How to Avoid Bringing More Clutter Into Your Life on Black Friday

Use these five simple tips to take advantage of Black Friday deals without bringing clutter into your home.

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Black Friday is a terrific opportunity to make a serious dent in your holiday shopping, all while saving a fistful of cash. Without a plan, however, these late November deals could easily become January’s clutter. Try these five simple tips to help you net the deals but skip the clutter.

Set a Budget

Black Friday bargains aren’t really deals if they put you in the red. To avoid this, take a look at your finances and determine how much you can truly afford to spend on your holiday shopping. Then, set a budget for each person on your list—and stick to it as you shop. For instance, here are the best gifts found at The Home Depot for under $200. Include yourself in this budget to cap spending on hard-to-resist items.

Make a List

Text or email friends and loved ones on your list for gift ideas, specific or general, before you head out. Don’t hear back? Brainstorm and jot down a few options, so you have a plan going in. Not only will this up your chances of quickly finding a gift your recipient will use and love, it’ll help keep clutter out of their homes, too. To get started, take a look at this ultimate gift guide for DIYers.

Evaluate Your Needs

Don’t forget to write up your own personal wish list, to encourage shopping with intention. Walk through your home to realistically evaluate what you need and to remind yourself of what you already have. Resist off-list deals. Perhaps, Black Friday online shop while you digest between meals so you can take inventory at home. Remember, that $20 cashmere sweater is only a deal if you actually need it.

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

Clutter happens when we have more stuff than will fit in our available storage spaces. So when retailers use stock-up tactics as part of their Black Friday offerings, consider that you’re headed, wide-eyed, into a clutter trap. Instead of seeking out BOGOs or buy-more-save-more deals, use Black Friday as an opportunity to invest in quality items you and your gift recipients will enjoy for seasons to come.

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The excitement of finding a deal triggers the emotional side of your brain. Give your rational brain a seat at the table by always asking three simple questions before making a purchase: Will I (or my gift recipient) use it? Would I pay full price for this item? Is it on my list? If the answers tell you this really is a great deal, consult your budget as a final gut check before purchasing. If you need more guidance, you can reference the tools we bought on Black Friday last year.

Use these tips to hit the stores with confidence—Happy Black Friday shopping, my friend! You’ve got this.

If clutter’s already a problem, these are our best strategies for conquering it in every room of your house.

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Aby Garvey is an organizing expert who believes organizing can be creative and fun—the more you love an organizing solution, the more likely you are to use it. She offers a variety of online classes that can help you get organized at her website simplify101.com.