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The One Question I Ask Myself That Helped Me Buy Less

A few weeks ago I set out on a challenge. I challenged myself to declutter 100 items a day for 10 days straight. Yep, you read that right. 1,000 items decluttered over 10 days.

It was both harder and easier than I imagined it to be. I shared a bit about my challenge and journey on my Instagram starting with this reel!

Some areas were very easy to go through and clean out to reach those kinds of numbers. I was easily able to go through my household’s clothing and get rid of several hundred items. In my bathroom, it was especially easy to get rid of things!

Also because I was targeting a certain number it was easier to get rid of things I otherwise would have kept.

For example, we had 3 queen mattress protectors in a spare closet. We have 2 queen beds meaning we really don’t need that third one. My brother happened to just tell me he was in the market and so instead of keeping the extra one, I sent it to him! Saved him some money and made me some space.

Throughout this process, I realized there was another things I really needed to tackle: buying less.

The One Question I Ask Myself That Helped Me Buy Less

The one question decided to start asking myself before I buy something was: how easy will it be to get rid of this?

Think about it, a lot of what we buy ends up in the trash. For the most part, things can’t be destroyed so it ends up in a landfill.

This fact devastates me. It makes me think twice about the things that I buy. I want to make more sustainable choices when possible.

Keeping this question in mind, I’m more easily able to make better choices when I buy something.

Some things I consider:

  • can I resell this?
  • how easy is it to donate this item?
  • who will I give this to when I am done with it?
  • is this going to end up in the trash?

The factors make it easier to buy less stuff that I absolutely don’t need. My home should ultimately work with me and for me – not against me.

Having a ton of clutter around does not make living in my home simple. In fact, it makes is far more difficult!

I really liked taking this challenge on and think I likely will again before the end of the year as well.

And now when I am looking for new items for my home, I can ask myself “how easy is it to get rid of this?” as a litmus test to avoid buying things I don’t need in the first place.

Let me know in the comments how you keep your home simple!

About the Author

Nicole Booz is the founder of GenTwenty and GenThirty. She is an entrepreneur, author of The Kidult Handbook, and most importantly, Mama to two beautiful little boys. She loves reading, organizing her home, and living a simple, less toxic lifestyle. You've seen her in The New York Times, TIME, Insider, Inside Edition, New York Post, NextAdvisor, Forbes, Yahoo, HuffPost, and U.S. News & World Report.