But It’s Free…

Can you say no to something you’re offered?

I mean, it’s free.
I don’t have to spend any money.
It’s in decent condition.
I MIGHT use it one day.
Why not?

Simply put, it’s more clutter unless you actually want or need it. If only this actually removed the temptation for taking it anyway! I am not immune to the effects of “free.” My husband laughs at me, especially when it comes to my personal downfall of media – I can rarely say no. Nevertheless, this is a struggle worth fighting and at least minimizing what comes into your home by these nefarious means.

There are certainly people who somehow are not affected by the allure of that offered item at no monetary cost to them. As with virtually everything, personality varies and there are any number of reasons why people are simply not tempted just as for why some of us struggle so much. One person I know who adamantly refuses those free offerings is proud, wants to save up and buy the exact item wanted and not settle for less. Both my parents have never seemed to struggle with temptation, both appreciate a sparse environment, and dislike too much stuff around them – though where that characteristic comes from, I have no idea.

Therefore, this is for those of us who drool over the idea of getting something free. A good friend of mine struggles with this, and I see those items I’ve offered her sitting around her home for months (even years sometimes). It makes me sad since I feel like I have inadvertently contributed to clutter in her home. This is the last thing I actually I want to do.

First, we need to recognize that this is our tendency. Simply becoming aware of how thoughtlessly we accept those offered items could help us curb bringing in more stuff. If it has been so automatic, we may not even realize the extent of how much is coming in by this means.

Second, we need to think about any items coming in with the same criteria as if we were spending our hard earned money. I discuss some questions to ask (and answer) for yourself before you buy something in “True Purchasing Power.” To quickly recap the major points: do you know whether it fits – from clothes to furniture, do you know where you will put it (including removing something else to make room for it), and finally do you need it.

Just because something is free does not mean we don’t need to consider those things with the same standards as if we were spending money. If you could actually use that free thing, know it fits, and where you will put it – there is no reason you need to turn it down.

There are other steps we can take to curb our taking what is offered and you know yourself better than anyone else does. Find steps that fit your style and start applying them. Discover how freeing it can be to turn down those items you don’t actually need or want, since in the process, your home will stay uncluttered and you will be able to find what you want when you want it – the real goal.

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