Before you buy something, be sure to know where it is going to go. That could possibly be the single most important thing to keep in mind as you work on getting to, and maintaining, a simpler, more organized life. It’s very easy to buy stuff, bring it home, and stuff it in a closet or cabinet – but it’s another to purposely know where the item is going to have a home in your house. Some people advise to get rid of something if you are bringing something home, but that might not necessarily always work out. But knowing where you are going to put your new item can go a long way to keeping you clutter-free. After all, you might not buy it if you don’t have anywhere to put it!
photo credit: Darkstream
When I am out shopping without purpose, and come across something I might want to pick up, I try to think about where in my house I will be keeping it. Do I have room for that in the kitchen? In the living room? Will it bring any added value to my life? Oftentimes I end up putting the item in question back on the shelf after asking myself those kind of questions. I used to just buy it, whatever it was – which only gave me more stuff to get rid of every week in the 10 Week Challenge! In my 20’s and early 30’s, I owned a lot more “stuff” than I do now (or did it own me?), and I am continually paring down my belongings to mostly just the essentials along with a handful of luxuries. In order to keep this process going, I need to be aware of where anything I buy will go — otherwise I might revert back to having too much crap to store in the house.
So be sure to ask yourself that question next time you pick up something at the mall!
My mind was in a similar groove about buying things…as I made my “Ten Things” list I was wondering if I was ending up with a net–loss position (in this case, a good result).
This wondering has made me be more mindful in my purchasing. Where will I put it? Will I use it soon? If not soon, will I really use it?
My grandma’s favorite saying was “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Helping my mom declutter recently, I’ve reminded her of that. And I have an addendum, “If you can’t find a proper place for it, you don’t need to keep it.”