How To Stop Clutter Before It Even Happens

Creating Peaceful Organized Homes in 2014 - How to Stop Clutter Before It Even Happens

If you have missed any posts in this years Peaceful Organized Homes series, you can catch up HERE.

You’ll notice that I’ve spent a lot of time talking about clutter in this series and it’s because I strongly believe that it is next to impossible to have a Peaceful Organized Home when surrounded by piles of clutter.  I hope you are finding this series helpful in learning how to put a stop to it.

How to Stop Clutter Before It Even Happens

Would it shock you if I said I love to shop for stuff?  I really do.  I love the excitement of buying new clothes or the high I get from buying organizing containers for instance.  Hi, my name is Laura and I love to shop.  Mostly what I love though is thrift shopping and the thrill of the hunt that comes from finding something on my list for a great price.  Such fun!  But stuff can become clutter in the blink of an eye and take over your home if you do not have a plan for what you buy and the time and energy to devote to stuff management.

Thankfully I love to organize and purge so as soon as I bring anything new into the house I organize it right away. Plus I always follow my one in, one out rule which you can see for yourself from all my purge pile pictures I post on Instagram.

As a side note, I have gotten better over the years about bringing unnecessary things into my home by facing the facts about who I am as a person.  Remember my scrapbooking debacle of 2007?  Yep that’s right, I use to “scrapbook” and I say that in quotations because really all I did was buy scrapbooking stuff just so I could organize all the bits and pieces with hopes of one day learning to love turning a blank page into a magnificent creation.  It never happened but gosh was it ever fun to organize all the STUFF that comes with scrapbooking lol.  Fail!  Thankfully I’ve learned from that lesson and if it’s not being used, it doesn’t get to stay.  Goodbye scrapbooking stuff!

My point I’m trying to make here is that what happens when you love to shop BUT hate to organize?  Or don’t have the time or the energy to deal with what you buy?

Stuff becomes clutter when we bring it into the home and don’t have a place to put it right away.  Or, if we don’t purge something else to make room for it.  Or, if we let it pile up and pile up and pile up.  Then we’ve got a problem.

Too much stuff, with no where to go, leads to clutter and chaos which is the exact opposite of the peaceful and organized homes we desire.

So the next time you go shopping, ask yourself these questions:

1.  Do I have a place to put this away?
2.  Do I have the time and energy to organize a space to put this?
3.  Am I willing to toss something to make room for this item?
4.  Will I really use this item and if so will it be within the next 3 months?

So even if a deal is too good to pass up but you don’t need it for awhile, you still need somewhere to put it.

And remember, the floor is not a shelf.  Bags piled up on the floor is not an optimal organizing technique no matter how neatly you stack those bags :)

By asking yourself questions like those listed above you’ll learn over time that the best way to stop clutter is before it even enters your home.


Filed under: Clutter Control, Organizing Solutions, Purging, Simplicity


13 Responses to How To Stop Clutter Before It Even Happens

  1. 1
    Kristin @ The Gold Project says

    Love this! Exactly how I decide if I can part with something or not. If I am not really sure, I will put it in a box in the garage. If I haven’t needed it for over a month, then away it goes.

    There are so many times I run across things that I just don’t have the energy to decide where to put it. And, I think that is how things get cluttered. Shove it in a drawer so you don’t have to look at it and then, next thing you know, the drawer won’t shut because of clutter.

    Great tips!!! XOXO

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Yep clutter just creeps right up on us. Such a sneaky thing that sly clutter bug is!

  2. 2
    Pam says

    Great advice. I am going to carry these rules on my phone every time I am out shopping… Especially in the dollar tree

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Ahh yes those dollar stores get me every time!!!

  3. 3
    Emily Chapelle says

    Haha “The floor is not a shelf.” LOVE it, Laura!

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      Something that came out of my mouth one day when I was frustrated with the kids lol!

  4. 4
    lyn says

    Very useful tips! I moved homes in September and managed to get rid of 40% from my old house. Now I’m a bit more conscious about buying stuff and the questions you’ve listed are definitely something I need to keep in mind.

  5. 5
    Becky L says

    Good ideas to remember. I like that the floor is not a shelf. I am still purging stuff. Sometimes I cannot decide about papers and special birthday cards. Keep it, throw it, read it three times then toss it? I am too sentimental esp with cards from husband.

    • 5.1
      Ithunn says

      Becky, keep the husband, toss the cards! ;-)

  6. 6
    Sharon at Momof6 says

    It always amazes me that buying something new can fill me with such excitement, and then I get the exact same pleasure when I clear it away as clutter a few months/years later! But the thing to keep in mind is that it is okay to love an item- a sweater, a vase for the table, a pair of shoes for a period of time, and then give it away.

    Love this series Laura!

  7. 7
    Mridu at Life is Organized says

    This was awesome because just like you, I LOVE shopping…and love organizing. So I feel like it’s a double-win when you can bring something really exciting into your life AND eliminate something that’s not so exciting to you anymore. Great post! xo

  8. 8
    Annie says

    awww come on…remember out scrap-booking Sunday afternoons…those were the best!!

  9. 9
    Suzanne says

    There’s two additional rules I like when it come to clothing: for every five items, purge at least one. And asking myself, ” if I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a long time, would I feel self-conscious and be wishing I was wearing something else?”


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