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Yes, you read that right. Always take a sports car to IKEA.

Preferably this one, which is my beloved but fairly impractical Poppy…

Carla in a sports car on the way to IKEA

But why, I hear you say? And what does this have to do with stationery, organising and a slower, happier life?

Well, a few things.

Removing temptation

If you only take a two-seater with no boot to the biggest and most tempting homewares shop in the world, you can’t bring much back with you. This means you buy what you went for, and don’t spend extra money on completely random things you had no idea you needed before you set foot over the IKEA threshold. (I’m certain it isn’t just me who does that!)

Keeping you focused

You can look at all the other delights. But knowing you only have enough space in the car for what you came for (and possibly even less if you brought a passenger with you) means your attention is focused on the things on your list.

You can spend more time choosing just the right bookshelf/coffee table/new bedding (and yes, I have squidged all of these things into my tiny car, albeit one at a time) and making sure that you’re taking home something you love or something that’s exactly the right base for the project you’re embarking on.

Extra fun

Truly, the joy I get from driving Poppy, especially if it’s warm enough to put the roof down, far outweighs the temporary pleasure from buying yet more stuff. I’m no minimalist but am definitely more of a fan of experiences over things. And while a sports car is definitely a thing, she’s an experiential thing. Even now she’s 14 years old and has various dents and her paintwork isn’t fabulous, she is still the best fun to drive. She also brought me a whole stack of new friends all over the country!

And it’s a joy that doesn’t diminish a few days afterwards. Whereas whatever I buy, especially on impulse, I eventually get used to and get bored with.

So there’s my slightly unexpected take on heuristics – given the choice, take the impractical and fun option every time. You never know what extra benefits you’ll get!