I was hanging up the laundry in my closet and realized that I had run out of hangers.
I started to go online to order more when I stopped myself and realized that I don’t need more hangers, I need less stuff.
The pandemic has been good for impulse purchases of sweatshirts at attractive discounts.
My dry cleaner starched-shirt savings has been eaten up by hoodie purchases.
But rather than buy more hangers, here is what I am going to do.
First, I am going to go through my closet and decide what I really want to keep.
I won’t be Marie Kondo, asking what brings me joy. Instead, I will be me, deciding what I really want to wear when I am going back to work, rather than Zooming all day.
What are the items that I can literally throw out? OK, not throw out, but donate so that others can have what I no longer need.
Second, I am consciously going to be substituting rather than adding. When something new comes in, something old goes out.
Third, I am going to put things in my shopping cart and pause before I buy.
If I don’t buy, I am going to leave myself with two choices: either put the money I “saved” through not purchasing into our investment account or our charity account.
Shopping online can often create a dopamine thrill that I can match by investing or donating. No, it’s not the same — it’s better. This is addition through subtraction.
Fourth, I am going to pay attention to why I am spending money on things that I arguably may not need.
I have my theories. I feel a bit isolated because I am not having direct contact with my colleagues and clients.
I feel a loss of control because I am following safety protocols that are not of my own design, but that I know are better for my family and others.
I am a bit bored because I know tomorrow is going to look a lot like today and today was pretty similar to yesterday.
And I am frustrated with the political behavior in this country that is partly to blame for people turning on each other rather than toward each other. So I buy another frikkin’ sweatshirt!
I also need an attitude adjustment.
That means the fifth thing that I am going to do is to try to be nicer to not only those with whom I have much in common (that is easy), but also those with whom I don’t.
And no, more hangars won’t get me through this.
Spend your life wisely.
Ross Levin is the chief executive and founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management in Edina.