At the moment I am reading Dan Ariely‘s book Predictably Irrational. Chapter eight is all about keeping doors open ~ that is keeping opportunities available just in case the current situation doesn’t work out as planned. Dan loves to test his theories and after experimenting with this idea he came to the conclusion that “…running helter-skelter to keep doors from closing is a fools game. It will not only wear out our emotions but also wear out our wallets.“
Of course leaving the odd door open isn’t always a bad thing so long as you reserve the habit for important doors. Feeling the need to do this with every situation in life can surely only lead to constant dissatisfaction and a whole lot of stress. As the saying goes ~ The grass is always greener on the other side.
With that thought in mind Dan poses this question ~ “Similarly, how many times have we bought something on sale not because we really needed it but because by the end of the sale all of those items would be gone, and we could never have it at that price again?”
This is a case of seeing the door closing and making an irrational decision to buy such items ~ you guessed it ~ whether we need them or not. It doesn’t seem to matter that it has been proven to us over and over again that no sooner does a item go off sale but returns ~ sometimes even at an even cheaper price ~ very soon thereafter. It is the possibility that this time that door may never open again and that lures us in. So don’t be fooled because even if it doesn’t reopen the chances are that the most likely long term effect is that you have saved yourself some money.
Practice ignoring those sale doors often enough and soon you will realise that there is a lot of stuff out there that you can live without. You may also want to close a few doors on past hobbies and interests that you have not engaged in for some time. Also close the door on items you think you may need some day. Chances are if you aren’t using that door now you won’t need to in the future. Close the door on the idea that stuff will make you happy. How many other doors to clutter can you find to close and set yourself free from unwanted stress, wasted space and the futile attempt to buy happiness. You may then find you are free to open new doors onto something good and worthwhile in your life.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something you are only keeping out of guilt because it cost you much more than it proved useful to you. That is you paid a lot for something and now you feel obliged to keep it even though you hardly if ever use it.
Remember the November Keep it Tidy Challenge
Today’s Declutter Item
Eco Tip for the Day
Don’t leave the TV on during the day just for company. You may laugh but I have know plenty of cases of people doing this.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here