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The Essential Skill to Stop Overbuying - Visualization

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Recently, I've been working with two crafty clients. One does it all: painting, crocheting, sewing, beading, you name it. The other does gift baskets and catering for parties. Although these women are different in their crafts, they have one thing in common: they have ALL of the stuff needed to participate in their respective hobbies - and I do mean ALL of it.

Sale signs
Sales are everywhere. Knowing what you have is a huge component of resisting the urge to buy.

The thing is, though, that their craft rooms had gotten totally out of control and become dumping grounds.  This resulted in them having no idea what they had, so when someone needed them to make something or, worse, when they caught a sale at a craft store, they had no visual on how much of any particular supply they had, so they bought and bought and bought – you get the picture.

When I started at the gift basket lady’s house, she wasn’t able to get to the crinkly paper that she needs to put in the bottom of the gift baskets, so there were piles of it right near the door. Similarly, when I started at the every-craft lady’s house, there were beading supplies in the back of the room – and in the front.  I suspect that these two women felt justified in buying in that the items were mostly bought at a great price and they figured they’d use it one day. The buying was also surely a way of connecting them to their craft, even if they weren’t able to participate in it fully.

See, the thing is that without being able to visualize what we have, most of us really don’t have a clue. So with these crafters, it takes us sorting through it all and putting it in order once and for all, along with hammering in the idea that when you buy something, you need a plan for putting it away and/or using it. That way, when my basket lady sees a sale on white crinkly paper, she can envision her bin full of white crinkly paper (yes, she has a giant one and yes, it’s full), pass it up and maybe splurge on the yellow, whose bin is less full, instead. Doing it this way, she still gets the buzz from buying gift basket supplies without the guilt of buying something she neither needs nor has enough space for.

Being able to visualize what you have is huge with crafters, but it can also be useful with clothing, groceries, makeup, you name it. See a cute black top on sale? If your closet’s organized by color, you’ll know how many you already have. Decide while at the grocery store to have chips and salsa on hand? Fine, but you can picture the four bags of chips in your pantry, so just buy the salsa. Does Sephora have your favorite brand on sale? If your makeup is organized by type, then you know what you have room for. 

You see, it’s not about starving ourselves from our favorite brands or hobbies – it’s more about feeling good throughout the entire process.

Aubrei Krummert is a Certified Professional Organizer in Athens, Ohio. She specializes in Home Productivity and works with clients across the United States, doing on-site and virtual sessions. Contact her now.

Thanks to Artem Beliaikin for sharing their work on Unsplash.

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