OH HOLY GOD. I use this one All. The. Time. Variations include “But I bought it at an estate sale!” and “But I found it by the side of the road!” This excuse usually walks hand-in-hand with Excuse #1 and goes something like this: “Hmmm… I’ve always wanted to learn how to make candles. I could give them as gifts, or sell them on Etsy and make a tidy fortune. AND WHAT’S THIS? THE KIT IS 40% OFF? COME TO MAMA.”
This excuse requires a two-pronged attack.
First: if it’s still in the package six months after you bought it, get rid of it. Sell it on eBay or donate it to a thrift store. Make peace with the fact that you’re never going to have a thriving candle-making business on Etsy, and move on.
Second: this should probably be a no-brainer, but STOP BUYING THINGS JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE ON SALE. If you are standing before the clearance endcap at Target, reaching for the set of adorable Valentine’s Day dessert plates, slow your roll. Do you need 12 more plates that will be used once a year – if you even remember you have them? I have finally learned the fine art of window-shopping – I can walk into HomeGoods, or Target, or Shoe Station, and walk out completely empty-handed. It’s like my secret ninja power.
Many people use the “one in, one out” rule in their closets, and it works well in the rest of your house – if you bring something home, something else has to go. This is especially useful for my biggest vice of the pre-Kindle era – books. I used to ravage the clearance tables at Books a Million, and make pilgrimages to Chamblin’s, and never get rid of a single precious (preccccciousssss) book. Now the rule is – if I’ve read it, and Jason isn’t interested in reading it, out it goes. Chamblin’s will take books for store credit, which is a nice incentive.
I use a grocery list app to keep track of things that I want to keep an eye out for, such as perfect leopard flats or reasonably-priced twin sheet sets. If it’s not on the list, I don’t buy it – even if it’s on sale.