Subscribe with a Purpose in Mind

It’s not very often you’ll read a blog post encouraging you to unsubscribe. Yes, you read that right. Unsubscribe.

Take a second to think of how often you hear or read the words “subscribe for more”. It’s everywhere. You can subscribe to just about anything these days. With the click of a button and sometimes for a small fee, (boom!) it’s in your inbox every morning or on your doorstep every month.

Newspapers, magazines, mail, emails, boxes, products… We are inundated with subscriptions. They come in all forms.

That's not to mention the wide range of items out there to which you can specifically subscribe: a sock of the month, jewelry, children’s books, clothes, face products, wines, etc. You name it, I can guarantee there’s a service to which you can subscribe and receive one a month. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this BuzzFeed article.) And if there’s not a subscription box on the market yet for said item, stay tuned, because I’m sure someone will be creating a business for it very soon.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these are quite creative. They often seem like a great gift idea for people. Maybe you’re not sure what to get your brother for Christmas, but you think “Hey, he likes hot sauce, so I’ll just subscribe him to a hot sauce of the month club.” It’s something he likes, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Win win, right?

It may sound great in theory, but let’s take a step back. In reality, he’s busy and doesn’t have time to try and use a new bottle of hot sauce each month, so now his pantry will accumulate bottles of hot sauce. On top of that, he now has extra mail and cardboard to deal with on a regular basis. He’s left feeling guilty because, while it was a thoughtful gift, he can’t use them all, and now he finds himself counting down the months until they stop coming.

Or think about your own subscriptions for a moment. How many of the items in your household are the accumulation of a subscription-based service? Do you know how much money you currently spend on subscriptions? How much time on a daily basis do you spend deleting emails of things you’re subscribed to?

One of the biggest problems is it’s stuff we don’t need. If you didn’t have it, you probably wouldn’t miss it. After about the first or second email or shipment, the majority go unopened and unused. When working with clients, it’s very common to see these items among the clutter which finally ends up in the donation pile.

Take a moment to check yourself and your subscriptions. If you don’t need it, then free up your space, your mind, and maybe even your budget some, too. Instead subscribe with a purpose in mind.

Do you aspire to live clutter-free? Consider stopping your subscriptions.