Tip #3 Living with Less

You’re out shopping and you see something that catches your fancy. Even before trying it on, you think, “I must have this thing!”

Now, pause.

Take a hard look at it, that thing you must have. And now imagine it rumpled and crumpled in your laundry basket. Or how about how it will look after a few washes — hanging forlornly in your closet with the hem slightly askew and the color dulled.

Do you still love it? Or was it just the “new car smell” that wooed you?

I know I’m totally guilty of buying into a store’s display. Color-coordinate like items and place it on the rack with room to breathe, paired next to an air plant and a brimmed-hat for “this-could-be-your-lifestyle” inducement. Gets me nearly every time.

Visualize that-thing-you-must-have away from the yummy scented candles of the store, and it gets way easier to put that item down. I know I really want an item if I imagine it a few years old smushed in a Goodwill rack (with that second-hand smell). If I want it after that visualization, it’s usually a keeper.

Have you ever done this — visualizing new clothes worn? Let me know if you have, or if you give it a go!

Pic above is from the Iris Van Herpen exhibit at the High Museum (closes May 15).

2 thoughts on “Tip #3 Living with Less”

  1. Not this trick exactly, but something along the same strain. If I’m eyeing something in a store, I’ll ask myself if I want to take care of it for the long haul (wash/dryclean/repair if it’s clothing, dust and clean it if it’s for the home). And sometimes if that doesn’t work, I’ll say to myself, “Will I literally die without this? Is this the last time I’ll ever find a sweater or a dress or a vase I like, for ever and ever?” That usually brings me back down to earth.

  2. I force myself to visualize the clothing items I have and evaluate based on 1) Do I already have something that is similar to this item that I would use in the same way, and 2) Can I easily come up with an outfit with clothing I already have. I find that after my initial filters of “what is this made of” and “where was it made” this visualization cuts down on miscellaneous purchase.

    Also- Have you been to the Iris Van Herpen exhibit yet? It’s amazing enough to fulfill the urge for fun new clothing items. I love spending time at the High- it helps cut down on random shopping trips. 🙂

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