It really does not matter who you are… if you are reading this you probably love “stuff”! Home decor stuff! I sure do. I love to decorate and change things up so much I write about it!!! I look forward to the changes in season to decorate accordingly. And the same goes for holidays! I bet I’ve spent a small fortune decorating and redecorating my home! And could probably furnish another home with all the decor in my basement! I could have saved myself lots of headaches and $$$ if I only asked myself a few important questions before I bought anything!
This is the year of the PURGE! The time to give away, throw away, put away and sell EVERYTHING in my house (that includes the basement)! To keep the clutter… and extra expenses at bay, I’ve come up with 10 common sense questions we should ask ourselves before buying ANY big or small, expensive or cheap, needed or wanted, new or old home decor items!
1. DO I LOVE IT?
This is the first question we should all ask ourselves before we dig down into our purses and pull out our wallets! Do you love it… really, really love it! If the answer is a resounding YES… great! Go right on to question #2. If you like it and it is on super sale and can save tons of money… put it back! ONLY BUY WHAT YOU TRULY LOVE!
2. WHERE WILL I PUT IT?
If you don’t have room for it, don’t buy it! I’ve learned this the hard way! Our garage looks like it could be on an episode of HOARDERS! My husband cannot put his car in the garage for all the fabulous pieces of furniture I just had to have… or furniture I had but replaced with something new! Please hear me… and this IS hard…do not buy things that you can’t find a home for right away. Not even if you love love love them. You will thank me for this tough love later!
3. DOES IT WORK WITH/ ENHANCE/ UPDATE WHAT I HAVE
It’s easy to buy a bunch of little home decor pieces… and end up with a bunch of great stuff that does not work together! If you love it and have a place for it make sure it works or enhances or adds to the collections you already have or updates your look! I know you might love dear roe antlers… they are very popular right now… but if you have a cottage beach style home they probably won’t work! Make sure the things you buy breathe life and style into what you already have!
4. IS THERE SOMETHING I ALREADY HAVE THAT I CAN SUBSTITUTE
Boy, this is a real wake up call! Is there something you have that can be upcycled, refreshed, repainted or repurposed that would work just as well and save tons of money? Blogs are fabulous sources for making old things better than new! Before you buy… think, think, think! Take a mental inventory of what you have and how you could reuse it!
5. CAN I AFFORD IT
This is the BIG question! So why is it not number 1? Although being able to afford the home-decor-thingy-you-have-found-that-you-love-on-sale-and-must-have-it-now is of the utmost importance, the first 4 questions tend to weed out a whole lot of unnecessary buying! NOW it’s time to answer, “Is this something I can afford”? This is a question between you and your wallet… and maybe God… and okay, maybe your husband! Don’t buy ANYTHING that will make you house poor! That fancy new _______ (fill in the blank) is not worth your peace of mind… I don’t care how beautiful it is! Even small home decor pretties can add up to be a whole lot of money trouble!
If something is too expensive, it’s a good thing to save for it! We never buy it unless we can pay cash! This saves us from lots of headaches and sleepless nights! I think having to save for something makes it even more special!
6. CAN I AFFORD TO LEAVE IT
Once in a blue moon… again, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON… something is so special you just can’t afford to leave it behind. This has happened to me on a few occasions! If it is so so special, one-of-a-kind, or so better-than-perfect that you had to take it home… here is my advice.
- Read #5 a few times and really think about it!
- Don’t make this a habit!
- Go for it and don’t look back!
7. CAN I RETURN IT
I don’t sweat purchases too much if I can return them AND GET MY MONEY BACK! I’ll think twice if I can get a store credit for returned merchandise. And I’ll really have to be sure the thing I am buying is exactly what I NEED… and not just want… to make a purchase I can’t return! If an item can’t be returned you are stuck with it… no matter what. Make sure and make sure again before making even a small purchase you cannot return! BTW: I always ask the return policy at a store I’ve not shopped in before!
8, WILL I LOVE IT IN 5 YEARS
Everything has a life cycle. Styles change. Things get worn out and tired looking. The more I spend for something the longer I am going to have to live with it! I once bought two 18th century sofas. They were absolutely stunning!!! I saved up 5 years to buy them… and they cost a bundle! I lived with those 2 sofas for 25 years… 15 years longer than I would have like to. But, because they cost so much they had a long, long, l-o-n-g life cycle.
Here’s a little StoneGable wisdom… if you want to live with a large home decor item for 5 years, only pay for it to last that long! Right now my family room sofa was around $1,000 dollars. I got it on a very good sale. It is fabulous and very comfortable. Will it hold up 10 years from now… probably not! Thank goodness! I bought it to last a shorter time because I will surely want to change it up by then. Be smart! You don’t have to buy the most expensive things that will last generations! You kids probably won’t want you old (but beautiful) stuff! Spend just enough money to get good quality that will last until you get tired of it!
9. WHAT SPECIAL CARE DOES IT NEED
If something takes extra work I’ll probably pass it up! I don’t like extra upkeep! If I can’t sit on it without worrying… if I can’t have coffee near it without being extra careful… if it drops and breaks and makes me have a nervous breakdown… it probably won’t be in my home! Make sure you have made peace with the items you buy for your home! If the special care you have to give things is giving you a headache… then they are not bringing you joy! Don’t buy anything you are not willing to take care of.
10. CAN I GET IT CHEAPER SOMEWHERE ELSE
I’m not an impulse buyer! I sure could be! But I have learned over the years to check out all the great places to buy home decor before buying anything! With the internet at our fingers and on our phones, we have an inventory of stores and sites to buy home decor… many at discount prices. When I am shopping for a large ticket item this is part of the hunt! I’ve saved $$$ by doing a little research on the internet to find the best deals! I think it makes the prize all the sweeter!
Did you notice that one of the questions was NOT “Do I need this”? Most of us don’t NEED much, really. Decorating usually has to do with our wants… our want to live in beauty, be comfortable, live in a state of visual order or even our want to create!
No matter how large or how small our home decor purchases are we should to make them count towards the beauty, appeal and comfort of our home. If we are wise with the smallest purchases our home will reflect that exacting, thoughtful care! It’s important to make home decor decisions with intent… loving, enjoying and finding the perfect spot for everything we bring into our homes.
You might want to pin this to your Pinterest home decor board. You can follow my Pinterest boards by clicking HERE.