It felt good to get rid of so much junk, but it was also a bit embarrassing.
The problem area in my house is toys. Sometimes it feels like the sheer amount of toys my two girls have prevent the house from ever being truly organized and clean. This weekend we decided to change that.
The girls and I went through every single toy in our home. We kept some, bagged some up for a yard sale, and threw away A LOT. In fact, by the time we were done we had six trash bags full of junk toys. Yes, six!!
And now that we have their toys down to the essential few I want to keep it that way. In the process I also want to retrain our brains to be less consumeristic. (Because let’s face it – living a simpler lifestyle is so much more freeing!)
Here are the five things we’ll be doing in an effort to combat consumerism.
Declutter Your Home Regularly
When my house is nice, neat, and organized I don’t want to mess it up. Having a decluttered house helps me think so much more clearly and eliminates unnecessary stress. And for the girls, having only the toys they truly love means that those toys actually get played with. (When they have too many toys nothing gets played with!)
By keeping our home decluttered we’re able to go for quality instead of feeling the need to buy every junk item advertised to us.
In an effort to have a happier life I’ve been practicing gratitude for a while now.
Every night before I go to bed I start counting my blessings. And nothing that I’m truly grateful for is a material item. Practicing gratitude is a great way to keep yourself aware of life’s big picture and not feel the need to “keep up with the joneses.”
I don’t watch a lot of TV but when I do it’s on the DVR or on Amazon Prime so I can completely skip the commercials. (I need to figure out how to block ads on YouTube. Is this possible?)
When my kids are watching TV with commercials I hear “Come here mommy, I want this!” or “Can I have that for Christmas?” on literally every single commercial break.
Kids are so susceptible to advertising and I feel like it’s my duty to protect them.
Shop Only With a List
Another thing that helps me a great deal is to shop from a list.
For instance when I go to the grocery store without a list I’ll often come home with all kinds of things I never intended on buying. But when I shop with a list I only grab the things I truly need.
Combat Impulse Purchases with a 30 Day Wait Period
I’m not perfect – there are often times when I can’t help but want things that I don’t really need and aren’t practical for my life. Instead of sleeping on these purchases for a night or two I’m going to start putting them on a thirty day wait period.
If I still want the item after thirty days then I can give myself permission to buy it. My guess is that after only a few days I’ll lose interest.
Consumerism is a real problem in America. It’s why people go into debt, go broke, or go bankrupt. However, it’s also something that can be overcome if you’re willing to work toward it.
And I’m definitely willing to give it a shot!
How do you combat consumerism?