4 Questions to Ask Before Buying

Being disorganized and cluttered starts at what you buy. Everything you bring into your house has the potential to clutter and overwhelm your living space. You can control what and how much comes into your home by asking yourself some simple questions before you make a purchase.  Prevention is the best way for you to organize and reduce clutter in your life.  And limiting your possessions, to what you need is among the most effective methods to prevent clutter and organization nightmares from even happening in the first place.

I am not telling you to only buy practical items. Buying a luxury or recreational item, within reason, is perfectly fine.  For example, you don’t another pair of shoes when you have four other perfectly fine pairs of shoes. Just apply common sense and you should do fine. 

So, ask yourself the following questions before buying something:

  1. Does this purchase solve a problem?
  2. Do I need this item?
  3. Do I have an immediate plan for this item?
  4. Am I making an emotional purchase?

Asking yourself these, above, simple questions will help you reduce your clutter and help you stay more organized, and it will also save you money 

Let’s Examine Each Of These Questions:

Question Number One

Does Me Buying “X” Solve a Problem?

Many purchasing decisions are based on impulse, pushy salesman or marketing, and emotions, which aren’t the best reasons to buy.  Therefore, asking yourself if your purchase solves a problem will help you make better choices. For example, buying food solves a problem. Purchasing a new decoration or item of clothing “just because” may not solve anything.  If you shop for what you need versus what you want, you can reduce the amount of clutter coming into your home, which in turn means it will become easier to organize.

Question Number Two 

Do I Need It?

This sounds similar to asking if the item solves a problem but dives deeper. Also, this question Needing something is different than wanting something. You may want another set of towels because they are on sale, but do you need them? So, before you buy something, ask yourself if you need it or is it just wanted. As a result, avoiding shopping unless you need an item helps reduce impulse buys.

Question Number Three

Do I Need It Now?

A rationale that shoppers use for making a purchase is the belief there is perceived value in the future, which is generally a justification to get around the first two questions – does this item solve a problem, or do I need this item?

Overriding your sensibility that you don’t need something now doesn’t justify a purchase. The items will likely end up in a corner or a closet and add to the clutter and disorganization you want to avoid. Multiply this over and again, and you have a lot of unnecessary money spent and items in your home. Discipline yourself to make purchases for things that solve an immediate problem, and what you need right now.

Question Number Four

Am I Making an Emotional Purchase?

Many people find shopping enjoyable. (The name for this is retail therapy) Shopping can be a distraction and an escape. Finding a new item can be a healthy way to get a breath of fresh air in your life, or it can be feeding an unhealthy reaction to stress. Being intentional about your purchases and avoiding emotional buying is a responsible way to manage your budget and your home’s organization.


The above is not, necessarily, about minimalism. (Although you certainly can use these above for helping you with minimalism)  Making smart buying decisions though can reduce the amount of clutter and help you save money at the same time.  So, before