Mad if you don’t ~ Mad if you do?

Clutter is often the result of buying now rather than wisely. This can apply to all sorts of products for various reasons. Here are two common reasons for purchasing this way. The first being that the item has bargain price you’d would be mad to pass it up. And second, the item may not be available later so you would be mad not to grab it now while you have the chance, avoiding future regret. Sound familiar?

Here are some examples…

Scenario ~ Sally was at the thrift store and saw a microwave oven plate that exactly matched the one for her oven and it was only $2. She had recently broken her plate and it had cost $25 to replace. She would be mad not to buy this one now at such a bargain price just in case the same misfortune reoccured.

Argument ~ Sally is thinking only of the pain of having just spend $25 on the replacement she bought while this plate is only $2. She is not taking into account that this is the first time she has broken a plate in 25 years of owning and using a microwave oven. Don’t buy it Sally or it could be cluttering up your kitchen for the next 10 years and that would be mad.

Scenario ~ When my family was leaving America to return to Australia our daughter was to be going off to college in another city soon after our return. Because we assumed household items were less expensive in the US we bought a selection of items for her to take when she moved out. We would have been mad to pay Australian prices right?

Argument ~ She moved to another city alright but lived with her grandparents because it made economical sense. She is still with her grandparents almost five years later. Meanwhile I am still storing two large plastic containers of household items in my garage. I am sure I could buy the same items at much the same prices now right here is Australia and not have wasted space in my garage for years.

Scenario ~ I used to do a lot of papercraft and I worked in a large craft store. It was so easy to stay up to date with all the latest trends and I got to see all the new stock as it arrived at the store. Paper in particular was hard to resist as the patterns changed all the time and it would have been crazy not to purchase the ones I liked while they were available, right?

Argument ~ Wrong! I was mad to stock up so much on supplies when I had no idea how life would change down the line and leave me with less time and less enthusiasm for the craft. Especially since I have a track record of switching from one interest to another. Not to mention all the storage systems I had to purchase to organise it all that I am now also decluttering.

Scenario ~ At the end of the season you would be mad not to stock up on clothing the next size up for your child for the coming year. At 50 – 75% off it is a bargain too good to refuse.

Argument ~ What if ~ 1. Your child has an unusual growth spurt and is too big for the clothes when next year comes around. 2. Your child’s growth pattern slows and is too small for the clothes when next year comes around and then too big the year after. That’s two years of storing these clothes for nothing. 3. Fashion trends change and the clothes would have your child looking and feeling out of place. 4. The child develops their own style and refuses to where the clothes you chose. 5. Next year you could have had an unexpected move to a different climate zone and then the clothes may not fit when needed. I will leave it at that although there are many more reasons why this could be a bad idea.

The potential for future clutter also exists when you purchase something on sale you only think you might enjoy or get use out of. I have photographic proof of endless garage sale bargains, over enthusiastic craft purchases, use it up decluttering missions on toiletry items, must have half price gadgets and regretful purchases of substitute items that were almost right but a lot cheaper than the items I really needed…for all to see here on my blog. So trust me, I speak from experience. Luckily I have also learned from the experience

The one thing I have discovered over the years is there is always another bargain around the corner so if you don’t need the item now it will probably be on sale again by the time you actually need to make the purchase. So stop cluttering up your cupboards with backups, regrets and wasted money and only purchase what is necessary when it is necessary. Thats not to say you can’t enjoy a frivolous purchase every now and again just not every time you see something you think you would be mad not to snap up.

Today’s Declutter Item

Here is a perfect example of buying in advance because they were a bargain too good to refuse. Of course I thought at the time “I will use them one day” and at 75% off what did I have to lose? I’ll tell you, about $6 and space in my craft room for five years. I am giving them away to an artist friend of my son.

Spiral Scrapbooks

Something I Am Grateful For Today

No less than six of the items I donated to the thrift store yesterday were sold before my shift there was done. I love that I have decluttered, the store has made money and the customer is happy. Although I do wonder if they have just fallen for one of the scenarios I have mentioned above.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

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

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I hear you.
    I hate shopping so much, that I have always a list of items I need to get. right now its lights for my bikes. Really. I push shopping so far away, and only when I feel “strong” enough, I actually go and get the things. The only bargain I use is on groceries like drinks (favourite sparkling wine brand is on sale 30 percent down – who wouldnt stock up on it) or sweets (ritter sport is always good to have at home).

    • If I know there is something I will be needing outside of groceries I just pop in to the shops that sell this type of items until finally they have just the right one for me and hopefully at the right price. It took me about 6 months to buy a pair of sandals. My friend Amber thinks I am mad for sure but I eventually got exactly what I wanted, they weren’t cheap but they are perfect and I have worn them and worn them. I go to the mall for coffee with Amber at least once a week which is when I drag her into the odd shop I require something from. I usually don’t buy, it drives her crazy. At the moment I am about out of lipstick but I really can’t be bothered shopping for that until I get desperate.

      • oh god. its so good to know I am not the only one… thanks colleen. makes me feel even better.
        can you remember that I said last year my new years resolution would be to buy one of those thermo-cups to avoid the plastic cups from the cafeteria? it took me until last week to know which one I want. I spent hours doing online research, popped into the shops that sold them once in a while and finally decided on one. bought it, was super happy because it is actually a very pretty one too.
        I took it the next day to the library, and there I realized the lid wasnt working. can you imagine how angry I got? its been months that I have been searching for this and then it fails me on the first day. next day I packed it to bring it back and change it – just before I went out of the door I tried it again, and oh look – its working again. since then – my can is behaving perfectly… and I dare it to play me again…

        • I nearly missed this comment Lena so sorry for the delayed response.
          I can just imagine how ticked off you were. That is the one drawback of being a conscientious shopper, the disappointment when things don’t turn out even after all your cautiousness. Oh well I suppose it isn’t an exact science but I am sure it works out well most of the time. I hope that you were just using your cup wrong that first day and it will turn out as good as you hoped.

      • It took me about 8 months after our blender broke to settle for a solution. We first looked for replacement parts, but couldn’t get it. I was very reluctant to get a new one, despite the fact that we did use our blender often for smoothies, sometimes every day. I hate how bulky they are, taking a lot of counter space. I had also been thinking about an immersion blender for a long time, because I often wanted to make pureed veggie soups. Then FINALLY I decided that I would get a good immersion blender which could handle frozen fruit also, to make smoothies. The one I chose also came with a miniature food processor addition (we never had a food processor) and a whisk addition for whipping cream or cake batter. So in the end I have ONE multi-functional, easy to clean, small appliance -our only small kitchen appliance 🙂 It was worth it to not replace the blender immediately but really think about our needs first.

        • I did much the same thing when my old Bamix broke down after pureeing food for several weeks when my son had his broken jaw. I took my time weighted up my options and decided on a Kenwood immersion blender. The one I bought had two options when it came to attachments and I ended up having to buy the large set in order to get the mini food processor attachment that I wanted. I have recently sold the extra attachments I didn’t want on ebay. They will be appearing soon as the item on the day. This thing is so strong it can crush ice. Cinco de mayo here I come.

    • Oh Lena, I just returned to USA from the ritter chocolate capital of the world (Germany), it was only 20 minutes away from where we lived…if only I had known, I’d have stocked you up good….

      yes, I love it too. What is your favorite flavor?

      • hehe, Annabelle, I am also living in Germany. So I get my decent share of Ritter Sport once in a while… favourite Flavour is probably joghurt, or marcipan, or olympia. ah heck, I can never decide, so I always end up with a different one. actually I should go and get the whole assortment with different tastes. maybe I like one most that I never really tried… thanks for the idea 😉

  2. I hate shopping too Lena. You know, Colleen, every time you write a post I find something that jogs my brain so that I go find something else to get rid of. I just love that about your blog. It’s useful and worth the time it takes to read it and keep up with everyone’s replies.

    • Hi Deb J,
      for some reason two of your comments when to spam this week. But I scan the spam just in case before I delete it so I found you.
      I am glad my strategy is working on you since that is the effect I hope my posts have on my readers. Many times it is the other way around for me, I find something to declutter and it puts and idea in my head for a post.

  3. This has to be one of my favourite posts. I should repeat the arguments you have there until I have them memorized! The temptation of “now or never” deals are so very very tough, but I am getting so much better since I have become SERIOUS about removing the excess in my life.

    I think it may be time to re-address the tubs of kids’ clothes I have stashed away and give them ANOTHER going over with more critical eyes. (I have done it before but tend to wimp out decluttering in the name of frugality) But I don’t buy MORE anymore just because it’s the next size for all the reasons you listed… it’s just the hand me downs that are the sticky challenges now.

    PS the beautiful scrap books you decluttered made me feel a pang of something… maybe regret? I too LOVE paper items especially pretty note/sketch books. Thankfully the scrapbooking craze didn’t come here until after I had already come to terms with the fact that I had neither the money nor the time to pick up that hobby (I still think it is a STUNNING artform that I admire). I have seen the materials in the store and fondled them lovingly, but thankfully resisted somehow. With the exception of a couple particularly adorable sticker-medallions that are languishing unused somewhere.

    • I feel you pain Creative me the temptation can be difficult at times. I am so glad I am pretty much over it though. Some things still call me but it is rare because I don’t make a habit of looking. “Lead us not into temptation.” is my motto.

  4. Amen sister
    I’ve hd the same argument with myself Sally had
    I am taking to heart your words re not buying the “regrets”‘ “backup”‘ etc.

    • Hi Gail, I just had to laugh at myself because my first thought when I read your comment was “Who’s Sally?” I then I remember the microwave story.
      Most of the things we buy we don’t need so we certainly don’t need backups. I am glad you are letting that idea sink in Gail. Good for you.

  5. “The one thing I have discovered over the years is there is always another bargain around the corner so if you don’t need the item now it will probably be on sale again by the time you actually need to make the purchase.”

    So true! So true!

    • Those words jumped right off the page at me too ! I have learnt this AT LAST ! But is SO true – whatever the item is it will be availabe again and sales go on all the time year after year . There really is nothing so important or special that it has to be bought “now “. Just wish I’d learnt that years ago – however I wont beat myself up about it but will just be very grateful that I understand it now . That sense of urgency about needing something and maybe missing out on something is replaced with a peace of mind -which is so much nicer !

      • Better to learn late than never Judith and I would beat myself up about if I were you either. Missing a bargain is best replaced with the thought that you aren’t cluttering up your home with stuff you don’t need. That is the peace of mind I enjoy.

    • That is certainly my experience Cindy.

  6. I think these kinds of purchases are especially hard for people with a frugal mindset. It is hard to think past the low prices to the possibility that even the smaller cost may still be a waste of money if the item is never used. Sometimes frugal is not about getting a bargain; it’s about passing it up.

    • I agree. My mother used to say a bargain is only a bargain if you need it in the first place. If you don’t need it before you see it, then it’s not being frugal, it’s just spending money!

    • Oh Jo I heartily agree with all you said in your comment. I am one of those people with a frugal mindset. Always have been and yet I still ended up with all the clutter I have slowly been getting rid of over the last two years. Go figure. I suppose I am much closer to truly frugal now although I do like to dine out a little and travel but even those two pursuits are subject trying to get the best deal if there is one to be had. Gotta love dining coupons and frequent flyer points.

  7. I was nodding my head (being motivated again to hit the packing up for a charity pick up) and then laughed out loud at the notebooks — sketch books? scrapbooks? It didn’t really matter as just three weeks ago I gave away an 18 gallon plastic container of spiral notebooks, sketchbooks, journals and photo albums — over the years I had a accumulated a ton — and then my about-to-graduate son cleared his desk and presented me a foot high stack of unused spiral notebooks, which he had buried so deep we had both forgotten we owned them — and we’re moving and don’t know yet where he is going to college so we gave them away (no sense packing them up and then forgetting them again when he’s ready for college).

  8. You always have to be careful when buying in bundles.
    When I was younger I used to write lots of letters, so I bought pretty stationary whenever I saw some. Haven’t had to buy an envelope in years.
    Same goes for wool, fabric, books and any other hobby equipment: buy only as much as you’re likely to use within the next month. You can always go shopping for pretty stationary when you really run out of it.
    What seems like a supply for half a year while you’re loving that hobby can turn into lifetime clutter once your interest has cooled.

    • „What seems like a supply for half a year while you’re loving that hobby can turn into lifetime clutter once your interest has cooled.“
      Sanna, I just repeat that, okay? Says it all.

    • Hi Sanna I love the parameter that you have put on yourself, only buy enough for that you are likely to use within the next month. That is so reasonable, just can’t argue with that logic.

      • I love your “only buy enough … use within the next month” this can be applied to so many areas:- craft, food, clothes (don’t buy last seasons specials), stationary.

        • For me, next month is almost like a life time away. Things change so quickly.

          • Tell me about it Moni, in October 2010 one day I was excited because I had quit my job and had my last day there and three days later I was at my son’s bedside while he was in a coma with a serious brain injury. Best to live for the present, plan for the future for sure but within reason.

    • Yeh Sanna, been there done that, like you I have learned my lesson.

  9. oh, and when it comes to craft supplies (and other aspirational clutter), always have in mind whom you want to do it for. For example if you knit only for yourself it doesn’t make sense to stock up wool for more sweaters (or socks or whatever) than your care to own.
    For me that recently meant to give up furniture that I would have liked to refinish but that would not have had a space in the apartment. I was in love with the pieces, not with the process alone, so I would not have liked to put all the work in for somebody else.

    • It is so easy to fall in love with something visually but really not be up to the task of actually doing the project involved. Even more so when you are creative, I know this only too well. I have gotten very good at enjoying the beauty of lovely things and then walking away like I am at an art gallery.

  10. This is the best post! Everyone has done it! Although on a funny note, we broke a microwave plate every month for 3 months there at one stage.
    I have a brilliant example of this from just last night.
    My daughters shop in JayJays a lot and they often do a deals which is 2 t-shirts at a discounted price pretty close to the price of 1, and you rationalise, oh well its only an extra t-shirt, it will get used. Last night, Courtney asked me to help her sort out her t-shirts as there were too many to fit in her drawers. I noticed roughly half looked unworn and I asked her why that was? She said they were all the 2nd t-shirt from the discounted price for two deal. She loved the t-shirt she’d gone in there for, but had just grabbed a 2nd t-shirt. However, very rarely loved or wore the 2nd t-shirt.
    So I told her to only buy what she loves and knows she will wear, then wear it to death, and next season get something else you love.

    • It seems to me Moni that you are sharing you decluttering wisdom with the whole family and that is fantastic. Your girls are learning a lot from you even if it is the question their own actions when it comes to purchasing. Good on you, you are teaching them valuable lessons.

      I think you may have just inspired another blog post re clothes shopping for young adults. thanks

  11. Excellent scenarios you’ve posted here, Colleen.

    To me, what you’ve written just points up how important it is to learn to stay out of the stores, don’t go to lawn sales, stay out of thrift shops–just stay home and do something, anything other than shopping, lol. (Oh, and don’t read the catalogs that you get in the mail. Recycle them without looking at them.)

    This will eliminate most of the temptation–painlessly too.

    • Hi Becky – for that reason I have had a no junk mail label put on my letter box. I can access just about any chain store’s weekly promotions on their website, so I can see what bargains there are, for what I actually need.

    • Yes Becky that was certainly the message I was trying to convey. Staying at home too much is boring to and that is why God invented friends and cafes. 😉

      As for those pesky catalogues I don’t get any so temptation thwarted.

    • Oh, not only recycle w/o looking; but GET OFF THEIR MAILING LISTS ALTOGETHER?!!! Somehow that is possible, right?

  12. Just a side note Colleen – I’m in NZ which is first across the date line each day, so in the morning I read your post with my breakfast and mull it over while I’m getting the day underway. What I love seeing, is thru the next 18 hours or so – I generally don’t switch off the home pc until midnight – is watching what I assume is the different time zones coming on line and a fresh run of entries. It is so cool.

    • And that is why I have my MacBook Pro open all day answering those comments. I love them but some days I struggle to keep up. Hey, at least I am too busy for shopping. 😆

    • funny thing, those timezones. when you publish on thursday morning, its wednesday afternoon here, so I always get your posts “too early”. I am often shocked at the amount of comments that come in during a day… its soon going to be more than 100 right? 😉

      • Are you trying to scare me Lena. I’ll have to get a volunteer secretary to help me keep up to date with responses. 😆

        • Mhh, Australia. And a devoted tea drinker. And a nicely decluttered guest room … Colleen, I’d volunteer any time!

          • Thank you Ideealistin, I will keep you in mind. You do realise that being as my job here is completely in cyberspace we don’t need to be in the same house or even country for that matter to carry out your duties. So you could be volunteering for something that is all work and no play. 😆

  13. Appreciate the daily dose of inspiration and motivation from you guys! If you had a feed back form I would rate this week as a 10+/10. Hits the nail on the head in so many ways for me.
    I am currently dealing with an abundance of bath towels and sheets and two single beds. I was excited about a mattress collection service until I found out it was $24 for each mattress or base, which would cost me over $100. The tip fees would be about $40. They are not suitable for thrift store donation. I would appreciate any suggestions….

    • Is there a freecycle website in your area? I heard about it on here, and just for fun typed it in with my countries suffix and we did have one.
      What country are you from?

      • Hi Moni, I am from Newcastle , Australia .Thanks for the tip I Will check out free cycle! Will let you know how it goes.

        • Hi Moni, can I just say ” technical issues” have prevented me from accessing free cycle. I already subscribe to the local group and receive their emails, but when I tried to post, I ended up on the forgotten password, existing email,forgotten username merry go round. Time for coffee.

          • It is funny that you say that, because I found our freecycle website quite tricky to register with.

          • Wendy this is a problem I have encountered too. I have discovered that when you request a new password you only need to fill in the email info not both username and email. Try that and see how you go.

        • I’m in NZ – you could look for websites for Red Cross, Salvation Army for a local contact, the websites here ask for bedding donations (had to find this out for a friend clearing out a house after her mother’s passing, and she had a very short time to do it in) – also we have Savemart here, who have big recycled clothes and goods bins dotted around the towns, that anything house hold can go in.

        • Freecycle is great and quite active in newcastle.
          I had a couple in the thrift store looking for a single bed and base yesterday and we didn’t have any left so clearly lifeline could do with the donation.

          • Hi Colleen,
            Will bring it over for Lifeline. This item was becoming a bit of an issue in regard to its disposal. A problem shared is a problem solved. 🙂
            Thank you.

    • Hi Wendy,
      I work at lifeline and we take mattresses and bases. If they are in reasonable condition I am sure a lifeline near you would pick them up. Even if only the bases were donateable and you only had to pay to have the mattresses collected that would save you a bit. It is a shame not to recycle them. Can’t hurt to try. I would be happy to come over and check them out for you if you like.

  14. Exactly twice in my 56 years have I decided NOT to buy something, and later regretted it. Neither was essential for my existence, though the shoes came close… and perhaps the pair of teak water buffalo I had to leave behind in Burma serve me better in my memory than collecting dust on the mantel. Sometimes wanting is more satisfying than having.

    • So true Wendy, the novelty of having soon wears off but wanting is like unrequited love it is all the more “romantic” in your mind because you don’t have it. And yes I think the buffalo are better of in Burma.

  15. Oh, I have cupboards full of ‘can’t pass it up’ junk!

    Before I left home, I started collecting kitchen stuff so that I didn’t have to buy it all at once. But I only bought ‘bargain’ stuff and ended up finding more of it useless than useful!

    And on kids clothes: I cleaned out our boxes of hand me down clothes recently. I found 35 size 1 shirts, including 10 with long sleeves. Hello! We live in north Queensland! The problem is that I used to buy clothes a size ahead, then end up buying too much because I didn’t think about what I’d already bought. Clothes have gone unworn or barely worn, so even with getting rid of quite a bit I still have plenty of great condition clothes for son number 2. I now buy clothes as we ned them: if they are marked down, good, if not, it doesn’t matter. I only buy 5 t-shirts, one button shirt, 2 long sleeved shirts, 5 shorts and 1 jeans (plus minimal school uniforms). That way there is still room for when grandparents give him clothes or we get bags of hand-me-downs.

    • I find that you have figured out quantities interesting, because my older daughter has been trying to do a one-in one-out approach to her wardrobe, and is ready to take it to the next level of how many does she actually need in the first place. Of course, being a girl, it is never as straight forward as it would be for my son, but it is an interesting idea to follow.

      • Hmm, it might well be different for a girl. I have two boys! I base the number on how many times I wash in a week, and keep in mind that he needs enough clothes for school holidays. Plus, he’s my little academic, so he doesn’t get real grubby. Number two is proving to be a little more adventurous, so he might need more clothes.
        Though, it might not be too different, because I’m trying to work on the same sort of numbers for myself. I’ve always had a wardrobe chock full of clothes, but have worked out I don’t wear them all so I’m trying to pare down as well. 5 skirts, 10-15 tops of varying styles, 2 shorts, one jeans. I’ve still got more than that, but realistically that’s all I wear regularly. The rest is on borrowed time. It helps living in the tropics where we don’t have cold weather, and I can wear all my summer clothes all year, just with a light cardigan. To make it more interesting, I have probably 15 pairs of shoes in varying styles and colours (which is a few too many, I’d rather have only 10), and a selection of necklaces in varying styles and colours. I used to always be a creative dresser, and have found since paring down my wardrobe I’m becoming more creative again, looking for ways to vary my outfits.

        • Mine are all teens so for the girls there is a bit more of the fashion aspect to it and they more aware of dressing for the occaision which would be totally foreign to my son – his repetorie is jeans and t-shirt, jeans and sweatshirt, jeans and shirt only if I bully him into ‘dressing up’. I have decided voluntary hygiene and fashion consciousness will arrive around the same time as his first girlfriend.

          I’m also trying to pare down my wardrobe, I’m about to do the 4th cull soon in the near future, so will be interested to see what gets tossed out this round.

          • When I was teaching, one of my grade eight girls said to me one day; ‘Miss, the difference between year nine boys and year ten boys is that year nine boys smell really bad, and year ten boys overcompensate.”

        • Susan your student was so wise so young!

    • It is good if you can get the quantities down to a science. It takes all the guess work out of it. Good for you Susan.
      I practically never had to buy clothes for my kids due to two sewing grandmas.

    • I’m with you on this – I hate to store years’ worth of too big clothes, let alone move boxes of them, should you change homes… Even if they are in the attic and there is plenty of room there, it still bothers me. Someone else could be using and enjoying them now!
      It’s also very easy to forget what you have and over-buy, so I really prefer to just get what my daughter needs, when she needs it. 7 tops, 7 bottoms and a couple of dresses is plenty for her, as she often wears her clothes for more than one day.

  16. Does anyone notice that it is the little bargain items that we have the most dilemna letting go of? Or is it just me?

  17. Great post to read today as I am sorting through all the collected junk and stuff in my craft room/office. I have found that for me I have wasted so much money and precious time thinking and planning and attempting to make gifts – all in the name of saving a buck and also the environment (reuse) – not this year. This year everyone is getting a hand painted pot with a homegrown plant and it doesn’t clutter my house while it is growing and I can still do some painting and feel good. Cheers, Wendy

    • I have solved this problem Wendy, I just don’t give gifts at all. Everyone who knows me understands that it is a lifestyle choice for me. They have been instructed not to buy me gifts either. I take my friends out to lunch and my parents in parents in law who are all far away get a handmade card with a lottery ticket and a phone call. All my other family members get a card and maybe a phone call.
      The human race has developed so many “this is how it should be” protocols (mainly nurtured by retail outlets) that are bogus as far as I am concerned and I refuse to play the game. A nice gesture or message is all I think is necessary and that is how I live my life. I haven’t had any objections yet so I figure it is all working out just fine.

  18. I can relate to the paper. I’m still decluttering the papers I bought when I took a book art class eleven years ago. Even worse that that is the free scrap steel I collected over six years ago. I’ve moved it halfway across the US and most of it is rusty and useless for my purposes (sculpture.) That was a bargain, right?

    • I think you know the answer to your own question there Delona. Maybe it is time to take it to the scrap metal merchant. If you decide you need more in the future you can go back and buy some from the same merchant.

  19. There’s always another bargain around the corner. SO TRUE! I hope I’ve finally learned this one 🙂

  20. Wowsa, hot topic! You certainly hit a nerve (ok, MY NERVES!) on all those senarios (yup, I saw myself in many!).

    The Hubby says “find kids stuff on sale for next season, we’ll store it in the attic…”. I say, NOT. Not buying it, not storing it. We’re back in USA now, and there’s plenty of thrift stores close to home and they are loaded with stuff; we’ll find it as we need it, IF we NEED it.

    We received our final shipment of stuff after living overseas. Now we are truly bursting at the seams. Buy a large house? NO WAY. Find more storage options? MAYBE/MAYBE NOT. Declutter. OH YEA BABY, NOW WE”RE TALKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We seriously have very little, but now even that ‘very little’ is TOO MUCH. Where did all this stuff come from? It’s like it reproduced in mulitples during the boat ride across the Atlantic (rabbits? NO WAY).

    • Hi Annabelle,
      I like your thinking on this subject. No more crazy shopping. I don’t know what your new home is like but we have looked at a couple of small houses lately with the intent to buy if we find what we want. Just the couple we have seen has got us thinking that we still have a ways to go. Luckily my hubby is on board and even happy to discuss kitchen items and for the most part we agree entirely. Sometimes I am surprised at what items he has been contemplating. We had a discussion about dinner sets the other day.
      Less less less that is my motto.

  21. One of the things that has gotten easier for me since I started decluttering, is waiting until I find just the right item, like your sandals- not buying something just to buy, or to tide me over until I find what I really want. Our society has gotten so used to instant gratification, that we have lost the art of doing without, even temporarily. I love that I am finally learning patience.

    • Hi Sabine – I know what you mean. I like shopping, but since I’ve started seriously decluttering, its really narrowed down what I look around at. Suddenly unless it fits in with my vision of a particular room or my wardrobe, its just not gonna happen. And yes, I do find myself holding out for that perfect item.

    • Good for you Sabine, it is a good feeling isn’t it. I love not being a shopper and just generally being free from the desire for stuff.

  22. Hi Colleen! I was reading your post and remembered something that happened to me. It is almost autunm over here and soon it is going to get very cold. However these last two weeks we had a heat wave (I was “melting” …. 😀 ) and I was at a Wal Mart buying some groceries and they had a section with a banner that read: “Summer clothes and shoes! Up to 60% off !”. I had, during Summer, fancied the odd piece of clothing at that store, but didn’t buy because it was expensive/not needed/too small/too big and so on… Well, I did NOT buy any clothing! I just turned my head the other way, heard Colleen’s voice in my head saying : “Do you REALLY need a piece of Summer clothin that is going to sit MONTHS in your warbrobe unused, when you already HAVE SO MANY?” and I answered her: “Of course not Colleen! You are so right!” And I went my merry way without even LOOKING at the supposed bargains. But sometimes you have to think not to do some shopping because it is on sale. You have to exercise your brain to remember what you already have, and if that object is really such a bargain. But it is hard sometimes. Fortunately, Colleen, some of your posts have made themselves at home inside my brain. 😀 😀 😀

    • Hi Andréia,
      I am wondering what my voice sounds like in your head. Hee hee! Do I speak English or Portuguese? Either way I am glad it is deterring you from buying things you don’t need. It is like the cartoon where there is a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. In that scenario I suppose I am the angel. Now there’s irony for you. 😆 And you are right it can be hard to walk away but like most things the more practice you get the more proficient you become. So keep up the practice and before you know it you will be a expert.

  23. Hi all,

    I had to shop and I found a bargain and I bought it. My bathers were ‘naff’ I needed a new pr and I happened by the sell off box in Big W. Over here our pools tend to be heavily chlorinated so in a very short time your pants end up around your ankles! Big W here sometimes stock higher priced goods and although I was shopping for sports socks for the ‘karri tree’ I stopped and browsed the sale box. Ended up paying $7.50 all up for a bikini and a 1 pc how cool. We swim year round so I will definitely get wear out of my goodies. Just to let you know they originally wanted $35.00 a pc for the bikini and the full pc was $40.00. Outrageous to say the least but I do believe I picked up a good bargain which in my current state of being batherless was too good to walk away from.

    What I’d love to fathom is why shops/manufacturers have such huge prices on things only to sell them off at very low prices. Honestly I would not have paid $35 per pc for a bikini or $40.00 for a 1 pc (I used too but not now) I spent $7.50 on myself for all that and I had to hand over $12.00 for a twin pack of socks ‘What the’!!!! Anyway I considered it a great bargain and it will all get used until it dies and hopefully that won’t be before the store has bathers on sale again hahaha:) 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Dizzy,
      there is nothing like getting what you need at a great price. And we wouldn’t want you to have to go skinny dipping, not with the Karri Tree around anyway.


  1. […] This post from 365 Less Things about buying items on sale is very relevant to me. I always think I’m saving money when buying sale items when most of the time I’m only wasting money and adding to my clutter! […]