Real Confessions of a Shopaholic

Kuzak's Closet
A few weeks ago I shared the before and afters from a closet makeover that I recently worked on and the some of the details about my client, a self-professed Shopaholic.  After I published the post I received great feedback via email, blog comments, and facebook comments (thank you) which really made my client feel good about the progress that she made.  Many of you wanted to know more about how she prepared to let go and start the organizing process so I interviewed her after our last session and I hope you can relate to her through her answers.

When did you realize you needed help curbing your shopping addictions?  

“I’ve had a shopping problem all my life and I was always bailed out by my parents.  There have been three instances that they had to pay my credit card balances of over $30,000 when I wasn’t able to.  When they passed away they left me a significant amount of money.  I thought it would last forever but about four years ago my financial coach Tari Vickery from Life Matters Financial Group made me realize that wasn’t the case.  She looked over my net worth and my financial habits and told me that I only had 2 years before I would be completely broke if I didn’t change my habits.”

How did you get started towards your goals of getting back on track financially and curbing the clutter?

“I started letting Tari help guide my finances in the beginning but I still found myself splurging and online shopping.  I am a recovering alcoholic and I found it was so much easier to give up the alcohol that it was my online shopping.  I was constantly trying to fill a hole in my heart.  It wasn’t until I completely gave up control that I was able to get live within a budget. Tari gives me an allowance and helps me plan for my monthly and yearly expenses.  I have made it a game to try to stay within budget and for the first time I came in under budget this month!  I am especially excited about it because one of my dogs needed to have emergency care and the bill totalled over $2,000 and I loved the feeling of being able to afford it instead of the usual shame in coming in over budget (which always triggers me to want to shop online.”

How was your financial coach kept you accountable on this journey? 

“Before I gave up control to Tari it was up to me to be honest with her and myself about my spending which was a struggle.  The reality was that I knew nothing about finances or how to manage them because I was always bailed out. Once I let her take charge it helped me to really stay on track and to discover how good it felt to spend less and save.”

Why did you choose to work with a professional organizer and how did you find Amanda?

“Tari and I have read several books together, Discardia and Spent were two that I really resonated with me.  After taking the steps in those books Tari suggested that I work with an organizer.  She  had met Amanda for a business meeting to learn more about her business and thought she would be a good fit for the project.  She schedule a meeting for the three of us to talk about how clearing the clutter would help me.  We started by organizing my garage, then we moved on to my master closet, several smaller closets, my basement, and then my jewelry.  I found that the less I had the more I could see what I could enjoy what I had which encouraged me to continue on this journey.”
Was it difficult to see Amanda take away bags and bags of your treasured wardrobe and items from your garage?
“No, it was a relief!  I was so ready to make a change that I happy to see her drive away with her truck loaded up with stuff from my house.”

Did you really get rid of 18 bags out of your closet or was Amanda embellishing?

“She actually took more than 18 bags.  Before our first closet session I did some homework and pulled 10 bags from the closet, there were an addition 9 bags that we pulled out of my coat and handbag closets, that is 37 bags!”

What types of activities are you doing to keep your mind off of shopping?

“I really limit my time spent online.  Tari had my email address removed from all of the company lists and catalog mailing lists so that has helped curb the temptation.  I am enjoying the items that are in my closet and I have had fun putting together outfits with many of the things that are still new with tags.  I have also started volunteering with a local organization.
I went on a blind date last week and I noticed that my habit has always been to spend $1,000 on a new outfit so I could impress the guy.  I’ve realized through this process that I really need to be comfortable and happy with myself instead of wearing costumes to try to impress others who probably don’t even notice that I am wearing a new outfit.”

Is there anything else you did to prepare to let go of the clutter?  

“Besides working with Tari and Amanda I have been working with a therapist to work out the issues that have caused me to shop compulsively.  I need to fill the hole in my heart with closure on past issues instead of new clothes.

How do you plan to stay on track?

“I love the results that I have seen after my sessions with Amanda. I feel free and unburdened which really makes me want to keep up the good work and stay on track. I will also continue to work with Tari and my therapist.”

I hope this interview was able to shed some insight into the process that my client had in place to help her prepare to let go.  She is in such a great place and I hope that she continues to move forward and find more clarity behind her spending and shopping!

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1,356 Responses

  1. Thank you so much. I was about to go shopping today. I haven’t gotten to this extreme but have a tendency to shop to feel better. I was going shopping today but no I will read and file this. I wish I could print it but don’t have a printer. thank you to the shopper and Kuzak;s closet,

  2. Hi Amanda Just to let you know the Book you show is NOT the correct book. It is called” SPENT” but the author is Avis Cardella. The other more is more informational but Avis’s book is a biography an a look into her mind and life, it is that component that really made me wake up and smell the coffee!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this personal story, and congratulations to your client for taking steps to make her life better. This has really inspired me! 🙂

  4. My goal in life is to be a catalyst for change through love, understanding, compassion, support, wisdom, and gentle guidance. Having read Amanda’s interview, you’ll understand why I’ll sleep well tonight. This client and dear friend has been to the gates of hell and has come out the victor, and I’m more proud of her than words can tell. Personal growth is the hardest work one can do. Thanks, Amanda for helping her cross the finish line! It’s been a fun team effort!

  5. I also tried to fill a hole in my heart years ago by shopping. Thankfully I did more window shopping than buying. Congratulations to your client for successfully making significant changes in her life.

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