This is the second article in the series of Editing Life.
Spending patterns and consumption are areas that get out of control for a lot of us. Even though I operate on a cash basis (so I am not trapped into servicing debt), I still buy unnecessary things.
Why is this an area for editing? Because the more I own, the more space I need to store it, and I must devote my time and energy to either using it or taking care of it. Each bit of stuff can be looked at as a mini-open loop, pulling at my attention and energy. By editing this stuff, I have as much as I need, but no more, and thus minimize the drains.
To edit my consumption, I attack this from two fronts: pre- and post-consumption. In other words, before I buy and the stuff I already have.
Thinning the Herd
Those of you who read the blog regularly are no stranger to my efforts to declutter. Recently I found that having another person around to question my keepings is actually very helpful. (see Simplify Yourself Using Your Kids) I have also found that I have to look at everything, even the small things that I would ordinarily overlook. My last desk decluttering netted over two dozen pens and pencils that I had bought but didn’t use. (More on this in a future article)
Getting rid of stuff is a time consuming thing. So I try to limit how often I have to do it by not buying the stuff in the first place.
The first thing I did was to put in place a 30-day list. This is where I write things that I really want to get on a list with a date, and if I still feel the need in 30 days, I can buy it. This is especially good for impulse purchases, and also gives me time to figure out if the thing will actually add or subtract from my life.
Recently several neighbors were raving about the Shark Steam Mop and how it made their floors so clean. Since floor care is one of my main foes, I thought it would work well for me. It went on the 30 day list. Then I went to work. I borrowed a neighbor’s device and tried it out. And I found it got no more dirt up than my regular Sh-mop. So it came off the list.
A great cutback in my expenses also came when I left my credit card at home. Without it near me, I’m not as likely to buy. Same with my husband. Without the credit card on him, he simply doesn’t use it and doesn’t buy as much.
By limiting what I buy, and purging what I have, I edit the consumption in my life.
Do you edit your consumption? Share below.
Photo by Horia Varlan
Articles In the Series: