We own a lot of stuff. Granted we have lived in the same house for over 15 years. Our three children have grown up here, not an excuse, just a fact. This past weekend we spent many hours cleaning up our stuff in preparation for a renovation project in our home. As I cleaned up I realized we have a ton of stuff we very seldom use. This stuff cost us money at some point, I’m sure it was paid for with credit or at least a portion of it. This stuff also clutters our home. Clutter causes a domino effect, more to clean, more to organize, more to misplace, etc. Clutter causes you your time too. Each day searching for missing items like keys, receipts, phone chargers, and the list goes on and on. It can cost money too, replacing lost items with a new one only for the original to surface a day or two after the purchase. As we looking to set new goals, purchasing seldom used items and cleaning up clutter will be on the top of our list.
Seldom Used Stuff
These were some gems found when we did our clean up this weekend.
Waffle Iron – We haven’t made waffles in at least five years. Over the weekends I usually make pancakes for the family from scratch. If we do eat waffles they are usually frozen ones, just more convenient.
Inflatable Tiki Hut – This was a purchase for my youngest son’s luau themes Birthday party. We used it once. If I recall it was around $100.
Cake Leveler – This is basically a tool to help shape cakes. I can’t remember the last time we shaped a cake. Sorry cake boss.
We will continue to clean up around the house in prep for our project, but we will set goals to try an accomplish more as it comes to de-cluttering and limiting seldom used purchases. Researching a bit on de-cluttering it seems the best way to accomplish is to sort items into different categories or piles when cleaning up your stuff. Sorting stuff in a store, sell, donate and trash pile, gives you an immediate action plan based on your piles. The next step is to follow through with the action plan, making sure you store, sell, donate and trash or you just be left with the same amount of stuff just neatly categorized.
We will systematically take this approach and give our entire house a once over. We plan on tackling our holiday decoration as a next step. Good timing given this time of year and the fact that we have so much in that category. Once the de-cluttering of our stuff is complete the next step will be to addressing the root of the problem, purchasing new stuff. Now I’m far from a minimalist, but do like the idea of keeping things like wardrobe streamlined as it does make life easier, and saves time, decision time to pick out an outfit, laundry time to wash and dry the clothes, are two good examples. There is always a need for new things like food. The strategy I like to use when shopping is to always shop with a list, this help cut down on the impulse buys. The other strategy I’d like to implement going forward is the wait before you buy policy. For major purchase say $25 or more wait 24 hours before you make the purchase. This gives you time to think about that item and whether you truly need it or not. This is certainly not a new thought, I’ve heard this before in the PF community and it makes sense. If I used this strategy years ago I might not be shaping waffles under my inflatable tiki hut one last time.
How do you handle your stuff? Do you need to take on a de-cluttering project? What’s your best strategy for defending impulse spending?