Get Picky

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to help keep your home uncluttered is to stop buying based on trends and impulses and start making intentional purchases.

This means that the next time you’re in Target passing by the home goods section and see something really cute to keep on walking. Don’t let the bright colors distract you from being intentional. Get picky. Set a standard for the items you purchase.

Be Intentional

First, think about how you want your home to look and feel. Look at pictures online or in magazines. Decide on the look you want to create.

Go through your room(s) and remove any clutter that doesn’t help you create this look. Donate or sell these items.

Based on your intended style, make a wish list of the items you need to create your desired outcome. Maybe this is a certain type of couch, curtains, coffee table, lamp, flower vase, or pictures on the wall.

Once you’ve created your wish list, look online for items that will satisfy your list. You may not find everything right away or be able to buy what you want right away. The point is to intentionally look for the item(s) you really want.

I love shopping online. You can save energy, time, and search multiple stores in minutes. My favorite home store is West Elm. They have organic and hand crafted items. I also love Coyuchi and Garnet Hill bedding. My favorite clothing stores are Hanna Andersson and Patagonia.

Once you’ve found the items you love. Hit pause and save up for those items before you purchase them. This will save you stress on your finances and give you time to better create your vision.

If your new purchase is a replacement item (couch), try selling your old item on craigslist or donate it to a charitable organization (Easterseals will pick up items from your home). If your old item is not in good condition, recycle if you can or throw it away. Do not hold on to the old item and store it in your basement. This will just become clutter you have to deal with later.

Limit Shopping Experiences

Let’s be honest. It is really hard to walk into Target and not walk out with something you didn’t intend to purchase.

I love walking around the home goods section of Target. And once I do, I am almost craving something cute to buy.

The best way to combat this is to limit your exposure. I probably walk into Target 4 times a year. I focus on buying my household supplies (toothpaste, toilet paper, etc) from my grocery store. I order most of our clothes online. So that covers most of our regular shopping needs. No longer am I walking into Target or another store on a weekly basis.

If you get picky about where you shop, limiting your shopping experiences, you will be less tempted to buy items that will add clutter to your home.

Create Standards

Another good thing to do is create a set of standards for your shopping. When you are out shopping and come across something that catches your eye, think about your standards and whether this item fulfills these guidelines or not. Here are some examples:

  1. Is it organic
  2. Is it hand crafted
  3. Is it high quality
  4. Is it responsibly made
  5. Does it fit my intended style

After answering those questions, follow up with these:

  1. Do I need it
  2. Is it functional
  3. Do I already own one of these
  4. Is this replacing something broken
  5. Can this be borrowed instead
  6. Will I still want this in 6 months
  7. Can I afford this right now
  8. Can I wait a week to buy this

Another great standard is the 1-in-1-out rule. Instead of adding items into your home, decide to only buy replacements. For example, even though that shirt looks really cute, you already have plenty. Wait until you have a worn out shirt that you are ready to get rid of before you buy a new one. Or you already have a good amount of cups, so resist buying another fun cup for your kids or coffee mug just because it would be a fun purchase.

Long-term Style

When you get picky about your purchases, focus on buying quality made items that match your personality and style. Let go of the latest trends and zero in on what you like. This will allow you to invest in items that you will love for a long time and not want to continually replace.

A little tip: If you find yourself at Target and feel like making an impulse purchase, take note of the price and instead of buying it, take that amount of money and save it for something on your wish list.

Once your home is completed in your intended style, you can sit back and enjoy it for a long time. And because you have gotten picky and are no longer making impulse purchases based on the latest trends, you will limit the clutter coming into your home.