It’s finally done – you finally went through all those priceless possessions and held on to a few essentials and treasured heirlooms and parted with the rest (and in the process probably found some DID have a price that could be attached). It’s easier to get around now, and there’s less to worry about than there was before. Then, one morning, you head into your favorite store, boutique, or antique shop and you find it… that perfect item you’ve been searching for. It’s just perfect for the living room, or maybe it would look better in the bedroom…

And then a nagging feeling begins eating away at you. “I just got rid of a bunch of stuff, and here I am buying more.” Perhaps you muster the will-power to walk away. Or maybe you don’t. One thing won’t hurt after all. But you realize something. Your collection may be gone, but the collector in your heart is alive and well. In this way, right-sizing is a lot like dieting. It’s not fun at first, but not only do you like the results, you feel a lot better. The trick, as always, is how to not to slide back!

Replacing Things with Experiences

Actually, this might be the time to take a cue from the younger generation. Replace things with experiences. Studies have shown that millennials are far more interested in spending both their time and their money on experiences, especially new experiences. They’ll try something just to try it. Granted, sometimes this can be foolish. There are quite a few people in their 20’s or early 30’s who must spend money eating out because they don’t even own a kitchen set. I’m not saying you should go to that extreme, but, taken in moderation, you can still enjoy the benefits without sacrificing common sense.

Have you ever wanted to try that restaurant, but just never could justify the price? Well, if it keeps you from buying clutter, that itself may make it worth it. This is all about changing your mindset. Instead of focusing on how much the tangible object cost (the food on your plate), think about the experience of dining there. Whether it’s a fun-themed restaurant or a black-tie taste of sophistication, you aren’t going there because the physical food you are getting is a good deal. You are paying for the pleasure of dining in that atmosphere. And, when it’s over, you have a great memory to share or tell others about. Perhaps you pick up a new hobby and go full-throttle getting lessons and perfecting your new craft.

Or you could take a trip! Whether it’s just the cost of gas to go to a beautiful park, going to the theater to see a show instead of buying a small antique, or a trip to a natural wonder instead of a great set of furniture, you can always find some other way to retrain your brain to enjoy the time and money that used to go towards collecting stuff into collecting memories.

The point is when you lay your head down at night, you don’t want to be worrying about how to move around stuff to make that new purchase fit. You want to be remembering the great time you had doing something amazing. When your focus shifts from stuff to experience, you’ll find it’s much easier to keep that clutter from stacking up again.