I’m a terrible shopper. I really dislike shopping for most things other than plants and food. The last time I was in the mall, we were simply walking through. The last new item of clothing I bought other than underwear was… honestly, I can’t remember.
I don’t have harsh judgements against people who like to shop. I’m not anti-shopping in general. I just don’t care to do it myself. Or, at least, not shopping in the usual sense of the word.
I do like to go to thrift stores and consignment shops and look for interesting items I can repurpose or alter to fit my needs. I love buying clothes and ripping them apart to make something new-t0-me.
Otherwise, if I have to buy something new, I try to make it a point to buy things that will last. We’ve had the same two pairs of bath towels for years. They get alternated each week, and are holding up fine. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would have replaced them by now, but we’ll keep them until they’re turned into rags. Actually, it felt like a splurge to me to buy them, since we still had perfectly usable towels. I just didn’t like those towels because they didn’t match our bathroom colors.
But I don’t always buy things new with that much care. There are far too many items I’ve purchased when I was already at the store shopping for something else specific, like new underwear, and felt like I needed something but didn’t have the time or energy to get the specific one I wanted. Very little care goes into buying these things, and I usually wind up with something I only sorta like. But, you know, I needed a new sweater, and this one fits and isn’t ugly. I needed new slippers, and these fit, even though they’re not the color I like.
The problem with that method is that since I don’t shop very often, I’m not likely to replace these items with something I like better, and instead I wind up wearing something I don’t really like. For years. Until it falls apart or becomes so stained it gets relegated to yard-work clothing. So even something that I bought because I felt like I needed it, even though it makes me sad, gets to hang around, getting worn regularly.
So, with this new understanding, my new goal is to be extra vigilant when shopping in the future, approaching each purchase with the knowledge that even an impulse buy will linger in my closet for years, and only bring home items that make me truly happy. If I’m at all uneasy about the purchase, I’ll agree to let myself off the hook, rather than bring home something that isn’t right. I owe it to myself to keep my home as joyful as possible, and only fill it with things that belong.