Calling all shop alcoholics – time to listen up and take action.
It is one thing to partake in a little self-indulgence here and there. But when shopping, buying, and hoarding consumes your life and space… then there’s a problem.
Some people think it’s cute or funny to refer to someone as a shop alcoholic. However, for a true shop alcoholic, it’s a very real shameful painful addiction.
Kelly 48, in the legal profession, called for some organizing help.
I went to her house she greeted me with a big grin on her face. Behind the front door was her 22 her old niece also smiling.
Then her mother popped out of the other room, then the cousin, the best friend, the sister and brother all waiting for the organizer (me) to come in, to see my reaction to Kelly’s mess.
Her mother, who she lives with, said that “I’m organized; it’s my daughter who needs to get organized.” FYI, only half true.
The family was laughing and saying they can’t wait to see what I have to say, almost taunting Kelly. Well, guess what, it’s not a freak show and I shooed them all away.
Kelly took me in her smallish bedroom and shut the door; she was still smiling. Piles upon piles of various items everywhere, I couldn’t see the floor, bed, dressers or walls. She had shelves attached to every inch of wall space, with baskets filled with anything from huge quantities of makeup to a collection of bobble heads.
I told Kelly that I take this very seriously and I am here to help not to judge. I asked her, “What is going on? What are you sad about?”
She still was smiling but now the tears started running down her face. She told me she couldn’t pass a makeup counter without buying something. She loves clothes and tries to make her way to Buffalo every three weeks for deals.
Kelly tells me she wants to get built in’s on the wall for more storage space, she wants to paint her room. Kelly just wants constantly! She has a void and needs to fill it, so she does with by purchasing “things”. She avoids my questions and the issues because it’s too painful to verbalize.
In a situation like this, I recommend a dual approach, working closely with a therapist and a professional organizer. Kelly will get the emotional and physical support for this journey through counseling and coaching.
I call the process getting organized from the outside in. While working side by side with an organizer she will take action, ownership, and responsibility of decluttering, letting go and organizing her physical and personal space.
With a great feeling of accomplishment and success, she will be open and able to focus on the emotional issues.