July 11, 2012

How I Freed Up a Little Piece of My Mind

Since we're a little more than halfway through 2012, it seems like a good time to revisit my New Year's Resolutions. I have not done a great job of keeping all of them, but I've done better with some than with others.

A shirt and earrings I bought at my favorite local consignment store,
Return Engagement
In particular, I've done really well with resolution #2: To buy only used clothing (excepting shoes and underwear and socks). I've managed to actually do this for six months, with the exception of a white t-shirt I bought recently from White House | Black Market because I couldn't find a good plain white tee in any of the consignment or thrift stores.

I expected that this resolution would help me save money, but what I didn't anticipate was how it would help free up time and mindshare. When a clothing catalog comes in the mail now, I just put it straight into the recycle bin because I know I'm not going to be buying anything in it. I used to spend time flipping through those catalogs even if I knew it was unlikely that I'd buy anything. And then if I liked something, I'd agonize about whether or not to buy it, which meant keeping the catalog around. No longer. Ad circulars and catalogs all go straight to the bin.

I also don't have to think very hard about where to shop if I need something. If I need something for work or a special occasion, I go to Return Engagement or Upscale Resale. If I need jeans or basic casual weekend clothes, it's Goodwill or Salvation Army. I automatically delete any promo emails I get from online retailers and don't waste time browsing through online shopping sites. My resolution has narrowed down the number of choices for me so making a decision takes very little time.

Since I'm not fantasizing about which clothes to buy or which stores I might like to shop in, I've noticed that a little piece of my mind is now free to think about other more important things. Now I wonder what other decisions I can make to help get rid of the mental and physical clutter in my life.

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