The Consequences of Buying Clutter

Clutter comes in many forms and when the holidays roll around, it can be tempting to scroll through Pinterest and dream about having lush garlands and decked-out Christmas trees in every corner of the house.

However, every spring brings more calls from stressed-out clients who ask me to help them organize and store all that holiday decor they had to buy and that now sits in a sad corner of the house or is pilled up in the garage.

This always makes me wonder, why do our traditions become synonymous with clutter?

The Tradition of Clutter
The Tradition of Clutter

Let’s take a moment and address the biggest problems with accumulating clutter every holiday season:

Going Into Debt For Decor

Take a moment and look around your house. Every single item on your shelves, cabinets, and drawers – including all that clutter you now deal with, used to be money.

If you had not spent on everything that you don’t want to clean, fold, or put away, how much money would you have? How many trips could you have made? Or how many (fill in the blanks with your dream experiences and aspirations) could you have enjoyed?

Not to mention the freedom and joy living a debt-free life means.

Cleaning Is Harder With All The Clutter

If your house doesn’t feel ready for fall until your mantle is filled with tiny pumpkins, that’s fine. But think about how you feel overwhelmed and rushed when it comes time to clean your home with all the decor. Are you going to complain about it? Are you going to resent having to do it all by yourself?

In my household, for example, I learned that everyone loves a “decked” house but no one is willing to clean or help pack everything for the end of the holidays.

So, I started asking myself how much time I am willing to devote to “stuff” and how much energy I am willing to spend cleaning a “packed” house.

The choice for a much simpler home decor was obvious which led me to be a much happier mother, which you and I know, makes for a much happier family! 😉

So my suggestion is that instead of buying more things and add more work to your cleaning routine, ask yourself: Is this the best use of my time? Is this where I want to spend my time?

Too often, we buy clutter and create these time-sucking problems just to find out that we are too busy (or too lazy) to deal with later.

So if you want a holiday season free of clutter, free of extra cleaning chores and more focused on people and the joy of being together, here are my tips.

Three Tips for Getting the Holiday Clutter Under Control

1. Focus On Experiences Over Possessions

We all want our kids to have the best, richest memories of the holidays as they grow up. What’s going to matter more to them: new holiday throw pillows in every room of the house? Or taking a walk downtown as a family to ooh and ahh at the Christmas lights?

Nix The Guilt this year and focus on giving your family rich holiday experiences instead of cluttering up every room of the house.

2. Your Home is a Living Space, Not a Storage Space

Instead of scrolling through Pinterest and dreaming about all of the over-the-top decorations for every room, focus on visualizing your ideal space.

Instead of covering every surface with decorations, think about the freedom of empty surfaces, how good clean spaces look, and the small changes you can make to add some festive cheer.

Your home should be functional, as well as fun. Make sure you’re not just storing decorations for every holiday, but really utilizing the space in a way that makes sense for your family.

3. Don’t Reward Yourself With More Stuff

Once you have your space looking the way you want, organized and de-cluttered in a way that is functional for your family… Stop buying things to fill up that space.

If cleaning and maintaining your clutter was too much to maintain, adding new things to that space will only bring you right back to where you started.

Yes, celebrate your new, stress-free space. But don’t reward yourself with more stuff. 

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