Conscious shopping…

December 13, 2012

On the very last day of the year, December 31st, there’s a not-so-well-known national holiday simply called,  “Make Up Your Mind Day” [I’m not kidding!]

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Who among us hasn’t bought something on a whim?  Most of us don’t think much about the decisions we make, especially when it comes to some of the smaller, less expensive, less significant stuff we purchase and acquire. Unfortunately, the less decisive we are, the more stuff we might end up with.  In my organizing business, I can tell you that many indecisive people tend to take the path of least resistance when shopping and end up with a house full of clutter; stuff that isn’t used, needed, wanted nor appreciated.  For example, when buying  (fill in the blank) available in four colors, some, who have trouble making decisions, simply decide NOT to decide to buy an item in every color offered.

The opposite is true about larger buys.  Generally speaking, we give a lot of thought to bigger, more expensive purchases like a car, a house or a vacation.  But, the less expensive stuff isn’t as much of an investment so we tend not to analyze nor agonize over those decisions.

Regardless of what your organizing goals for the New Year are, my advice is to make up your mind instead of letting your decisions be influenced by gimmicks. Just because the sign says, BOGO (Buy One, Get One) or GWP (Gift with Purchase) doesn’t mean you should pull the trigger and purchase an item.  Make up your mind to resist the, “PAD models” that stores use to influence buyers.  PAD stands for, Pleasure, Arousal and Dominance.  Small, not always obvious things like music, temperature, color, and, scent influence your decisions.  In addition, here are a few questions to ask when trying to make up your mind, especially when in-store or online shopping.

  1. Do I need this?  (Can I live without this? Could I borrow this item? Have I wanted this for a long time?)
  2. Why am I here? (Cultivate a sense of mindfulness when shopping. Is it because you need something? Are you bored? Do you enjoy the atmosphere in certain stores?)
  3. Can I postpone this purchase?  (Do you need to buy it now, today?)
  4. How am I feeling right this minute?  (Sad, desperate, hopeful? Try to name what you are experiencing as you are standing there with the item, in the store)
  5. Once purchased, where will this item go? (Is it a gift for a specific recipient and occasion? Is it something that requires someone else’s help to install or set up? Is there space in my garage, cabinets or drawers for this item?)

Are you willing to practice cultivating a more intentional and mindful method of shopping in the future? Have you decided to become a more purposeful purchaser?  If so, I’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment below and share your experiences.

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2 comments on “Conscious shopping…

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