In America, I often hear the joke: “Asian women just like free stuff.” Probably true! Previously, every time I went to conferences, fairs, supermarkets, I used to accumulate miscellaneous things such as advertising T-shirts, cups, water bottles, bags … Why? Because there’s no reason why people won’t hold on to their hands for free stuff, right? No, no, and no! Now, unless the free stuff is of great use and I don’t have that at home, I would say no to all the people who advertise and say no to the “ugly” voice in me. That: “just take it, nothing will ever happen!” I would lose a place in the house to store “free” items, take the effort to retrieve things and find a proper storage place, and then spend time moving the house and discard it later. I cannot stress more than the importance of saying no to these free items because they can “multiply” very quickly and make life more stressful than we think.
I also said no to the big sale. Everyone knows the sale “within 7 days” or “the cheapest sales of the year” with the price of .99 dong is just the way brands want to get money in their pockets so that everyone pounced rushing to sales. I’ve also spent countless hours hunting discount items online, always buying more than what I need, and always have unused items (but are afraid to return them). Since living on Minimalism, I’ve always written or marked everything I WANT to buy (but NOT NEED to buy) in the “Notes” section (Note) on my phone or in my Pinterest account. No matter how much I want to buy it, I have to put it on the list first. If 2 days, 1 week, or 1 month later I still think about the item, I will buy it. If I didn’t think or forgot that I wanted to buy the item, I would remove it from the list. This also saves me a lot of money and time running under the brand.
With that, I said no to keeping things just to be “just in case”, just to “miss them” and they could be used for something else. Most of these precautionary items have no material value but due to the “regret” mentality, they often do not want to leave. My general rule is that any back-up item that stays for 3 months without using it will have to go. For example, last month I was planning to leave a good ladle but the size was too big, which made me struggle to find a place to store it. But I panic because “missed” next week to cook a large pot of soup, or “precaution” in the future when there are many customers to need to cook for many people. Finally, I put the ladle in the box and put it away somewhere else (away from the kitchen). Results after 3 months, I still cook normally, still have guests to play house, still cooking soup without the spoon. I even forgot I had it. Since then, the decision to remove the item also became easier.