Please read Part One HERE
Here is a reminder of how a Sure-Stepped Walkdown™ works:
1. Think of it like being at the top of a ladder. You feel insecure up there, dizzy, afraid, and stressed
2. You need to step down to the safety and security of 'terra firma'. With the ground under your feet, you'll be...grounded.
3. Each rung down leads you closer to an established habit and achieving a result. And each rung leads you down from anxiety and stress to security and ultimate success.
4. If you step down a rung and feel a bit wobbly, go up a rung to your safe step. Try again later and you'll find you make progress. You won't have to start from the top of the ladder all over again.
Just remember that each rung down is carefully taken. You'll make one change at a time and be coming down from those scary dizzy heights at the top of the ladder.
All that is left for you to do now, is to choose the safe steps you'll take towards your goal of eliminating a retail therapy habit and its resulting clutter, so you can have a clean, tidy home. Don't try and take too many steps at once! You might also want to invent your own steps - that's fine.
1. Make a list of the things you think you need. Add as many as you like. Keep the list with you and look at it often. In time, you'll find that the items fade, and you don't feel like buying many of them after all. Cross off those. Keep updating your list in this way. You should be left with only the items that really mean something to you - the rest were just impetuous desires. By not buying those, you'll have more cash to put towards the items you truly need.
2. BEFORE you go and buy something, write it down. When you have a few items listed, plan your shop to get these as quickly and directly as you can - that way you'll be breaking down the habit of browsing.
3. Plan to create an environment at home that will be better than at the stores or shops. For instance, Make cookies or cake, decent coffee/tea (find those nice cups at the back of the cupboard). Invite friends or family over. They will love having a happy, homey get-together and natter. Make this a regular thing, and you might inspire them to do the same.
4. Sign up for an online MOOC There are thousands of free courses for every level, subject, and interest. HERE is a good place to start. This is somewhere that you ARE allowed to browse. Choose a course that really interests you and retail therapy just won't cut it anymore. You'll be too engrossed.
5. If you have hobbies or crafts, supplies can get out of hand. Every seller will want you to have a big stash of their products. That results in a lot of mess, clutter, and unnecessary shopping. Instead, cut down the overwhelming boxes of stash. It is so peaceful to not have too much to deal with. Have the pleasure of using what you have and being able to keep it neatly ordered
6. Are you ready for this one?... Unfollow all retail companies, magazines and 'inspiration' posts on social media. Phew! Now look at how uncluttered and free your newsfeed looks. How on earth can we stop the shopping habit when we watch the ads all day? If it's looking too bare for you to 'bear', find pages or websites on the subjects of Improvisation, old style money-saving and thrift. A home-made simple cake will beat a shop-bought sugar-laden cake confection for instance. Just don't go and buy a lot of supplies for your money-saving!
7. Invest in or ask for a Kindle as a gift. Just imagine, thousands and thousands of books at your fingertips. Amazon has well enough free book downloads to last your lifetime. You don't need to shop for books. The same for those you wish to buy things for. Choose gifts that will go on giving pleasure more than the fleeting unwrapping 'high'.
8. Plan a 'Movie Night' once a week. Make your own popcorn and invite those friends that can resist talking all the way through the movie.
9. Remember that too many clothes make it almost impossible to know what you have, care for what you have, or store what you have. Go through a closet and donate anything you don't wear or like. Clean, press, fold or hang what's left. Make a list of anything you need AFTER you've done this, and never go shopping unless you know exactly what you need. If you MUST buy something, remember the 'Something out, before something in' rule. Get rid of an item in your closet or drawer BEFORE you shop.
10. Retail therapy is stressful, unsatisfying and can lead to the same overwhelming clutter and mess that we've had. How can you show by example to the people you care about, what is most important in life? How can we help them to feel valuable for who they are, not what they have? Instead of dashing to the Mall, can we spend better quality time with our loved ones?
I'd love to know how you get on, so please drop me a line if you can
Until next time, Ritz