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Published November 05, 2011, 11:30 PM

Areavoices: Question your purchases

I recently was asked for my No. 1 de-cluttering tip. It simply boils down to one thing: think before you buy.

By: Melissa Schmalenberger, Areavoices.com blogger, INFORUM

I recently was asked for my No. 1 de-cluttering tip. It simply boils down to one thing: think before you buy. Really look at why you are buying something:

  • Are you buying it because you are mad/sad/lonely (insert any emotion here) at someone and shopping makes you feel better? It may make you feel better for one minute, but for every other minute after that you may regret it.

  • Is there a home for it? Do you already know where it is going in your home? Or will you need to get rid of a few things first?

  • Is the best thing about it that it is on sale or almost free, like at a garage sale? Remember, don’t love the bargain more than the item itself.

  • Is it consumable? I love consumables as gifts as they do not create clutter. Gift cards, bubble bath, a box of chocolates.

  • If you bring it home, are you willing to get rid of something else? I call this the “one in one out rule.” If you buy a new pair of shoes, you then have to donate an old pair of your shoes.

  • Really love it before you leave the store. Nothing is worse than having to return something that is too small or doesn’t fit right. We have to keep track of the receipt, and then we have to make that trip back to the store when we are already busy enough. Save time and aggravation and make sure you really love it!

  • Are you buying it to replace something? This is the best reason. For example, your can opener breaks and you need a new one – buy it.


Melissa Schmalenberger is a professional organizer. She blogs at mssimplicity.areavoices.com.

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