How did the housewives of old keep their house constantly tidy? Sure, they had more time then we do now, but so much of what they had to do was significantly more time consuming. As I said yesterday, one of the ways they did it was because they had to. Friends would drop by without any warning, so there was more of an incentive to stay neat. The other reason, as far as I can figure, is that they had a lot less stuff than we do today.
Things that we take for granted today would have been prohibitably expensive for all but the wealthiest of people. Women would only have a couple dresses and a few accessories, children had a doll or a toy gun and not too much else, and the kitchen had far fewer gizmos and gadgets to get the job done.
I am not advocating that we give up all our stuff, just being more thoughtful before we add it to our collection. Do our purchases really make sense? Yes, the $10.00 teeshirt at Target is cute, but is it going to last or is it going to shrink in the wash and live out a long existence cluttering up your closet?
If we were all more cognizant of the quality vs. quantity of what we buy, I believe that we would have far fewer problems with over-stuffed homes, not to mention a better handle on debt. We have collectively been going on a shopping binge for a couple decades with cheap imports from Asia. Often, I will buy something at Target, and it rarely ends up being used, but at the time I thought that I had to have it. I get the rush of buying something pretty or fun, and it is cheap so I don’t feel bad, but in the end it is just an energy suck in my home. Buyer’s remorse then sets in, but it is too late.
So one New Year’s resolution that I have this year is to think before I buy (preferably for at least 48 hours). To get into this habit, I have declared January a “consumption diet” month. I am only purchasing food and toiletries. Everything else can stay on the store’s shelf until February, to make me think about whether I truly need it.
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