10 Tips to Help You Avoid Accumulating Stuff

Stuff Doesn’t Bring You Happiness

You know it’s true, accumulating more stuff won’t make you happy. But for some reason, more stuff keeps making its way into your home.

Once stuff gets into your home, it is more difficult to get rid of it. To change the pattern of continuously accumulating and decluttering, you need to be more mindful about what you allow to enter your home in the first place.

10 Tips to Avoid Accumulating Stuff

1. Don’t accept freebies or giveaways.

Just because something is free, doesn’t mean you should take it. That tote bag is probably just going to take up space in your closet. And is that stress ball relieving any stress or is it just taking up space on your desk?

2. Say “no thanks” when family or friends offer you something of theirs.

Most people offer you a thing because they think it will be useful to you. It is not offensive to let them know that you don’t need it. If you feel bad about saying no, you can always tell them that you want to go home and think about it and you will let them know if you decide to take it later.

3. Unsubscribe from emails encouraging you to shop.

An email with a great advertisement and an enticing coupon can convince anybody that they need something that they don’t. Unsubscribe from these emails and you will save money by not buying things you don’t need. When you go shopping for an item that you need, you can simply visit the store’s website for a coupon.

4. Collect memories, not souvenirs.

People collect souvenirs so they can remember their vacation but memories aren’t held in an object. 

5. Avoid browsing stores. 

Shopping as a hobby is a sure way to add clutter to your home at a fast pace. Been there, done that! Check out Alternatives to Retail Therapy for some suggestions for alternative ways to spend your time.

6. Resist the urge to get the next new thing. 

Something new comes out all the time. It always seems super cool and something that you must get. Don’t fall for it. The new thing might make you feel cool for a little, but it won’t be long until the next new thing is here and your thing is obsolete. 

7. Drop hints for an experience gift.

Instead of asking for more stuff for birthdays or holidays, give people experience gift ideas that you would be interested in. Event tickets or memberships are offered at many places and make perfect gifts. 

8. Find a way to treat yourself without buying objects.

Sometimes after a long week or a bad day, we feel like giving ourselves a little treat. Instead of buying another object to add to your home, consider some other options. A bubble bath, going out for ice cream, or taking a walk are all ways to treat yourself without the risk of adding clutter.

9. Only buy what you need for the present. 

When making purchases make sure you are buying something for who you are now. Stop buying stickers if you are no longer scrapbooking. In contrast, don’t buy a pair of jeans three sizes too small in the hopes that you may fit into them someday. Buying stuff based on who you were in the past or who you think you will be in the future will lead to unused items sitting around your house. 

10. Don’t buy something just because it is on sale. 

Sale signs used to catch my attention and lure me in every time. However, a sale only saves you money if you were intending to buy that item in the first place.

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy reading Stop Clutter Before it Starts and Rethink Your Needs and Avoid Clutter.

Published by Suzanne- Happily Decluttered

Hi!! My name is Suzanne and I live in central PA with my husband and three girls. I love yoga, pickleball, camping, spending time with my family, and decluttering!

14 thoughts on “10 Tips to Help You Avoid Accumulating Stuff

  1. Such great advice! I agree with all 10 of your points 🙂 Got any ideas for how to get the other 6 residents of my home to follow these rules as well? haha!

  2. I’m going to disagree with #10 because I stock up on things that go on sale. I live in Canada where couponing isn’t really a thing, and sales are hard to come by. I buy Easter stuff after Easter when it’s cheap. And when I see a really good deal, I will buy a few of said item as long as it’s a consumable. If it’s not a consumable, then I pass on the sales. I’m totally with you on trying to cut back on collecting clutter. My husband drags a lot of stuff into the house so I’m trying to reinforce only buying what we need. His solution? “Get a bigger house.” 🤦‍♀️

    1. Consumables have more wiggle room with this “rule”. If you have the space for stocking up on sale items, and you remember you have them and then use said items, have at it!

      Haha. Good luck with your husband. My husband used to never want to get rid of anything. Now, after living a more minimal life and enjoying the simplicity, he has started to surprise me and will bring up getting rid of something all on his own. 🙂

      1. Words like trinkets and chotskies make me cringe. At least consumables don’t last forever. We don’t currently have the space but will be moving to a bigger place soon. When I stock up, I usually buy 2 or 3 max. My husband buys 20 (no joke).

        My husband has more clothes than I do, and my clothes are falling apart or old. He enjoys malls much more than I do too. The more I simplify my life, the less stuff I want. This also includes hobbies. If only I could get my husband on board! 😆

  3. These are great tips! I like freebies though, cause they help save cash. So for example in Japan they give out tissues, which always came in handy when I needed tissues in my bag. Now I actually have to buy them 😅
    And here in South Africa they have a habit of giving fabric softener freebies at expos. I receive all of them cause they sit in my laundry cabinet and there will always be or when I run out 😂

  4. These are great ideas and are critical to staying on top of clutter. My husband is the worst for “overstocking up”. When things are on sale, he goes overboard. It is all consumables, but honestly. I remember our nephew coming over when he was small and asking us if we were running a convenience store in our basement. 😂😂😂

      1. What a nice compliment, Suzanne, thank you! When I began my 3-year road trip, I started snapping pictures, and by the time I finished, I had shot thousands of images. I don’t have a fancy camera – wouldn’t even know how to use one! – I’ve just gotten lots of practice. Thank you again for your kindness! 🌞

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