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The Clutter Categories: THE SHOPPER

Who doesn’t love a bargain? While we all appreciate a good deal, many of us use shopping as a way to self-sooth when we’re stressed. It might help us feel better in the moment, but the impact goes beyond what too much shopping does to our budgets. Self-soothing shopping can become a coping mechanism masking deeper emotional issues, such as low self-esteem or depression.

The wrong shopping motivators can lead to packed closets, and space-eating storage in garages and attics – and it can necessitate contracts for PAID storage when a shopping shift could change everything!

So how do we avoid impulse buying and buying more than we need whenever we see a bargain?

  • The first step is understanding that most of us aren’t motivated by what we need. We shop for what we want or how it makes us feel.

  • I recommend a shopping moratorium until you’ve taken the opportunity to see what you already have available. (I just found 9 tubes of toothpaste when I reorganized a bathroom cabinet.)

  • Shop with a list AND a budget. We’ve all experienced one too many bottles of Worcestershire Sauce or trying to fit more toilet paper into our already full toilet-paper-cupboard. Lists made at home allow you to look into spaces to see what you’ve already got and allow you to decide if some essentials can wait until a later trip.

  • Wait at least 24 hours before you buy anything non-essential -- like clothes, furniture, small appliances, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve added items to my Amazon list and then deleted them the next day.

  • If you pre-purchase gift items, make sure you store them together so you can shop from your stash.

  • If you need to reward yourself for a job well done, try treating yourself to services and experiences instead of goods.

  • Shop for your favorite charity from your own stuff. Whether it’s clothes, backpacks, linens, food, gift items, etc., you can always find a great cause to support with the stuff you have on hand!

I hope this list helps if you’re ready to curb your shopping footprint!

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