On this FB pre-used products buy and sell group that I am a member of, a lady had upcycled an old Breezer bottle, painted it in vibrant colors, and was selling it at a very reasonable price along with handmade paper blossoms. A dozen people ‘Like‘d the picture, but no one bought it. On the other hand, someone was selling an ugly, psuedo-modern piece of furniture from Fab India (Seriously, who buys furniture from Fab India?) at an absurdly high price, and there were multiple takers. The same for ugly-looking junk jewelry.
And no, I don’t think it is a utility-based decision. I’ve seen a good number of people buying all kinds of useless things on this forum. The items being sold on this group have expanded from just household goods to gadgets, furniture, clothes, accessories and recycled/upcycled handicrafts. In fact, what is ironic is that this forum was started with the goal of helping people to reduce-reuse-recycle and get rid of clutter; however, its biggest outcome seems to be that people are buying more things than ever!
Okay, let me get off my high horse here. 🙂
“Shopping is actually very similar to farming a field. You can’t keep buying the same thing, you have to have a bit of variety. Otherwise you get bored and stop enjoying yourself.” So said Ms. Kinsella in CoaS.
Boy, do I agree or what!
I remember a period I went through last year when I was caught up in online shopping – urbantouch, stylecraze, healthkart, myntra… you name it, I knew it! Thankfully, I outgrew the fetish in a couple of months without too much damage to the wallet. But yes, I do understand how addictive it can get.
For all their resolutions to de-clutter and stop shopping, most people are fundamentally hedonistic. They want to buy things – either for the sake of owning the items or for the pleasure of the purchase itself. In my case, I think it is the latter – for instance, every time I see a new book about Agatha Christie or her works, I feel that I should, no, must, own it. I read it once, keep it aside and go back to my old favorites. I do the same with perfumes and shoes – if I see something I like, I want to own it. I try it for a week or so, then get bored and go back to one of my older ones. So now I have a collection of books, clothes, perfumes and other junk that I rarely (if ever!) use.
Coupled with this unfortunate love for shopping is my hoarding mentality. I feel unable to throw some things away and find myself thinking, “I can use this for something else… let me keep it.” Thus, I have a truckload of wedding invites, thermocol pieces, cartons, bubblewrap, foam blocks off the bottom of bouquets and takeaway containers that I have kept “safe” for “future use”. Needless to say, one of the things I am struggling with currently is de-cluttering my home. And I got this great technique from the Flylady.
“Take a plastic bag and walk through your house, picking up and discarding 27 things that you haven’t used in the past 6 months. You are unlikely to use them again. Do NOT stop to analyze the utility of these things – just steel yourself mentally and do it!”
I think this is a brilliant idea.
I do. Really.
Oh well, I’ll get around to it sometime. 🙂