I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time. Stuff-related stress is something I think about fairly often and I want to share these thoughts with you. And what better time to write about this than the advent of the shopping season when retail books go from red to black?
The Stress of Stuff
Have you ever bought an expensive outfit just to let it sit in the closet for fear that you’ll mess it up if you actually wear it? Or do you own jewelry that is so valuable that you’re afraid to keep it at the house?
We buy this “stuff” and it actually adds stress. Especially the expensive stuff.
I know that if I had an expensive car, I would always be worrying that it would get scratched or bumped. So I drive a 2000 Toyota Echo (it also gets excellent gas mileage!).
If I bought an expensive outfit, I would save it for that special occasion that would never come and if I did wear it, I would likely have to take it to the dry cleaner. More things to do.
And there’s always that fear of the expensive earrings falling out or somebody breaking in to steal the latest electronics.
Shopping Is Only the Beginning
Every time I come home from the store with purchases (expensive or not), there’s follow-up work: tags need to be cut off clothes and discarded, shopping bags need to be put away, items need to be placed in a dresser or on a shelf or in the closet. Some items may even require assembly or drilling a hole in the wall (yep, did that just last week).
And once the item is in place, it likely needs to be dusted, or maintained, or washed, or otherwise handled. More work…
It’s not worth it. We don’t need that stuff. We don’t need the stress.
Buy Only What You Need
For some time now, I’ve been on a mission to buy only things I truly need. I’m not always successful, but I’ve certainly come a long way. And it is relaxing! I don’t feel compelled to shop.
So how do you know what you need vs. want? If you’re at the store and you see something that was not on your list, you probably don’t need it. If you still think you need it, make a note of it and come back to it two weeks later. If at that point you think you need it, go ahead and buy it. (And don’t forget to get rid of something when you add new stuff into your home.)
Buy With Quality and Ethics In Mind
After harping on expensive stuff, you may think that I’m a fan of “deals” and cheap stuff. No, not so much. When I do buy something new, I do a lot of research to make sure I’m getting a good quality product that will last a long time and that (ideally) is easy to maintain and repair. I also try (but sometimes fail) to buy products that are produced in a sustainable/ethical manner. For example, organic cotton or recycled polyester clothing. Or fair trade scarves and bags.
Freedom From Stuff
This holiday season, I wish all of my readers and friends and family freedom from stuff. Stuff weighs you down. Stuff takes space and time. Clear out those things in your home that you don’t need. Don’t replace it with new stuff. Enjoy the space.
Like what you read? Pass on the goodness!