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Did I get your attention? Probably….

Seriously… Stop buying things!

We all want more stuff… more new things bring us joy. How long does this joy last? Probably not that long. Research shows that happiness from purchases are fleeting. At first, I am really happy with my purchases. Then I get bored of them, they burden me, they no longer are new and pleasant, and I replace them, toss them away, donate them, or throw them back into the dresser until they are in style again.

Sometimes I clean to find that I have a brand new designer shirt crumpled in the corner of my closet. This irks me because in the store, this shirt was so exciting and called out to me. While handing my credit card over to the cashier, I didn’t realize the future of this shirt was to collect dust in the bottom corner of my closet and wrinkle itself into oblivion. What is even more unfortunate is that this has happened to me numerous times.

My college professor in my “Consumer Society” course would cringe if she read this article. I got an A in the course, and I can’t even manage to stop buying things. I was literally trained in college not to prioritize material possessions. If I “know better” than how can I ever convince teenager girls or those around me to put their consumer ideas aside and stop purchasing unnecessarily? It’s going to be tough, but I am going to try… stay with me.

Remember that saying “less is more?” Let’s try to apply it here. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to keep track of it. The more you bring into your house, the harder it will be to organize. All of this “stuff” becomes a burden… to clean, to wash, to organize, and to take up your time that you would utilize differently if you didn’t have so much stuff.

Easier said than done, I know. However, I found a way to curb the rush of the purchase. While doing a seasonal house cleanse, I realized that I get a rush out of getting rid of things. As I donated 10 bags of items, I felt the burden of these belongings lifting off my shoulders. I felt light and carefree. All of the sudden, I had a rush from the new space I had gained. I could dance around in my room if I wanted to. If you don’t want to donate your things, you could always sell them too. There definitely is a rush from selling belongings and getting money back from the consignment shop.

I don’t want to sell or donate. I just don’t want to purchase more. Okay, if this describes you… you need to use your shopping time wisely. Instead of spending an afternoon alone in a store or with a friend at the mall, take some time and plan ahead. Research shows that people have much longer lasting happiness from doing things! Doing things, rather than buying things, will give you memories to reminisce about and create longer lasting feelings of happiness. So use your money wisely and plan an event. Don’t have money? Look at the event calendar in your town… there are plenty of things to do!