Inside: As a professional declutterer, I’ve noticed certain items that people tend to have a lot of and yet continue to buy more. Here are 15 things you definitely don’t need more of and should stop purchasing.

Have you ever bought something and brought it home – only to find you really didn’t need it?

You aren’t alone.

It’s easy to give in to the temptation of a little retail ‘therapy’. And for many of us, it’s just as easy to find ourselves shopping for stuff we already own too much of – especially with the convenience of one-click online shopping and those oh-so-tempting sale prices. 

Unfortunately, when we shop for stuff we don’t actually need, we don’t gain anything – except more clutter in our homes and less money in our pockets. 

Ready to stop buying stuff you don’t need and rein in those spending habits?

I’ve got you covered. Keep reading to see which things you definitely don’t need more of in your home.

things you definitely don't need more of

15 Things You Definitely Don’t Need More of

As a professional declutterer, I’ve observed what types of items most households have a lot of.

This is not to say that every single home will have an excessive number of the things I’ve listed below. But it is to say that on average, most homes don’t need more of these.

There are popular things people buy but rarely use, but that’s not what this list is. This list contains items that likely are getting used, but for some reason, we’re tempted to continue buying more of these things when we already have more than enough.

If you’re looking to slow your spending or are trying to simplify your home, it’s helpful to carefully examine what you are buying. Decluttering our home made me much more intentional with shopping.

As a result, I stopped buying these 15 things after simplifying. They contributed to the clutter in our home and I didn’t want to end up back where we started.

The list of items that you want to stop buying or that cause clutter in your home will be a bit different for each household. There are some generalizations that can be helpful places to start to consider what you may have too much of, or at least may want to stop buying more of.

Here are some things you could probably stand to stop purchasing:

things you definitely don't need more of

1 – Clothes

When it comes to things we’re likely to buy that we don’t need more of, clothes often fall at the top of the list.

Most of us already have more than enough tops, pants, shoes, coats, and other apparel to get by – and yet we continue to add new items to our wardrobes. 

There are a few reasons clothes are one of the most common unnecessary purchases we make:

  • If you consider yourself someone who stays on top of trends, buying new clothes to align with the latest style may have become a habit for you.
  • Clothes go on sale often and aggressively market those lower prices – making it easy to justify the ‘splurge’ on a couple of new items. 
  • Many of us forget just how many clothes we already own. Take a good look at your closet or peek into your dresser, and chances are you’re going to find items you haven’t actually worn in months, if not years – including stuff you actually forgot you owned. 
  • There are endless retailers that sell clothes. Wherever you shop – whether it’s in person or online – chances are you’re going to find an opportunity to buy some apparel while you’re there. 

While this may sound counterintuitive, ruthlessly decluttering your clothes can help you to gain clarity on what you love and wear and let go of (and stop buying) what you don’t.

woman looking at book collection

2 – Books

Consider yourself a bookworm? If so, you know that it’s easy to accumulate an impressive collection of books at home.

Buying one or two books regularly can quickly add up – both in cost and in the amount of physical space they’re consuming.

And unless you have an impressive wall of shelves, it’s easy to find yourself with way more books than you have space to keep. While some people insist that books can never become clutter, it is worth considering if you should at least stop buying more of them.

One of the biggest reasons you definitely don’t need to buy more physical books? You don’t have to.

You can stop by your local library to pick up a few on a rotating basis to avoid cluttering up your space. Alternatively, you can leverage an e-reader to store your books digitally, which takes up no space at all. 

house with lots of clutter and decor

3 – Home Decor

If you love to spend your spare time thrifting for new artwork or browsing the shelves at your local home goods spot, there’s a good chance you definitely don’t need more.

Where are you going to put all of those knick-knacks and tchotchkes? 

In many cases, a ‘less is more’ approach is best when it comes to your home decor. By keeping things minimal and focusing on a few key pieces that you love, you can keep clutter at bay and more easily maintain a clean, aesthetically cohesive home.

This is especially true for holiday decor. While it can be tempting to go all-out when our favorite holidays roll around, all of that stuff needs to go somewhere when it isn’t on display – and chances are, it’s taking up way more room in your closet, attic, or garage than it should.

Again, by focusing on a few key meaningful pieces, you can minimize clutter, maximize space, and still give your space that festive feeling. 

things you definitely don't need more of

4 – Toys

For many parents, it can feel like your kids have more toys than they can reasonably play with – and you’re probably right. According to a study done in 2012, you can visually see 139 toys in the average American home.

Between birthdays, holidays, and just-because purchases, it’s all too easy for your little one’s toy collection to get a bit out of control.

Chances are, they don’t even play with the majority of the toys they own – they’re just taking up valuable space and creating more work for you when it’s time to tidy up.

And not all toys are created equal. There are great toys that encourage creativity and imagination, but many of them don’t.

Kids don’t even need a ton of toys, especially when they’re young. By finding a few things they love and giving them access to toys on a rotational basis, you’ll keep things fresh and fun – while keeping the amount of stuff scattered around your house at a minimum.

And if the problem stems from friends and family members who just love to shop for your little one? Encourage them to consider clutter-free gift ideas that focus on experiences instead.

A family membership to the zoo or local children’s museum is an engaging and clutter-free option you’ll use again and again. 

things you definitely don't need more of

5 – Kitchen Tools and Appliances

Love to cook? 

Take a look around your kitchen.

Chances are, you own more gadgets and appliances than you regularly use or truly have room for – and you definitely don’t need any more.

There’s a kitchen tool for virtually everything. Pasta makers, avocado slicers, ice cream scoops, garlic presses, meat shredding claws, deep fryers – the list is endless.

And while it’s easy to be enticed by the latest and greatest home gadget on the market, they’re often purchases you should avoid making because you definitely don’t need more in your home.

But they do such a good job of marketing those products. 

By resisting temptation and avoiding future kitchen additions, you can keep countertop clutter at bay and avoid buying things you truly don’t need.

woman grabbing a towel off a shelf

6 – Towels and Linens

Is your linen closet overflowing with spare sheets, pillowcases, and towels?

You definitely aren’t alone.

Sheets and towels are one of those things you definitely don’t want to run out of. But it’s easy to buy them in excess – and find yourself with way too many on your hands.

They’re one of those things that people tend to hold onto and buy more of until they’ve reached the point where they don’t have any room to keep them.

Decide how many towels and sheet sets you want to keep on hand. You can have backups but be realistic with what you’ll use and refrain from keeping your linen closet overstuffed.

Consider getting rid of some of the extra towels and linens. Those in good condition can be given away or donated. Those in rougher condition can either be repurposed in your home or are a great option for donating to a local animal shelter.

Next time you’re tempted to bring home a new set of crisp sheets or fluffy towels – remind yourself that something else would need to go in order to make space for them.

drawer of office supplies

7 – Office Supplies

Another one of the things you definitely don’t need more of is office supplies. I’m not sure what it is about these items but they tend to end up in various parts of the home and when you put them all together it’s a lot.

I don’t think I have ever seen a household that legitimately needed more pens. Those things end up everywhere.

Small office supplies like pens, pencils, paper clips, and rubber bands tend to be in excess in most homes.

Before picking up another new box of pens, check to see what you have on hand first. Odds are in most homes, you don’t actually need more. Rather you may just need to collect them from the various places they’ve ended up being displaced to.

things you definitely don't need more of

8 – Shoes & Accessories

Another one of the things you definitely don’t need more of is shoes. Most people own far more pairs of shoes than they need or wear.

One study showed that almost a third of women own more than 25 pairs of shoes. And it’s unlikely that they’re all getting worn.

Consider decluttering the shoes you own and resisting the temptation to buy new pairs just because they’re cute or trendy.

Similar to shoes, accessories are also one of the things you definitely don’t need more of. From scarves to belts to purses, and jewelry most women own far more than they’d ever wear.

Be realistic with what you actually use and love. Pass along the things that are just taking up extra space.

woman holding cleaning supplies

9 – Cleaning Products

There are some cleaning tools that save time, but overall people end up owning a lot of specialty cleaning products and rarely use them all.

It’s tempting to buy the newest product that Tik Tokers claim is revolutionary. And it’s easy to get pulled into marketing hype.

After all, most people don’t love cleaning so a product that claims to make it easier can be very appealing. But buying too many cleaning products can lead to a cluttered cabinet and wasted money.

If you have excess products you’re not using, go ahead and pass them along. Your local Buy Nothing group is a great option for that.

In reality, some common items around your home can create your minimalist cleaning supply checklist and they’re all you really need to keep your house clean.

things you definitely don't need more of

10 – Candles

I’ll be honest. This is one of the most difficult of the things you definitely don’t need more of for me personally. I love candles and we use them often in our home.

But I am having to constantly remind myself that we don’t need more. If you’re like me, there is a temptation to stockpile when a particular store has its annual sale or when you find the seasonal candle that’s your favorite fragrance.

Setting limits is helpful. I put myself on restriction from buying additional candles when I’ve reached my predetermined capacity.

While they are consumable items and can make a great clutter-free gift, it’s still possible to acquire too many with the temptation to continue to buy more.

Consider unsubscribing from sites whose sales cause you to want to purchase more and avoid the candle aisle when you go to the store.

woman holding stack of linens and pillows

11 – Throw Blankets & Toss Pillows

In an effort to make your home more cozy, many people buy additional throw blankets and toss pillows. Unfortunately, similar to candles, you can end up having too much of a good thing.

If you have to move a number of items before you’re able to actually sit on the couch, then you already have too many pillows or blankets.

Imagine that you are a visitor in your own home. Can you easily sit down somewhere without having to relocate things? If not, consider removing some of the extra pillows or blankets.

Home stores will always have soft new options available to tempt you, but if you don’t need them then it’s just taking your money and cluttering up your home.

things you definitely don't need more of

12 – Souvenirs

Are you tempted to buy souvenirs every time you travel? They’re one of the things you definitely don’t need more of and neither does anyone else in your family.

Most of what you will find in a souvenir shop is not something anyone actually needs. They’re just banking on happy vacationers buying stuff to commemorate their trip.

But you can do that without spending money on stuff that you don’t need and aren’t likely to use. Taking pictures is a great way to savor the trip and reflect back without taking home extra items.

If you really want to bring something home from your trip, make it a consumable. That way you can continue to enjoy it or gift it to someone to enjoy without it creating clutter in anyone’s home.

things you definitely don't need more of

13 – Bathroom Products

Most bathrooms have an excessive number of products being stored in them. From toiletries to makeup, it’s common to end up with many products that don’t get regular use.

The beauty industry has many talented marketers who are constantly trying to convince us that we need their products. It’s common to buy some of these products, use them once, and then never again.

Either it wasn’t worth the hype or the color didn’t work for you or it simply felt like too much to add to your morning or evening routine.

Whatever the reason, if you have a large number of bathroom products that are taking up space and not getting used, you may want to declutter them.

And then you’ll definitely want to refrain from continuing to buy more. Stick with the items that are bathroom essentials for your home and resist the urge to purchase other items that are constantly marketed to you.

mugs on a shelf

14 – Mugs

I have a challenge for you. Go count the number of mugs you have in your home. Then count how many people in your home actually drink out of mugs. What ratio of mugs to mug users do you have in your home?

For whatever reason, mugs have become collectibles in many homes. Some were purchased as souvenirs and others collect in the home simply because they were cute, funny, or a gift you received.

While it’s fine to keep the mugs you love and use and to have enough for guests visiting, you likely don’t need to continue buying more of them.

The odds are good you already have what you need (with possibly more to spare) and can save yourself money and space by not adding to your collection.

And if you’re good on mugs, check how many travel cups and reusable water bottles you have. They’re both on my list of things I’m not purchasing this year.

things you definitely don't need more of

15 – ‘Good Deal’ Items

This last one can be just about anything under the sun. I get it. It’s hard to pass up a great deal. 

But even items that are cheap can create clutter in your home. And even though they aren’t a lot of money, they do add up and become unnecessary purchases.

There is nothing wrong with being a deal hunter. I love getting items I need on sale and buying things on clearance. But when you are tempted to buy things you don’t need because they’re on sale, that can cause some problems.

Don’t settle on buying things you don’t love because it’s a deal or try to convince yourself you’ll use something you never considered until you saw it on the clearance rack.

Stop focusing on how much you’re ‘saving’ and realize that you’re still spending money and it will take up space. Leave that great deal for someone who will actually use it.

Passing on these items will help you to simplify and save money. Refraining from buying more will help your wallet as well as prevent clutter from piling up in your home.

What is one thing you definitely don’t need more of in your home? Leave a comment and let me know!

Sign up on the form below to get weekly decluttering tips and inspiration sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get the free 5 Areas to Declutter in 10 Minutes Checklist to help you get started decluttering today.

Sharing is caring :)


  1. Definitely mugs and I have talked myself out of so many candle purchases! I use them almost daily, but I will not buy more until I’m down to my last one, which will be awhile! Thank you for what you do! So helpful!

    1. same here Paula, I have a cup collection I love but in all reality it just sits there does not serve a purpose! and I have done the same as you with my candles 😊👍

      1. If I buy any of these items, I throw one or even 2 out of the old. Example shoes. Bought new flip flops , and got rid of 2 pair I rarely wore.

  2. This really hit the nail on the head, so to speak. I am guilty of all of the above with the exception of makeup, as I don’t wear any. I neep to keep this post and read it over from time to time.. Thank you for the motivation to keep decluttering.

    1. An article I needed to read..Too many mugs, dishes, sheets, shoes that I can no longer wear. Books were on my list, my son insisted that I get them to the library I have started. Thank you.

  3. CLEANING SUPPLIES [previously guilty] Anyone remember the PBS series “1900 House”? A British family lived in a totally historically correct turn-of-the-century house in London for 3 months. If any product or item did not exist in 1900, they could NOT have or use it. Fascinating as the start-to-finish dynamic was, I fast-forward to the last episode and their return to their 1999 abode and one of the first thing mom-Joyce questioned was why did she/they need 10 house cleaning products [most interchangeable] when they had just gone 3 months with just a couple of multipurpose products. I took that to heart and narrowed down all mine to just three; one storebrand foaming cleaner, one name brand concentrate, and…….. white vinegar. All is well, all is clean, and ALL are cost effective.

  4. I no longer need to clutter my house with CDs, baseball caps and paper credit card statements!

  5. I do not need another t-shirt . I buy to support an organization . I buy because they say something I love ! That is my souvenir of choice . Insulated cups -everybody thinks I need a new one ! Tennis shoes … I’m addicted and do NOT need another pair . My excuse is that I’m on my feet all day at school and they need to match my clothes ! NO !

    1. I think you can have shoes to match your outfit.
      Nothing wrong with that.
      Just don’t buy anymore until those wear out!

  6. Purses I definitely don’t need anymore of them. I have every color and many styles. They take up a lot of room. I started collecting them and it quickly got out of hand. I have to stop.

  7. I fight this decluttering battle every day with my husband if 43 years who loves to buy unnecessary stuff. It’s usually home decor items or something he thinks we can use later. Ugh. It’s a struggle for me. I’m in control of the kitchen and bathrooms though so that helps me feel somewhat in charge and a declutterer. 😃

    1. I am yhe opposite, I am C the impulse buyer and my husband is the declutterer.
      I have to start but have no motivation, we ate saving his stuff but purging mine. sometimes I feel picked on

  8. I bought 2 new mugs last week because I thought the pattern was pretty but with no room in my mug cupboard I then relegated some unloved mugs to another cupboard. Reading this article has made me realise that I need to get rid. same apples to my bed linen. cupboard is so full I have to tie the handles together to keep the doors closed. Must have a sort out soon.

  9. I enjoyed the post. I’ve been selling clothing, home decor items, shoes & boots and other multiples.
    I did this a few years ago but didn’t truly whittle down our stuff enough.
    I am feeling like this time it is my last. We travelled in our motorhome for 6 months making us realize how little we actually need versus want. It changed our perspective completely.

  10. Mugs, I keep taking to Goodwill, more keep showing up. I have so many towels, I could open my own store. Seriously need to get rid of them! My Sister loves candles why I have so many, I have no clue. I really need to get busy decluttering.

    1. Same. Not with the mugs, but with the towels. We have an inground pool, so my thinking has been, “you can’t have ENOUGH towels!” — So what do I do with this over abundant supply of towels? LOL

    1. I have too much of everything, except candles.
      Other items: greeting cards and gift bags, tote bags, shopping bags, plants, plant pots, crystal glasses and vases, fancy plates, photo frames

  11. shoes, mugs, pens, craft supplies!!
    Guilty of all! I’m really going to try to resist the deals & sales!

  12. I’ve bought clothes and will continue buying them because I had to get rid of my wardrobe I went from size 18 down to 6. I don’t buy candles or anything I don’t need.

    1. Congratulations on your size drop Mindy! You get to enjoy buying new clothes for the “new you”! Just be judicious in your choices, and give yourself a limit on different types of clothing, such as t-shirts or casual pants. No sense in packing your closet tight with things that look great, but you never get around to wearing!

  13. I love the mugs as well but oh, those canvas shopping bags are piling up! I have become a bag hoarder. They wind up on the back of the door so I forget them until I get home.

  14. My house is small with little storage so none of these 15 items mentioned have ever been a problem. Luckily my husband and I both dislike clutter so it’s really mostly our kids’ stuff that takes up the most room. Our rule is, whenever we buy something then something else must go. I always have a bag on the go for op shop donations. Life is much better when your home is uncluttered.

  15. I seem to attract mugs and towels for some reason lol. They just show up at my house and I declutter them or repurpose them and bam! more just appear. I think they are just multiplying in the cabinets and linen closet while we’re not looking. But, a slow season just started for me so I will be busy decluttering until it speeds up again. Mugs and towels are now first on my list!

  16. Office supplies, clothing & sale items!
    Have you been watching me when I shop?? Hmmm… this clearance item for $5!! They are practically PAYING me for buying it! 🤪 NOT! $5 x 10 is $50 and hours of time deliberation of should I keep it? Where do I put it? Tripping over it. Why do we have so much stuff!
    I think I’m realizing some of the origination of my issues! Thank you!

  17. Books… the ‘to be read’ shelf. I’m painfully decluttering those books I bought, intending to read but never have done. Some have move house 3 times and still haven’t been read. I think my local charity bookstore is in for a windfall.

    1. My husband has “to be read” pile in the living room.. 6 of them, none less than 9 books high. Same with to be watched dvds. We have a library! Why are the books not there?
      Now, let’s talk about my book and fabric collection piles in the family room….

  18. Well, I struggle with a number of these categories (ahem…shoes, especially) but another vice I have is nice, clean, glass containers. Jam jars, PB jars, spice jars, you name it. They are so incredibly handy but there’s also a point when enough becomes too much.

    1. Ashley, I’m a jar keeper too! it’s nice to have a variety of storage jars to choose from, and I often put items into a smaller jar as it gets used, or store items that its packaging ripped; but it’s almost ridiculous how many empty jars are sitting on top of the cabinets 🤦

    2. Many of those jars can find a good home through your local “buy nothing” group. As can lots of things that you have lying around that might be useful but are not sellable. Our local group has been a blessing to me!

  19. hobby things, especially wool and crochet hooks and magazines are my most numerous items. I’m clearing out the magazines but still emotionally attached to the wool and crochet hooks.

    1. I feel you on the hobby items…craft supplies are difficult to give up because I like the variety of medium for inspiration. I often incorporate my old clothing into my art, so I’ll still hold onto an old favorite ripped shirt, instead of tossing it.

  20. Fantastic article! I had to laugh at myself when you asked about the ratio of coffee cups to the people who live in my home. I live alone, but have about 15 coffee mugs!! Most have been gifts that I don’t want to part with, but there are some I have purchased that could definitely be donated. Thanks so much for a very thought-provoking article. I really enjoyed the insights and will use them to make changes in my home.

    1. I keep six of everything re: dining ware. I also live alone and frequently entertain. That means six matching cups and saucers for coffee, six teacups to match my English teapot, and six mugs. Doesn’t seem excessive to me. I wonder if minimalists ever entertain or have overnight guests.

  21. GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY in so many facets of this article! I AM NOW ON A MISSION~~your “areas” helped me to focus better yet simply ….so now rather than being a PROCRASTINATOR, and also MAKING DECISIVE CHOICES, I am focused, KNOWING I CAN DO THIS!! (AND MUST!) I realize a “few habits” will be difficult to change but I’m going to GIVE IT MY BEST SHOT!! (Which may require several attempts but that’s OK!) Wish me luck as I begin this journey! I’M BEING VERY OPTIMISTIC along with being REALISTIC, too, i.e. I may falter a bit but NO APOLOGIES for being “human”! :-))) THANK YOU OODLES for this “BOOST”! Sending SMILES n’ BIG THANKS! :-))))

  22. Loved this! There are 2 of us here so the mug to ppl ratio is 1/5. I currently have 12 candles….ugh! (we might have a power outage.) need to declutter, my 4 grown boys will not be interested in my christmas mug or my autumn themed candles. Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. Concerning books, it is important for bookworms to remember that ebooks are effectively rented, not owned. Publishers can erase them or change access agreements. As a librarian, I like to recommend owning the books that you use repeatedly and love while supplementing them with a rotating library collection and ebook use for items you don’t want continual access to. To keep books neat, agree on a footprint in your home – and when you exceed that, go through books and remove those that are no longer relevant or loved. Ebooks are a great supplement for convenience or travel.

    1. I have done exactly this, establishing a ceiling for the number of books owned. For the most part it works although currently I am 146 books above ceiling with nothing I wish to rid my shelves of. Still, the idea is a good one and it it does keep me in check (relatively). Regarding eBooks, they just don’t smell the same.

  24. This article is definitely for me! Thank you for the excellent tips and obvious areas that need decluttered. Now to get started … 😳

  25. I found out that the college I work for has a clothes closet for the homeless students. I didn’t know we had any but we do.

    I have two clothes rods in my closet so I decided to only use one. I donated at least four boxes of men’s clothes to the clothes closet.

    Now I’m contemplating my second load to donate.

  26. There were 2 mugs I bought at different times for a friend & her mother, she made excellent chicken & dumplings soup & I bought her a chicken 🐔 mug; then baked ham, my friend is a school teacher, I bought her a mug with pencils, apples & chalkboard. They’re still in use.
    last spring/summer 2023, I decluttered my closet if clothes that no longer fit. I gave them to a young friend a few sizes smaller, she’s trying very hard to be a stay at home Mom (on a policeman’s salary)…. she really appreciated the huge gift & said I literally filled her summer & spring 🌼🌱 wardrobe.

  27. I live in an apartment and storage and cabinet space are limited. I had lots of mugs, all cute, some handmade, but never used. I put them in the hallway outside my apartment door and they were scooped up by neighbors. Sort of like a Brooklyn stoop giveaway only in a private apartment building in DC.

    Towels were also an issue. Too balky. I switched to Turkish towels which are super thin and take up much less space than conventional towels. I gave the conventional towels unused towels to a young cousin and the used ones to my building superintendent to cut up into cleaning rags. Gave me a handle on the linen closet which is much neater.

    Not sure why I had some many throw pillows. Nearly a dozen. Gave them away to people at Buy Nothing Group. And I had scented candles that were at least a decade old. Tossed.

    The thing that brought most satisfaction, however, was clearing the cabinet under the bathroom sink. There is now nothing except toilet paper, two eco friendly bottles of cleaning supplies , and two flash lights. My job there is done.

    This was a great list. Glad to know I’m on track.

  28. I moved early this year. I had 87 mug! I culled them down to 32. That was a big achievement for me. But alas, after only a few months, it is back up to 35! Oops!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *