I have been working with a self-professed shopaholic for the last few months and the experience has been amazing. She has really been working on curbing her shopping and spending and getting down to the nitty-gritty issues so she can make a change. She isn’t the first shopaholic that I have worked with over the years but she IS the first that was ready to make a change and had systems in place to help her achieve her goals.
Besides working with me she is working with a therapist and a financial coach and it has made such a big difference. The financial coach actually connected me to this client, she and I met for coffee to talk about our businesses and we had an instinct connection. After that meeting she set up a meeting with her client and I for a chat and an organizing consultation. It was a great meeting and it was obvious that she was ready to make a big change in her life.
It was refreshing to see that she had already done so much of the inside emotional work with her therapist and had come to grips with how her spending had impacted her life and lifestyle. In so many cases I meet with clients who haven’t been able to identify the reasons why they shop or even admit that the shopping is the root of the clutter not limited space or storage. Because of that we are not able to meet all of their goals.
We started the process in her garage, a project that I shared a few months ago. We both knew that it would be easier for her to part with the items in the space giving her the confidence she needed to continue on the organizing journey. We also wanted to get a creative space in place so that she could have a fun and healthy outlet to fill the void of her compulsive shopping.
After we finished with the garage we worked moved on to her master closet. When we started the goal was to clear the clutter so that we could have a custom closet company eventually install a closet that would showcase and organize all of her treasures. She felt that she couldn’t enjoy all of her purchases because she couldn’t find them in the space.
We worked over the course of 2 days to sort and purge. From the before and afters you will see a difference but you might find it hard to believe that we donated over 18 garbage bags of clothing, big black hefty bags, amazing! We had a keep pile, a donate pile, and a maybe pile. As the piles grew we could revisit the maybe pile and she would purge 2/3s of it every time. She was so ready to let go, it was really inspiring.
I bet you didn’t believe that there was a window behind that pile up huh?
After each session I would give her homework to do and she always completed it. When we were finished making the first pass through everything we made a quick second pass and purged more. I suggested that she “live” with the closet for a few months before she scheduled for the closet company to come for a consultation. I say that to many of my clients just because in most cases they think it’s the space that isn’t working, not the clutter that is taking it over.
In the case of this closet I was right, after the clutter was removed my client instantly started to enjoy her wardrobe more and it became easier for her to get ready each day. Being able to see what she owns gives her the control she needs so she can hold back from spending and shopping. She’s decided since we worked on this project that she would rather spend the month on new carpet and paint than on a closet and I think she has made the right choice.
I took the before and afters for this project thinking they would show the transition between the first closet and and custom closet and what my client realized is that her newly decluttered closet is a custom closet! Gotta love that!
This process is like peeling layers off of an onion, can you tell that we removed 18 garbage bags from the space?
Aren’t the cowboy boots pretty, they are like art!
Well, I hope you liked a little glimpse inside this project. I wish you could have been apart of the sessions to see the transformation in process, both emotional and physical. Have a great weekend!
To read my interview with my self-professed shopaholic client click here…