I offered some advice in my most recent newsletter:
Don’t bring anything into your space unless you have ROOM for it. Shopping, collecting, hunter and gathering, seriously, where are you going to keep it all? Designate a home before it arrives. If you don’t have room, don’t acquire it.
This is excellent advice, but a lot of my problem is stuff other people give me. My mum comes bearing gifts every time she visits (she works part time in an op shop, and grew up with the depression mentality of never throwing anything out). And since I’ve had kids, everyone and their dog seems to be clearing out their sheds into our house. And I am grateful, really, its just I feel awkward about getting rid of things that have been gifted. We have a small house (by conscious decision) which I try to keep uncluttered, because it’s easier to find stuff, it’s easier to clean, and it feels more relaxing that way. It is hard enough keeping the stuff I chose in order. I hate that my heart sinks when a well meaning friend or relation arrives with ANOTHER present for the kids. I recently threw a whole bunch of stuff out and live in dread that my older son will notice and say something honest and unfortunate in front of my mother.
Now I have my own ideas about how to handle this situ but I’d love to hear from you, dear reader, to hear if you’ve had a similar issue or if you have creative ways of dealing with this problem.