A member of my Unclutter.com Organizing Support Group on Facebook posted today that she went to a big fundraising yard sale. She was happy to report that she only bought a package of napkins that she can use at work and one paperback book.

She said, “I resisted several items and even put down a couple that I thought about buying.” What she realized was that if she wanted to reduce the clutter, she had to (in her words) reduce the inflow.

To buy or not to buy? That is the question. Just in case you think I’m immune to the power of “stuff,” I’m not.

A few weeks ago, I strolled into shop just to take a look. Right away, I spotted a beautiful pair of cowboy boots made in Mexico that were really “me.”

I picked them up and looked for the size. I couldn’t find it, but they sure did look like my size. I put them down and looked around until I spotted the storekeeper. I asked her, “What size are those boots?” She said, “I think they’re a size 7.” My size. Oh!

Then she added, “And I can take 20% off the price. Double oh!

Quick rewind to last summer…

While visiting the state of Montana, where everybody wears cowboy boots from the time they can walk, I decided that I just had to get a pair. Before long, I was the proud owner of my first pair of cowboy boots. They’re beautiful dark brown distressed leather with turquoise leather accents. They’re super comfortable and I really love them. But I’ve only worn them three or four times in the past eight months.

I had to ask myself: Do I really need another pair of cowboy boots? (If only I lived in Montana, I could have answered, “Yes!”)

I really liked those boots. But I wasn’t shopping for boots. And I didn’t need them.

We were going to be in the area for a few days. So I decided that if I woke up the next day and really had to have them, I’d go back and get them. I’m glad I didn’t now.

To buy or not to buy? If you’re trying to declutter your life, it pays to remember that today’s purchases (especially those impulse purchases!) become tomorrow’s clutter. Sometimes you just have to say, “Not today.” And then walk away.

What’s your story? What have you purchased that you wished you didn’t – or didn’t and wished you did?