There are several phrases that go along with what I am terming abundance clutter:
- "Stocking up;"
- "being prepared;" and,
- "fully stocked;"
These phrases all have very position connotations, and stocking up on household items like food in bulk and bottles and bottles of water is also very comforting. Take a look at this picture and tell me you are not jealous of this full-stocked pantry. This household looks ready to take on the world, a huge dinner party, or a zombie apocalypse.
What's the problem? If no one cooks that food, are they really ahead of the game? If the meat spoils and the humungous bottle of olive oil never gets used, it was really all just a waste of money. Very closely related is aspirational clutter. This is the person whom you have trouble buying a gift for because they seemingly have everything.
There's a fine line between stocking up, and over abundance.
How to Tell if You Keep Abundance Clutter
- Do you own a cookbook you've never cooked a recipe from?
- Do you tend to invest a great deal of money upfront in gear for a new hobby?
- Are your kitchen cabinets full of appliances you registered for 20 years ago and haven't touched since?
- Is your coffee table bowing under the weight of your coffee table book collection?
- Do you have two year's worth of hand soap stacked up in your linen closet crowding out your sheets, towels and tablecloths?
I have a friend, we'll call her Natalie, who decided to take up golf. The first thing she did was not to book a lesson with a pro or plan to do a loop with an experienced golfer friend, what she did was to pull out her credit card, head to a pro shop and buy a very expensive set of golf clubs. She discovered after playing once that she hated golf. Not only was this a huge waste of money, those golf clubs are taking up valuable storage space in her home.
Why do people do this? I think the idea of stocking up is very comforting. Even if you're not a gourmet cook or an expert skier, you can at least look the part.
Steps to Get Rid of Abundance Clutter
Get old school and think like your great-great grandparents. This is the easiest type of clutter personality to change if you can get a little old school and start thinking like a tightwad.
Instead of buying that new cookbook, check it out of the library. A library card is basically a passport to tons of entertainment, for both adults and children. It’s the best deal in town.
Rent your skis, golf clubs, or canoe. Thumb through the coffee table book at the bookstore while enjoying a latte. Resist the urge to buy anything related to a hobby until you’ve taken the intro classes or have engaged in the hobby for a good amount of time. Read more about Aspirational Clutter.
Instead of buying the super-size of a new product, purchase the travel size to see if you like it. I do this all the time with beauty products like hair gels and moisturizers, and bonus, small items are (obviously) easier to store.
When buying in bulk, only buy things you know you will use, and make sure you have a proper storage space. When I say “things you know you will use,” I’m talking about staples: toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent. Unless you’re having a party, resist buying perishable items.
You can enjoy these products without bringing them into your home. Commit to a new hobby or product for 3-6 months, then start purchasing the items you need the most.What is Clutter?
Read about why you keep different types of clutter and how to get rid of it.