Ep 48. Breaking the Impulse Shopping Twitch w Anthony Ongaro

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Anthony Ongaro had a habit. Every time he had a bad day, every time life wasn’t amazing, he opened up his online shopping site, and One-Click purchased something. Anything. It didn’t matter. He didn’t need it, it didn’t matter what it was, but the act of purchasing made him feel better.

Until he noticed that he was missing family events because he couldn’t afford the tickets, yet almost every day there was a box on his doorstep. He implemented a complete shopping ban – and discovered that at first, it was similar to cutting out sugar. He was grumpy and in a very bad mood.

But after the initial shock, he found that he didn’t miss the stuff – in fact he was inspired to clear the clutter, remove the distractions from his life, so that he could live his best life.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your ‘stuff’? This episode can give you the direction you need to get started.

Listen here or on your favorite podcast app.

Great episode that hits close to home! Some of my thoughts on dealing with "stuff":

I too had a problem getting rid of things that I no longer used but felt like someday I might still use them. I listened to the audio book version of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo. One focus is looking at your items more personally, and actually verbally acknowledging their past usefulness and thanking them for what they provided. It seems a little weird to be thanking a t-shirt that I bought at a concert 10 years ago that doesn't fit me anymore, but it actually brought back memories from that day and helped me realize that it's just a shirt (that I'll probably never fit into again) and that by donating it to a charity organization, it may find new life with someone who will appreciate it. Check the book out if you're having some difficulty getting into the mindset of "letting go".

Another thing my neighbor taught me was that with his family, if it hasn't been used in a year, it gets trashed or donated. I've been applying this to my personal belongings, and I'm slowly trying to chip away at my family on this. With the exception of hand-me-downs (we have 3 kids, 7, 5, and 9 months), there's no real reason to keep toys or clothes that will never get used again. My wife is part of a Facebook group of Mom's in our area and they constantly trade things that they no longer use. It's amazing some of the really nice things she can find through the group. It truly is "one person's trash is another person's treasure". The only rule with this group is don't sell anything you get for free.

Lastly, I've found that apps like letgo are great at finding or getting rid of things. I call it the "slow garage sale". If I can get $5-10 bucks for something I don't use anymore, great! If not, I'll put it up for free and someone will most likely take it. TIP: if no one takes it and it's a large item (like a couch,etc), contact your garbage company. My garbage company allows me two bulk-item picks up a year free of charge. I like to do a couple big purges a year on furniture or construction materials that are too big to fit in my regular bins.

Thanks for the great podcast. One the other side of things, I made the money to purchase my first rental property off of Ebay and Amazon selling. I greatly appreciated the "twitch" instinct of others as it was the source of major change for my family. On a personal note, my family is constantly fighting to have less stuff. We do track our spending, but with three kiddos, sometimes things pile up a bit. If we don't use an item or value it enough to display it, then it has to leave.

Holy smokes, this was an intriguing episode.  My parents were classic packrats with a deeply unhealthy relationship with stuff. I inherited some of their traits. My wife and I have gone through adventures in DIY landlording that have given us a very clear look into the lives and debilitating habits of hoarders.

As I've mentioned multiple times here in the forums, I write reviews for the Home Depot Seeds program, which is Home Depot's answer to the Amazon Vine program. I get a lot of stuff free from Home Depot in exchange for writing unedited reviews on that stuff. This has many obvious benefits for us as landlords, but also means that we have, well, a lot of stuff. Currently, the stuff fills most of a 3-car garage at one of our rental properties, our own condo's one-car garage, and we recently bought a property with another detached garage that we intend to use for stuff and not rent out with the property. Five garage bays is an awful lot of stuff, and gives you a privileged look at the systems backing the consumerist lifestyle. I am inside the machine looking out.

I haven't looked at the goals and process of minimalism until now. I was convinced, in a wholly ignorant way, that minimalism was ultimately about achieving a highly aspirational, Instagram-worthy lifestyle that I would never want. This episode of the Money Show blew that mistaken belief out of the water.

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