At least once a week I look around my house and wonder why we have so much stuff. There are toys that aren’t played with, closets stuffed full with clothes, and cabinets holding supplies I barely open. 

Why do we own so many things? According to the LA Times there are 300,000 items in the average American home. And 80% of the items people keep are never used. So, what are we waiting for? Here are 5 ways that can help you own less stuff.

  1. Take Inventory

Start by taking inventory of what you have. Go through all of the rooms in your house. Declutter and sort out the things you want to keep and the things you need to get rid of. By taking inventory of what you already have, you will better know in the future what purchases are unnecessary. 

I find it helpful to do this as each season changes. You will then be reminded of all the unused items you already have and do not need to purchase for a new season of activities.

  1. Stop Buying Unnecessary Things

While this sounds like common sense, most of us actually buy way too many unnecessary things. Track your spending to see what your money is being spent on. Then consider your needs and wants and make a budget with these things in mind. 

Read here for more great tips on how to stop buying stuff and specific items that you can stop spending money on. 

  1. Understand Why

When do you do the most unnecessary shopping? Late at night? When you are bored? Tired? Unhappy?

Shopping can make us feel good and help us escape negative feelings. It gives us a momentary feeling of happiness when we hit that button to complete a transaction. Take a deeper look to figure out why you are buying excess things. Then work to fill that area in your life with something positive.

  1. Borrow When Possible

I am often guilty of needing something last minute and instead of asking a friend or family member, I just go ahead and buy it. This includes items I only need to use one time. 

Start thinking of things you can borrow for short or one time use. This could include:

  • Clothes for special occasions
  • Kitchen tools
  • Home improvement tools
  • Kid or baby items
  • Items for one-time activities or events
  1. Spend Less Time On Your Phone

On average, we spend over 3 hours a day on our phone. This means we are exposed to a ton of ads and emails that are urging us to buy something now. It’s also easy to open an app and do some mindless shopping when we are bored or have some extra time. 

Get off your phone as much as possible and engage in hobbies you enjoy or spend extra time with your loved ones. Your wallet and your home will thank you for not buying extra things. 

While shopping is a fun thing to do when needed or on occasion, use these tips to manage your spending well and create less excess and stuff in your life.