If you live within relatively small living quarters, over-consumption can become your worst enemy. Not only can too much “stuff” lying around cause stress and discombobulation, but it’s also difficult to maintain a relaxing and comfortable living space. Sure, there are creative ways to control clutter; but even the best storage units can only hold so much.

Do yourself a favor by fighting the temptation to  buy and consume beyond what can easily fit in your home. Some people opt for renting out storage units – especially in cities where renting small studios and flats are the norm – but those can be quite expensive over time. Also, unless you consider your current apartment your “forever home,” chances are you’ll eventually be moving. Think of how much easier the moving process will be without all the excess.

Simplify your life and avoid consuming too much stuff with these five tips.

clutter1Havenly/Shelby Girard

Use the “one in, one out” rule when shopping.

Don’t add – replace! Rather than racking up a huge collection of shoes, for example (as ideal as that may sound to some women), get rid of an old pair if you’ve found your new favorite pair of stilettos during a shopping trip. Holding on to several versions of the same items may work if you have the space to organize everything accordingly; but as long as you’re living in a small home, be selective about what you keep.

Take inventory and donate.

At least once a year, take inventory of your closet and donate any items you no longer need (as long as it’s in good condition). If you haven’t worn a certain sweater in years, the chances are slim that you’ll wear it again. Why not donate your unnecessary items to secondhand stores or homeless shelters?

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Myah Rebecca

Pause before you purchase.

This is like that trick for when you’re craving junk food – wait 15 minutes, and the craving should pass. If you’re an impulse buyer, it’s in your best interest to try and break that habit. Next time you see something you want, but don’t need, give it a day or so before you purchase. Within 24 hours, you might not even want it anymore.

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SpareBank 1 via Flickr

Shop for the moment.

Most of us have purchased things we don’t need, simply because it’s on sale or think it may come in handy in the future. That type of thinking, however, eventually leads to clutter. Every bit of space counts when living in small quarters, so remember to shop for the moment and your immediate needs.

Do the math.

Take a second to think about how much money you’re actually spending on unnecessary items, and do the math. Could that money be put towards something more enjoyable, like an exotic getaway, a night out at a fancy restaurant, or even a larger home? Rather than throw cash towards consuming more material items, think about the amazing experiences you could have if you just save your pennies and simplify your shopping habits.

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