In the Clearing Clutter Support Group that I facilitate the first few weeks of homework consists of paying attention to what you acquire over the week. Inevitably, participants get confused about this exercise and question what they find themselves bringing home and whether it is a good thing or not. It really depends on whether what you purchase, have given to you or is found on the street is brought into your home as a conscious decision or an unconscious decision.
If you find yourself shopping when you didn’t plan to maybe thinking that you had a hard day and you deserve to treat yourself and want to do something that makes you feel better and you think “maybe I will just pop into this store and look around for a bit.” Before you know it you find yourself buying things just because they are shiny or on sale or its too good of a deal to pass up or so and so would like this, etc …well you know the drill. I am sure we have all been there. However, when you get home you start to feel overwhelmed about where are you going to put this, have regrets or start thinking about the balance in your bank account then likely you are not coming from a conscious place.
The goal is not to ever go shopping again. This, of course, is not realistic as we need to buy food and other things at different times. Shopping is also a pastime and something that we do with our friends and loved ones. So it is about having an awareness of what we are doing with our time, our money and our actions. There are always going to be temptations out there and it is the job of retail businesses to make their stock look as appealing as possible in the hopes that we will be allured into purchasing and sometimes these are impulsive purchases which do not serve us in the end.
Can you make a conscious effort to pay attention to what you acquire over the week? How challenging is it for you not to acquire or go shopping? Sometimes these activities need to be replaced with other activities that are healthier. When you need to nurture yourself, what can you do instead? It is difficult to change habits, so be kind to yourself and take one moment at a time.