Which comes first, your shopping habits that contribute to the clutter surrounding your home, or does the clutter exist because you have become immune to your daily surroundings and suffer from the blindness of your possessions? Either way, both topics are worthy of mentioning and provide understanding when conquering the baggage of clutter. Just like the long-standing examination “which came first, the chicken or the egg”, (truly, this question has been resolved), there is an answer to the origination of clutter in your home.
Clutter confuses your mind, amasses your physical space, and it attacks your wallet. Tackling the clutter in your home requires acknowledgement of the monumental mess, by laying your eyes on the mountains of stuff piled so high you cannot see what you have including any broken or damaged items. When you are taking the necessary steps to conquer the clutter in your space, you will most likely feel the pinch and question “where does this stuff come from?” It can come from your shopping habits.
“Clutter blindness” can take a toll on your emotions resulting in impulse buys and over spending, or buying items that you already own. You may be shopping to fill a void in your life. Or perhaps the how, what, and who you buy for no longer meets your immediate needs. If your life has evolved out of a family of 6 to just you and your spouse, your shopping habits need to evolve, too. You will no longer need the value packs of 24 count of paper towels, or the 48 count of toilet paper, or the “buy 1 get 1 for free”, unless you make a conscious commitment to replace these value packs when you actually need them, and not keep them for accumulation. If your family has reduced in size, has the size of your space changed? Can your space accommodate these purchases? The bottom line is what you buy and how you buy affects your living space.
The habit of shopping is not fun when it becomes a whirlwind of frenetic behavior and extreme indulgence. It brings to you the accumulation of stuff that occupies valuable space in your home, and depletion of your wallet. That’s a hefty price tag! The money spent on impulse items would be better spent on a vacation that would enrich your well-being, or save for planning towards future life events.
As you live in the regular routine of your daily life you can become immune to your surroundings and the accumulation of stuff. As the piles build you lose sight of things you already own. Then add the layer of conditioning to buy more than you actually need, you are on the path to accumulation and clutter. As you declutter and before you buy another thing, identify and list all that you own. This may sound daunting, but will help with reprogramming your shopping habits.
Making a list of what you own shows you what you have, any duplicates, what you don’t need to buy again, and impulsive purchases. Based on this list prepare to discard of the extras. This is the first step of support for changing your mindset, and preparing you for the next time you need to shop. Implementing a budget will help deter you from unnecessary spending. Shopping with a prepared list of items to purchase that are absolutely necessary will aid in preventing a shopping frenzy.
When you identify your shopping habits and how they contribute to the chaos and clutter in your life, you can make better decisions that will support a more organized home and life.