Pros and Cons of Merchandise Subscriptions

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 11 Sep, 2016
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Many who struggle with organization struggle with one or more of the following issues: issues with quantities and having more than is useful, issues with consumption and buying more than is useful, or issues with time management and challenges with attention span. So when I see the trend in the merchandise subscriptions who will send […] The post Pros and Cons of Merchandise Subscriptions appeared first on www.ColumbusClosets.com.
Many who struggle with organization struggle with one or more of the following issues: issues with quantities and having more than is useful, issues with consumption and buying more than is useful, or issues with time management and challenges with attention span.
So when I see the trend in the merchandise subscriptions who will send unspecified merchandise on a regular basis to members based on a profile, it gives me pause. This can be in the form of clothing, jewelry, or beauty products, and specialty foods. Some convenience companies offer the opportunity to return anything unwanted, for others, you agree to keep what is provided. I don’t usually write opinion pieces, but I can’t imagine a more dangerous consumption pattern for those who struggle with organization.
On the positive side, if you are someone who is new to a product line or has trouble pulling together an outfit, this type of service offers the potential to be exposed to merchandise you may have never otherwise tried. In addition, it eliminates the time commitment of shopping for such items.
But there are also drawbacks with receiving “surprise” merchandise. If you haven’t decided you want something or need something, there generally is not a reason to make a purchase. We become passive consumers instead of savvy shoppers when we receive items whose value we have not identified, or when quality and best price have not been considered. Admiring an item is not the same as wanting to purchase an item. Imagine that you are window shopping: you like all of the things that you see and appreciate how attractive they are, but you choose not to purchase because you don’t want or need it. Recieving items in the mail which may at first appear interesting but aren’t actually desired, is the equivalent of receiving the items in the window display.
Receiving something random in the mail may stimulate the pleasant feeling of receiving a gift, but the unconscious reception of goods likely results in receiving unwanted merchandise. Like gifts from well-meaning friends and family, it is so easy to miss the mark.
Once the initial feeling of interest has passed, you are left with a relic that will need to be managed, i.e, stored, maintained, paid for. Or if you don’t like it, you must take the time to return the item. So many clients struggle with completing returns that the errand often doesn’t get completed. Now we are putting time toward managing this item that we did not intentionally decide to bring into our home.
Another concern is waste. Many of the convenience services for beauty products send random sample-size items. Like the “free” cosmetics we receive with purchase, many of these items don’t get used and go to waste. Are we just throwing it away? Are we having it pile up in a drawer? The potential for waste is concerning.
From an organizational point of view, I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. But for those who have tried convenience services, I would love to hear your experience and tips for managing unwanted items. For more discussion about organization, visit us at http://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
By Tera Harmon 16 Nov, 2017

For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Would't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?


So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.
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Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
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