Tips to stop impulsive shopping - ClearSpace
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Tips to stop impulsive shopping

Tips to stop impulsive shopping

It doesn’t matter how good we are at decluttering, or how much we do it, it’s not going to make any difference if we keep acquiring more stuff to take its place.

Shopping impulsively (and compulsively) affects a lot of people. It’s not surprising – culturally we are expected to acquire, and we are encouraged to. We are told by marketing campaigns that life will be better if we just Buy The Thing, and it’s deeply ingrained from a very young age.

Shopping for more than what we actually need causes clutter and can have a negative financial impact, not to mention emotional issues such as guilt and . So here are some tips to reduce the amount of acquiring you do:

  1. Only ever work from a list. Whether it be the weekly grocery list, a Christmas present list, a list of clothes you need or appliances that need replacing. Everything you purchase should already be on a list.
  2. Understand the difference between needs and wants and treat them accordingly. For needs, you are buying things that are necessary for staying safe and healthy. These can just be bought as they pop up. For wants, they should be carefully curated and analysed to make sure they fit the criteria to come into your house.
  3. Ask yourself more questions when shopping. Instead of just “Do I want it?” and “Can I afford it?” also ask yourself “Where will this live?”, “Do I already have something that does the job okay?”, “Is this going to give me value in the long term?”, “Do I have the time and energy to maintain this?”, “Am I going to get value long-term from this?”, “Is the most compelling attribute of this the discount?”. By asking these, you’re being much more intentional about the purchase.
  4. Impose a waiting period on items. If you are tempted to buy something that isn’t already on your ‘to buy’ list, make a decision to wait. If it’s online, put it in the shopping cart then go back to it a week later and see if you still want it. If it’s in a store, leave it there and go back in a week if you still really want it.
  5. Take pleasure in what you already have. Instead of going shopping, go through a box of memorabilia and relive some memories. Make a game of wearing everything in your wardrobe at least once in a month, rearrange your decorative trinkets, or hang some pictures that have been waiting to be hung. Re-purpose something unused (like a vintage ashtray that lives in the back of the cupboard to hold your earrings on your bedside table) or find ways to display items that have been in the back of a cupboard. Use your “special” things for everyday occasions. Using and appreciating your items helps to reduce the need for “new” or “more”.

These are a few ways to reduce how much you buy and bring into your house. Which one do you think you’ll try first?