5 Rules to break the Clutter

Rule 1: Saying No to Freebies

Who does not like free stuff? So, if you are getting hand wash free with your shampoo and if you wanted both of those in the first place, then great; otherwise resist the temptation. If we think about it, we don’t really need those free plastic containers, candies, soup sachets, pens, bookmarks, games, face wash, creams and what not; it is just the psychology of getting free stuff that entice us into purchasing those things. Just scan through your drawers and cabinets, if you are like me, you will certainly find a lot of free stuff lying unused or just taking space.

And yes, never accept candies for change.

Rule 2: Saying No to Gifts

The whole act of opening a beautifully packed gift to find out what is inside is so thrilling. But honestly, how many times have we got the exact thing we wanted? I am beginning to appreciate the merit of cash as a gift (I used to look down upon it earlier). I agree, you will end up giving more but you will spare yourself the frustration of speculating about the perfect thing to gift and the one who receives can make use of the money. My husband and I have started no-gifts pact. We don’t get anything for each other. I baked cake for him on his birthday; he dropped me to a bookstore to spend quiet time on mine. In India, it is a common practice to exchange gifts when we visit families and relatives. I have given strict instructions to my family (my parents and brother) that they will do me a favor by not getting anything for me. Sometimes people think I am only kidding!

Rule 3: Turning blind eye to ‘SALE’

Sample this. I walk into a store. I really like 1 T-shirt. But if I choose 2 more, I get to pay only for 2 because they have Buy 2-Get 1 Free offer. And then I waste my time and energy, and end up selecting 2 other T-shirts which I might never wear (it happens) and also end up paying double of what I intended to pay. That’s how most of us are. That’s how marketers make merry at our expense and we bring clutter (or unwanted stuff) home. My new rule is to buy only what I absolutely love even if it is a little expensive. It is better to buy 1 really good shirt over several mediocre ones.

Rule 4: Minimizing storage space

Till 2 years back, I believed in making more cupboards or more overhead cabinets for storage. You know how box-beds and box-everything is the order of the day. Not anymore. Here is the truth; the amount of stuff will always increase to fill the storage space you have. So, the less storage spaces you create, the less stuff you will keep.  Simple.

Rule 5: Not buying everything

What is the common mindset? If something could be borrowed for Rs 50 and could be bought for Rs 80. Why not buy? Because of “Why not buy”, I have stacks of magazines and shelves of books, clothes which are occasion wear, hair-straightener (never used), massager (rarely used), vacuum cleaner (not used for last 3-4 years), bicycle (never really used) and so on and so forth. Just because something is affordable does not mean that it should be bought. Buying is just the initial cost. We invest so much of time and energy in maintaining it. It is not wise to buy something which we might not even use once in a year. Rent or Borrow.

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