Too Many Choices

Much scientific research has been done on the human ability to make choices, and the ideal number of choices to enhance satisfaction.  The answer: a maximum of 6.  My theory is that 6 is the magic number after our personal filters have been applied.  For example, there are hundreds of makes and model choices of cars, but only a handful in my price range, and only a couple with the features I found important. My choice became easy and satisfying BECAUSE there were more than 6 options.

In situations where my personal filters don’t weed down the selection sufficiently, I tend to get sucked into inaction: an analysis paralysis poster child.  In starting this blog, in choosing carpet, in planning out what I want to be doing in 5 years – all of these involve seemingly endless possibilities. I end up feel like George Costanza /Chandler Bing in that it is so easy to find something wrong with all of them!

Carpet has been the major example of this lately.  There are different types, different colors, different manufacturers and warranties, installers….  I finally just got fed up.  I picked a type where the seam would be less visible (that would annoy me every time I saw it – sorry, berber), one that felt good to the skin (I sit on the floor a lot, so texture is important.  I’m discovering that “normal” adults don’t do this.  I blame my mother!), one that was in the “cat puke palette” (Thank you, Andrew, for coining a variation of that phrase!), and one that I could afford.  I then officially stopped looking.  I’m done.  The install was done Monday.  Here are the before and after shots… but first, the sample pile!

Pile of carpet samples

The reason I wanted new carpet is my place was a rental before it was foreclosed on and I became the lucky owner.  The previous tenants obviously drank a lot red Kool-Aid because there are cup-sized red rings on the carpet all around. This one was in the bedroom.

Disgusting Punch and mystery stain on carpet


I didn’t have the money to replace the carpet when I bought the place, but thanks to some bonuses at work and a lowering of my property taxes (I’m ignoring the fact that it is a reflection of lower value for my property!), I now had the the money to buy this:


Awesome new bedroom carpet

I’m ALL excited.  I did my traditional carpet angel under where the bed was reinstalled – as I do in every place when I move in.

Dang!  That is what I should have taken the picture of!  Next time.  NO!  I’m not moving out all my worldly possessions AGAIN to move them back same day!!!!!  Remind of this post in the future when I do exactly that!


Am I satisfied with my carpet even though I had more than 6 options?  You bet I am, but ask again when I am no longer under the influence of “new carpet smell”… and boy is it strong!

So what cases of analysis paralysis have you been faced with …. or were you smart enough (and wealthy enough) to get new carpet installed BEFORE you moved in?

4 thoughts on “Too Many Choices”

  1. I remember teaching little kids in England how to make snow angels. There was a park next to my flat and after a snowfall I made an angel on my way to school. The kids there were fascinated by the process. When I got back from school, the whole park was covered in them! Another picture I wish I’d taken!!!!

    Thanks so much for retweeting my posts! You rock, little lady!


  2. I’m entertained with the way you made your carpet decision (seams, cat puke palatte worthy and how it feels to sit on) and am impressed that you can sit on the floor as an adult. I find it too hard to get up if I sit there too long.

    My analysis paralysis usually strikes with my writing. I’m finishing up a manuscript that an agent is interested in and I keep revising and revising and revising – it gets in the way of completion.

    Glad you got past yours and got the carpet installed. And yes – gotta love the new carpet smell. That and a new car smell. Mmmmmmm.


    1. You wouldn’t have room to sit on the floor of your Moveable Feast!

      Your need to revise your writing before it goes to the agent is SO understandable. It’s important so you want to put your best foot forward. But then when is it good enough? What is it that “they” say: perfect is the enemy of good?

      I hope you continue to get past yours … and are able to stay cool in New Mexico for the next couple weeks!


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