Declutter Tip #1: Use the Library

Throughout my decluttering, I’m going to share with you tips that I’m learning along the way. Here’s decluttering tip #1:

It was cold last weekend, and altho the snow was on the ground, no one wanted to go out and build snowmen. No, they wanted to stay indoors, where it was warm. Still, being indoors can make anyone shack-wacky, and sometimes, we decide we want something new to break up the mundane.

The kids talked about how they wanted Mario Kart for our Wii. Surely, for a Wii we can find that game used inexpensively. Especially since the Wii itself is an older system. Nope. I found it used for $40 at most places, $30 on online auctions. Ugh. The internet makes it all too tempting to buy things when it’s cold out.

I then remembered that our library has some video games. I wonder if they will have it, I thought. It took a phone call for me to learn that, yes, they do have it, and to rent it for a two week period is only $1. That is perfect because I didn’t even know how much my kids would like that game. (How many times I’ve bought them a video game because I thought they would like it, and instead, it clutters up my drawer. Eventually when I do trade it in, I get pennies on what I spent on it!)

I picked up the game and two others (they had a rent 3 for $2 deal), and the kids have played it frequently. I’ve decided that it may make a nice joint Valentine’s gift for them. If I can get it online, I can spend only $10/kid on the item. Not too shabby!

I’m reminded of things we buy on impulse because we think we will like them: DVDs, video games, books, CDs. The library usually has all of those things. You can try it before you buy it. If you have read/watched/played it and realize that it will be something you will read/watch/play again and again, then a purchase may be in order. But if not, you have lost nothing but maybe $1 or so trying it out.

Even if your local library doesn’t have the item you are looking at, usually they are linked with other branches, and so you may be able to find the item there and they can transfer it over to your library. So don’t be discouraged if you look at your branch and don’t see what you are looking for. It takes a minute to ask, and is well worth it.


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