Day 12 – Questions to Ask Before Making a Purchase

Being disorganised and cluttered begins at the point of purchase or entry into your home. Everything you bring over the threshold of your house has the potential to clutter and overwhelm your living space. You can control what and how much comes into your house by asking yourself some simple questions before you make a purchase.

Questions like:

Q: Does this purchase solve a problem?
Q: Do I need this item?
Q: Do I have an immediate plan for this item?
Q: Am I making an emotional purchase?

Asking yourself these simple questions may help reduce the clutter and help you stay more organised. It will also help you save money!

Let’s break them down:

Does this purchase solve a problem? Many purchases are based on impulse buys, great marketing, and emotions. These aren’t the best reasons to buy. Asking yourself if your purchase solves a problem will help you make better choices. Buying food for your family is solving a problem. Buying a new decoration or item of clothing “just because” may not. If you shop for what you need versus what you want, you can reduce the amount of clutter coming into your home.

Do I need this item? This sounds similar to asking if the item solves a problem but dives deeper. Needing something is different than wanting something. You may want another set of towels because they are on sale, but do you need them? Sometimes shopping is a form of escape. Asking yourself if you need something before you make the purchase can help you make better buying decisions. Avoiding shopping unless you need an item helps reduce impulse buys.

Do I have an immediate plan for this item? A rationale that shoppers use for making a purchase is the belief there is perceived value in the future. This is generally a justification to get around the first two questions – does this item solve a problem or do I need this item? Overriding your sensibility that you don’t need something now doesn’t justify a purchase. The items will likely end up in a corner or a cupboard and add to the clutter and disorganisation you want to avoid. Multiply this over and again and you have a lot of unnecessary money spent and items in your home. Discipline yourself to making purchases for things that solve an immediate problem and you need in this moment.

Am I making an emotional purchase? Shopping can feel cathartic. They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing. Shopping can be a distraction and an escape. Finding a new item can be a healthy way to get a breath of fresh air in your life or it can be feeding an unhealthy reaction to stress. Being intentional about your purchases and avoiding emotional buying is a responsible way to manage your budget and your home’s organisation.

Being organised comes from multiple angles. Having systems in place and being neat and tidy are components or organisation but so is regulating what comes into your home. Making smart buying decisions can reduce the amount of clutter and help you save money at the same time.

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