curbing consumption {day 21 of 31}

You want to know what I love about purging and de-cluttering? Well, EVERYTHING, but specifically I love that it doesn’t just have here-and-now results (like a home you can actually walk through, breathe in, invite people over to, and enjoy stress-free).

It’s also got big-time future ramifications. For one, a de-cluttered home makes you think twice before you buy something.

Whereas before you might (like me) have been a mindless consumer. See something that catches your eye and BOOM! it’s in your cart and then tossed in a closet until you figure out what you’re going to do with it. I can’t tell you how much stuff I used to do this with.

But now, you start hemming and hawing (in a good way) and asking questions like, “Okay, I know this is a reeeeeally good deal, but do I love it? I mean, really, reeeeally love it? Can I picture this being something I’m tired of in two months (or two days)? Is it doomed for the purge box? If so, then why am I buying it in the first place? Is this going to mess with my newfound mess-less freedom?”

Now, instead of loading your cart at Target (or the thrift store or garage sales or wherever) with this, that, and the other clearance item, you ask yourself if it’s worth the hassle and energy it’s going to cost you.

And maybe you go home without it and forget about it five minutes later.

And maybe you start shopping less and talking over coffee more. Or serving in your community as a family.

And maybe you think twice about what kind of votes you’re casting with your dollars. A vote for workers being traded fairly and kids being kids, not slaves? A vote for giving your money to a greater cause than another knickknack? A vote for giving your money to people who could really use it, not multi-billion dollar corporations?

Let’s Take Some Action:

What’s something you’re going to stop buying so much of?

Or a store you’re going to frequent less often (or be more careful in) because it’s dangerous for you?

Or what other tips/stories do you have about how curbing your consumption has led to freedom?

p.s. I’m up in Michigan at a women’s retreat with an AMAZING group of women. Would love your prayers that God moves in our hearts in a BIG way and that we bring him much glory! Thank you!!

10 thoughts on “curbing consumption {day 21 of 31}

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » 7 read-a- long (chapter 3: possessions)

  2. Andrea

    I have been challenged in this a lot more over the last year. I love books. I was a librarian for a while and have always been a reader. I used to collect sets and books with beautiful or interesting covers but after having to move one time while I had just had surgery for a broken leg and had to watch friends and family carry my things, I really realized I have too much! (Books are heavy too!) So I went through my shelves and gave any I would not read again or did not absolutely love to our local book drive. I keep my shelves (and wallet!) within my limits by checking books out of the library and ordering from PaperBackSwap or sharing with friends. Other than that, I have to exercise a LOT of self-control when I do go into a bookstore, which I have had to limit. I do not go shopping as an activity anymore (books or otherwise) unless I am in need of a gift or something specific that I have already thought about and researched. By not going shopping just for something to do or because I have a free Saturday really helps me not only those days to but to also be more conscientious of my shopping habits and when I do make purchases.

  3. Lisa

    Bookstores and yarn shops used to be ‘hot spots’ for me, but be encouraged that as you purge and especially as you ask God for direction, He really does change your heart and attitude. Tho crazy as it may sound, I admit to sometimes feeling a bit “aww…I kinda miss that thrill of the hunt feelin”. Know what I mean? Missing the former lusts, I guess. But the freedom from bondage to stuff is much better – sometimes that’s what I need to remind myself of before a trip to Target or the thrift shop.

    One thing that helps if I’m undecided on a certain *great* deal is to just ask myself, “Yeah, I really like these Ann Taylor pants, but do I 12.99 like them??” It a simple question that seems to get my brain out of ‘What a deal!’ mode and back to the reality that I am still spending money that could/should go elsewhere.

  4. Positively Alene

    I just moved offices and good grief the amount of books is overwhelming. I’m getting rid of a bunch of them. I do love books, but I need to not store them up but share the knowledge with others and pass them on thus freeing my bookshelves. Better yet, I could just go to the library, right?

  5. Sharon W

    I have no problem with impulse purchases at the grocery store. Never even look at the candy bars on sale right next to the register. But, when it comes to the Dollar Store or Target’s $1 spot, I am a gonner! I’ve recently gotten into the habit of picking up things for my daughter or for future party favors etc. at these places. It would be interesting to take stock of what all I have put away for future use. It just might be that I have more than enough for the next 5 years. It would be fairly easy to avoid the Dollar Store, they aren’t in very convenient locations for me. But we go to Target a lot for diapers. Guess I need to work on being more self-disciplined and just walk (or run) past the dollar spot.

    Praying for the ladies in MI and their speaker 😉

  6. Brooke

    i hate knickknacks. always have. have even been accused of having a home that doesn’t look “lived in” due to the lack of knickknacks. best compliment i’ve ever received!!

    the only time i buy things (not consumables) really is when i go shopping for clothes. probably could cut the thrift store shopping down considerably. Unless God really wants me to have a revolving wardrobe so that people in TN can be yearly gifted the awesome deals I get in Yuppiville, Ohio thrift stores.

    PS – pray for us. we’re now talking about building a garage for our house. would be a great blessing (no cold car or carrying groceries in the rain) but could also serve as a means to encourage hoarding.

  7. Krysten

    Marla, I have to be way more careful in Target!! I read your post that mentioned your past love affair with dollar stores and the Target Dollar Spot. I, too have that sickness (I’m an elementary school teacher so those places are in my DNA it seems!) I’d already started to realize over the past few years that I buy way too much unnecessary stuff at those places, but this year I’ve been diving into learning about human trafficking and modern-day slavery and it’s really hit me hard that when I dump a bunch of money into those places, it’s highly likely that I’m supporting slavery in some part of the world. Clearing my world of clutter is a good motivator to evaluate my purchases more clearly. But knowing that on the other end of that thingamajig that I just gotta have for $1 may be a child who has been forced to work for 18 hours a day…THAT could keep me away from that junk altogether! I don’t want my dollars to say its okay to mistreat others in ANY way, shape, or form.

  8. Tonia

    Shopping less at Target, and when I do I need to go In with a list of what I will buy, and skip over the dollar section altogether.

  9. ellen

    Praying Michigan is all God and you want it to be. You are one tusy women.
    I try – emphasis on try – to walk in that pray without ceasing concept when I shop. Certainly not always something I do but it always stops conpulsive buying and certainly helps the budget.

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