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Resisting the consumer culture

consumerism decluttering Jul 10, 2018

As I sat on the ground last week waiting for the fireworks to begin, I told my 4 year old how July 3rd is a special day to me because it’s the day I arrived to Colorado after my cross county road trip from Michigan. I had been dating my now husband long distance for a year and a half, and we decided one of us was gonna have to move to see if this thing was really going to work or not. (Thankfully, it did)

When the fireworks began, I started thinking about how much my life has changed in these 9 years since I moved here...but I was also thinking about how I moved here with only the personal belongings I could fit into my little Saturn Ion. I didn’t rent a truck or movers, I decided what was important enough to me to fit in the trunk and back seat of that tiny car.

And you know what? I was happy.

I was content.

I was fulfilled.

So then, why did I start buying so much STUFF as soon as I arrived? My mom and I took countless trips to Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. “Oooh I need this kitchen utensil and that kitchen utensil and I’m sure I’ll need a fan, and I need that notebook and cute hanging thingy and and and and....” It never stopped.

We are so conditioned to be consumers, to buy buy buy, that we so rarely stop to think if we need something or even truly WANT it in the first place. We buy things because we MAY need it someday, or because it just looks so cute.

I don’t think I ever really stopped buying until I had my second daughter in Jan 2017 and I just hit that wall. I was drowning in a sea of clutter, and it was all my own doing.

I didn’t need to fill my life and home with all that stuff, but I did anyway.

When I fully purged our home and got rid of 70% of our belongings, I was reminded of coming out here with just a few boxes and how happy I was, and so the frivolous buying stopped.

Did it stop right away? Nope. 

Do I always make the best decision 100% of the time? Oh my gosh, no way. I'm human!

BUT...this is something that we can train our minds to think and feel on. We don't have to buy everything we want or can afford. When I finally realized that, a lot of other things clicked for me. I have worked SO HARD on decluttering my home big time, so why wouldn't I be a little more careful about what i'm choosing to bring into it - as well? Nobody wants to work hard at something only to undo it with another action twice as fast. 

Now when I'm thinking about buying something, I ask myself a few questions, but the main ones are: “is this something I’ll be ok with picking up every single day?”

And “is this item important enough to take up valuable real estate not only in my home, but in my daily decision making?” (Decision fatigue, guys, it’s a real thing)

I also rarely buy something on impulse. If I see something I really want, then i'll wait a week. If I still really want it after that week goes by, then I'll decide whether or not to purchase it. I would say 8 times out of 10, I no longer really want the item after the week long wait. 

Sometimes i'll even be buying something I need on Amazon (hello, toilet paper and diapers), and i'll peruse through my "saved for later" items, and think to myself "WHY in the world did I want that???" 

Being more careful editors of what we bring into our home is going to make our journey to minimalish living so much easier. 

An extra bonus to this all is the amount of money saved. Seriously, it is incredible how much money is saved when we start being more intentional with our shopping. When you start, keep a running log of how much an item is that you wanted but passed up. I think you'll be pretty shocked after a month - or even a week - with how much money you will have saved!

So what do you say? Let’s stop the madness. We don’t need to keep filling our homes with all this stuff. We have more important things to fill it up with, like these memories we are making with all of the extra time we have now instead of constantly picking up all that stuff. Have you tried limiting your shopping? What are your favorite tips for it? Be sure to join our free FB group that has over 1200 women to encourage each other and share tips along the way!


Ready to utilize that spring cleaning fever to jump-start decluttering your entire home?! Be sure to sign up for our FREE 3 day decluttering challenge that starts April 15, 2019! You can register here!

 

 

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