No More “More” in 2013

No More “More” in 2013

One thing I vow in 2013: I will not let just anything into my home.

I spent a good part of last week cleaning out those long-forgotten hot spots: cedar closet, attic, under-the-guest-bedroom-bed. And finally, I feel like we’re truly out from under the weight of

stuff.

I’ve always been a good purger, but I haven’t always been good at ensuring that riffraff doesn’t enter the building in the first place. And in the past year, I’ve noticed something about myself:

Anytime I enter a Homegoods or an Anthropologie or a Pottery Barn or Marshalls, there will always be one item I fall in love with the moment I see it. In the past— in that moment—I absolutely must have whatever it is that’s caught my eye.

What comes afterwards goes something like this: I purchase. I bring home. I showcase.  And I forget.

Yes, 9 out of 10 times, by Day 3 of the new thing taking-up-space-in-my-realm, I don’t even recall it’s there. The love wasn’t truly of that item. It was just the high of having something new.

In August, I tried something revolutionary:

delayed gratification.

I spotted a gorgeous bust at Homegoods. That sounded funny. I mean a bust like this.

Greek Bust

I love that classic look and had been searching for one {on the cheap} for months, but I thought to myself: Do I really need this?

Of course, the answer was no. So I left her there.

Then I thought about her for days.

When I went back to Homegoods days later, there she was … still sitting there, just waiting for me to come grab her. I put her on my mantel in a place I could see her from my kitchen and the hallway, and she brings me joy every time I glance that way.

The moral of this geez-she-ended-up-buying-it-anyway story is that I was

mindful

of the purchase.

I was willing to risk her not being there. If that shelf had been bare, I just would have known that that piece was not meant to take up my space. The old me would have not wanted to risk not having it … would have bought her without really questioning whether this space-taker deserved to be in my home, and then

—if the match had not been made in Heaven—

would’ve forgotten she even existed until months later when I was aggravated enough by its cluttering up my space to donate her.

What an absolute waste: of space, time, and money.

So here’s what I’m going to do this year.

I’m going to weigh want against need.

I’m going to let time and distance prove an item’s worth to me.

I’m not going to carelessly bring items into my home just for a thrill.

And I’m going to stop calling inanimate objects her.

Join me?

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For the next few Mondays—because I love talking about organizing—I’m going to share some thoughts about how I declutter and keep my home relatively neat and chaos-free. I think it’s so important to enjoy the space around you. Stay tuned …

Comments

  1. {Kathy} That was a great post. Your insight, humor and perspective resonate so loudly with me. I had a very “wanty” time in my life with regard to decorating my home. I feel it coming on again, like a flu, and I “need” to stop. Thanks for the reminder.
    Mothering From Scratch just wrote this gem …the paralyzing effects of perfectionism in motheringMy Profile

  2. I can totally relate to what you’re saying here! Pursuing contentedness is NOT easy. A daily battle! But one worth fighting. Thanks for sharing :)

    ps. is that your mantel in the picture? I {heart} the bust! looks fab!!
    Katie @ Loverly She just wrote this gem …A smidge of lace.My Profile

  3. Delayed gratification is not something we are often think about or even experience in our culture. Love that you are being more mindful of purchases this year. :)
    Rach just wrote this gem …Homemade Laundry DetergentMy Profile

  4. I giggled out loud at the bust comment. Nothing quite like seeing a good bust and then trying to explain it.

    I’m in! I hereby commit to thinking purchases through and not just buying something for the sake of having the newness of it.

    And I’m excited for the Monday posts devoted to organizing. Only one of my favorite things…
    Amy just wrote this gem …How to make a pennant banner.My Profile

    • I’m excited, too, Amy … I love talking all things “clean.” And I’m so glad you’re joining me on this new 2013 approach to retail. I’ve been a marketer’s dream for too long, and I’m tired of it. ;)

  5. In in! I love this idea. Especially with a wedding to save for (that we’re fully funding by ourselves!) I’m being 100% more mindful of things I buy. I know this isn’t much of an achievement but I haven’t gone to Target, a dollar store, craft story since we’ve been engaged! Nothing seems as important as a wedding now. So I can definitely relate to this post and I’m happy you love your bust so much ;) Plus sometimes when I leave something I love behind and I come back for it and it’s still there, I figure it’s just fate and God telling me I should go for it! :)
    Evani just wrote this gem …The Happiest Day of my Life: Our EngagementMy Profile

  6. Oooh I love this. I do it too – the delayed gratification. And I love the moment when I return and the thing is there and I know it was meant to be. She is beautiful and I always assign gender to inanimate objects :)
    Tricia just wrote this gem …My superpowerMy Profile

  7. Oh yes Michelle!! Great idea and fantastic post/message! I always think long and hard on a purchase to make sure it is truly worthy of the money and if I really really cherish it! I often do the same thing…go home and wait. And if I am still really lingering on it, then I go back and get that lovely “thing”. I am not a big spender, I use coupons and always shop sales or cheaper end stores because I just have NO reason to be spending lots of money on THINGS. I find it wasteful and certainly not mindful of our financial resources…
    Chris Carter just wrote this gem …Woman Versus ManMy Profile

  8. i am a bad shopper. very indecisive. which works as far as me not spending lots of money.lol. but leaves me with non-buyers remorse sometimes!

    i need to go to homegoods! i have never been!? ps i heart pottery barn.
    christina just wrote this gem …may or may notMy Profile

  9. We’re getting ready to put our house on the market in the spring so I’ve been doing a lot decluttering lately. And I’ve noticed the exact same pattern you described: I saw something I had to have in the moment and now here I am, packing up all those impulse purchases for donation after weeks or days or years of storing, dusting and maintaining them. I’m trying to learn from the experience and it’s been liberating to let things go and resolve to be more mindful about future purchases.

  10. This post speaks to me. I’m really trying to only bring in items that help us – make us healthier, cleaner, and more balanced. No more clutter and far less waste.
    Kristy just wrote this gem …A Peek at My Planner in ActionMy Profile

  11. Yes, this. I started out saying I will never ever ever buy anything other than food ever again!!! Yeah, that lasted like 48 hours. More realistically, I am also trying to be mindful of what (and why) I bring things into the house. So far, so good. Visiting from SITS. Have a great day!
    Valerie @ Momma in Progress just wrote this gem …Six Steps To a More Relaxing DayMy Profile

  12. Funny you should write this article. I was shopping with my 3-year-old granddaughter and my daughter (not her mom – her aunt) the other day. Ivy loves shopping and she loves stuff! She kept pointing out things she wanted – little stuff. So I got her about $10 worth of little stuff. When I get home, I was really irritated with myself. Our budget is tight and we have other things I should have spent that money on. While Ivy was excited about those items AT THE TIME, she didn’t care as much when we left the store. And she has so many toys already, she didn’t really need them.

    When we were at another store, Ivy spotted a Barbie. My daughter, Rachel, let her carry it around in the cart, but as soon as she had a chance, she put it back. Ivy asked about it and Rachel told her Barbie was sleeping. Ivy was okay with that.

    Lesson learned: let her carry the stuff around, but in the end, don’t buy it. She doesn’t need it and she’ll forget about it as soon as we leave. Save the $ for stuff that really matters.

    Visiting from SITS.
    Patty@homemakersdaily.com just wrote this gem …How to De-Bone a Chicken ThighMy Profile

  13. Amen! I am working toward only having things I use and/or love in my home. No more, “It’s okay” or “It’ll do for now.” I have five kids and a husband, so the fight can be tough at times. And I don’t regulate their rooms unless they start smelling or spilling into the hallway. I’m a believer in allowing my children to define their own space and values as much as possible. But there is still a constant supply of stuff that comes into the house by virtue of my kids — mostly papers from school that no one knows what to do with. Ugh!

    Congratulations on finding something you love. I hope you continue to love it for a long time. And when you don’t anymore, I hope you pass it on so that someone else can love it.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
    misssrobin just wrote this gem …A Moment in ChurchMy Profile

  14. Looking forward to your thoughts on decluttering/organized. And joining you on delayed gratification! I’m doing a no/low spend year. Good luck!
    Trina | BeginnerBeans.com just wrote this gem …Indoor Kids’ Activities | our favorite ways to fight winter boredomMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. [...] yesterday’s post, though, I’m happy to let those remain a [...]

  2. [...] atTough Cookie Mommy. Did you miss the first “No More ‘More’” post? Click here to catch [...]

  3. [...] Here’s the look I’ll go for. I don’t have a pink sweater or converse in my closet presently, but I’ve got my eye on a pair at Target. Gotta wait, though. It’s my new philosophy. [...]

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