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  1. Help
  2. How to Survive a Restraint

Summary
This Wiki article provides strategies on how to survive a restraint. A restraint is a self-imposed ban on purchasing stuff. This could include, but is not limited to, shaving gear, nib gear, pipes, alcohol, fire arms, shoes, etc. Pretty much anything that B&B members get carried away with that lead to various acquisition disorders (ADs). The goal of this article is to help you avoid a treewhale moment (see posts 5983 - 5987).

Why do you need a restraint?
People enter restraints for a variety of reasons -- to save money, to use up the products they already have, to hang out with friends, lack of storage space, upset significant others, etc. Knowing why you are joining a restraint will help you focus on strategies below so you can successfully make it through the month, quarter, or year.

Getting Started: Take an inventory of your stuff
Some B&B members keep their personal wiki page updated with all their gear, put it into an spreadsheet, write it down on a piece of paper, or simply gather it all together and take a picture like the one below. Regardless of what method you use, knowing how many razors, pens, pipes, etc. can be helpful when you see another razor, pen, or pipe that you feel compelled to buy.


If you joined a restraint because you have too much stuff, are out of storage space, have stuff you haven't even tried, etc., looking at your inventory can help you resist the temptation to buy yet another item.

If you joined a restraint for financial reasons, try to come up with an actual or estimated cost for your inventory. It can be a bit shocking once you realize you've spent a $1,000 (or more) in a short period of time because you got carried away with a new found hobby.

Getting Started: Stock-Up
The info below comes from one of the quarterly sign-up posts, and it includes a list of shaving items that you potentially need to stock up on. If you are doing a NIB restraint, you will need to modify the list to include things like paper, ink, etc.

Figure out what you need to succeed the restraint whether it be a month, a quarter, or a year.


  • General Shaving Items - Soap, razors, blades, brushes, after shave splash/lotion, balms, alum block, and stypic pencils are a good start. Also witch hazel, and pre/post-shave scrubs (if used).
  • Travel Kit - A travel kit stocked with a disposable razor, and all accessories to travel, just in case. Keep in mind it is against TSA regulation to bring DE and SE blades and straight razors in your carry-on.
  • Cleaning supplies - Stuff to clean any traded razors during restraint (e.g., rubbing alcohol, Scrubbing Bubbles, Barbacide etc.) as they count as shaving purchases.
  • Restoration supplies - Stuff to restore shaving items (e.g., stands, stain, knots, or anything else needed to restore brushes, stands etc.).

Strategies
1. Quit looking! :a47:In the 2015 Online Purchase Sabbatical, @Heresy made an excellent comment. He posted, "It's quite simple: Don't seek and you will not find."

If you continue to browse eBay, Etsy, B&B Gentlemanly Deals Forum, B&B Marketplace, online shops, garage sales, flea markets, etc., you are eventually going to see something you just cannot resist. There will be a bargain, a sale, a rare item, etc., you will purchase it, and you will fail the restraint. If you avoid those places during the restraint, you will have better chance of succeeding.

2. Take the restraint seriously :innocent: B&B members are bound by their honor when they enter a restraint. As such, take it serious, and commit yourself to succeeding. You are likely to fail if you enter a restraint thinking, "I'll try this month, but I'm out if {insert reason here} occurs."

In the words of the great Master Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back, "Do or do not. There is no try."

@Kooze posted this in his signature, and I thought it summed up this point precisely. "Decide. Commit. Succeed."

3. Realize being in the restraint changes your views on purchasing. :devil2: Prior to joining a restraint, you might not have purchased anything or felt the urge to purchase anything for a long time; however, once you join, you immediately feel the shackles of the restraint and you realize you cannot buy anything (or choose not to buy anything -- see point #4). This can feel limiting to some, and it seems like it increases the temptation. It is like seeing a Wet Paint sign and feeling the urge to touch the item to see if paint is really wet.

4. Change your thinking.
:stuart: There is a fundamental difference in the phrase, "I cannot buy anything." and "I choose not to buy anything." The first is a negative way of looking at the restraint, while the second is a positive approach that gives you the power to choose. It is a subtle difference, but it is a lot more empowering to know that you are choosing not to make a purchase because you want to stay true and keep your honor/word intact rather than limiting yourself because you 'cannot'.

5. Create some goals
:a43: Create some goals to use, try, and evaluate items in your collection. This could include things like:

* In January, I will try out all my aftershave products.
* This quarter, I will use up 10 sample ink vials.
* This year, I will shoot all my firearms at least once.
* This year, I will work through all 200+ razor blades and pick one or more favorites for reorder.

6. Use something new to you before making a purchase :Veg:If you are at the point of going out to purchase something new, go find something new or rarely used in your inventory and try it out instead. Often times, this can satiate your need for variety and help keep you from buying something new. If you don't have anything new, find something you have not used in a while or consider some of the suggestions below for a pass around box and/or trades.

7. Create a wish list :idea:The next time you read about an item that sounds interesting, put it on a wish list. Throughout the restraint, you can revisit the wish list and see if that item is still something you want. Maybe you later read some reviews and it isn't any good, the item sold out, or you read about something better. If so, you can take it off your list. Again, your personal wiki page, is a good place to put a wish list.

8. Make some trades:thumbup: If you are really want to try something out, trade for it rather than buying it. While this does not necessarily change the overall size of your collection, it may help you thin out some things you aren't using and/or don't like. It also gives you a sense of the "hunt" where it takes some time to catch your prey.

9. Start and/or sign-up for a pass around box :a22: While this wouldn't work so well for firearms, there are numerous pass around boxes for razors, inks, soaps, etc. Sign-up for one of those so you can try some new things out, and have something you look forward to receiving.

10. Get local support :nono: Tell your friends, family, significant other, etc., that you are entering a restraint. Explain to them your reasoning, and ask them to help you in the endeavor by not tempting you to buy more stuff.

11. Get B&B support :badger: The B&B shave and nib restraints include threads where restraint members post things going on in their lives, successes, temptations, etc. These are a great place to seek support if you feel like making a purchase. Let us help talk you down off the ledge. Who knows, this might lead to a trade as mentioned above because someone might have the very item you are thinking about buying.

12. Pick a reward :a14: Plan ahead for when you successfully complete your restraint and decide on a reward for your dedication. A one-month restraint might be something small, but a year-long restraint might be something big. Whatever it is, tell yourself you will get the carrot at the end of the stick when you successfully make it through the restraint.

13. Temporarily remove yourself from mailing lists :surrender: If you are subscribed to mailing lists (e.g., Massdrop, eBay, Etsy, pen shops, shaving sites, etc.) they are eventually going to post an item and/or sale that is going to be too tempting to resist. So, during the restraint, it is a good idea to remove yourself from these lists, or at a minimum to just delete the emails without looking at the temptations they might offer.

14. 3017 a software product:a54:Many of us join a restraint because we have too many soaps, creams, aftershaves, inks, etc. If you 3017 a product (i.e., use it exclusively until it is gone), it can be a shocking experience to realize how long a single product can last you. This realization can help curb future purchases because you realize it will take years before you work through your inventory.

15. Wait overnight before purchasing
:sleep1: Buying things is fun! Your heart rate increases, endorphins and adrenaline kick in, and your body goes a little haywire because of the anticipation. Often times, you wake up the next morning with buyer's remorse where you regret the lapse in judgment. Instead of buying immediately when you see the thing you are not supposed to be looking for (See Tip #1), simply wait overnight. Yes, it could be gone, but you will have resisted giving in to a want and failing the restraint. You may also find that you don't really want the item the next morning after you had a chance to sleep on the decision.
16. Avoid the Dark Side Temptations :a45:Besides the temptations in the shopping areas, there will be temptations to buy items from Darth Kevdogg and others committed to cause one to drop out of a restraint. Whatever you do, ignore their temptations and stay focused on your goals. They thrive on causing others to 'join' them on the Dark Side, and will even join restraints for that purpose. They want to make sure no restraint will have a 100% completion. Focus on your restraint, and hold fast to the tips in this article. They may just keep you from breaking a restraint.

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