I must admit I have been a shopaholic in the past. Those of you who are shopping addicts, would know what I am talking about I guess.
Going shopping is like visiting paradise, isn’t it? Why then, even after a binge, do we feel dissatisfied and unsure and a strange sense of emptiness at times? As if it was not enough and the next time we need to top that somehow? Buy more? Spend more? Go to a better place?
Over the past years, I have reflected over this behavior pattern and learned some things, mostly inspired by a need to deploy my time and money for more fulfilling activities.
I reached a point when I was just done with shopping. I mean how many more stores would I scan? How many more clothes would I buy? What would I do even if I bought everything that I ever liked? Would that really make me feel ecstatic?
I turned to my wardrobe and started to go through the things that I had never worn and knew I never would. Those are the ‘mistake’ purchases. We all have those, right? I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought this! Or why did I never try this before I bought it? Something in me made me a bit sick and I decided that day that I would add a rule to my life. If I get something new, I have to decide first what I would let go of. I would assume my wardrobe has a finite capacity and at no time can I consider expanding it. New shoes? I would find someone to pass on my older ones to. There are always those things which are just lying there and my rule was quite simple. If I have not used it for over a year, through all the seasons and opportunities, chances are, it would not get used in the future.
I started a de-clutter chain for myself. I ear-marked people I would pass things on to – a ‘Second Chance’ store run by autistic kids, supported by an inspiring woman I know was a great alternative. Many other such people form part of my pass-on chain today and I realized I had set up a system for recycling things in my house. It is thrilling to say the least that I don’t see the things I had bought with so much passion and effort rot away and they get another life, while making room for my new acquisitions.
I do this for my mom when I can and have been coaching women to organize their house better and keep the house healthy, from inside.
Nobody likes clutter. Clutter is depressing and does not allow you to feel great about the new. Make space for the ‘new’. Be grateful for what you have had, acknowledge its presence in your life and let it go. It is an ultimate feeling of liberation. Give it a shot or just reach out if you need some help (http://growth-cube.com).
This post is a reproduction of my weekly column, ‘Her Point of You’ in the Weekend Edition of the SHE section in The Goan. It’s a great newspaper! (epaper.thegoan.net)