I've been working hard on decluttering my house recently, because we need to move to another city in time for me to start a new job at the beginning of August. The photo above shows the latest bag of clothes destined for a local charity shop.
I am also trying really hard to buy less stuff. We can't afford to keep wasting money on things we don't really need.
It's fun to find bargains. But I also think that thriftiness involves buying less stuff. So every time I spot something I fancy buying, I ask myself the following questions:
- do I really want this item?
- will I still want the item by this time next week?
- do I actually need this item?
- is there room for it in my life and home?
- do I already have something that will serve a similar purpose?
- can I justify the purchase to my husband?
- can we actually afford it?
- what else will I have to not buy so that I can pay for this?
- is there any chance that I will want to get rid of the item 6 months after I've bought it?
Example 1: I've been coveting Pandora and Troll bracelets. They look so pretty on other people's wrists. But they are also expensive, even if you take time to shop around and get the best deal. So questions 7 and 8 are the really significant ones in this case. Question 5 also comes into play - I already have bracelets that are pretty and don't get worn very often.
Example 2: I spotted an Ercol Windsor sideboard in a charity shop recently for a bargain price. It was gorgeous, just my kind of thing. But I had to admit that we didn't actually need a sideboard, and there isn't room for one in our current house. Also, there was no way I would have been able to justify the purchase to my husband, not least because it would be yet another large item to find space for and possibly have to put in storage when we move house. So with a regretful sigh I left the sideboard where it was.
Example 3: When it comes to clothes and handbags I tend to gravitate towards particular styles and end up with too many similar items. But now I am really strict about asking myself questions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 9 from the above list and this has helped to stem the flow of new stuff into the house.