Mindful Acquisition

In 2017 on Joshua Becker’s website Becoming Minimalist, he revealed that the LA Times reported that, ‘There are 300,000 items in the average American home.’ At some point we have either bought or been given these items over the course of the home’s life cycle. Contemplating the true cost of what and where we purchase our consumer goods from will contribute to the wellbeing of not only ourselves but the health of our planet as well. Before we decide to buy something we should consider the ethics, including the carbon footprint this object made before we commit to adding this to the colossal amount of items we already own. Buying local items or objects that have been crafted from sustainable materials that also can be recycled is a positive move in the right direction for us as a global society. Even before we are at the check-out we should consider some of the following:

Mindful Acquisition Questions

Why did I come shopping today?

Is this object, item or product something I need or something I want?

Can I afford the space and the dollars it will cost to own this?

If I wait to purchase this what will be the consequence?

In the words of Reverend Billy from the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, ‘Give me the power to stop shopping!’ Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to become a more Intentional Shopper. When you are an intentional shopper you purchase goods with clarity that are fit for purpose. By taking a moment to reflect on why, what and how we buy items we can reduce the fixed mindset of the Hyperconsumption cycle of work>buy>spend, allowing ourselves to progress into a more growth mindset using the Mindful Acquisition cycle create> live> share.

NoPlaceLikeHome

**2020 Special Book Pricing** Click here to order your copy for $20.00 plus $5.00 for shipping anywhere in Australia http://bit.ly/2020RightsizeYourLife

One Cupboard Strategy

If you are finding it challenging to begin your Rightsize journey, I recommend a very simple practice strategy. Choose one cupboard or drawer to start within your home and work through The Rightsizing Approach on a much smaller scale. Using all the same techniques we have read about on how to sort and divide your items, focus your attention only on this condensed space. ‘Practice makes perfect’, as the well-worn saying goes, will support you to have confidence in your own ability by practising your new Rightsizing skill set. Once completed, you will find yourself more prepared to develop and engage with a larger Rightsizing project.

YouGotThis

**2020 Special Book Pricing** Click here to order your copy for $20.00 plus $5.00 for shipping anywhere in Australia http://bit.ly/2020RightsizeYourLife

Reuse

Before we RECYCLE certain items it may be possible for us to reuse those consumer products that are intended for single use. In doing so this may reduce our need for duplicate purchasing of these items in the short term. Frequently used liquid vessels such as water bottles or takeaway coffee cups and accessories including straws or cutlery can become more sustainable objects by owning reusable versions of these. Reusing paper; bottles; jars; single-use drink; takeaway containers; shopping bags; plastic plates; eating utensils and furniture. Thinking creatively on how to reuse these items before they are recycled is a great way for us to extend the usefulness of these objects and/or their packaging. Use jars to store your spices and/or small objects like paperclips or hair elastics. Once washed, use your takeaway containers to store your own leftovers for freezing or for lunch the next day.

Try your hand at upcycling, by painting a piece of older furniture a bold colour to give it a new lease on life. You may even learn a new skill that can give you joy and assist you to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. My mum has always been an ‘up-cycler’ well before this craft-form became popular. In my first family home, we had a 1960s kitchen dresser that was painted bright glossy yellow with glass sliding doors; by the time I was a teenager it was matte black with brass handles and the doors removed. This piece of furniture was a quality item that with a few modifications over time was able to grow and change with our family’s needs.SustainableYou

**2020 Special Book Pricing** Click here to order your copy for $20.00 plus $5.00 for shipping anywhere in Australia http://bit.ly/2020RightsizeYourLife

Why Give

After the mighty purchasing season that is Christmas, many gifts now can replace our older belongings. In 2018 many charity stores have reported that they will receive between 75,000 and 100,000 kilograms of donations in January alone post the Christmas season. During this time their volunteers can barely keep up with the sorting process. It’s no wonder our charity stores are brimming with second-hand treasure. These organisations help to reduce items that would end up in landfill and assist the most vulnerable in our communities. Giving to charity makes us feel empowered by knowing we are helping others. Brain activity is heightened when we give and registers more pleasure than actually receiving.

A study conducted by William Harbaugh, a Professor of Economics at the University of Oregon, calls this a ‘warm glow’. When we have a strong social conscience we feel compelled to help others where we can. By giving we are able to reflect our personal values through charitable acts which can help to increase our self-esteem and self-perception. Setting a positive example of giving will have a positive impact on others as generosity has the power to be contagious. Particularly with our children when they experience the act of giving at a younger age they will be natural givers as adults. Inspiring others to give can help to strengthen community bonds and even the smallest acts can make a big difference. One of the almost always positive human behaviours is altruism. When we behave in an altruistic way we are seeking to bring benefit to others by assisting them without requiring anything in return. By helping others in this way we seek no apparent gain or potential cost to ourselves.

Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Unselfish acts are the real miracles out of which all the reported miracles grow.’ Somebody who donates time volunteering with an organisation or at an institution,gives blood or rescues somebody are all displaying acts of altruism. We often take many forms of altruism for granted in our daily lives. Chivalrous acts of opening doors, giving somebody on the street directions, or even making someone feel comfortable in a social situation can all be considered as altruistic behaviours. Australians are big givers, according to a study done by the Giving Australia project. They found that in 2006 13.4 million adults, which is around eighty-seven percent of all adults, gave $5.7 billion dollars to not- for-profit and private organisations in one year. This was more than given by adults in the United Kingdom and Canada but less than half given by adults in the United States.

Being altruistic can fill us with positive emotions and a feeling of empowerment. When we help without expecting anything in return we can, however, receive intangible pro-social rewards. When others in our social groups acknowledge our good deeds we are treated to a self-esteem boost and have others view us in a favourable light. This alone can be enough motivation to lend a helping hand. A positive way to assist our friends, family and local community members may be to offer to share our particular set of skills. Offer to assist someone with something you are good at, like gardening, cooking or setting up a social media page. We all have something to offer, no matter how small. Offer to collect friends’ children from school or take your neighbour’s dog for a walk. Share your Rightsizing experience with another person. Random acts of kindness in our communities restore our hope for humanity and can make you feel a part of something bigger than our own lives. This type of behaviour has the magical power of being reciprocated and repeated. Giving is a powerful act that can benefit all that are involved. Offer your assistance when you can, donate your time, your excess and your experiences with others to create a life of enrichment that is intentional and full of meaningful connections.

PowerOfGiving

**2020 Special Book Pricing** Click here to order your copy for $20.00 plus $5.00 for shipping anywhere in Australia http://bit.ly/2020RightsizeYourLife

Keep

Our KEEP items are our belongings that we identify with and they will stay in our homes and lives. Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and more recent host of her Netflix show Tidying Up, uses the term ‘Spark Joy’ to describe objects to be kept. Her simple method recommends that you should only keep the items that give you the ‘spark joy’ feeling. Things that we love, find useful and use often will be a part of our keep items.

My first Rightsizing project started in December 1998 and took till June 2000 to complete so we could sell the property. My husband said to me, ‘You can keep anything you like.’ This is how I started by separating all the items that I wanted to KEEP. This project took eighteen months to Rightsize his belongings and is an ongoing curation process. As we minimised these belongings we felt stronger within ourselves but also within our own relationship. Together we had the courage to face this epic task one day at a time, box by box, carload by carload. Every little bit contributed to the solving of this wicked problem. We still believe today that if we survived emptying that shed we could just about survive anything! So far so good, still happily married after fifteen years and yes, we still own a lot less than at this time in our lives! When we KEEP items that we identify with and that provide us with the most happiness, joy, usefulness and value we will quickly be able to determine those items that do not align with these statements of acceptance.

EditYourExcess

**2020 Special Book Pricing** Click here to order your copy for $20.00 plus $5.00 for shipping anywhere in Australia http://bit.ly/2020RightsizeYourLife