I have been doing my very best to be intentional about what I buy lately, and have been implementing some key steps in that process. Do I really need it, and did I need it yesterday (or the day before that)? Does it fit in my closet, or in a cupboard? Is it going to take up my precious time without at the same time adding value?
When I do buy things, I try to do my research, to avoid buying things that don’t fulfill their intended purpose. Ideally, any one “thing” should fulfill more than one purpose. A new suitcase needs to be lightweight but sturdy, neutral, fit in the overhead compartment, roll on four wheels and have more than one compartment. It should be suitable for a business trip and a girls’ weekend away – I definitely do not want or need two suitcases to store and maintain! A new pair of sneakers need to be good for walks in the park, exercising, and look good with a casual outfit. They should be easy enough to keep clean and of course make me feel like I am walking on clouds!
Borrowing or renting are also great options. I recently (re-)discovered the library. I love to read, and I love the idea of my own library. It’s a childhood dream of mine to have a cozy library nook in my house. But, honestly, I never re-read a book in my life. All they do once I have read them once is collect dust. Still, I love the feeling of flicking through a real book. Scrolling and swiping on a kindle or Ipad just is not the same. Plus it is nice to have a break from screens sometimes. So the library is perfect, or handing books on for friends and family to enjoy.
I also recently – and unexpectedly – borrowed the perfect pair of shoes for a wedding. Turns out they had been collecting dust in their owners’ closet for a while, and so they were gifted on to me after the event! An added bonus, pre-loved clothes and shoes are very sustainable, as additional resources are not used to make something new. Win win.
Try it: Develop your own “do I need it?” flow chart, on paper or just in your mind. Next time you find yourself thinking, “I really need…”, apply your questions and see if you really do need it.