Over 80% of uncluttering ends with the useful clue that you are better off spending your money when you feel balanced or when you feel great.
Emotional shopping — that is shopping when you are in acute shock, processing disappointments and grief, fighting with or spiting someone you know, trying to make up for deprivations (of the past), trying to self-soothe or to escape from heavy emotions or boredom — almost never satisfies and leaves your household after barely any use and, in the worst case scenario, piles up on landfills.
Check yourself before all nonessential purchases. Maybe you don’t need the thing: maybe you need more time for yourself. Maybe you need different experiences: stimulation with beautiful content and with creativity, less complicated connections, an upgrade in your life that doesn’t involve acquisition or consumption, a positive surprise, an evening of self-care, a deeper connection with nature, cleaned-up rooms, a bit more sleep.
Remember that when you are balanced or feel great, you tend to choose appropriate objects — because you don’t need the object to change your mood or fill an unidentified or vague need; you need it for the purpose that it was made.
I am an irregular but savvy shopper, but I have made enough mistakes while shopping, too. I want an abundant and sustainable life. So I evaluate all my habits on a regular basis. Every time I made bad purchases, I was stressed, exhausted or unhappy (with completely different conditions than my possessions). Every time I unclutter, I learn about the states I was in when I obtained stuff that I found no use for later. It is interesting to notice what was happening, forgive myself, wonder about who an appreciative recipient may be and steer away from making more garbage based on poor decision-making.
Some people indulge their regret on spending money foolishly. If that works for them, who are we to argue with them? Maybe they will feel those feelings before an unnecessary shopping spree and decide that “Today is not the day”.
Everyone can benefit from becoming curious about spending habits, both those that caused peace and joy and those that were downers and senseless. The point is not to punish yourself for something that you have already done, but to self-correct and to comprehend how you can use your money (your money is your lifetime, after all) in ways that give you peace and delight and the sense that you are supporting what you are supporting and whom you are supporting with it.
10 August 2022