But I LOVE to Shop!

032052143-back-view-two-young-female-fri Who doesn't? It's culturally ingrained in us from the minute we were born; adorned with gifts on every holiday, bombarded with marketing left and right... no matter what, you cannot escape the impulse of desire that materialism inspires within.

So what can you do, despite these impulses, to fulfill that satisfaction without making too much of a dent in material acquisition or your wallet?

1. Window Shop - I like to go as far as building a wish list, or putting stuff in my cart and taking the time to try it on. I pick and choose the ones I absolutely love and would like to buy and I either put them back or on hold and tell myself I will come back later if I really feel I need it. Over this time I can ground myself without temptation looming in front of me and I can truly inquire about my wants or needs of these items, as well as remind myself that I'm probably happier wishing for It rather than buying it.

2. Shop Thrifty - If there's one thing I love about Goodwill it's practically guilt free. I love the $1-3 tops that are already broken in. Sometimes I take them home and mess with them on my sewing machine, other times I bring them back, guilt-free. Most of the time I find my favorite items are the second hand ones. And when I feel like letting them go, I am not worried about the couple bucks I spent, which pales in comparison to $20 on a new top.

3. Exchange/Replace Possessions - The most difficult task for me is to really comb out all the excess. For example, I have 3 musical instruments and I know one or two would keep me occupied for ages. The didgeridoo was an impulsive buy, it's massive, and not as fun (as my native american flute or ukelele) or easy to play for long periods of time. What I really should have done was ask myself, "Am I willing to replace one of my instruments for this didgeridoo? " or "What can I relinquish in order to bring this item into my life?" To avoid the dangerous cycle of minimizing-accumulating-minimizing-accumulating, it's so important to continually inquire before bringing new possessions home.

How do you keep your things in check when acquiring new things?