A thought occurred to me very soon after I posted last week’s blog article, “Can We Go Buy School Supplies?”.
It’s the obvious first step, although a little too obvious for me, as I forget to mention it. That obvious but not-so-obvious first step to shopping should be make your list and then “Check What You Have On Hand”.
It’s always better, from both a financial and clutter clearing standpoint, to use up what you have on hand before you purchase anything more. This will help you:
- Save Money;
- Use items before they expire;
- Eliminate duplicates; and
- Clear Clutter!
Here are 5 examples of how this first step has helped me, just in the last week.
When we prepared to go to Office Depot last week…
We first checked our stash of school supplies – lots of pens, mechanical pencils and folders on hand. We had depleted much of our stash getting the younger son ready a few weeks ago, but we still started our shopping at home, in our own cabinet.
Shopping your inventory may be a little more obvious when it comes to making dinner. Driving home from a double client day yesterday, I was pondering what to make for dinner since I have not been to the grocery yet (and I was tired and really didn’t want to go!). I remembered my son asked for home-made chicken noodle soup the other day, and as I mentally inventoried my cabinets and freezer while I drove, I realized I had what I needed to make soup for dinner. And it was good!
Shop Your Home for Home Decor.
I spent a fun few hours organizing and staging space with a client over the weekend. I assembled new storage units for her office, and then we set up her office space. What was really awesome was looking around her home and borrowing from other rooms a lamp here, some art there and a potted plant from the old house that hadn’t found a home yet. The finished space made her so happy, and cost only our time and the price of the new storage cubes.
It’s time to paint my son’s bedroom.
Our first step is to check and see what paint we have already, especially considering we just painted the kitchen and office. We will also look for any supplies, like paint brushes and rollers, etc., before we head to Home Depot to buy paint and supplies.
The Magic Pants Bin in my basement.
The age of our Magic Bin in the basement has passed, but I will still share the idea. With three sons, we always had current-sized clothes for the boys plus the in-between sizes that someone would soon grow out of or into. For years, we always checked the off-size bins of clothes for the next size of clothing before we hit the stores, and like Magic, we could usually find a lot of what we needed in the Magic Bins. The youngest son is now the tallest, though, so hand-me-downs and the Magic Bin have been retired. But the idea is still valid!
Before you buy more stuff, always consider this very important first step – Check What You Have On Hand!