Last week I shared a few tips on how to declutter your home by purging things you don't need or love. (click here for article). This week I will share some of my tips on how to avoid accumulating too much in the first place.
Step 2: avoid buying too much stuff!
Now this is tricky because shopping feeds into our desire for instant gratification. We are constantly overwhelmed with lifestyle ads & coupons that say "buy this and you will be happier." But the truth is that happiness may be short lived - then you're just left with "stuff". So here are my tips & strategies to help resist the temptation.
1- AVOID FLASH SALES
Yes, you can do it. Someone is always curating an enticing list of "must haves", and you surely can find some exciting deals on there. But the devil in these sites is that there is only a limited quantity and it's gone. It bullies you to buy now or forever hold your peace. So my advice is if you're not actively looking for something - don't open that email! Or better yet - unsubscribe from such emails and only log in when you are looking for something. Seriously - you will thank me!
2- Make a list
Impulse shopping is also the devil so I suggest making a list and sticking with it. At the beginning of every room redesign I work on we create goals for the room, and then define what it we need to fulfill those goals. I write up a design plan with all the details and items to buy for each client. Then I suggest to put the list on your phone, tablet, or in a program like Evernote that syncs with everything. Or just keep the design plan in your wallet. This will keep you on task when you're shopping around and resist unnecessary purchases.
3- Sleep on it
If you have a few items you want or need, create a list then sleep on it. This gives yourself time to sort through your decision and prioritize your purchases. Keeping an ongoing list of "wishes" will help you stay organized and avoid spending extra money on things you don't need. Plus it gives you the chance to change your mind without spending too much time or money.
3- Walk with it
So now you're in the store and you can't resist an item. It grabs your attention and you want it! Go ahead and put it in your basket. Walk the rest of the store with it and re-evaluate the object at the end of loop through the store. Does it meet the criteria you established for your goals? (color, category, texture, etc) If it's not perfect then put it back. Usually a walk through the store will help you sort through other options and may provide the right perspective.
4- Photograph (or Pin) it
Another strategy to postpone a purchase is to photograph it (in person) or Pin it (if online). This way you won't loose track of it and can go back to make the purchase later. If you collect enough images then you can even create a moodboard and see how all the items will look together. This will make sure you're staying on track with your goals.
5- Reduce time spent shopping
Many people find shopping a pleasurable experience, but perhaps it provides too much temptation to make an unnecessary purchase. In this case when you feel the urge to shop, make a list of what you want to get it off your mind, then find something else entirely different to do. Think of other hobbies that you enjoy such as reading, watching a movie, going out to eat with friends, working out, etc. There are plenty of other hobbies to distract yourself from the urge to buy!
I hope these tips & strategies provide you with some ways to manage your purchases. What ways do you find helpful to reduce accidental shopping, and to ensure you make the right purchases for your home?
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