How This Method Curbed My Shopping Addiction

How this one method curbed my shopping addiction. I’ve mentioned before that I’m an ex-shopaholic. Quitting shopping cold turkey to get a handle on our finances was hard for me. I’d see the word sale pop up on an email from my favorite store and just start itching. It took a while, but I realized it wasn’t my addiction that was causing me to go out and shop, but it was my closet. I was unhappy with it, and because I was unhappy with it, I’d go out and spend money on clothes and accessories that I thought would make me happy. It was a never ending cycle until one day I just got fed up.

I got so fed up that one evening I walked into my bedroom and started to KonMari my closet.

If you haven’t heard of the KonMari method, it’s basically a not so scary way of saying you’re doing a complete overhaul. The KonMari method helps you to declutter your life by asking one simple question:

“Does this item bring you joy?”

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Back in 2015, I could answer that question about my with a simple NO! My life was not bringing me joy. I wasn’t happy about the way I looked (I’d put on a good 20+lbs). I wasn’t happy about us being in debt. I didn’t know when I was ever going to finish this Ph.D. program and was having serious thoughts about just walking away.  I knew deserved a better mentality than the one that I currently had.

So that evening I went into our bedroom, and KonMari’d my closet. If it didn’t fit, it had to go. If hadn’t worn it in the last year it had to go.  If I didn’t look at the piece of clothing, and feel some spark of happiness it had to go. You can imagine my closet was completely bare by the time I got through with it, but I felt invigorated! I had a fresh start.

This fresh start meant that I could finally get back to the heart of who I was without all the noise blocking me out. I decided that I wanted the clothes in my closet to be a reflection of the woman who I was becoming. Intentional. Perseverant. Classic. Timeless.

Since 85% of my closet were now sitting in bags waiting to be taken to goodwill, I decided that the only way I could replenish my closet and do it in a way that would align with my Broke on Purpose journey would be to do a Capsule Wardrobe. A Capsule Wardrobe is seasonal a wardrobe where less is more. The thing is that you go into this with a specially curated defined number of items;  you can also build a classic wardrobe based on the pieces you already own.

The idea is to keep it simple and wear items interchangeably thus creating a small yet largely functional closet.

Using this method, I began to craft the perfect closet that would bring me joy purposely. Since we were on a tight budget with Broke on Purpose, there wasn’t much room for cloth shopping to so help with these I did some product testing for a company that paid me in gift cards. Pairing that with gift cards that I’d received the holidays, as well as working with an online boutique that pays in my store credit I was able to start to put together a closet that I loved.

With the capsule wardrobe being seasonal and limited in the number of pieces, it forced me to think about my purchase before I made it. I had to ask myself questions like, “How many different ways can I wear that jacket?” or “can this item transition into the next season?”. You start to think about quality and not quantity. For me, trends were a thing of the past as during the purge I realized how much money I’d wasted on things that were only in style for a short amount of time. Reflecting back on the year and looking at the numbers I spent a helluva lot less this year than I did in 2015 on clothing and accessories. I have a closet that I’m almost proud of, though I may use 2017 to do a few tweaks here and there. When it comes to  clothing, unless I continue to lose weight or a special occasion comes up (like I finally can defend my dissertation) there really isn’t a reason for me to shop for anything to wear in 2017. Meaning more money in our pocket, er okay thrown at the debt.

KonMaring my closet and building a capsule wardrobe to me, is a reflection of what I went through with my finances. I had to reach a point where I was fed up, get rid of my bad habits, and then implement a plan that would keep my family and me on track for our financial goals and dreams. Sometimes you just need something to help you blast through all the clutter of your life to help you see things for what they actually are.

Since what I like to call the Great Closet Purge of 2015 I’ve gone through and KonMari’d other areas of our home that I felt were cluttered to my husband’s chagrin. With each room, I decluttered I began to feel that I could see clearer. It was as if all that unnecessary stuff was sucking up all the energy around us.  By doing this, we both realized how much money we’ve wasted over the years on useless things. I only want our house to be a place that brings us joy and to be a place where we don’t feel that we have to fill it with “stuff” to feel accomplished.

Are there areas of your life that you feel could use the KonMari method or have you ever gone through your closet or any part of your home only to find that it doesn’t bring you joy? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

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How this one method curbed my shopping addiction.




  1. December 12, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    I so feel you on this one! I hate dressing myself for many of the reasons you named. I’ve decided that I’m going to go with a uniform. Same everything because it truly reflects who I am.

  2. CJ
    September 14, 2017 / 8:37 am

    I am so feeling this article! I LOVE to shop for and with the purchase of my home (moving from a 1 bedroom apartment to a 1900 sq ft 2-story home), I’m having to purchase things I didn’t need before (blinds, drapes, appliances). I typically shop every season for new clothes which isn’t possible this season. I need sweaters for the fall/winter and will try this method when shopping to stay frugal and feel accomplished. Thank you for sharing your story! I love this blog!

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