Do you ever find yourself aimlessly walking around the store, shopping for items you do not really need? I know I do. It is a bittersweet feeling of enjoyment and disappointment. At the time, is feels great, but when I come home and have no where to put all the items I just bought, I not only am disappointed, but I am also overwhelmed.
If you are in the same boat as myself, just know that you are not alone. It is a social phenomenon that is widely apart of our culture- it is known as excessive shopping. Whether the economy is booming or struggling, Americans cannot help but obsessively buy things they do not need. Why is that? It is a question I have asked myself a number of times. Why is it I cannot help but buy items I do not need, for events I will never go to, so the items can sit in my room, which is already over capacity? Perhaps it is because shopping is so much apart of our culture for a number of reasons. Shopping can be used as an outlet to escape the stress and anxiety individuals feel from their everyday lives. This concept is known as retail therapy. According to an article written by The Huffington Post, one in three recently stressed American’s shop to deal with anxiety. The article found that 40 percent of women used retail therapy as a way to cope with stress, versus 19 percent of men, who also did so, amounting to a total of 91 percent of the general population.
Perhaps retail therapy is not the only excuse to explain an individual’s obsessive shopping habit. The need to fit in with the latest trends also adds a component of social pressure to many shoppers. Individuals excessively shop to find the ‘perfect outfit’ for the next big event or may even spontaneously buy a new wardrobe to fit that “heavy” or “skinny” time in their lives. Just recently, I was at a store and saw a graphic tee with the saying “The only regrets I have are from the clothes I didn’t buy.” At first, I laughed and partially agreed, however, the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much shopping is a part of our culture. Unfortunately, credit cards combined with excessive shopping can be the demise to many individuals and their credit. Whether individuals have the money or not, they continue to buy and excessively spend; shopping is simply a phenomenon of our culture.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, clutter makes it more difficult to decorate your home and also makes it a less enjoyable process. Then, once you have decorated, you are still overwhelmed by the clutter. So step away from the merchandise and do not succumb to this social phenomenon. Instead, go through your closets and donate what you are not using. So then, the next time you go to decorate you can feel like you are in a model home, instead of a cluttered house.