Stocking up is the brother to I might need it some day and both are a problem when it comes to trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle. One can create clutter while the other can undermine the decluttering process. Either one has the potential to cause mischief on its own but put the two together and you may even create the basis of hoarding.
Lets look at stocking up first…
The problem with stocking up is that it rightly or wrongly appears to make economic sense. This is especially so when it comes special deals where you can get two for the price of one. In this instance it would seem ridiculous not to take advantage of such a bargain so long as it is a product that…
- you use all the time and isn’t going to take months or years to use up.
- it isn’t going to perish before you will use it up.
- you have used before and you aren’t going to discover that you have an allergy to it.
- it isn’t related to a pastime that you may grow board with before you are likely to make use of it.
- (if it does pass the previous criteria) you have the space to store it in your home.
Think long and hard about the situations I have mentioned above and any others that may pop into your head. Lifestyles, interest and tastes change all the time whether it be hobbies, sports, food, fashion etcetera. Even our bodies change, our skin, our hair, sensitivities can develop and we all know how age affects what products we require.
What I am saying here is that reasonably thought-out stocking up makes great economical sense but don’t be lured in to what appears to be a “great deal” simply by price alone, stop and consider any purchase no matter how tempting it may seem on the surface.
Bargains aren’t the only reason people stock up. Other reasons can be, don’t like to shop, live out of town, fear that an item you love now may become obsolete etcetera. Whatever the reason the same guidelines apply.
Helpful Tip :- To take advantage of great two for one deals without stocking up share-buy with a friend then you will both end up with one each at 50% off. This can apply to bulk items as well if it is something you can physically split evenly between people. I used to shop this way at Costco sometimes with a friend of mine in America. We ended up with a great deal between us without the bulk.
Now lets look at I might need it some day…
Once again there is economic sense in hanging on to an object because it might come in useful in the future. The problem is that in the meantime this item, that may or may not ever be used again, is taking up valuable real estate in your home. If it is bothering you because it is more aesthetically unpleasant than it is useful to you then you really need to give it serious consideration when decluttering. Here are some points to consider…
- could I borrow a similar item if I needed one again in the future?
- could I hire a similar item at a reasonable cost.
- could I replace this item cheaply if circumstances changed and I now had a constant use for one of these items.
- is this item likely to perish and become useless from sitting unused for a long period. In this case you are better to give it away now. From personal experience I know that there are many things that you might expect will last for ever but in actual fact will never be useful again if left unused.
- is this item taking up valuable space that I need to work/ live efficiently.
Yes there will come the odd moment when we think – “Heck I wish I hadn’t got rid of this or that.” or “I wish I had got more of that when it was cheap.” – but those times will be few and far between and most likely fleeting. I will bet the times when you think – “I should get rid of that stupid thing it is always getting in my way.” or “I wish I hadn’t bought so much of this because I don’t really like it any more but it would be a waste to throw it away.” – will come around far more frequently if you make poor decluttering or purchasing decisions.
Day 338 of 365 less things
This set of plastic drawers is one more item we do not need to store things in that we no longer have.
- Laptop computers – I have found that I write my blog better in bed which would be a little difficult with a desk top computer.
- Spaghetti Bolognese – It is so yummy yet so easy to make.
- Steve came home – Everything went well after my husband’s operation yesterday and they let him come home today as planned.
- The voice of reason – I am finding myself to be a bit overprotective of Liam since his accident so it is good that I have Steve to be my voice of reason when I try to hold the apron strings too short and tight.
- Quickly finding a good parking spot in a busy car park.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.