How Watching a Movie Reduced My Clutter

I fall into something like a trance when I’m in a store. All of a sudden, I can’t live without that orange bowl, the lime green vase, or another organizing gadget. Stores like Costco, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond are my worst enemies. And, oh, those endless catalogs in the mail!

Do you struggle with similar habits? If you do, I have a great resource for you. It transformed the way I shop. It’s a film called “Minimalism.” But if that word makes you think of living in a white box with zero comforts, hear me out! The filmmakers, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, think of minimalism as this: deliberate spending. It isn’t about living without; it’s about making conscious decisions when purchasing something new.

These are some of the things they suggest asking yourself before you buy something:

  • Do I need it?
  • Do I already have it?
  • Would it make me happier?
  • Would it add value to my life?
  • Where will it fit in my house?
  • Will I be satisfied with it a week from now? 

There’s a big difference between their questions and the reasons we typically buy something:

  • Everyone else has it (so I should too).
  • Surrounding myself with things makes me feel better.
  • Shopping is my hobby.
  • When I’m bored, I shop.

After I watched the film, I applied the idea of “deliberate spending” to some of the things I mentioned at the start. Here’s what I decided:

  • I’m a single woman who doesn’t need a Costco membership.
  • I will shop at Target online, so I won’t walk around the store.
  • I will go to Bed Bath & Beyond when I’m in a hurry, so I won’t have time to wander around.
  • I canceled catalogs by calling and getting my name removed from their lists.

And this was the result: I reduced my spending so much that I doubled my monthly savings!


If you struggle with clutter, here are three ways you can get inspired to change:

TED Talk with Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
Huffington Post article about their philosophy
Minimalism, the film

For more resources on how to declutter, check out these other articles on my tips page.

I’m an organizer, interior designer, and move manager all rolled into one. Find out how I can help you turn your house into a place you love to come home to.

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