The Boxing Day sales will be kicking off next week. And I feel obligated as a professional organiser to tell you to avoid them like the plague. But the truth is I love a sale, and I encourage you to make the most of Boxing Day sales.

Now you are probably wondering:

Why is a professional organiser encouraging people to buy stuff? Doesn’t that go against everything I believe in?

The truth is we need stuff. I’m writing this blog, on my laptop, connected to a monitor, using a wireless keyboard and mouse, drinking a coffee from a glass while dressed in my pyjamas. All these items I need to get me through life. And if there is stuff I actually need, things that I will actually use, I will get them on sale rather than paying full-price for it. The truth is I rarely buy anything from a major store at full-price and always wait for it to be on sale.

I consider Boxing Day sales to be okay when you want to save money on items that will add value to your life. However, sales become problematic when people are shopping for the sake of it, merely buying products because they are on sale. In the latter case, people are wasting time and money and are adding clutter to their lives. Let me explain with an example.

Example 1- Bill

Bill is a runner and has a pair of runners that are worn out and need replacing. He sees some new runners in a store that he likes that are $250.00. During the Boxing Day sales, he sees them for $150.00. Bill decides to buy them and discards his old pair. Bill has just saved $100.00. Great! Well done Bill.

Example 2 – Sam

Sam rarely runs and has a pair of runners that are perfectly fine. In fact, he has 3 other pairs in his wardrobe. During the Boxing Day sales, Sam is walking through a department store and sees a pair of runners that were $250.00 and are now on sale for $150.00. Sam sees this as a bargain and decides to buy them. Sadly, Sam didn’t save $100.00 he wasted $150.00 as he has perfectly good runners at home and he rarely runs. Also, he has added clutter to his home.

See the difference?

Boxing Day sales are an excellent way to save money on purchasing items you need, and it can make financial sense to do so as in Bill’s case. However, they become an issue when you are buying something simply because it is on sale and without any thought, as was the case with Sam.

The truth is:

Retailers will market Boxing Day sales as an event that you are invited to and need to attend, but in fact, you don’t. If there is nothing you need, then avoid the crowds, skip the sales and spend some time doing something more enjoyable such as:

  • Reading a book
  • Going for a walk
  • Watching a movie
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Relaxing and doing nothing

If however, you have identified something you do need here are some tips to help avoid adding clutter to your life during the sales period.

  1. Write a list a few days before the sales of all the items you want to purchase
  2. After a few days review the list and ask yourself the following questions:
  3. Do I actually need these items?
  4. Do I have somewhere suitable to store these items?
  5. Do I already have something similar?
  6. Did I get this as a Christmas gift?
  7. If you answered no to either questions 1 and 2 or yes to questions 3 and 4, then remove the item/s off your list.
  8. If you are unsure of an item, take it off your list. Most stores have sales throughout the year, so you can get it later if you feel you still want it after the Boxing Day sales.
  9. Do your research and know which stores stock items you want. This is important as you can walk into the store, get the things on your list and leave.
  10. Avoid wandering through stores as this will waste your time and increase your temptation to buy other things.
  11. Please stick to your list and avoid buying items for the sake of buying them. This is a waste of money.

Here are some things I will be adding to my list:

  • A printer(I don’t have one and now sick of heading to Officeworks to print stuff)
  • New work pants for work
  • Some belts (I need to eliminate plumbers crack when at work)

I will use the sales to get the above item at a better price, and that is okay.

Use Boxing Day sales to save some money on buying items that will add value to your life. And if there is nothing you need, then avoid the deals and avoid adding unnecessary clutter in your life.

Cover photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash