One Simple Rule for Avoiding Clutter

If you are still on a purging, organizing, and clutter-busting kick from the New Year, I’ll let you in on a secret. There is one simple rule for avoiding clutter in your life, and it isn’t to purge all the unnecessary or joy-less things.

how to avoid clutter organize

One simple rule for avoiding clutter is this: Use the 24-hour rule before bringing anything into your home.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”c93yQ” via=”yes” ]One simple rule for avoiding clutter is this: Use the 24-hour rule before bringing anything into your home. #organize @DarlaDeMorrow[/ctt]

What is the 24-hour rule? Wait 24 hours before buying or otherwise acquiring something that you have to store, dust, wash, move, arrange, make payments on, or otherwise organize. 

Right. Easier said than done?

Feel the need for some shopping therapy? Load up the Amazon shopping cart, but wait 24 hours before clicking “buy”.

Hit the mall with friends, but leave your credit card at home. Take pictures of anything you really fall head over heals in love with, in order to purchase the next day.

If your mantra is, “Buy now, return later,” reframe it to, “bookmark now, buy later”.

Headed to a home show or hobbyist gathering? Tell the vendors who pressure you that your wife/husband will kill you if you don’t wait 24 hours on any purchase over $10 (or whatever number you decide). There is almost never a true “today only” special. You can purchase almost anything with either a google search or some smooth negotiation.

Politely refuse pamphlets, bags, promotional items or nearly any freebie of any type if it is not something you love and will immediately use. 24 hours later, you’ll be glad you didn’t bring it home.

Getting an overload of gifts from grandparents? Talk with them and tell them that you are just out of room, and need 24 hours to deal with anything larger than your purse. Hint: they aren’t going to want those things cluttering up their house, either, and they might finally agree to buy those “experiences” you’ve been begging for.

Have a thing for books? Yeah, me too. Keep a list of books that catch your eye in the book store (Evernote is a good place for this list), and check your library and Kindle before purchasing them.

Have a thing for technology? The 24 hour rule is sure to save you tons of money. I mean, that gadget is going to be obsolete by tomorrow, anyway.

Is there an exception to this rule? Yes! Graciously accept gifts given specifically to you from someone who cares about you.  Life isn’t black and white, so make adjustments as needed, but the point is, 40 bags of purging isn’t going to make a dent if you (and other people you live with) are still bringing things into your house by the truckload.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”Ue9iI” via=”no” ]40 bags of purging isn’t going to make a dent if you still bring things home by the truckload. #organize[/ctt]

If you go home and find space for the item you almost bought, then you are approved to go and get it.

The best part? In a year you won’t be spending a day/week/month trashing things that you never liked all that much anyway. You can use that day/week/month doing something that you love to do with people who will love talking about something besides your latest decluttering binge.