Impulse Purchase or Retail Therapy?

Posted By: Tidy Tapper


We have become a culture of people who love their stuff. I know, I have said this before. It bears repeating. There’s an inverse relationship between how much stuff we have said yes to and how much time we have for the people or experiences that create real value in our lives. It is that simple.

How many times this week has the volume of stuff in your space overwhelmed you?

You walk into a room: your office, garage, or den and feel your energy dissipate because there is just too much in there. It is difficult to organize a large number of things. It is also a burden to maintain them all. It’s very time consuming.

I invite you to ask yourself, right now, “Where did all this stuff come from in the first place? Was it a gift? Was it something I wanted or thought we needed? Was it an impulse purchase or retail therapy?”

Watch out for when a purchase (or sale) is made emotionally and justified logically. We see something we like and then set about making a case in our minds for ownership. If you’re not careful, you could end up with buyers remorse.

Here are my Three Tips for saying Yes to Less:

1. Define what you need very narrowly. We need shelter, food, water, love. Beyond that? Look about your space and decide for every item: is this one thing really going to improve your quality of life or is it going to just be one more thing that needs a home?

2. Limit your exposure to new stuff. Stay out of stores. It’s easy not to buy things when you are not shopping! And yes, consider even canceling your subscription to Consumer Reports, unsubscribing from all retail offers in your email, and giving yard sales a break.

3. Let yourself want things for a while before you buy it. Make sure you are getting the size, model, brand you really want. Research it. Read other people’s reviews. Make sure you have a place for it to live before you bring it home.

This list is a start. Imagine your space with less in it. What do you really need more of? How about less stuff, so you can have more love and good times.