What’s More Important? Your Stuff or Your Time?
Did you know that the Friday after Thanksgiving is National Buy Nothing Day? There are probably a lot of reasons to buy nothing the day after Thanksgiving… but here’s mine: Stuff adds to our clutter and eats up our time.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we have never ending to-do lists because we have too many things. Part of being organized is getting things done, but with the amount of possessions we have to take care of, the list just keeps growing. How, you may ask? With every new purchase you have to:
- Decide whether to keep it. A lot of purchases are made with the thought that you can return it if you don’t like it. But, that means you need to keep track of the box it came in, the receipt, the manual and the item itself. I can’t tell you how many people I work with who want to return something, but they can’t find one of the above listed items. They have the box, the item and the manual, but not the receipt. Or they have the receipt and the item, but not the manual. You get the picture. The more stuff you are thinking of returning, the more clutter you accumulate, and the longer your to-do list.
- Ok – so you’ve decided to keep the item. Now you need to figure out how to use it. What percent of functionality do you actually use with all your gadgets? Figuring out how to use everything we own eats up our time.
- Store the manual, receipt and box. Although manuals can be found online, and you shouldn’t need the box after you decide to keep the item, many people still keep all packaging, just in case it breaks. Add that to the list of things to remember – where you stored all the extra stuff that comes with your purchase.
- Take care of it. You need to dust it, buy replacement filters and perform regular maintenance. I’m sure we all vacuum the coils on the back of our refrigerator as often as recommended in the manual. (maybe not?) And if it breaks then you need to fix it. How many things on your to-do list start with the word “Fix”?
Here’s my example. I love the water dispenser in my fridge. But… it has a filter that needs replacing every half a year. So, every half year I’m out there ordering a new filter. Add a bunch of these types of tasks together and we wonder why we don’t have time for anything else.
So, the next time you think about buying the newest gadget, ask yourself … what is more important – my time or my gadgets?
I am Cathy Dryden, and I started neat chic organizing to empower others to lead more fulfilling lives by helping them to become more organized through individualized coaching and training.