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10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Something

10 Questions to ask yourself before buying something:

Are you prone to buying things that you never really end up using? Do you make purchases that ultimately turn into dust-collecting, space-hogging clutter? Do you ever fall for sales gimmicks or so-called bargains and end up with something you don’t really need? These questions to ask yourself before buying something might just help you avoid buyer’s remorse:

Shop more intentionally using this list of questions to ask yourself before buying something: 


1. If I buy this thing, will I use it? If so, how often?

Do you already have something at home that will serve the same purpose? Are you are only stocking up in case you might need it someday? Unless you know exactly when and how you will use this item, don’t buy it. It is also helpful to consider the size and cost of an item. 

As an example, is a large and costly kitchen appliance that you will only use every few years worth the tradeoff?

2. Does this thing bring me closer to reaching my goals, and is it in line with my values?

This one speaks for itself. What do you want your life to look like tomorrow? If the item in question will help move you closer to that goal, then buy it, otherwise, leave it on the shelf.

This rule of thumb can be used for anything, whether we are talking about items related to our health and fitness, home décor our finances, career goals, or wanting to live a simpler, more clutter-free life.   

Store with sale signs.

3. Have I had enough time to make a good decision about this thing?

Avoid impulsive purchases. If you are tempted to buy an item that you are not sure about, give yourself time to think it through. Consider waiting a day or two to think about it. You also could wait to put it in your cart until you have finished shopping. You may find that the item is not worth going back for. 

4. Am I being tricked into thinking I need to buy this thing? 

Keep your eyes open as you shop and be on the lookout for sales gimmicks. If you shop defensively, you will avoid getting sucked into consumer hooks. For example, “Buy one get one ½ off.”

Don’t walk out the door with 1 shirt you had to pay full price for just to get a deal on a second one you didn’t really need. This is not a bargain. It helps to keep in mind that the store’s main objective is to entice you to buy. Because their success depends on your money.

5. Do I have room to store this thing if I buy it?

Consider where you are going to store an item before you buy it. Do you have the storage space? How much space will it require? If you are short on space and will not immediately be needed, maybe you can wait to buy it until later.

Avoid the impulse to stock up excessively at home. If you already have the item at home and are just buying more because it’s a good deal or you want to be extra prepared, consider the costs.

Once your storage spaces exceed their limit, you risk losing control of your inventory.  Once this happens it becomes impossible to keep those spaces organized.

6. Another question to ask yourself before buying something is, “Am I only buying this out of fear of regret?”

It is common for sellers to use fear tactics to get us to buy things. Statements such as Sale Ends Soon, One Day Only, and Lowest Prices of the Season, give us an urgency to buy. We fear that we will regret not buying something when we had the chance.

It’s a classic FOMO scenario. In reality, the chances are very good that if you wait and buy that thing when you really need it, you’ll find another great deal down the road. And, no matter how good the deal is, it is a waste of money if you don’t need the item.  

Women shopping for clothing

7. Can I rent this thing or borrow it from a family member or friend?  

Before you decide to buy something, decide whether or not you can get by with borrowing it. This is a good option especially if you will only need the item for one or two projects. If you can’t borrow it, can you rent it? Renting or borrowing also means you won’t have to find a place to store it when you’re done with it.

8. Do I really need this, or am I just buying it to make myself feel good temporarily?

Shopping can be a temporary fix for a bad day or the blues. It can even be entertainment on an otherwise boring evening. Unfortunately, it is just that, a temporary solution that dissolves as fast as you get home.

If this sounds like you, catch yourself before you shop and find another source of satisfaction instead. Go to lunch with a friend, go for a walk, or find another enjoyable activity that won’t empty your wallet or add to the clutter you already have at home.

9. Do I need this thing? Or just want it? 

It helps to distinguish the difference before you buy. Once you accept that the item in question is a want, consider whether or not it will either truly bring you joy, or make your life easier. Often, the idea and vision of having something new are more appealing than actually having the item.

Once you have mindfully decided that it’s a want item, you will also want to decide if this is a good time financially  to make a non-necessity purchase.

10. The last question to ask yourself before buying something is, “Do I know for sure that I don’t already have this at home?”

Have you ever gone grocery shopping and purchased something only to get home and find out that you already had three of them sitting in your pantry? When it comes to groceries and other household items, never guess at buying things. It is best to rely on a shopping list.

We think we can remember what we have at home, but the truth is, most of us are lousy at this. Keep in mind that the more stocking up you do at home, the harder it is to stay on top of knowing what’s in your inventory and where it is located. 

Asking yourself these 10 questions before you put something in your cart will curb your spending and hopefully reduce the amount of clutter in your home.

Here is a shocking statistic: The average woman makes 301 trips to the store annually, spending close to 400 hours a year shopping. This amounts to 8.5 years spent shopping during a typical lifespan. (NY Daily News) 

Want more questions to ask yourself to help you to be more mindful about your purchases? 

I have created an extensive 25 question printable checklist to ask yourself before you buy something you are not sure about. Put this handy checklist in your pocket before you shop, and it will help you make purchases more intentionally from this day forward. Here’s a link to my free 25 Question Shopping Checklist 

The Simple Daisy Organizing
Laura Coufal

About Laura

I  am a Southern California turned small town, Midwest Mom. I am wife to Bruce and mom to my three girls.

Back when I first started my organizing journey in 2013, I had what I thought of as a dirty little secret. I have ADHD and although I am organized, and enjoy the process of sorting, and tidying. I knew that there were many others with ADHD who really struggled with staying organized. I had a case of imposter syndrome and mostly kept the fact that I had ADHD to myself. That is until I learned that there are other successful professional organizers who have also learned to compensate for their ADHD.

I eventually realized that my need for order and simplicity actually stems from having ADHD as a way to compensate for my short attention span. So my gifts and my challenges are all ironically tied together to create who I am,  and I am able to relate to and help others as a result of this coping method that I have developed for myself.

I help women and moms with ADHD, but I also help those who struggle with clutter without having ADHD.  Because simplicity and less clutter are always at the heart of staying organized, there is much overlap when it comes to finding solutions to clutter and disorganization.

I am dedicated to keeping my life as simple as possible and to helping others do the same by teaching them how to declutter their homes, simplify their lives, and manage their busy families better.

I have been helping others stay organized since 2013.

It is my deepest hope that you will find resources here that will bring you closer to living a simpler, more intentional, and more peaceful life. 

always have



in your space…

…but let it be

as simple

as a daisy

in a vase.


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