Get Organized Mission #4: Forgo The Freebies

Get Organized Mission #4: Forego the FreebiesWelcome to Mission #4 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

If you’ve got your finances sorted now after completing our previous mission (Get Organized Mission #3: Organize Your Bills) then you’ll be happy with this week’s change of pace.

This week’s task involves a mindset shift.

Our aim is to raise the barrier for accepting into your life a source of mental and physical clutter for many people – the ‘freebie’.

Your challenge this week is to spend your 30 minutes:

  1. Learning how to distinguish the freebies that add to your life in net terms
  2. Deciding to say NO to all the others.

Remember – you only have to spend 30 minutes to complete the basic mission. If you want to go further check out the Extended Organizing Mission Options below.


Get Organized Mission #4: Forgo The Freebies

One of the fundamentals of the Get Organized Wizard philosophy is:

The less of anything you have, the easier it is to get organized and stay organized.

The problem with freebies is that although they may not cost you money, they always cost you in other ways, including time, added clutter and greater barriers to personal organization. Occasionally a freebie is worth the cost; most often it’s not.

Your mission this week is to adjust your mindset so that before you accept any freebie into your busy life, you ask yourself four questions:

Q1: How much money must I spend to get the freebie?

  • Do I have to buy particular items or spend a certain amount to ‘qualify’ for the freebie?
  • Is the qualifying purchase something I need?
  • Is the qualifying purchase worth the price independently of the freebie?

Case Study:

  • Don’t spend $100 on beauty products you don’t need to get a free $60 lipstick, if all you really want is the $60 free lipstick.
  • Do simply buy and enjoy the $60 lipstick!

Q2: How much time must I spend to use the freebie?

  • Do I have to read it, assemble it, learn how to use it, invest time to get value from it?
  • How much benefit can I expect from investing that time?
  • Is the benefit worth the time?

Case Study:

  • Don’t pick up the magazine at the gym or department store just because it’s free if the information quality is poor or the articles are disguised advertorials. It will waste your precious time.
  • Do borrow or buy a good book or magazine if you want quality information.

Q3: How much mental clutter will the freebie create?

  • Will I feel pressured to use the freebie once I have it, even if it’s not something I’m immediately focused on?
  • Will it add an item I don’t genuinely care about to my mental to-do list?
  • Is the benefit of having the freebie worth the mental clutter?

Case Study:

  • Don’t sign up for newsletters in exchange for free e-books, reports or PDFs on topics that aren’t already top-of-mind for you. Keep your focus on what’s important now to save yourself distraction and concentrate your precious mental energy.
  • Do search – and pay, if necessary – for highly relevant, good quality information when you’re ready to use it. It will be worth it in terms of saved mental energy.

Q4: How much physical clutter will the freebie create?

  • Will I need to store the freebie?
  • Will it create visual clutter in my home, office or life?
  • Is the benefit of having the freebie worth the physical and visual clutter?

Case Study:

  • Don’t accept your friend’s discarded 237-piece Lladro collection just because ‘it would be a shame to let it go’. Unless you will use/love/enjoy it, it’s cluttro.
  • Do let someone else with a yen for Lladro enjoy it, and fill your life with only things that you love.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t fret over losing out on stuff. Take a look around – you probably already have more stuff than you can use, read, slather on your face, or enjoy. More will come.
  • Do enjoy the feeling of freedom and clarity you get from saying no to things that don’t earn their place in your life.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • You can apply these principles to things on sale, too. Compare the sale price with the total cost:
  • If you have kids, this is an excellent mission to discuss with them. In this age of excess, teaching children to assess the value of things means equipping them with a useful skill.
  • If you have a cache of free stuff languishing in drawers, the garage or your hard drive, why not take this opportunity to let it go. Create some extra time, space and clarity for yourself.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Please Check In

You’re now accountable to your organizing mission-mates! Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment.
(Click ‘Comment’ at the very top of this post or scroll down to the bottom. Depending on how you’re viewing this post, one of those options will be available for you.)

And see you back here next week!


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Image by koka_sexton

120 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #4: Forgo The Freebies

  1. Vesna says:

    This is a really good one to stop clutter getting into the house and onto those shelves. I usually don’t get into the freebies any more but sometimes they do look tempting. As I don’t have any freebies stuff in the house now, I focussed on getting rid of any clutter that comes for free. I had lots of TV shows recorded on our hard drive. Realising that I really won’t have the time to watch them all, within 10 minutes I had deleted 75% of them. Definitely feel a little lighter again.

  2. Dawn says:

    I agree with this task! Especially when it costs money. I REALLY think hard now before spending money on anything that will bring more stuff into the house. Done!

  3. MC says:

    Took a quick look around the house, and I didn’t really see anything that was a freebie. So I didn’t have anything like that to discard. However, I understand the premise now about freebies not really being free, and will change my mindset accordingly. Mission accomplished.

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