Two Christmases ago, my mom gave me a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. At the time I didn’t realize it was a pop culture phenomenon. I thought it was a gag gift or maybe a last ditch effort on my mom’s part to help me finally overcome my messy tendencies. Being tidy has been a personal struggle of mine for a long time. Not for lack of trying. I’ve tried every strategy that is recommended for people like me. The 1 minute rule. The 15 minute rule. Making lists. Weekly routines. Not even Loonette on the Big Comfy Couch could solve my messy problem. A few months after Christmas, I decided to give kondo-ing a try, partly because I was to move out shortly thereafter. I was hesitant because the first step is to gather all your belongings and dump them into a pile. I was envisioning myself becoming fatigued by the gathering and not actually moving onto the next step: sorting. Memories of previous moves that had ended in me sobbing late at night, overwhelmed by a small sea of unpacked belongings pushed me to start the process. In the end I did get rid of a lot of items that I had no use for anymore. And once they were out of the house, I didn’t miss them.
Since then I’ve still struggled to stay tidy, but cleaning up doesn’t take nearly as long because there is so much less to put away. As a direct result of this, my shopping habits have changed substantially. I’ve always loved shopping and spending money, but lately I am much more interested in quality v.s. quantity. Instead of impulse shopping, I think about what I really want and what I really need in my life. I haven’t been taken in by things just because they’re a good deal. In fact, I’m finding that I would prefer to not spend my money until I find something that is worth spending the money on. And beyond that I’ve also been thinking about the impact that my money has when I spend it which is why I continue to become more invested in supporting independent shops.
I’ve always been in favour of spending money at local businesses and it seems like I’m not alone because there has been a renaissance of locally-made high quality goods. I don’t remember Winnipeg ever being so full of entrepreneurs. Local brew pubs and coffee shops are scattered throughout the city. Gourmet doughnut shops and local clothing designers with their own boutiques are highlights in the downtown area. An even broader variety of artisans are on Instagram and although they don’t have their own brick and mortar stores, they can be found at wildly popular pop up markets. Even the food truck variety is staggering when compared with what was available a few years ago. Often the products being sold isn’t the cheapest option. However, for a few more dollars, there are tangible rewards like meeting the creator of your goods, detailed information about how and your product is made and pride in the service provided. At the same time, when our money is kept in our own community, we boost our local economy. Even if you buy less and spend more, consider the overall benefits of supporting local. It’s worth it.