My sister used to joke that walking into my closet was like stumbling on a new boutique. She didn’t even need to leave the house when she wanted a new outfit because my room was overflowing with fabric right across the hall. Shopping in my closet was an authentic experience too, since I had unworn shirts and dresses hanging in my closest that I hadn’t even cut the tags from yet.
I didn’t hit a rock-bottom of maxed out credit cards like Rebecca Bloomwood in Confessions of a Shopaholic, but I did have some afternoons where I left my shopping bags in the car because my mother told me I was coming home with too many purchases. She was probably right. It took me a bit of time to figure out that I was spending too much of my time, attention, and paycheck on buying new clothes. Most of the time I was just mindlessly buying outfits out of boredom when I definitely didn’t need more of them, and after a while I was just drowning in my clutter of laundry.
After reevaluating my closet—and my bank account—I slowly but surely realized how to kick my excessive shopping habit:
Ever feel like you’re surrounded by piles of your belongings? Sometimes having too much of something isn’t a good thing. Maybe it’s time to rid yourself of your excess possessions—starting with not purchasing any new ones. There’s a lot of liberation in owning fewer possessions and you’ll probably feel a lot less overwhelmed when you are surrounded by less things. With the disappearance of clutter also comes the loss of stress, so take pride in not being attached to too many material goods—starting with the ones in your closet.
If you can’t stop filling your closet with new clothes, chances are there are some great old ones that have been forgotten about and are now hiding in the nooks and crannies of your room. If you go shopping too often to seek the thrill of something new, searching through your cast-off clothes is a perfect way to pretend that you are buying a new outfit in the store. Dig deep to the bottom of your closet, because putting on jeans you haven’t seen in a year is just as great as buying a new pair—and even better without the price tag.
Shopping is definitely a pastime for us girls. “Window shopping” is a fun thing to do when you’re killing time, until you stop looking and start swiping your card for the things you had said you would just look at. If you often find yourself drawn to the store when you have some time off, think about looking for other outlets to entertain yourself. Call a friend to watch a movie with you or go on a walk (one that doesn’t pass any of your favorite stores), or look up a new recipe online to try out after hitting the gym. If you fill up your time with activities unrelated to shopping, you’ll find you have no more time to spend at the mall anyway.
Tell yourself beforehand what you’re searching for when you hit the mall. Arriving blindly to the store because you just want anything new is going to be your big downfall—but knowing that you only need one red shirt or certain style of sweater will cause you to only notice those items among all of the clothes, and not get distracted by all the other options. Your shopping trip will be less stressful—and expensive—if you go to the store knowing exactly what you want to buy.
Don’t get me wrong—everyone loves a new outfit, and there’s no harm in splurging on yourself every once in a while. New clothes make us feel great, but too many of them will probably do more harm than good.