Overshopping

Outliving Your Office Supplies

I got a real kick out of a recent article in the New York Times called “Let Me Count The Days“.  In this amusing piece, author James Collins takes a look at his box of 5,000 staples and realizes he will never use them all up.   His mortality is made real to him when he is forced to acknowledge that his office supplies will outlive him. A few years ago, I wrote about my mother purchasing a value-pack of Q-Tips simply…

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Sucked In By A Sale

Long-time readers of my organizing tips may recall an earlier rant of mine on the tyranny of coupons (Coupons: To Clip or Not To Clip?)  Coupons induce us to behave in irrational ways that waste our time and create clutter.  Similarly, sales are likely to have the same effect. When we are shopping for something specific, it’s quite delightful to find that the item we planned to buy is on sale and we can purchase it for less than expected.  However,…

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Keep Like With Like

One of my five basic organizing principles is “Keep like with like”.  In  my clients’ homes, I see over and over again what happens when this principle is violated. I often hear the anguished cry, “I had no idea I had so many of these!” When you don’t keep like with like, one of two results is likely to happen:  (1) you run out, or (2) you overbuy.  You may be asking yourself, how can one behavior result in two…

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Better Ways to Spend

I was intrigued by a book review in the weekly magazine The Economist, since the book in question delivers the same message that I have been telling my clients: spend your money on experiences, not things. According to “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending”, by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, behavioral research indicates that the excitement brought on by material purchases wears off quickly.  A much better strategy, the review states, is “to spend money on experiences, like interesting trips, unique meals, or even going…

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One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

You know that item that you bought a long time ago but you never used it and now it just clutters up your closet?  Yeah, that one. We had a closet full of those.  Well, not a whole closet.  But what we had was bulky, so it seemed like it. A few weeks ago, I decided that the large unused items had to go, and  I made some plans for them.  One item, a full-sized piano keyboard which connects to…

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