I have been working on a lot of tedious projects lately, things that require hands but not brains. I am not yet a person who can remain present while she's folding socks. Maybe I'll be that peaceful some day, but don't count on it.
Anyway, I have started listening to The Minimalists podcasts while I do these things. This week I heard one of them say that when he traveled with his partner, he deliberately didn't pick up souvenirs from places they visit, so he doesn't become attached to them. He then doesn't have to deliberate over whether to keep them in the long run.
Through the week, I have found myself coming back to that thought again and again. I have not been in the habit of buying souvenirs (I usually get jam, or sometimes alcohol. I like revisiting our travels over toast or a glass of wine at night.), but I can apply the policy of not buying things that I will have to declutter later.
It doesn't mean I can't buy anything, but I am happier when I don't deliberately bring home things that I will need to re-home later (especially since I have a problem re-homing things, and I feel a responsibility to inanimate objects).
This requires me to stay away from places where I can buy things I don't need. I plan strategic strikes at Target. I don't go into World Market or Barnes and Nobel to browse. I only stop by Goodwill for a drop-off or when we've run out of clothes. The crazy thing is, when I stay away from shops, I have more time for the type of deliberate living I'd prefer to emphasize in my life. Funny, that.