On a number of occasions, I’ve been asked how I feel about retailers, shops or online stores. You would perhaps assume that I wouldn’t have to many good things to say about them. On the face of it and generally speaking, they are the source of the clutter that comes into our homes.

However, they aren’t always all bad.

We still need things, and when I say need, I mean need, not want or desire or many of the other not quite need related adjectives we use.

Stuff, the important stuff, wears out, breaks and sadly is forced out of good use by incompatibility with newer products. Thats the point that we turn to retailers to buy new.

But they don’t get away that easily.

What is wrong with retailers and many connected to the shopping industry, is that they try, and often succeed, in creating a desire and a want where there once wasn’t one. They want us to purchase their products because our peers have them, because they tell us we’ll be more desirable, because we will be outcasts without them, that our friends will like us more. That we will have more desirable, intelligent, [insert adjective], partners, children, homes, cars and pretty much everything else. Just as soon as we buy their products.

Then there’s my pet hate, they tell us that their product will make us happy. When it comes down to it, even if there was a glimmer of happiness, its short-lived. Stuff, does not buy you long term happiness.

So when you need, and I mean really need, that product. Choose one that’s going to last, thats going to be recyclable at the end of its life, that’s going to add value, and that requires little maintenance, is small and is otherwise unobtrusive. Choose quality over quantity and bring into your life only that which adds value to your life.