I quit Amazon. I did it because, frankly, I was buying a lot of stuff. Those boxes kept showing up on my porch. That stuff I needed had a mysterious way of transforming into clutter. The final purchase that pushed me over the edge was an eight-color automatic pencil.
This pencil has eight different colors of lead built into one writing utensil. I should mention that I already have a full set of colored pencils. But what I didn’t have was all of the colors of pencils built into one.
Now I do.
It’s pretty much the perfect solution to a problem I didn’t even know that I had (i.e. “the problem” was having to reach and pick up different pencils to change colors).
I had some kind of delusion that if a perfect product exists to solve a problem–I needed it. What I wasn’t paying attention to was whether the problem was even worth solving.
In retrospect, having all my colored pencils collected into one single device was not a problem worth solving.
Speaking of problems. When we were potty training our son he had a knack for having accidents in his carseat. A helpful friend suggested we purchase a piddle pad.
What’s a piddle pad, you ask?
It’s a specially designed device that fits perfectly in the carseat to catch pee. Yes, I bought two. It was glorious for the two weeks that I needed it.
But did I really need it?
I could have used a towel. Or a burp cloth. But instead I invested in not one, but two specially tailored devices, which inevitably will end up in the landfill. Why? Because with Amazon it was cheap, fast, and convenient.
Our life as consumers has become cheap, fast, and convenient. Which makes us prone to consume more and more. Personal debt continues to rise. The storage business continues to grow. The familiar cardboard boxes are a mainstay on the porches across America.
Ironically, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos spoke to Wired Magazine about consumerism. He explained, “what consumerism really is, at its worst, is getting people to buy things that don’t actually improve their lives.”
This is exactly what Amazon has done to me. #irony
So I quit. I need a break. My credit card needs a break. My husband needs a break from breaking down all those damn boxes and popping the inflatable packing materials.
I need time to reassess and practice buying more intentionally. During the past few years I have slowly transitioned into a minimalist lifestyle–so I was doing better. But for the next year I am going to work on my Master Plan. My Master Plan to pass on the promise of cheaper, faster, and convenient. I am going to “shop small”, buy intentional, and stay clutter-free.
This means filling my life with items that are necessary, durable, useful, and of course, things I love. (kind of like the perfect sweater I found recently).
Want to read more about my Master Plan to buy more intentionally and live simply with my family? It’s coming soon–leave your email below for updates and get a free guide to “Start Simple” with your family.