I wrote the following article a couple of years ago in my “Organized Families” Examiner column, Since Black Friday is approaching, I decided to republish it in my blog.
Although the majority of Americans are getting excited about all of the shopping deals scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, there is a growing number of Americans who refuse to shop on this day and refer to it as “Buy Nothing Day”.
Excessive consumerism is one of the reasons why Americans have so much stuff today. Unless you are an avid purger, the more you buy, the more clutter you accumulate. After a day of giving thanks, it’s interesting that we then spend an entire day buying more stuff. Ok. It’s true that on Black Friday we’re shopping for gifts for other people. But let’s be honest, how many shoppers can honestly say they arrive home only with items to give as gifts?
You may not want to go to the extreme of following the “Buy Nothing” movement, but this may be a good time to take a look at your shopping habits. While shopping for holiday gifts, try not to be distracted by all of the new and improved items that the stores try to convince us that we need or must have!
The Buy Nothing Day campaign in Seattle, WA distributed this checklist to let shoppers evaluate any items they are thinking of buying:
- Do I need it?
- How many do I already have?
- How much will I use it?
- How long will it last?
- Could I borrow it from a friend or family member?
- Can I do without it?
- Am I able to clean, lubricate and/or maintain it myself? Am I willing to?
- Will I be able to repair it?
- Have I researched it to get the best quality for the best price?
- How will I dispose of it when I’m done using it?
- Are the resources that went into it renewable or non-renewable?
- Is it made or recycled materials, and is it recyclable?
- Is there anything that I already own that I could substitute for it?
This is actually a great list to use year round to control your spending, and to prevent the accumulation of clutter.
What are your thoughts on Buy Nothing Day?