08 May Store vs. Convenience
The (North American) definition of “store” (as per Google.com) is:
1. keep or accumulate (something) for future use; retain or enter information for future electronic retrieval; have a supply of (something useful); remain fresh while being stored.
Why are we giving up our living and storage space for convenience sake? It’s called the “store” for a reason: it’s where stuff is stored until we need to buy it. Have we become so lazy that we have to have it in our homes at all times? Or is there something bigger going on here? These days when you can have almost anything delivered to your door in an hour or just a few days, planning in advance is all that much easier and there’s no need to store more items in your home than you are using or need. What could be more convenient than that (unless, of course, it’s out of stock)?!
Somewhere along the way we became conditioned to have everything in our homes and at the ready, when honestly we don’t use the majority of what we have stored for those “just in case” moments. Perhaps it was great marketing to stimulate a struggling economy. Perhaps it was something else all together. A lot of organizers and minimalists will tell you that “just in case” is a buzz phrase for clutter; and for the most part they are right. Although I still find myself using it from time to time, but then immediately wonder why when the words leave my lips.
While I do have a Costco membership (for the gas mostly), I do not buy in bulk as I have nowhere to store it in my ~500 square foot rented pool house. I’m the gal who buys the 4-pack of toilet paper or the one or two pack of paper towels, simply because of lack of storage space. I know it will save me in the long run to buy in bulk. I may be saving money, but I’m losing on storage space, and I just don’t want to be inundated with stuff I’m not using. I either order what I need when I need it, or I plan (yes, in advance) to make a trip to the store when it’s most efficient/convenient.
This boggles people’s minds when I say it. It just does not compute for many, who have a lot more square footage than I do. I think being a professional organizer and always living in small spaces has something to do with this mindshift to not store items I’m not yet using in my home. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown.
I understand that I’m not married with children, and that lives and schedules get more complicated when you’ve ticked those two boxes. But I do run a very successful business where I am booked out a month to two (at times) in advance, and my time is quite limited. I still find a way to get the things I need when I need them, it just takes some advance planning and one heck of a good memory!
So my challenge to you is this: to try not to buy those “just in case” items which may end up as clutter. If you have an exact reason to have all that wrapping paper or 40 rolls or toilet paper or whatever its is, and you have the room to store it where you are not feeling overwhelmed, then by all means do it. But try leaving the store to hold your items until you really need them. Sit with what that feels like and if it’s doable for your lifestyle. Does it release the anxiety or exacerbate it?
I’d love to hear if you try this out – please share your experience and feedback in the comments or feel free to reach out to me directly. I love hearing different points of view!