Questions to Ask Before You Buy

untitledPhoto courtesy Art of Simple

Today’s blog comes to you via the amazing Tsh Oxenreider at Art of Simple.  Tsh is, quite simply, amazing.  She writes about all sorts of things pertaining to life and simplifying your life, she has a podcast, she’s a published author AND you need to read her posts about the year she and her family traveled the world, living out of backpacks!

Basically, she’s living the dream!

I’ve posted this particular blog post on PCS Prepper a couple of times, but I wanted to share it in this space too, because it is such a short, sweet, but perfect little post about thinking it through and asking yourself some important questions before you buy an item.

If you’re trying to simplify your life and let go of clutter, one of the ways you will have to challenge yourself is to set limits on new items coming back into your home.  If you have expended energy to simplify and declutter, the worst thing you can do is go right back out and start filling the house back up with stuff.

You need to teach yourself to stop and carefully consider your purchases.  Obviously, I’m not talking about things like groceries (unless you are a spice hoarder–I’ve met a couple of those–do NOT buy any more spices!).  I’m talking about clothing.  Jewelry, shoes, kitchen items, decorative items.  Knicknacks and brick-a-brack.  Baskets and books.

As consumers, we are subject to a constant barrage of advertising and messages telling us that we need the latest and greatest clothes, gadgets, furniture, cars.  Advertising is everywhere.  It’s sneaky and pervasive and plays on our emotions.

Teach yourself to pause for a moment when you pick up an item.  Do you really need it?  Are you willing to become the caretaker for it (maybe it requires dry cleaning or is a kitchen item that requires disassembly to clean it properly)?  Do you already have an item similar to it at home?  Do you have the money to spend on it and do you want to spend money on a thing or would you rather save towards a bigger goal, like your nest egg or a dream vacation?

Don’t forget giveaways–if you’re at a convention or meeting and they’re handing out free coffee cups or swag, it’s OK to say “No, thank you”.  Believe you me, I know the lure of FREE…right this minute I have a beautiful dining room set sitting in my garage that I picked up last night because someone was giving it away.  It won’t sit there for long.  I’ll either use it in my own home or find another use for it soon.  This was a lucky deal that I stand to profit from, but you don’t need free coffee cups, Happy Meal toys, doodads and junk.  Say no.

The key is to stop, consider and only let it into your home if it passes the test.

Trust me, it will get easier and easier to walk past those displays at Target as you hone your skill as a selective consumer!

Good luck!