ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU DECORATE ANYTHING
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.
Great, advise. I have a truck load of goodies I have purchased for blog posts in my storage shed, and I am purging them this year too. As I get older and with my husband’s health issues I don’t want to make a big production out of a sweet post about tea. Small is good. Love your blog, and I read every post.
Good points!! Wish I had had this list with me from the start, not decades later. 😉
Thanks for the great advice. I have asked myself some of these questions in the past, but a few new ones help with the decision making. I too am trying to do some purging this fall, seems I like things simpler as I get older! LOL
Great Questions to ask self! Yes, I have lots of stuff–and I’m a “reformed” collector. When my children were young, I stopped going to auctions — that helped, or I would have even more stuff! I firmly ‘believe’ one in one/two out rule — but that seldom happens in our house. (My husband can’t let anything go). I have some really nice furnishings, but alas, my tastes have changed — in the over 30 years since I began collecting, now I would like to replace some things & update, etc. And yes, I probably have enough for a second house as well. Which I hope to have “someday” to rent out for guest lodging in my hometown (an hour away) — use for personal getaway & future home, when we age and begin to downsize. Oh dear – there it is, in print.
I ask myself similar questions before any retail purchase. Amazing how many mistakes true answers avoid.
Having just moved to a new house and seeing all the excess decor items I possess, your tips are spot on. I love home decor, and have way too much! With this new move, I’m really trying to purge the items I no longer need.
Absolutely beautiful! SO SO SO TRUE! People pull out the credit card and don’t think on “how long is this going to take me to pay this off” or when the credit card bill comes it is so high you just pay the minimum. My dear sweet grandfather taught me a valuable lesson over 40 years ago. He said, “If you don’t have the money to pay cash Kathy you don’t need it.” We NEVER had a credit card until 12 years ago when we took our cruise. Now if and when we use it, it is paid in full on the month it is due.I tried to teach this to my 4 children and all but 1 have learned this. I’m sorry to say he married a wife who loves to spend and their marriage is starting to suffer. We tend to help them out more than the others but maybe I should use “tough love” on them and let her figure it out for herself. Thank you for this post. I’m going to show her it!
Good advice! My husband and I just remodeled our home office/den. I waited on buying a rug that I liked but was $200, searched around and found a beautiful rug on clearance for $64!
Great advice, as usual! I guess I could say my husband keeps me grounded. Are you sure you didn’t consult with him before writing?
I think your hubby and mine are friends. LOL!!! He keeps me grounded as well. He very nicely asks… Dear and where are you going to put this? Makes me think…do I really love it that much.?
Such wise words. Things I have learned, but fresh reminders are so welcomed! Thank you Yvonne!
This is such good advice. Right now I am living with some furniture that I would love to replace, but we spent a lot of money on it at the time and it s holding up so well that I feel I must keep it. I still like it, but it really doesn’t fit in with the changes I would like to make .
Another question I always ask myself before I make a bog purchase is “Can I wait until it goes on sale” Having worked in retail for long time, I have learned that EVERYTHING eventually gets marked down.”
Thank you so much for these 10 “Golden Decoration Guideposts”. I really needed to see this because I know that I shop based on wants. Who actually needs 10 full sets of China and various flatware sets when I don’t even entertain. Silly me!!!! I won’t even mention the bedrooms and garage filled with decor I changed my mind about. So I’ve printed, laminated and plan on taking your great tips with me when I go shopping from here out. Also planning to purge/sell/donate/gift some of these things. Feels like a weight slowly lifting off my shoulders. Thanks.
Ahhh … very sound and wise advice for sure! I would love to see pics of the inside of your garage and basement with all of your “extra” decor and furniture!!
Yvonne! I so agree,I love love something,and say Where will I put it? My husband says Oh,you’ll find a place,you can always return it!
I love your chair facing into your beautiful living room,,where did you find that?
I too have so much stuff that needs to be donated. It is a huge task and I have to be in the right set of mind to tackle it!! I do have goals to clean closets and make room. Homes are much easier to live in when there is less “stuff”!!
Oh Yvonne your tips were right on!! As I get older and pay attention to your daily blog advice, I find that I am being a little more selective and cautious about what I’m buying. I just took a carload to Goodwill the other day and sold some “stuff” at a garage sale in June….I just have to keep chipping away at it! It’s a process! Thank you!
Wonderful advice! All of it. It really gives you something to think about before a large or small purchase. I’m with you on using cash. We’ve been doing that for years !
September is such a good time for this topic. New season ,fresh start and the weather is getting cooler so I can clean that stuff out of the barn. Moved here almost 5 years ago and still have not had that yard sale with all the things I accumulated in my former home. Decided if I spent just 30 mins a day I can be done by Thanksgiving!! I have already decorated inside for fall and never opened one plastic bin up in our attic of which I have four labeled fall decor. Need to follow your advice and purge,sell or give away.
Great common sense tips and advice on bringing more into our lives.
We are in the forecasted path of Irma. Visits from the likes of her remind us that we really don’t need much in this life to be happy, right?
Sending ?????? your way.
Prayers and concern from Canada Deb. Be safe.
Best advise ever. Think I need to print out #2 and paste it to my forehead!
I love your tips! We have similar styles, and similar thinking. Thanks so much for sharing!
Good advice we all need to listen to!
This is a good post and I should print it off and carry it in my purse. So many times you feel like you need to spurge on something that you don’t need. There is a big difference from need and want. I need to remind myself of this.
Great advice! I am soon to be 73 years old ~ like on the 16th of this month and the last year, I have really been thinking more about purchases I make. I know my children probably don’t want most of my treasures!
great advice…thinking about a good clearout too!
Great advice! I’m saving #2 to carry in my purse.
I should have read this before I hit 2 Home Goods, 2 TJ Maxx stores, Marshalls, Pier 1 and At Home today. Truth is I didn’t buy anything for me but a couple little things for my daughter. I started out with a return from shopping those stores earlier this week. So I did my damage.
I bought a few Rae Dunn pieces which I saw scads of a year ago and didn’t buy then. And now they’re hot I feel compelled to buy and of course the hunt pumps the adrenaline. Beanie Baby mania all over again. I want off that merry go round. And decided today to end that pursuit. It’s a thing. I’m tired pursuing things.
I will continue my search to find the remaining white salad dishes to complete my sets but for anything else I’m referring to your list.
I’ve gotten better at asking myself these questions when I shop as I’ve gotten older (and wiser!). Good things to ask yourself. I have just a few regrets of things I didn’t buy when I had the chance (usually at a thrift store…when you can’t stop thinking about it and go back for it later, but it’s gone, gone, gone!) Most times I walk away and never think about it again.
Very, very good advice. Fortunately for me, my husband is very good at all that and has kept me from impulse buying stuff I would have regretted. I’m getting better! Definitely words of wisdom. Pinning for future reference!
Good things to remember. Thanks for listing them.
I’d love to see your basement, ha, ha!
Appreciated those 10 questions and agree…we don’t NEED hardly anything.
I’ve done a lot of this this summer!! Hubby like to go to yard sales and having a full house I have to stop and ask myself all of these questions!! Enjoyed the article! You have a beautiful home!
Thank you for the great tips they were very helpful since I do not think sometimes God bless
Oh how I struggle with this. I needed to see this post. Thanks.
Fantastic questions! Like you, in the past years, I have bought way too much stuff. It’s my basement that looks like a home decor hoarders area. Maybe it comes with age and wisdom, but I am much more ruthless about what I bring home. The main question for me is, “Where will I put it?” I have a small home and there’s only so much room to display stuff!
Good tips,I think we all struggle with purchases big or small and
do we need things or not.
Love this. I have a similar list, but I like your even better!
So timely and soooo true! I will be reading these questions before I enter HG every time! I found your site just recently and I am so glad I did! Your style and tips are made for me. I’m catching up on your old posts. Thanks!
I can’t tell you how much I agree with #8! When I first got married I purchased a townhouse full of very high-end brand name Queen Anne furniture. I thought I would have it forever and I should buy the best. Little did I know that in less than 10 years my decorating taste would totally change and that I would be stuck living with furniture that no longer met my needs. After about 15 years, we ended up moving to a very contemporary home and we had an estate sale and sold (meaning, GAVE AWAY) all that quality furniture. I now only purchase big ticket items like sofas, dining room furniture, etc. at prices that are commensurate with how long I think I will use it.
# 2 where will I put it?? Sigh, that’s an especially good one.
Love the tips,. I need to practice. I have lots of stuff that I just had to have and now what to get rid of it.
If you’re going to purge your stuff, boy would I like to go to your yard sale! Love your blog. This advice is right on. Thanks.
If only we could ALWAYS follow these rules! A wonderful post. I need to keep this in my mind as I go forward. Thanks!
Thanks for such a well timed post. I’m in the process of weeding out myself but still would like some updated home décor.
Great post! My basement is my hoarding place.. and a spare room. I need to have a garage sale! Sharing on FB & Twitter. Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!
Great advice. I will keep them in mind for future purchases.
Great tips! Thank you.
Fantastic advice. And not only for home decorating. These rules can be applied to clothes and shoes also.
Great advice! Great read!
Such great advice. Thanks
Good questions. I also ask, “Do I want this or do I need this?” Just because at the moment I want something, it really is more admiration then needing to buy it for my home. Your questions may help me make that decision.
Love all the advice and posts where you got all your awesome items you purchased for your beautiful house.
Love your blog!!! Working on building the restraint you recommend. Garage sale planned soon.
What sound advice! We moved so quickly from the house we sold that I have ‘tons’ of little decor pieces that, had I the time I would have sold or given away. Now I’ll have to do that during or after we move into the new house in a couple of months 🙁 I’ll keep these rules ready for the next shopping trip!
I love all of your designs and great advice. Could you post where you bought the beautiful side table. It looks like it could be leather? Also, is the color gray or blue ? Thanks, 🙂
Hi Darlene, the side table came from Ethan Allen and I got it for a song. The top is leather. It’s a big piece and it’s a bargain piece!
Could you please tell me where you bought that chair with the circles….it’s beautiful
Hi Lorraine, you can find it HERE:https://rstyle.me/n/deyx3nb6by7
I keep stumbling onto your site – love your pictures.
I’m so glad you are here, Yvonne!