These days there is growing awareness that a person's happiness doesn't increase long term by owning more and more things. Yes, we need some possessions to meet our basic needs and it is nice to have some personal items that are meaningful and bring us pleasure. Beyond this, an additional possession may cause a temporary boost in happiness but this tends to fade after a time. However, having said that, I wish to add I have found now and again I buy or am given something which continues to lift my spirits and these things are definitely worth keeping.
The decluttering trend Decluttering has become a buzz word and numerous books have been written on the topic along with blogs, videos, podcasts and other forms of media. Some people have adopted a minimalist lifestyle. After reading The Year Of Less, how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store, by Cait Flanders I challenged myself to resist buying anything unnecessary for six months. Cait Flanders set herself this challenge for a period of a year and succeeded. I wrote about my plans for this self imposed challenge in Six Month Shopping Ban Challenge
The challenge is making me a more mindful shopper. When I have decided to purchase something in spite of the self-imposed challenge I have found I get greater pleasure from it than from the unnecessary purchases I made prior to doing the shopping ban.
I am thinking about purchasing a picture for my lounge room to replace the print of trees in autumn currently hanging there. The colours really suited my previous house but not this one. I still like it but I can't say I love it now. Some time I may come across a picture I fall in love with which would look fantastic on that wall. If so, I will buy it and it will be a mindful purchase, even though not an essential one.
Mindful shopping involves really thinking before making a purchase Image:StockSnap from Pixabay
Could I have resisted making the unnecessary purchases of the past five months? Yes, I could have resisted the purchase of various items such as clothing, a popcorn maker, two strings of coloured solar lights and a new comforter for my bed. If I had it would only have been to prove a point, that I can have strong will power.
I have decided a few extra purchases from time to time are nice as long as they are within my budget, are mindful purchases rather than a whim and as long as clutter doesn't build up. Also, while there is no harm in trying to do something I have read about, in the end I need to make my own decisions, set my own rules and do what suits me at the time. I can always change my mind later.
What about clutter building up again? I don't have a greater number of possessions than when I started the shopping ban because I have continued to donate items to op shops from time to time. Last week I donated two books, a vase, a china pot, a necklace and a doona cover.
Once the six month challenge is finished I think I will continue to be a more mindful shopper than before doing the challenge. But I have never been a shopaholic anyway, just a person who has on occasions bought a few too many things, especially from op shops.