Waste is one of the great burdens of our times to which we all contribute involuntarily. A great part of it has to do with our mindset. During my upbringing I remember needing new clothes every season as I would grow out of it. No one really told me that that’s specific to the age I’m at, so it wasn’t until I owned seven different coats that I had to reevaluate my shopping habits.
How to Keep Purchases to a Minimum
There’s a great deal of literature on decluttering and Marie Kondo’s book and Netflix series really hit a nail. What is equally important is what’s next? How do we manage the impulse of instant gratification that buying something new gives us?
- Identify the need. Is it a real, practical concern that needs addressing? Or will buying this new thing temporarily cover a void within yourself?
- Repurpose. Food containers, boxes, clothes, they can all serve multiple purposes. Give them the chance to serve to their full ability.
- How long is forever? You’re thinking of getting a DVD or some new curtains? Is it a one time use? If so, would it serve you better going to the cinema or washing/painting your old curtains? Only buy something if you can truly commit to it being part of your life forever.
We get far more out of lived experiences and a spacious environment than from physical possessions. Our spending habits don’t involve only money, but the time we have to put in dealing with the claustrophobic presence of things cluttering our environment and then disposing of them. Plan ahead and give yourself the headspace and extra time to enjoy it.