Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ You Don’t Have to Have One Too

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Cindy

Every time you see something fun, intriguing, clever, imaginative, or functional at a friend’s house, are you tempted to buy one for yourself too? When your child loves a toy that he or she has played with at a friend’s house, school, or the doctor’s office, do you think he or she must surely want one for your house as well?

This is a trap. Don’t fall for it.

In my experience, parents and grandparents are the first and worst to fall into this trap. If junior loves a toy elsewhere, he/she will surely love one at home too. Not necessarily. Instead, by buying a duplicate, you’ve removed the thrill of the toy at the other location as something special to look forward to. Now it’s at your house and is just one of the many, nothing special about it. I’ve even seen duplicates occur when the child already owns a toy. In my own life I can think of some wooden dolls with magnetic clothing that the girls enjoyed. Somehow, by the time they were ready to get rid of the sets, my two daughters had five different sets of these dolls. They didn’t enjoy their five sets any more than they enjoyed their original two though. So why did I, and others, think that if some was good, more was better?

My husband recently tried to go down this path. He has made a new friend Joe, and Joe likes to play strategy games and owns an extensive collection of them. First game they played together, Dan wanted to buy for our house as well, even though the chances of playing it without Joe are negligible. In fact, a big part of the fun is that the two fathers and the two oldest kids play together. Owning this game isn’t going to make the playing happen more frequently or make it more fun. In fact, if Dan insisted on playing it at our house, it might make the times we get together with the other family less enjoyable.

Can you look around your house or garage and see something that you felt you had to have too, and now it’s just sitting there, mocking your decision? Get rid of it, and remember: You don’t have to have one too.

Today’s Mini Mission

Today clear off and declutter the floor in your chosen room. Pick up anything that doesn’t belong on the floor and find a home for it. Once again move any unwanted clutter to its departure point.

Eco Tip For The Day

Use washable dishrags in your kitchen rather than paper towel or chemically saturated wet wipes.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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Comments

  1. CIndy, this is a good post. My mother was like this with cooking and entertaining stuff. It’s amazing the things Dad got her that we seldom used if ever. I see this with lots of families where the parents and others in the family get the kids way too much. I think it would help if parents told each family member something the child needs so the gifts are appropriate.

    • Yes for some people, the cooking gear can be a real lure. I’m more of a sharp knife, wooden spoon, good pans are all I need kind if cook.

  2. Yup I’ve fallen into this trap through the years. Gotten too caught up in the delight of the discovery to think though the bigger picture clearly.

  3. Hi Cindy, this is a great post. There is not one of us who hasn’t fallen into this trap at least once. This is why it is so important to analyse the novelty of items before making a purchase. Buying souvenirs falls into this category of unwise purchasing. They are novel because you are enjoying the location at the time. Once bought home they are just dust collectors or in some cases gaudy items of clothing.

  4. Shannon Eaton :

    Making my husband read this tonight.

    • This is embarrassing! Shannon’s husband is the Joe in this story. Notice that I stated that Dan should not collect games & not that Joe should reduce his games. Just a razz me, Joe called me last night to thank me for noticing his nice game collection!

  5. Very nice post Cindy. It’s true, once the novelty wears out, it’s another dust collector. It happens with everything, including collections. Usually the first two are the interesting ones, the ones that started the collection, the rest eventually becomes a nightmare.

    • I was also thinking about collections when I read this post. Quite often it is the additions to collections by other well meaning people that send the situation out of control.

      • I think people love to give gifts to collectors – it ‘a so easy! I’ve never had a collection, so I have no first hand experience. Clara collects feathers, and at times both girls have collected rocks, but both of those are pretty containable and *very* easy to dispose of.

  6. When I think back — the fascinating and intriguing toys at my grandparents’ home were really odds and ends and rather well used items. But their attraction for me was that they were different than what I had!

    • I feel the same way about the toys from my grandparents house when I was young. Those were the days that when kids went to visit their relatives they didn;t bring half a dozen electronic devices and a car load of their own toys for entertainment. Also the toys at the relatives homes were usually limited and yet we still had fun. Kids today can still achieve this when given the change.

      • I’ve saved a few of the girls’ toys specifically for visiting children. They do come in handy occasionally.

        • Cindy I kept a small box of toys for my nieces and nephews, a toy check out till and toy grocery items. Something similar has become the popular toy of choice recently amongst my sis-in-law’s friends, and so the clever girl asked if she could have ours rather than buy one the same. I was very happy to hand it over.

    • Yes! So fun and so true!

  7. Excellent post Cindy! I think it applies to everything as you said. Even clothes in the store. I have been emptying more and more places inside my house and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of stuff I have. I have been to stores and thought that I definitely needed a new (insert everyday item here) only to come home and find I had more than enough. And if I see something nice at someones house, or in a store, I have resisted the urge “to have one too.”

    • I confess I just bought a pair of black flats only to discover that I already owned a pair. Head slap!

  8. Great post Cindy! I can think of a few things that I have bought just because someone else had one and it seemed neat, so therefore, I had to have one too. A lot of those things have made it to the declutter pile now.

    • Kids toys we’re where I had to learn this lesson…repeatedly. Three (?) years ago I got an iPod Touch because two friends had them, and I absolutely love it. But it wasn’t an impulse purchase; I thought about it for weeks prior to purchasing .

      • Cindy – a considered decision is a good decision, alas this post mainly applies to a impulse decision. I can think of only one such impulse “this is soooo much fun, we must get one” purchase that turned out to be a winner. Play Station 2 Sing Star. Hours and hours and hours of entertainment, of course, the down side is that not everyone can carry tune, but they sure had a lot of fun trying. These days it sits on the shelf a fair bit, but every now and then it has a resurgance.

  9. A couple of Christmases ago, my husband purchased a toaster that puts his and my son’s favorite hockey team logo into the bread as it toasts. (These toasters must have been all the rage at the ice rink, and my husband tends to get caught up in the excitement – he’s also an endcap shopper!) It was used a bit the first month, but now it’s never touched. My daughter and I don’t really eat toast, and my son doesn’t like the slight burned flavor the toast gets. My husband rarely makes toast for himself, so the toaster sat on the counter for well over a year. Over the summer, I got tired of looking at it, and while we still own it, at least it’s in the cupboard where I don’t have to see it.

    If I tried to get rid of it, I KNOW I’d be met with resistance. I have to choose my battles, and my big battle now is to get rid of an uncomfortable futon and frame that are upstairs. My son and I say to ditch them, but my husband and daughter don’t want to. At least the futon got a lot of use for years, but now it doesn’t. It has outlived its usefulness but was worth whatever it cost.

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