I’m sharing some of the ways items find their way into your house, whether you want them or not! My hope is that if you’re overwhelmed you can at least identify and maybe cut back on some of the ways items become clutter.
- Party favors: I realized when purchasing goodie bags for my daughter’s birthday that the parents would likely be annoyed by some of the children’s favors available for purchase on retailer websites. Some of it seemed pointless or cheap. I decided to include snacks, because at least they will be eaten. I’m not saying it’s wrong to give or take party favors, but favors are one way you accumulate things without even thinking about it.
- Gifts: I love giving and receiving gifts, but it’s no secret that this is one of the most common sources of clutter if the gift doesn’t work out for whatever reason. Sometimes gifts don’t fit or perhaps don’t fit in with your decor, so then what? It just sits in your home gathering dust unless you do something about it. Most of the things I consider most valuable in my house were gifts. The majority of my minimal jewelry collection was given to me and I love every piece. Gifts are wonderful, as long as you love them and they fit/work for you. If something is not compatible or is the wrong size, exchanging it quickly will prevent it from becoming clutter.
- Race/event swag or T-shirts: Events like races, baseball games, company parties, conventions, or neighborhood block parties often have opportunities for free swag/items. I recently participated in two events that gave freebies and shirts. Some runners like to keep their race shirts for sentimental reasons, but I prefer to keep only those that are comfortable and soft. I wear those all the time and don’t plan to get rid of them.
- Buying in bulk/multiples to save: Many people buy items in bulk to save money on items they use frequently. I completely understand wanting to save money in the long run, but I just don’t like doing it because it requires storing the excess. I prefer to just buy what we need, with a few exceptions.
- Not returning purchases that don’t work out: I have known people who buy outfits online and then forget to return items that don’t work out or fit. (Just like gifts that don’t fit or aren’t compatible.) I try to take care of returns right away, or I’ve resold items online that were inconvenient to return.
- Buying products ahead of time and forgetting about the purchases: It’s always a good idea to check your inventory before grocery shopping or shopping for any other household supplies. In my home I don’t like having excess products, even if I know eventually we will use them, because we have a small space for dry foods.
- Free samples or marketing materials: Examples of these would be freebies from the dentist, samples that come with online orders that you didn’t necessarily ask for, and any other items that usually have a company logo that are randomly given to you at stores or events. It’s OK to not accept them if you don’t want them. If you do want them, try to find a home for them that makes sense.
- Packaging that comes with purchases and gifts. With every purchase comes accessories, power cords, boxes and manuals. Gifts often come with boxes or gift bags and tissue paper, but those can obviously be reused. These can accumulate unless you deal with them.
Is clutter a concern in your home? How do you deal with excess stuff?