We don’t need clutter in any part of our lives – so what’s the trick to how to reduce clutter in your home? Find out how to balance the right amount of stuff without having to become a complete minimalist in the process.
Once you’ve decluttered your home (or even before you declutter), you will definitely want to stop any clutter coming back (or adding to what’s there already).
Let’s look at the ways to reduce clutter in your home without having to get rid of everything in the process!
After all – if you have less in your home, you’ll find it easier to stop clutter getting past the front door in the future – and it will be a much simpler job to keep your home looking amazing.
… and I’m all for an easier life, so if you are as well, then let’s get started, shall we?….
#1 – Stop buying the unnecessary
It stands to reason that you gained clutter because you had too much ‘stuff’ everywhere – so if you have less stuff then, of course you’ll end up with less clutter in the future.
But that can be easier said than done…
My top tips to make this a reality are as follows: –
- ASK WHERE IT’S GOING AND WHAT YOU NEED IT FOR. If you can’t work out where it will live in your home, and/or you’re just buying it because you like it – then you can probably put it back and not miss it once you’re home…
- HAVE A PLAN / STYLE AND STICK TO IT. If you create a style for your home, and for yourself – then it’s a LOT easier to say no to things that don’t fit into that style. You are much less likely to be swayed by lots of things in the shops as they simply won’t work for you any longer and you’ll be able to see it more clearly when you know what your style is.
- STICK TO A LIST. The easiest method for stopping excess shopping is to make a list when you’re at home and stick to it when you go out. This will help you to stay on track and only bring back what you really need. (This works for everything – from food to clothes to presents)
- BUY QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. When you concentrate on items that will last, and that you truly love, then you will have a need for less overall. It may be worth spending a little more on a top that will last 2 years rather than several cheaper tops that will last 2 washes (and take up more room)….
Related: Do you save things for best?
- DON’T SHOP AS A HOBBY. So many people (myself included) go shopping as a way to spend time and relax – even if they don’t need anything. This is a recipe for disaster as it’s highly likely that you won’t just window shop, and you’ll end up with things that you simply don’t need. Shop only when you need things, stick to a list, and you’ll do just fine!
…and if you DO have to buy things, think about having a “one in, one out” policy for those items. This works particularly well for clothes!
#2 – Gift experiences rather than stuff
The quickest way to add to clutter in a home is when it’s a Birthday / Christmas / Special occasion – in the form of presents that are received.
Yes, it’s lovely to get presents, and it’s equally lovely to give to people – but what about asking for a different sort of present rather than adding to the ‘stuff’ you already have?
Most of us don’t need extra things – let’s be honest here.
Parents of young children would be happy to be left with less toys, less clothes etc… – as their children tend to have SO MUCH given to them that they can feel overwhelmed at times.
And often we buy things more for the sake of getting something rather than knowing that the recipient will love or need it….
So, instead of ‘stuff’ – why not buy something that’s still an amazing present, but doesn’t add to clutter in any way?
Some ideas would be: –
- Theatre tickets
- Membership to local zoo
- A day out
- Time with someone
- Babysitting voucher (great gift for new parents!)
Related: Top 35 Clutter free gifts
Or gift money towards something
If you want to get something special, you could gift cash towards something that’s really needed.
For example – one Christmas my 3 nephews all asked relatives for money as gifts so they could put it all towards a playhouse in their garden.
Yes, it was ‘stuff’ – but it wasn’t something bought for the sake of it that they wouldn’t use. It was a great idea and gave them many hours of fun over the years.
Another example of this is giving money for a wedding gift to put towards the honeymoon.
P.S. Don’t give clutter either…
Lastly in this section, it’s worth mentioning that if you’re thinking of giving physical gifts to relatives then by all means do so – but ASK first.
You don’t want to give them something that will add to their clutter, right? So it makes sense to ask whether they are in need of anything specific, and go from there.
#3 – Unsubscribe
We all get far too much junk mail through the door and into our email inbox.
A very simple way to reduce clutter coming into the house is to unsubscribe from as much of this as you possibly can:
- eMails legally have to have a way to unsubscribe at the bottom of them – so if you don’t need those emails any longer, spend a few minutes a week unsubscribing from them. Over time this will reduce the amount you’re getting each day.
- Register your home address to not allow junk mail any longer (for the UK you can do that here: – https://www.mpsonline.org.uk/)
- If you get any magazines / newspapers etc… then consider whether you really need them any longer or can you unsubscribe and save a lot of paper clutter this way – and this one leads me nicely into the next point….
#4 – Go Digital
You can have the items you want – without clutter – by just going digital with a lot of it:
- If you get hard copies of magazines / newspapers – then consider subscribing to a digital copy instead, or just using the internet to find articles and news when you need it.
- Use online film rentals rather than buying DVDs
- Use online music streaming rather than buying CDs
- Use audio books or digital books (kindle) rather than buying books (or your local library, although this will add to your clutter for the short term..)
- Ask for paperless billing for as many services as you can (some even charge you now for paper billing, so you can save a little money doing this as well!)
- Do online banking and get your statements there rather than paper versions.
- Don’t print off tickets for events that you buy online – save them to your phone as most places will accept these now when you need them (they usually have a barcode on that people scan).
TIP – Remember though that digital clutter exists as well, so stay on top of anything you save on your computer or online…
So – the answer to how to reduce clutter in your home has hopefully been answered…
If you can start using these 4 methods in your day to day life from now on, your home (and your sanity) really will thank you for it.
And if you want to continue down the clutter free path, I wrote a post on habits to keep your home clutter free – click HERE to read it next…