The Unplanned Shopping Trip!

Why the exclamation mark?

Shopping used to be rash with a killer blow to my bank account. No planning. Impulse buys. Poor choices. 

I would tell myself:

'It looks quirky'

'I always wanted one of those'

'I think by next week the zip will close and I won't need a safety pin'!

I was a shopper with no map. I had no boundaries. I had no idea where the object of my brief affection would fit and invariably after an hour or two of trying to 'place it' I would assign it to the spare bedroom with the other orphaned purchases. 

The same applied to clothes, shoes and handbags!

Don't get me wrong I have always been organised. I had a system to find everything I owned in double quick time. I used fancy boxes with everything labelled. I colour coordinated my clothes and purchased slim coat hangers to give me more wardrobe space. I was organised but still making daft choices to satisfy my urge for retail therapy. 

What changed?

Well I discovered three things. Whether furniture or clothes its pretty much the same principle.

1. Think hard about your space (applies to home and office and wardrobe). Does it look how you want it to look? I personally adore minimalism but whatever your style what you buy must be right. I only buy things that fit with the overall plan. The colours must be right. The style must be right. The place the object will live is now predetermined and I know it is a perfect choice. If its clothes it must be the right colour, shape and fill a gap in my clothing wardrobe. 

2. Measure. My eye is not a laser beam that can head back home and know for sure that the sock organiser will fit in my dresser drawer. Invariably without measuring I would get it wrong. If in doubt I wait until I am sure it will fit before the purchase OR be prepared to take it back. Sounds boring? It gets addictive and you get more ruthless about being sure. It gives you certainly and control. Try clothes on and move around in them. Can you bend? Can you breathe? Does it sag in unattractive places! It must be needed or so fabulous you cannot wait to wear it. 

3. Love it or need it (applies to clothes and everything else). I am with Marie Kondo (author and lifestyle expert) on this point. It gives me a kick to be so sure the purchase will work for me. You know if you love it. You know if it will be right for the space and fit with your look. You know for sure if you take the time to consider the purchase and lose the impulse buy. You spend less and have no regrets. Its all practice. Practice leads to perfect. 

So today my unplanned shopping trip resulted in the most perfect lime green rucksack style bag, new yoga pants and training socks. I did not know I would buy those things but I knew what I needed. Some things were practical and some were adorable. All will be used. Nothing is assigned to the spare bedroom. No money wasted. 

On the less positive side the slump in Charity Shop donations is just something I will have to live with. My peace of mind is winning.