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Online ordering means many homes cluttered with stuff: Winnipeg organizer

A Canada Post worker gets out of his delivery truck with a box in his hand. Francis Vachon/TCPI/The Canadian Press

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have made the transition from shopping in physical stores to shopping online almost exclusively.

While it can be a more convenient way to make purchases, a Winnipeg organizing expert says an unfortunate byproduct of online ordering is that many homes are cluttered with too much stuff.

Read more: Canada on track for record online shopping year due to coronavirus pandemic

“Over the pandemic, online shopping has become obviously more popular than ever, so people are filling their homes and finding out that it’s not actually helpful or effective, so now they’re trying to get rid of it,” Sara Verwymeren of Three Pines Organizing told 680 CJOB.

“We have to remember we’re actually living through unprecedented times … so there’s this added emotional and social stress we’re now facing.

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Read more: Mental health stigma could last well beyond pandemic

“For people, buying is comfort, so you go to retail therapy — instead of going into the store, you’re doing that online, which is much easier to do, so it’s much easier to fill up your house now.”

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In a post-pandemic world, will Canadians ever go back to shopping malls? – Jun 24, 2021

Verwymeren said she often comes into the organizing process when clients — frustrated about their cluttered home — are considering upgrading to something bigger to house all the stuff.

“It doesn’t matter if you have 600 sq. ft. or 6,000 sq. ft.,” she said, “you will find ways to fill it, so let’s get rid of stuff while you are living small and then you can maximise the space you’re living in.”

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“Otherwise, you’re just paying for storage … you might as well buy a shipping container.”

One solution: for every new item you bring into your home, consider letting three similar items go.

Verwymeren said it may sound harsh, but it’s all about setting limits on what you’re allowed to keep in your home.

Read more: In a post-pandemic world, will Canadians ever go back to shopping malls?

According to a survey released Wednesday by PayPal Canada, shoppers in this country have increased their monthly online purchasing by a whopping $2 billion more than they did pre-pandemic.

The 2021 consumer shopping study, found that the average person surveyed spent $178 per month shopping online — $69 more than they did before the pandemic.

A retail expert told Global News , however, that he expects in-store shopping to increase as pandemic restrictions loosen, following the trend south of the border, where in-store shopping saw a 10 per cent increase.

“People have been cooped up for way too long,” said Marty Weintraub, who leads the national retail consulting practice at Deloitte Canada.

“Sure, they’ve migrated a large chunk of their purchases online, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we will see people return to malls probably pretty fiercely at the beginning to sort of catch up on some of the things they didn’t, couldn’t or weren’t able to get from a supply perspective in malls.”

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Finding freedom from clutter and overstuffed closets – Apr 29, 2021

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