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8 Common Items to Avoid If You Want to Have a Clutter-Free Home

How many of these "future clutter" items are you guilty of buying?

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Novelty items

These days it seems like you can buy everything from serving platters to doormats in seasonal styles. Yes, you need a few serving platters; but do you really a set shaped like summer flip-flops? Buying the novelty versions of everyday essentials like shower curtains, soap dispensers, throw blankets, serving spoons and drinking glasses limits their ability to be used year-round. They take up valuable storage space year-round only to be used a day or two out of the year. Here are 35 organization tips from the pros

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Super Trendy clothes

Stop scooping up the must-have style of the season. After the fashion fad fades you’ll be left with even more clothes closet clutter. Instead of buying into every trend choose one of two inexpensive, fashionable pieces that you feel comfortable wearing, then declutter by donating them at the end of the season. Check out these 10 genius organization ideas from Marie Kondo

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Clearance and dollar bin items

The thrill of the hunt is sifting through bins of low-cost items in search of a treasure; the reality is you’ll need to store it once you get it home. But cluttering up your home is not a bargain so steer clear of the temptation. These are 10 of the most inspiring home organization makeovers

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Dresser with striped boxes for organizingBEN BRYANT/SHUTTERSTOCK

Organizing solutions

Just buying the organizing solution does not make you more organized, you have to use it to help you declutter. All those bins, baskets and boxes you’re spending money on are taking up much-needed storage space. Stop stockpiling drawer organizers, label makers, containers and other solutions. Instead, focus on paring down the clutter so there are fewer things to store; which means you will need far fewer organizing solutions.

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Top view flat lay with feminine hands holding empty greeting card on bright pink background.Kate Aedon/Shutterstock

Craft supplies

Buying an item to use later, even if you have a coupon or the item is on sale, it is no bargain since you’ll have to store it until you are ready to craft. But by that time there is a good chance you’ll forget you bought it, misplaced it, want a different version or have decided not to craft at all. Here’s a decluttering tip, if you are feeling crafty look thought your current craft collection for inspiration instead of buying more craft supplies destined to become clutter. Here are some daily habits that will help keep you decluttered

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Seasonal décor

While it is might be fun to splurge on a new seasonal item, what’s not fun is trying to find a place to keep it for the next year. All those festive décor items become dust-collecting clutter. Instead, make good use of some vintage Christmas decorations

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Girl's hands holding the package on the tableMaxim Minaev/Shutterstock

“As Seen On TV” products

These tempting impulse purchases arrive at your door in about two weeks, long after the motivation to use them has passed. That means they end up as clutter sitting in the garage or shoved in the back of a closet. Since it is too expensive to pay the return shipping they become one of the more difficult items to declutter because you paid good money for them and feel guilty just tossing them. These are the Container Store products that pro organizers actually use

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And finally, you can add hand-me-downs from well-intentioned friends and neighbors and all the free things to the list of almost instant clutter. Sure, you don’t have to pay for them… yet. But you will have to buy storage containers to corral all that “free” clutter. Do you really want to give up storage space for all those promotional pens, jar openers, wall calendars, magnets and clothes from a neighbor that she didn’t like either? Next, read about these organizing ideas you’ll wish you knew all along.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest