A large part of being well organized is about intention. Purpose. It’s being thoughtful about how you store and use items and where you put them back when you’re done. In other words, being mindful of your belongings and your environment.
One thing that can sidetrack organization is when new items enter your space without thought to their use or storage….or if they are even necessary. Being “mindful” when you shop makes a huge difference.
Impulse buys make up a whopping 68% of consumer purchases. The thrill of the moment elevates brain chemicals that make you want more. If you physically hold the item, you’re 60% more likely to buy it! All of this creates shopping momentum and before you know it, you’re no longer a Mindful Shopper.
How do you cultivate mindful shopping?
1 – Assess
Like meditation, take a deep breath and assess. Are you tired? Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Just killing time? Find another way to fill physical and emotional needs so that you aren’t using shopping as therapy or recreation.
2 – Plan
Consciously decide how the new item you are considering will fit into your life. Figuratively, but also literally – such as where it will be stored? How often will you really use a Seahawks flower pot? How many other pairs of black pants do you already own? Is there really room on the work bench for a third power drill? Practice mindful shopping for gifts as well – buy for a specific person with an actual and imminent special occasion.
3 – Make It Real
Make the purchase feel more real. Use cash instead of credit. Always check at least one other store first so you have to go back if you decide you really want the item. Use “guest checkout” online instead of “click and buy” so you need to slow down the purchase by typing in your info.
4 – Beware the Internet
Don’t get sucked in by marketing tools like “142 other customers bought this!” or “only 2 of this item left!” or “just $25 more till free shipping!” Mindful shopping means being aware of how you’re being sold.
5 – Earn It
Earn your purchases. Set up a time frame or money saving plan that you must meet, before getting to buy. Even a small amount of breathing room – say 24 hours – can lead to a change of decision. If you resist the immediate impulse to own something new you are admiring and allow yourself to sleep on it, often by the next day you will realize that you no longer desire that item that you were coveting.
There are many beautiful, interesting, expensive, useful things in the world. That alone is not a reason to buy. Take a breath, slow down, determine not only how you’ll use the item in a constructive way, but how you’ll store it in between. Shopping mindfully will help keep you productive in your purchasing, organized with what you own, and save you money.
Need to make some breathing room for new purchases? Call Simply Placed and we’ll help clear the unnecessary and make space for those things most useful and valuable to you.
Thanks to our expert Professional Organizer Lynette Apley for this post.