Looking to clear the clutter out of your life? Trying to desperately figure out if something sparks joy? Don’t worry. I feel you. Every time I clear some space, I manage to fill it again. For one reason only.
I love to shop.
Don’t judge me. Don’t dress me up in pink and call me a typical woman. Loving to shop has nothing to do with being a woman. My husband loves to shop. (Granted, it’s usually for power tools but he does have a soft spot for shoes).
For me, it’s not about the shopping. It’s about the finding and buying. It’s some sort of internal satisfaction knowing that I found EXACTLY what I was looking for and most importantly, got a really good deal on it.
I’m totally a bargain shopping. I don’t like to buy cheap things. I like to buy nice things at cheap prices. There’s a difference. I don’t shop at Walmart (well, I mean, I do but just for the essentials and only if I have to). I shop at outlets or shops like Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Ross.
I remember meeting a friend a few years ago and learning she had never heard of those stores, let alone set foot in them. She would be the first to tell you that she has been a bit of a brand snob in the past. Now I get a kick out of it when she compliments a shirt of mine and asks where I got it. She doesn’t ask anymore because she knows it’s some bargain I picked up.
It’s a dangerous habit though. Finding a good bargain is only a good bargain if it’s something you really want and/or need. That makes sense, right? Easier said than done.
I’ve been known to buy something because it’s 80% off, only to find that I don’t really like it and will never wear it. And I end up with a house more cluttered than I can bear. Then comes the inevitable clearing out, yard sale piles, and donations with guilt at the money I wasted.
Just in case you might have the same problem as me, I’ve compiled a quick list of questions that will help me (and maybe you) shop with a purpose:
• Will you wear it?
• What will you wear it with?
• Where will you wear it?
• Does it fit you now (not when you lose those 10 pounds you’re hoping to shed)?
• Is it comfortable?
• Is it easy to care for?
• Where will you put it in your house?
• Is there a place to store it?
• Can it replace something in the house?
• Can you give it as a gift?
• Can you envision it in the yard sale pile?
• Can you see it on the yard sale table?
• Can you see yourself letting it go for 50 cents?
• Can you see it collecting dust?
• Can you see it shoved in a drawer or cabinet?
I think you get the idea. I’m working on it. I actually get a shopper’s high and then have to detox for a bit before I actually make a purchase. Turns out I can live with a lot less than I thought I could.
And if you’ve already fallen into the purposeless shopping habit? It’s time to declutter. It’s a release to get rid of so many extraneous things. And the upside? You’ve just created room for a few more bargains.