Would I buy it now?

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I found myself making the most of my day alone today by turning the living room upside down into a state of complete chaos and back again with 5 minutes to spare so my husband came home to calm and order.  😀

There was a purpose to it of course. It started by my finally admitting my gorgeous red chenille chair seems to be now causing me back problems. So I have swopped it  position with the small very upright sofa for a few days to see if that solves the back issue and proves I’m right (oh, how I want to be wrong!)

The sofa takes up more space, so there is no room for my set of drawers I use as a side table and I needed to find something else within the home that could do the job instead.

Somehow, this led to emptying 7 feet of bookshelves, completely emptying my craft storage cupboard and putting together a flat pack storage cupboard all at the same time/not finishing one job before starting another. Basically, every time I thought – “that could go there and that could go there”, I had to create the space before I could move anything. So within an hour, the floor was covered with books and craft pieces and various shelves and cabinets were in a state of undress.

This is a great example of how not to de-clutter/re organise if you are likely to feel overwhelmed! How I handled that was to give myself regular breaks and bring my focus back to completing one area at a time. Most importantly, I was in the mood to tackle a bigger job and to get rid of stuff and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I’ll talk about the results of the craft cupboard and bookshelves in my next post.

The flat pack storage cupboard, I bought 8 months ago. I realised instantly it was a mistake and have never been able to face putting together in order to sell it on at a loss. Well this afternoon I finally did it, and it confirmed itself as a bad purchase as not only is it too big for where I though it might go originally it doesn’t work as a replacement side table. I also can’t find room for it anywhere else in our small house. I’ve tried every possible place as I rather like it.

Finally I asked myself a key question: “would I buy it now?” Always a good question to ask yourself if trying to decide whether to keep something or not.

The answer, ‘no’ is a good clue to the fact it needs to go.

So the cupboard is now online to sell. For much less than I paid for it of course, but 8 months has softened the blow. And hanging on to it unused and in the way will not bring my money back either.

Do you have anything you keep trying to find a use for that you wouldn’t buy now? Is this a sign it needs to go?

Today’s Mini Mission

Put away an item out of place in your home then declutter an item in the place that you just rehoused the other item.


365 Projects 2012-133

Doodle may not have had a photo of her upheaval but here is an old one of mine during some manic craft room decluttering and reorganising.


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  1. What a great point! I never thought about it like that, but there are lots of things I’m holding on to that I certainly WOULDN’T buy again. Now I just need to get rid of them 🙂 I may link back to this post since it was so eye-opening to me. Thanks Doodle!

    • You’re welcome shoeaholicnomore. It’s really helped me let go a number of things I’ve been desperately trying to fit into my life as it is now.

  2. Great post! My decorating styles have really changed over the years. I used to like frilly, flowery Victorian décor. Hubby is more Cowboy, so I did our bedroom Old West-ish. The living room and guest bedroom I’m doing more vintage 40’s – 50’s. Last night a bunch of my Victorian stuff went into the sell pile. At this time I really don’t like Victorian style. Yep, there’s a whole bunch of stuff I wouldn’t buy now. 🙂

    • Thanks Michelle. In terms of decoration, my taste has definitely changed over the years but also my interests. I think it natural that we evolve and change, especially in our modern society were there is so much choice and opportunity and relative wealth.

  3. Great post Doodle! I would have loved to see all this as time lapse photography!

    • Oh that would have been brilliant Moni – honestly the mess I created and did eventually get put away was hilarious in its chaoticness.

      • Doodle – with the William Tell Overture for background music.

        • Yes, yes ,yes! And with me looking increasingly wild eyed, and hair all over the place. And ending with me calmly sipping tea and reading a book two minutes before my husband comes home. ROFL

  4. Doodle, this is such a good story, I started laughing after a sentence or two. It reminded me of the times I’ve gotten myself into similar situations. Kind of one thing leads to another and before we know it we are in over our heads, lol.. I bought a piece of exercise equipment that I tried one time and no, no way would I buy it again. And I saw it a day or two ago and thought I need to get rid of that.

    • LOL, thanks Nana 😀 I think it was only the pressure of knowing the effect on my husband if he had come home to the chaos that made me persevere to the end!
      And result on the exercise equipment!

  5. I love the line that while you know you will sell an unwanted item will mean you lose money but hanging onto the item won’t bring your money back.

    I’m going to use that line when someone says, “But it cost so much money.”

    “So how does hanging onto it bring your money back?”

    And the someone who I say that to might be me. And Me Sans.

    • Thanks Lucinda, it’s so true isn’t it. I have found the first time I tell myself that I can’t then instantly get rid of it, but it starts the thinking it over process that means I can in time.
      And it is a great come back line against protest from anyone else.

  6. Great post Doodle, it goes so well with the one I wrote yesterday. You might noticed I added a photo example of this sort of avalanche decluttering/organising. Like you I actually enjoy this kind of event every now and again. In fact I did it again with my craft supplies on a much smaller scale last week. And once my laundry space is shelved a similar event will ensue involving items from all over the house. Hopefully some decluttering will be involved.

    • Thanks Colleen – there is no doubt if you feel in the mood then it can (and was ) fun 😀 I am really enjoying the fruits of my labours – but I’ll finish off talking about that day in my next post.

  7. Doodle, I can think of many things I would not buy that I once bought. Some are things that I used at one point but I no longer have a use for. Some are things I should have never bought in the first place. I’m finding that now I think and pray before buying things.

    • It really makes me think twice too Deb J. I was in a book shop today that sold lots of original knickknacks and some gorgeous notebooks… it would have been so easy to come home with a few things but I made myself walk away. It’s just more stuff.
      I try and least walk away and make myself think about an item. And the good chances are I never go back for it now. Other times, I can get paralysed by indecision though, over something that might be useful or just plan fun – it’s a real balancing act.

  8. Hi Doodle! Thankfully, for me, I had no money before, so I could never buy whatever I was fancying or thought would be a good storage solution at any given time. However I gained many items of furniture throughout the years either by gift from my parents or hand me downs. Fortunately I am getting emotional detachment from the furniture and I am getting my house in an “emptier” state by decluttering and reorganizing, and this post will be a push to do some more 😀 . I do regret getting a bed that poses as a sofa when I had my first child. And getting another bed for my oldest when my youngest was born. I could have just taken that bed that already existed and not have another bed. Both beds are in use right now, but later on I will have to have to buy a bunk, and whatever will I do with those two beds? Food for future thought. Congrats on letting go of something that was really bothering you. Better late than never.

    • Andreia – if I can jump in here, I have been thinking a lot lately about furniture etc in relation to children. Thru the years kids transition thru a lot of stages in a short period of time. Looking back on my son: basinette, cot, single bed (borrowed from inlaws) then a year later bunk beds. We got roughly half the years we thought we would out of the bunk beds as it became obvious the bunk bed wasn’t supporting his weight as he got bigger. Next came king-single which once again we assumed would be his last bed we would purchase for him so we bought him a good bed with extra length. Best bed ever! But when he grew into man-size he ended up hanging off the side, so we bought him a double bed but forgot about the extra length which he now definately needs. The other day he was saying he wishes we’d got him a queen size extra length.

      So if I had to go back in time with this knowledge it would have gone: basinette, cot and a king-single with one of those single trundler beds that pull out and expand up into a full height bed and that can be pushed together to make a king size bed (very handy for guests too). My friend has one of these in the granny-flat she rents out as holiday accommodation. I was very impressed with it.
      This is what one of them looks like:
      also click on the picture lower down to show it lifted up.

      Of course at the time I would have balked at spending that kind of money on a first bed but would have spent a lot more than that thru the years. But I have spent a lot of time recently contemplating the phases that have come and gone and noted that often a new stage of life arrives and we’ve spent quite a while resisting the new expense and trying to adapt the old and ‘making do’ and then eventually upgraded only to complain down the track that we didn’t get the year-mileage of the next incoming item before the whole cycle started over. Buy hey, raising a family is expensive and money availability doesn’t always coincide with when we want an upgrade.

      We still have the King-single bed – we know we should let it go, but so often it has been dragged out of storage and put back into use even temporarily. And it is sooooo comfortable. At the time it was quite an investment as I wanted something that would support his back and weight and it probably the most I was prepared to spend at the time but yeah, I wish I’d factored in a bit further into the future. Never mind.

    • A growing family isn’t something I have dealt with, so thanks both of you for your posts – I am sure they will help others who are reading. I suspect there are quit a few things parent’s learn a long the way – as in how short some phases are and did they really need to spend extra.

  9. You have got me really thinking this morning Doodle! I think I am at that stage where purchases are made with less pressure . Necessity and price constraints are less of an issue now. I am referring to the last 25 years of providing desks, beds, storage and entertainment for our three children.
    I suppose the lounge is a reminder of those times. Would I buy it now? Definatley not! It was rubbish ! The illusion that we needed a lounge , to go in the lounge room was really false. Rarely is it used. The arm chairs had recliner mechanism that have broken , it sags , no one sits on the lounge .
    All I can hope is the first adult child that leaves home takes it with them 🙂

    • Hi Wendy – thinking’s good 😀 Hindsight is of course a marvellous think. but if we can use it to move forward with and inform future decisions it can be a useful tool.
      When my now husband first moved in with me, I turned a small spare room into a room just for him, thinking he would need this space in a small house, to study and have time alone (while we were sleeping on the sort of bed Moni describes above – a single with an extra bed stored underneath in the front room).
      After a year, I realised he never ever used it and it was just a dumping ground. So I converted it into a bedroom for us.
      Sometimes, we don’t use the space we have in the way we think we will and if you can it’s good to live somewhere for a while with out fully furnishing it to find out how you really use it.

  10. Another great post Doodle, thank you, and lots to think about in the comments as well. As I look around the house there are many things that I feel I acquired in a very random way and certainly wouldn’t be wanting to buy now. Clothes, collections, decorative items, books and games. I can also relate to Moni’s story above about all the beds she has bought over the years. We were able to borrow the cribs for our twins and then bought them each a twin size bed when they were about two years old – and I am sorry to say that they still have those beds. The mistake was buying beds with drawers in the bases which seemed like a good idea for storage but in fact it wasn’t very convenient, the drawers were small in relation to the space they took up, and the bases weigh a TON and have been a real pain through three house moves and even when I’ve wanted to move them to paint the walls. Looking back it would have been much better to buy regular beds and use boxes if necessary for storage. I have suggested many times that we replace the beds but both boys insist that they are fine and none of us can face trying to haul those things out of the house, so I guess we’ll keep them, probably until the next move!

    • Thanks Christine. You remind me that when we needed a new bed last year I briefly considered the type that has built in storage underneath, but I decided more storage = it’s ok to keep/have more stuff! No, no, no!
      And also for us, we both need to be able to see what we own, anything stored away/behind doors gets forgotten about very easily.

  11. “Would I buy it now?” Perfect question for those things I’m stuck on!

  12. Haha! Thanks for the good read! I’m absolutely in the mood for a big declutter day like yours, but don’t have the time, unfortunately. Maybe, I’ll still go for it now on a smaller scale… 😉

  13. Doodle, a good post and one I thought about all day yesterday.
    Let’s see there was the crochet phase, the fossil collecting phase, the cross-stitch phase… etc.

    All fun but most did not become hobbies for me like I thought they might yet I still bought lots of stuff for each thing before I really knew if I’d like it or not.

    Not sure if I’ve learnt my lesson yet or not. 🙂

    • Lol Ron…your reminding me of my husband 😀 I think I have learnt my lesson on that one, as over the last 2 years when ever I have felt a new interest coming on, I have not gone out and bought loads of stuff and generally wait to see if it is a passing fancy that dies away after a few weeks. it generally is 😀

  14. Asking yourself if you would buy it today is a great technique, and I use it often as I am going through my things. Have you considered whether you really need an side table by your sofa? We got rid of all the table in our living room. It really opened up the space and removed a common clutter spot for us.

    • Eric – yes we got rid of a side table last year, it didn’t really match anything, it seemed bigger than ideal and it was a favourite dumping ground for stuff. No regrets.

    • Hi Eric, our sitting room is also our study so I do spend quite a bit of time working from that chair, so I needed something to put my cup of tea on, hold a few pens, my diary, notepad and a reading light.
      I got rid of the in-tray that was on it (see my next post, posted today) which certainly was a clutter magnet. In the end I re purposed a v small set of drawers (keeping the same things in the drawers, that didn’t change) which has just enough room for the above mentioned things and no room for anything else.
      But it is really good to look at your furniture with fresh eyes and re think if you really need it. It had not occurred to me before to live without an in-tray and life is working fine without one!


  1. […] We live in a small space so inevitably, we have our armchairs in front of book/storage shelves and these need to be moved if we want to get something behind them. One thing that has been annoying me for a while is that somehow, my filing system has ended up behind my chair (and therefore now behind a sofa – see last post ‘Would I buy it now?’). […]

  2. […] When decluttering, ask yourself if you would buy it now. If you wouldn’t, get rid of it! From 365 Less Things’s “Would I buy it now?” […]