I am really terrible with clutter and I've been working hard at getting better. I would love some tips to help get a handle on all the "stuff" before it gets out of control. Some things I've been doing:
- don't keep ads/junk mail i know i will not look at (coupons are an area i need to work on... it's to the point where if i find a coupon around the house i sigh in relief if I find it is expired because then i know i don't need to keep it. in today's grocery ad i literally went through it and only kept the coupons i know i will use THIS week... instead of the old "oh pizza is on sale, but you have to buy 6, what a great deal" when i don't have freezer room for 6 more pizzas)
- bringing my own reusable grocery bags. i used to be awesome at this, i hate hate hate the waste of plastic store bags. however i've gotten lax and now my plastic bag holder (which i keep for things like garbage can liners and cat litter cleaning) is overflowing and i will never in a million years use them all. they are making me anxious, and now i have to go recycle them all at the grocery store (the only place locally that will take them), which is another form of clutter... remembering to bring them to get rid of them!
- not taking store reciepts. i bank online and i do not need reciepts unless (in the very rare case) i might need to return something. otherwise they just pile up in my purse or on my passengers seat in the car. again, physical and mental clutter.
- i've been trying for years the "only handle it once/OHIO" rule for mail... it never sticks but i'm still trying.
- my best idea so far, i just made this list for when i'm buying things (or decluttering) to help me pair down the unnecessary spending or keeping. 1). do i love it / do i need it? 2. will i really use it? 3. can i afford it (to buy it right now, or to keep/store it)? 4. would something else work better? and 5). does it have a PLACE for being kept? I literally put this list in front of my banking card in my wallet and it has been helping prevent me from buying some of the things that end up in my shopping cart!
- no more magazines i will never read. i got several subscriptions to magazines awhile back for a fundraiser. I ended up calling the companies to cancel my subscriptions because they were FILLING my house with clutter! i almost never read even one article in the whole magazine then i have to figure out what to do with it. one of the magazine continues to come and its long past when the subscription ran out, so i should probably call them again to cancel, again.
please post your tips, i'd love some great ideas to try!