Whether out of necessity or as a leisure activity, shopping plays a big role in our modern, everyday lives. Yet lots of shopping can mean lots of clutter. If you're really serious about de-cluttering and getting organized, Peter says you can't just purge—you also have to slow or stop the volume of stuff that's coming into your home.
Peter takes a closer look at why we shop and how we can stem the tide of things coming into our homes. He talks with Dr. April Lane Benson, a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder, about how to rein in excessive shopping habits. Then, Peter talks to Paco Underhill, author of Call of the Mall, about how consumers can shop smarter.
Many people today love to shop till they drop—but sometimes a person's shopping can get out of control and can even become an addiction. "There is a constant search for more, better, different, and the function of the shopping is to deal with some kind of emotional issue, some kind of psychological issue," Dr. Benson says. Here are a few simple question she says you can ask yourself to assess your relationship with shopping:
Do you use shopping as a quick fix for the blues?
Do you spend more than you can afford when you go shopping?
Would your life be richer if you were shopping less?
Have your attempts to change been unsuccessful?
Dr. Benson also offers these tips to keep your shopping in control:
Be aware of what you're shopping for, what triggers it and what the consequences are.
Leave your credit card at home and only pay with cash.
Instead of going to the mall, go to a stand-alone store.
Look at the underlying emotional/psychological issues. "The deeper issues need to be attended to, because if they're not, you'll just transfer that obsessive need to something else," Dr. Benson says.
Find support—perhaps a shopping buddy who can help you control impulse buys or a support group for compulsive shoppers.
Paco Underhill is a best-selling author and authority on shopping who says the saga of humankind can be told—at least in part—through the story of shopping. He shares some ways you can be a smart shopper:
Never shop when you're tired or hungry—Paco says you're more likely to buy purchases you'll regret in these states of mind.
Shop earlier in the day. "Generally your decision-making that happens earlier in the day is better balanced than your decision-making later in the day," Paco says.
Before you buy something, ask yourself, Am I buying this for the thrill? Or will I take pride in owning it?
If you buy something, you have to get rid of something. "The idea that we are in a constant state of positive discrimination is important," Paco says.
Plus, Peter talks about the phenomenon that is the Mall of America with its director of public relations, Dan Jasper. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Mall of America is the largest mall in America and includes not just stores, but theaters, restaurants, an indoor amusement park, aquarium, wedding chapel and much more! "I see a lot of our visitors come here for the total experience beyond shopping—they buy things, but they also do the other things," Dan says.
Printed from Oprah.com on Monday, December 9, 2013