It's Not a Good Deal If You Don't Need It
Updated: Apr 18, 2018
I received a lovely gift this week from a client we’ll call Sara. Sara called me and said, "Heather, I'm standing in a store and looking at all the Christmas decorations that are 75% off . . . and, well, THANK YOU, ‘cause I'm not buying a thing! Not decorations or any other sale stuff either!"
Prior to the holiday, Sara and I went through all of her Christmas decorations. She had many — some were made by her children or were heirlooms. However, we also found a large amount had been purchased in past years due to the lure of 'sales' and 'discounts'. When she really took a hard look at her sale purchases, virtually none of them actually spoke to her and were given away. As we spoke about her ‘sale’ shopping patterns and impulse buys, she realized most of it ended up as clutter in her home or attic, leaving her feeling overwhelmed.
The mentality that 'it's on sale so I should buy it' is so prevalent in our society, yet it often leads to meaningless purchases of items we simply don't need and, in the end, don’t even want. And man oh man is the sales marketing prevalent! The sales right before and immediately following Christmas, payment plans, no money down, sales in January, for Presidents Day and so on…and on. The day she called me, Sara was able to stop and really look at her potential impulse buy. She thought about the work we had done decluttering her attic and was able to walk away from something that didn't speak to her and, more importantly, that she did not need.
I encourage all of you to declutter your shopping mindset and only purchase items that deserve a place in your home. If you don’t need it and end up giving it away in the future, then you have wasted your hard-earned money. If you already have clutter, then unwanted purchases pile up and add to feelings of anxiety and serve no purpose for you. A great (and fun) way to help you break the impulse purchase habit is to start an I Didn’t Buy It Jar – Find a jar and label it something fun like “I Didn’t Buy It!” or “Impulse no More!” When you find something that tempts you, but you are able to calmly step away from a potential purchase, take note of the price and come home to put that money into your jar instead. Put a PostIt note on the side of the jar that lists ways you would actually like to spend your savings — on movies, a new living room chair or maybe a dinner out . . . have fun with it! Save no matter how small the amount! It will not only be rewarding for you to save, but will also show you how even small impulse buys hit your wallet.
I was so happy that Sara felt empowered to say no and take charge of her space. I was proud of her for taking a moment to realize her home only deserved items that really spoke to her. Sales will always be on. There will always be something to tempt you. Give yourself the same gift that Sara did, be selective and repeat after me, “If you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!”
Heather Shore is a professional organizer based in Cary North Carolina. She brings peace of mind to her clients one room at a time, with budget-friendly decluttering, no judgment, and a friendly disposition. Peace of Mind Decluttering services the Raleigh and Cary areas, with appointments for clients available in Wilmington for an additional fee.