But Wait, the Organizer Exclaims…

see_it_buy_itWe all know the holidays will be here shortly and that means shopping. I know you will be shopping for others, but let’s be honest and admit that we also see things we would like for ourselves — which reminds me of a client story I’d like to share…

I have a wonderful client that we shall call Joy. Joy and I have been working together getting her mother’s estate ready to sell. It is an arduous task because her mother had decades of accumulation in her large home and many of these possessions pull on Joy’s heartstrings. It hasn’t even been a year since Joy’s mother passed away and they were very close.

To add to this already difficult project, Joy has lived in her mother’s house all her life, so pretty much everything is familiar to her with special family history and attachment. Now Joy must now make thousands of decisions as to whether the items will be taken with her to a much smaller home, sold, donated, tossed, recycled, trashed etc. Between the death of her mom and the upcoming move after this haven of 60-something years, the emotions of course run high and low.

As Joy and I have worked to declutter the house, she would often pick up an item and say, “This was a ‘See It, Like It, Buy It’ thing…” and then almost always, she was willing to part with that particular possession. I thought this was an interesting way to look at “things” and I appreciated her quick decision making when it came to store bought goods.

Joy, in the retail moment, would make a spontaneous purchase based on her automatic attraction and momentary happiness with the item, but realized during our time together that these things were fleeting flashes of retail therapy and really became more clutter instead of something long-term to treasure, use or wear.

So I have always taught my clients and will share the following questions to ask yourself when you are in a store in front of an item you’d like to purchase, ready to spend money on the “shiny object” that is catching your eye and tugging at your wallet:

shopping-womanQuestions to Ask Yourself Before You See It, Like It, Buy It:

  • What do I think the “life expectancy” will be if this item comes home with me?
  • Do I need this at this time in my life?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how much do I love it?
  • Will it fit either in my home or on my body?
  • Where will it “live” when I get it back to the house?
  • Am I willing to get rid of something else if I buy it?
  • Do I have one or more of this already?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I don’t buy this?

Often times our homes become receptacles for our See It, Like It, Buy It treasures, especially here in Northern New Jersey where we are surrounded by every possible kind of store and most people have disposable income.

If you are truly trying to keep a balance in your material bank account, stay out of stores and go through your house only keeping…