It will come as no surprise to my OG readers, or to anyone with half a brain, that consumer habits comprise a good, hearty third of the Live Simply equation. What you bring in, how much you do, how often you are, has an obviously massive effect on your ability to live within you spatial means, and to be able to reasonably manage and care well for your belongings.
As such, part of my responsibility is to arm you with as many tactics as possible to ensure you’re being as conscious a consumer are you’re able.
Image credit: Ban.do
Those prone to shopping (especially excessive shopping) whether online or IRL, will recall entering a kind of euphoric state where the limitations of reality do not seem to matter compared to the impending post-purchase-dopamine-rush.
It is in this state that people purchase things they have no real need for, and for which they positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, lack the required storage space.
Even the “rational thoughts” such individuals believe themselves to be executing in the midst of a such a shopping-scenario are often far from rational, but, instead, rationalizations.
How can a person really inhabit reality when engrossed in the fantasy of acquisition?
By slapping themselves across the face with a dose of that much-needed reality–metaphorically speaking of course.
It is often not effective to rely merely on the self-posed questions: “Do I really have the space for this?” And, “Do I really need this?” And, “Is this really unique from what I already own?” Because who actually calls upon their brain to produce the image of their cramped closet, in all its cluttered horror, when a new, shiny dress beckons?
You need to actually see it. Need to remember just how out of control it already is. And to do that, you need photographic evidence.
Image credit: The Coveteur
Yes, the new, next level of consumer-clarity is this: prepare yourself for any and all future shopping endeavors by taking photos of your closet, your pantry, your kid’s sock drawer, your desk, and on. Commit heretofore to pulling up those photos and looking at them for a minimum of 5 seconds (Mississippi’s included) before you lay down the plastic. Zoom in. Let your mind remember the reality. (We’re all always staring down at our phones anyhow. Might as well use the habit constructively.)
And then, figure out in that moment where precisely the item(s) you’re considering purchasing will find a home in that space. We’re talking detailed description:
-Between the red, checked button down and the coral silk blouse (BECAUSE I KNOW THERE IS SPACE THERE).
-On the bookshelf, on top of the Biographies stacks (BECAUSE I KNOW IT’LL FIT THERE).
-In the living room, on the gold tray, on the coffee table (BECAUSE I’M LOOKING AT THE PICTURE OF THE SPACE AND VISUALIZING THIS THING LOOKING BEAUTIFUL THERE).