I was going to wait until my sister-in-law, Deanna, came over to see if she noticed I finally purchased a couch for the little sitting area off our kitchen, but I can't wait that long. She bugs me every time she comes over to just purchase something for the space. When we finished the basement--a couple of years ago--we moved our leather set downstairs and I haven't found anything I liked that much to replace it upstairs. Everyone knows I'm willing to hold out as long as it takes to find exactly what I'm looking for at the price I'd like or just until I find something I really want. (I had birthday money sitting in an account for over a year before I finally spent it on a great photography class taught by the amazing photographer Nicole Gerulat. Lynn and I took it together. Totally recommend it!). Anyway, I do have a very nice leather chair--a knock-off of Pottery Barn's Manhattan--that I love in the area, but the space has mostly been used as a play room for Ella.
We made a trip to Gardner Village last week and I found a couch I loved at Down to Earth, but it was green. I wanted something more neutral. Looked through the samples and found a fabric I really liked. Okay, I'm rambling. I need to get to the good part.
Long story--sort of shorter--I told Lynn three times how much I loved the couch and fabric and he said if I like it that much to buy it. On a whim I decided to go into Downeast Home in Orem before heading back to Gardner Village. It's a store that sells higher-end seconds, so you have to visit often and look things over carefully for flaws. I've found a few really nice items there.
Right up front was the exact Pottery Barn couch I've been looking for and trying to match for years. And it was the perfect color--a neutral, warm tan! Jared (yes, I know some of the employees by name), said he wasn't sure why it was sent to them because he couldn't find anything wrong with it. I looked it over inch by inch and found two small flaws. One was a half-inch dirt spot down in the corner by the foot that I'm sure I can remove. You'd have to look at the piece as carefully as I did to find the other flaw, so I'm not even going tell what it is. No one else will notice it. I called Lynn to tell him about my find and put it on hold until the end of the day. When Lynn got home we borrowed our friend's pick-up and ran to the Downeast. He liked it as much as I did so we bought it. Total score!
The amazing part is I got it for $500 less than the one I was going to order at Down to Earth and about $900 cheaper than retail (including shipping and surcharge). It's such a rush for me when I get a really great deal, especially on something I really want. And the color looks even better in our home than it did on the sales floor. Love it! Lynn has told me a million times, "Great shopping, Hon!", which translates in husband language to: I didn't have to spend as much as I thought, my wife is happy, so woo hoo!
So here's my philosophy about shopping. I love to shop and I love getting great deals. But I do have two personal rules of thumb for shopping sales:
1. I don't buy an item on sale unless I would have paid full price for it. (Totally fits in the couch deal. Lynn got tired of me furniture shopping long ago and was willing to purchase the PB couch at retail. I knew I could do better. It paid to hold out!) This cuts way down on the "it was such a great deal I couldn't pass it up" mindset.
2. I ask myself if I'd rather put the money I would spend on the sale item towards the purchase of something I like more. If the answer is "yes", it goes back on the rack or shelf. Personally, I'd rather have one item I really love than a bunch of stuff I sort of like.
Both rules save me from purchasing stuff that will just clutter up the house. They also make it an extra bonus when I do get something I love at a great price. Next time you hit a good sale, ask yourself those two questions. I promise it'll change what ends up in your cart (and your husband will be saying, "woo hoo!" too).
Speaking of clutter, over the last little while I've helped a few of my girlfriends organize their kitchens. I love doing it. Sometimes we just need a "clutter coach" to help look at things with a more discerning eye and help us decide what to keep, give away/toss or store. I've found the same patterns with everyone when it comes to dealing with clutter. In the next couple of days I'll share a few organizing ideas that have worked for me.