Just after my hubby and I got married, we built a very small bungalow (our very first home) and soon after that, our first child was born. When I say we didn’t have a pot to pee in, we really didn’t have a pot to pee in! New house, new baby, both of us working full time. Knowing all that, we were extremely happy with our accomplishments. One day we had our good friends over (I’ll call our friends Fred and Wilma and of course, that is not their real names) and I will NEVER forget the conversation we had. Fred was telling us how much he admired us. When we asked why, Fred went on to say the following: he admired how we were ok living in a small home and how we were ok with driving an older van. He then went on to say how if his neighbor or friend had a BMW, he wanted a more expensive BMW. If his neighbor or friend had a large house, he wanted an even larger home.
I remember when they left, I looked at my hubby and said, ‘what the hell was that?” Was that supposed to be a compliment? Was that supposed to make him feel better? I was left totally speechless! I also remember feeling sorry for my friends. Sorry that they felt the need to impress. I mean, who were they impressing? What a way to live!
We all know we live in a very consumer-driven world, where individuals feel the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Honestly, whatever you buy, it will eventually become ‘stuff’. A new model will come out, a fancier edition will be released, and some of you will feel the tug of, ‘Oh, I just have to have it.” Just look at Apple and the new iPhones that get released. People line up in droves to get the latest and greatest. And what do you do with your old iPhone? Is it sitting in a drawer somewhere? Are you a better person for having the latest and greatest?
I love to read Joshua Becker’s blog Becoming Minimalist as I totally agree with his efforts. His goal:
“To intentionally promote simplicity in a world that needs to hear it.”
Living a simple life doesn’t mean you need to live without.
This month, Joshua has a really great blog titled, “3 Questions to Ask Before Making Any Purchase”. As you all know, I shop with a list and with intention (insert the laugh of my good friend here – and you know who you are 😉 .
He has included 9 categories such as housing, entertainment, and food. Each category has a list of questions to ask yourself before you purchase anything. Here are three of my absolute favorites:
1. Am I replacing an item of clothing or buying something new? If the item is not a specific replacement, rethink your need for it.
2. Is this something I will wear regularly? If you can’t see yourself wearing the item on a regular basis, rethink the purchase.
3. Is the style one that will last? Don’t believe all the hype of the latest trends, they are manufactured by the fashion industry and change quickly.
1. What problem does this solve? Technology should make our lives easier by solving problems. If a new technology is not solving an existing problem, it is only adding to them.
2. Are there any rumors of new advancements to this technology? Technology is changing rapidly. If your purchase is not time sensitive, it may be wise to double-check if a new release is right around the corner.
3. Is this technology I can afford? Keep in mind the full cost is often far greater than the initial investment.
1. Is my purchase based on a genuine need or a cultural pressure? Am I succumbing to a specific pressure brought on by cultural, peer, or family pressure? Or is the furniture/decor something I truly need?
2. Am I choosing quality over quantity? With furniture, choose quality over quantity. One comfortable place to sit is far better than three uncomfortable options. And one beautiful piece of art decor will provide more life than a dozen cheap ones.
3. Is this style one that will last?
You can read Josh’s entire blog here.
So when you look at your own personal situation:
- Are there things in your home or your life that you could live without?
- Are there things you no longer need or use?
- Do you own multiple items?
- Are there things you own that don’t bring you happiness?
Spring is a great time to shed the excess (just as animals shed their winter fur coats). Shed what you don’t use or need before you head out to buy new and who knows – you may even save yourself some money by not needing a single thing!
If you would like others to fall in love with your home become a client today!