This Organizing Method Has Helped Me (Finally!) Conquer Clutter and Stop Overbuying

published Jul 9, 2022
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When I hit my 30s, I finally understood why my mom had clusters of trays, candlestick holders, weird statues, and Laura Ashley-inspired flower baskets all around the house. Decorating isn’t just a necessity; it’s a hobby. There’s no rush like the one where you see a side table or knick-knack that seems to encapsulate your entire personality in its design. I love the excitement of finding a treasure and figuring out how to incorporate it into my space, shuffling around vignettes until it fits just so. But when designing is your hobby, you’ll quickly find a surplus of decor items you don’t have a spot to place.

If they no longer fit your aesthetic, it’s easy to sell or donate them, clearing your home of its clutter. But what happens if you still love the item but don’t have enough space to include it? Well, I’ve found a system that helps me not only keep those pieces but also curb my need to shop in the first place. 

I’ve personally been tackling a bit of an overshopping problem and am working on becoming a more mindful shopper, so this organizing method has helped me store and sort the items I actually need and want to keep, especially when changing decor pieces to match the seasons I’m in (and not store away repeat items). And that is the system of “shopping my own supply.”

Many people are guilty of forgetting exactly what they own. If it’s not on full display or used daily, it’s easy to forget it’s there. And I have found that if I rediscover it while cleaning out a closet or reorganizing a cupboard, I get that same rush I feel when I discover a treasure in a store. So I decided to corral all of these pieces into one spot, which I can rifle through when I have the urge to update a room.

I have a couple of large Costco containers in my basement, and I fill each one with items that I got bored of, are out of rotation, or I think I no longer like. Then, every month I walk around my place and pick things out that feel a little tired or don’t quite gel, leaving spots to be redecorated. I select a box downstairs to bring back up, pick out my favorite pieces from its contents, and challenge myself to figure out how to incorporate them in new ways — which, if I’m being honest, is the most fun part of decorating. Sometimes one particular item doesn’t really work, and it goes back into the box, but other times I’m able to find that new “perfect” place it was initially missing, bringing the room together and giving the space that same “refreshed” feeling as a new item would. 

I love this system because it not only helps me slow down with shopping and curb new items coming into the home — which are always a pain to organize — but it also helps me appreciate what I already have. I can look at these pieces with fresh eyes every couple of months and give them a second — or third, or fourth! — chance to shine.