Our organizers are often called into homes of clients who are suffering from the fallout of compulsive shopping. This habit is evident in the piles of shopping bags stuffed into every corner, and closets full of clothes with the tags still attached.
A recent study, published in the December, 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that the number of compulsive shoppers/spenders is about 8.9% of the population, more than 25 million Americans.
The National Association of Professional Organizers in Michigan (NAPO-MI) would like to share some questions you can ask yourself if you think you may have a shopping problem.
1) Do you hit the mall or online stores when you are feeling lonely, angry or depressed?
2) Is your shopping causing damage to your relationships?
3) Are you buying on credit or spending more than you can afford?
The reasons that lead to compulsive shopping and over-spending vary, but the experts agree that the longer the over shopping has been going on; the harder it will be to stop shopping on your own.
There are self-help resources, support groups and mental health professionals who specialize in compulsive shopping and over spending, and they can help you to stop your harmful habit. Adding an organizer to the team can help you not only reclaim your space but can assist in holding you accountable to the changes you want to make in your buying and spending habits. “When a person wants to make a change in behavior, working with a therapist and also a hands-on coach is a very effective approach,” says Debbie Stanley, LLPC, NCC, CPO-CD, a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in chronic disorganization and hoarding.
Shopping as an accepted social pastime crosses the line for many as soon as they return home with more bags to drop on the pile and are weighed down with remorse and guilt. Our organizers can help you regain control over your life. For more organizing tips, visit www.NAPOMichigan.com.
Article submitted by Chapter member Karen DeClark.