I used to be a shopaholic.
How many of us can relate to that statement? Yet, when Saturday rolls around, off we go to the nearest boutique or shopping mall to buy more clothes, things, and possessions that we really aren‘t even sure we need or want.
"But it was on SALE..." is often one of the biggest defenses we use to justify our shopping habits and expenditures.
As someone who truly has been a shop-a-holic (yes, I once spent $10,000 in one two month period on clothes -- my MasterCard entered the MasterCard hall-of-fame for that one!) I can tell you that buying something just because it is "on sale" is not a good reason for making a purchase.
I spent far more money than I needed to simply because a store was going out of business and had too many great deals to pass up. But at what cost did I do this? If I had invested my money in real estate, I could have bought ten times the amount of clothes just three years later. Or, how many starving, hungry people could I have fed, if I had donated that money, instead? Did I need the clothes? Not really. I already had numerous suits, ties, and shirts that I hardly wore more than once a year.
So, if you‘re finding yourself nodding and saying, "hmm... yes, I DO have a lot of shoes I rarely wear.... yes, I do have more than I need... " then here are a few basic guidelines to help break the pattern and start creating the proactive life on purpose with our elegant -- yet SIMPLE lifestyle we seek:
1. Buy it ONLY if we NEED it and ONLY if we LOVE it. This is the most important guideline.
2. If I buy something new, and have something like it already, then the older something must be donated, given away, or thrown away. This is a basic of clutter clearing that when overlooked creates an abundance of stuff we no longer need cluttering up our lives.
3. If we need it, buy it if it is on sale, if possible, but do not let that be a deterrence to buying. However, buy consumables, furniture, and other things which stay in style longer at the end of seasons, and buy clothing which fades from style at the beginning of the season. We need to buy much less of the "fashion trend" type of clothing and much more of styles which will be staying around for a longer time, so we can maximize our clothing investment.
4. If we haven‘t worn it in a year, then consider getting rid of it.
5. Find a good tailor. Most of the problems with clothing and fit could be eliminated simply by having good tailor. Also, take outfits to the tailor for fitting any time we‘ve gained or lost more than 5 lbs. Ever seen someone with a double breasted suit with the button in the wrong place? Or a suit that pinches in the middle? A dress that fits funny? Why not get it tailored professionally so we can look our best? That is what elegance is all about, isn‘t it?
6. If we have not used an item (furniture, gadget, etc.) for over a year, consider donating, selling, or otherwise getting rid of the item. There are some exceptions to this guideline, if collecting a certain item is our passion, but otherwise, this is a healthy guideline to keep our "stuff" simplified.
7. Before buying anything, always ask "Do I need this? Do I LOVE this?" If the answer is "no", then don‘t buy it.
As we start to buy proactively, with a plan for bringing new things into our life and donating or selling those things we no longer need, we will find your life will be far more free to spend the time doing what we love, rather than being a slave to fashion.