Hey Collectors!

Are you a shopaholic or worried that a friend or family member may be? Does your shopping lead to clutter for you? Do you over shop or overspend on a regular basis?

One of the ways clutter easily accumulates is that we continue to buy stuff, without getting rid of stuff we already own. With the holidays coming up, now is a great time to taking first steps on cutting down compulsive shopping.

What exactly is compulsive shopping? According to an article on WebMD:

“Compulsive shopping and spending are defined as inappropriate, excessive, and out of control,” says Donald Black, MDcluttergirl, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. “Like other addictions, it basically has to do with impulsiveness and lack of control over one’s impulses. In America, shopping is embedded in our culture; so often, the impulsiveness comes out as excessive shopping.”1

What are some signs to know if you have crossed the line and are a compulsive shopper?

Going over budget. You set a budget, but go over it. May be you don’t have a budget. Perhaps you have credit card debt and know you can’t afford to buy something, but you just can’t stop.

More often than not. You just don’t go on a spring spree or Holiday spree. It’s more often: monthly or every other month. You find a reason to justify buying.

Hiding what you buy. Like an alcoholic, many compulsive shoppers will hide their purchases. They also might have secret accounts and family and friends have no idea how much debt has accumulated.

Can’t have just one. Like Lays potato chips, often compulsive shoppers can’t purchase just one item. Instead of buying one pair of jeans, they buy five.

Emotions related to compulsive shopping. Someone might use shopping as a way to soothe feelings such as anger, anxiety or depression. Some also may get a “high” from shopping.

There is no shame in asking for help and if you are a compulsive shopper, most professionals agree that you will need support as you treat your addiction. A therapist, counselor or professional organizer can help you get a handle on your situation. Many professional organizers, including myself, work with therapists and counselors to have the best possible outcome.

If you are ready to clear some of your clutter and still have receipts and tags, you might enjoy this blog I wrote on how to return merchandise: http://www.collectorcare.com/returning-merchandise/

Is there one item you can’t seem to say no to when you shop? How have you learned to slow down or stop your shopping? Share your comments below.

Has your shopping created clutter? Do you need to support to get a handle on your purchases? Have you stopped shopping but need help organizing what’s left? Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

1 http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/shopping-spree-addiction