Get It Together

How to get organized at work and at home-and why you'll be more productive once you've simplified.

Buy Less To Have More

How can buying less offer you more?

The recent economic downturn has a lot of people re-considering and re-inventing their spending habits. I love this and think it's about time! But if the economy hasn't really taken a toll on you and you're still keeping your old spending habits, I want you to consider that when you buy LESS you can have MORE.

We all like to get "a deal" and if you work for your money like most of us do, there's nothing wrong with that. But over the years, Americans have gotten so accustomed to being able to find affordable (read: cheap) merchandise, that it's been easy to just buy buy buy and not really worry about the clutter or the long term life of the items. Much of what we purchase on a regular basis we've come to view as disposable in many ways. So instead of having your life filled with lovely things that you really love and use, your life is filled with cheap crap that ends up feeling like clutter.

But what's the real cost of the "cheap" stuff you've acquired over the years? If you were to add up all the price tags, I bet it would be staggering. Five bucks here, ten bucks there, twenty bucks somewhere else. It seems small in the moment, but over time, it adds up to thousands of dollars spent on stuff that you didn't really need and you have no real relationship with.

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Contrast this quantity mindset with a whole different one which stresses need, value, functionality, and quality over price. When you begin to look at the money you spend on non-consumables as an INVESTMENT, you won't part with your money so easily. I'll give you an example...

Three years ago, when I bought my kitchen knives, I spent $200 on three knives. You might think that's nutty, because you could go to Big Lots or Walmart and get an entire set of twelve kitchen knives (and the block) for about 10% of what I paid, but wait -- that's your old mindset talking. Good knives cut better, hold an edge better, and will last many years if properly cared for. Cheap kitchen knives don't perform nearly as well, and over time, as they become dull and need to be replaced, the cost will add up.  Not to mention the time and energy it takes to cut food with their inferior edges, to go shopping for new ones, and donate or dispose of the old ones.

If you think of the value of the things you buy in terms of how long you'll use it, how often you'll use it, and what quality level is important to you, I know you'll approach spending money in a whole different way. And when you buy LESS cheap stuff, you will have more money to buy MORE of the quality items that will serve you for a long time. The bigger benefit is that you'll also have more happiness, more simplicity, and more peace in your life.

 

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Atlanta-based organizing expert Monica Ricci is the author of Organize Your Office In No Time, a busy person's guide to tackling clutter and disorganization at work.

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