Addicted to Shopping

Are You Addicted to Shopping?

We can talk about decluttering all we want, but sending a thousand loads to Goodwill won’t make a dent if we are addicted to shopping. If we don’t also focus on what comes into our homes, we’ll soon be knee deep in Target bags and cheeky coffee mugs.

There’s a lot of buzz about decluttering, but not so much buzz about shopping addictions. But in the US, the average woman goes to the store 301 times a year, and spend about 399 hours a year shopping (source.) That’s more than an hour a day (just in case math isn’t our strong point.) I’m pretty sure I don’t shop that much, but I’m sure if I transferred some time spent shopping to time spent exercising or reading, I wouldn’t be hanging on to this baby weight and I’d be much smarter.

Some crazy stats about how much we #shop in #America.

Here are some other surprising statistics about Americans and shopping

  • Almost two-thirds of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product comes from retail. (source)
  • Retail sales increased about 4.5% from 1993 to 2015. (source) 
  • In a survey, 80% of 133-18 year old girls cited shopping as one of their favorite hobbies. (source)
  • 96% of adults shop for “retail therapy” (source)

So What’s the Problem with Being Addicted to Shopping?

Shopping is a must. We no longer grow the majority of our food or sew our own clothes (and if you do, I’m super impressed!) A few years ago, when I started off on our journey of less, I realized that I shopped to make myself feel better. Sometimes I wanted to feel appreciated for all my hard, seemingly unnoticed work at home so I bought clothes that I didn’t need. When I needed a break from my around-the-clock job, I went to Target.

And I still go to Target. But I have to analyze my reasons for spending. Do I need it? Do I have this already?

Addicted to Shopping

Shopping Doesn’t Solve Problems

When we attempt to solve our problems with shopping, we’re actually creating bigger problems. On average, Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing per year. (source.) (Hey, at least we’re decluttering!) Millions of pounds of clothes end up in landfills, despite donation centers and thrift stores.

The average amount of credit card debt for Americans ages 18-65 is $4,717 (source.) That’s a lot of money going towards a lot of stuff that will be thrown away!

I’m not mental health expert, but I think $4,717 spent seeing a counselor who can actually help you work through your problems might be money better spent. Especially if you want to live a clutter-free life!

Facing the Real Problem

Obviously, if you have a serious addiction, I won’t be able to help. I am not a professional. But if you find yourself spending a little too much time shopping for things you don’t really need, I have a few ideas.

  • Write down what you need in a notebook, planner, or iPad. Set a designated day for shopping, and buy only the things that you need.
  • Make sure something has been on your list for a couple of weeks before buying it (except for food. Buy food when you need it!)
  • Use my silly little graphic organizer to help you make decisions (this is just for fun- it’s not an expert decision making tool!)

Could you have a #shopping addiction? Make good choices when it comes to #money.


Besides decluttering, shopping only for stuff we really need is a crucial step towards living a clutter-free lifestyle. 

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