How Many Basics Do We Really Need?

It’s amazing what we can discover about our wardrobes when we take a step back from shopping all the time and instead focus on what we currently have.  For years, I was always looking outside of my closet, pondering the multitude of new items I could add to my already burgeoning wardrobe.  In the meantime, many of the pieces I had were scarcely worn.  This year, armed with my new item limit, I’ve cut way back on how much I’m bringing in, which has forced me to look at what I have with new eyes.

In today’s post, I share one of the insights I’ve learned in recent months as I’ve been shopping in my closet more than at the stores.  Yes, I’m probably still buying more new pieces than many of you (over 20 so far this year…), but my current garment inflow represents a sharp reduction over years past.  What I’ve learned has turned a few of my prior notions about smart shopping and workable wardrobes on their side.  After I share my new knowledge, you may either nod in agreement or think I’m crazy, but I just might get you to consider a new perspective along the way. Continue reading

My First Book, “UnShopping,” is Now Available on Amazon!

I am very excited to announce that my first e-book, “UnShopping:  Recovery Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic,” is now available!  This book contains the best of my smart shopping solutions from “Recovering Shopaholic,” categorized into logical sections related to various shopping-related situations and challenges.   These solutions have all been revised and enhanced from the original versions that appeared on the blog.


How the Book Came to Be

In January 2013, I created “Recovering Shopaholic” in an effort to heal myself from a decades-long compulsive shopping problem.  Although I had no idea how many people would read my words, I knew there were many others out there who struggled with shopping too often, buying too much, and trying to fill emotional voids with clothes, shoes, and accessories.   I hoped to keep myself accountable and potentially inspire and connect with those other shopaholics who wished to recover and trade their full closets for full lives. Continue reading

Packing for May 2014 Travel – The Debrief

I’m back from my week-long travels, so it’s time to do a debrief on how I did with my packing for the trip.  If you missed my post last week on packing tips, I definitely recommend your giving it a read (and check out the many insightful comments made by readers, too!).

First, a bit about my trip…  I went to Incline Village, Nevada, which is where my mom and brother live.  It’s in the Lake Tahoe area and was also where I went on my last trip in December.  The reason for this trip was to help my mom after a hip replacement surgery, but I also got to spend some time with my brother, nephew (age 11), niece (age 5), and a friend lives in the area.

I’m happy to report that my mom is healing from her surgery quite nicely and has progressed from using a walker to walking with a cane.  Although I didn’t inherit her “nurse gene” (she worked as a nurse in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years before retiring and moving to Incline Village five years ago), I was able to help her with basic tasks to make her recovery easier.  I brought her food, drinks, ice packs, and medication, and assisted her with getting into bed and putting on her socks and shoes.  I also took care of her adorable tabby cat, who I spoiled like the two kitties I have at home (I Skyped with my husband while I was gone, so I got to see him and my cats that way – isn’t technology great?). Continue reading

While I’m Away… A Few Links to Share

It feels like forever since I’ve posted to this blog!   I’m still away but I wanted to check in and share a few things with you, including links to some articles I’ve read and enjoyed recently.  I’ll be back later this week with a full debrief on how I did with packing for my trip – what I wish I would have brought, what I should have left at home, what I wore, and more!  Stay tuned…

Recovering Shopaholic on “40+ Style”

Debbie with Coco

The first thing I want to share is my guest post on the “40+ Style” blog.  I was interviewed as part of their “Style Interview” series, but some additional questions were added related to the topics of wardrobe management and compulsive shopping.  I also wrote a bit about my Project 333 experience and shared photos of some favorite outfits from the past year. Continue reading

A Small Wardrobe for Less Stress and More Happiness

The following is a guest post from Terra Trevor, who is sharing her journey as part of my new “Stories of Recovery” seriesTerra is an essayist, memoirist and nonfiction writer of a widely published diverse body of work. She is also a good bean cook, soup maker, dreamer, and reformed shopper. Visit her weblog where she writes about simple life, the sea, the beach and the joy in becoming more with less, probing life’s complexities.

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.

Small, Happy Wardrobe

Terra has been able to cultivate a small workable wardrobe. 

Continue reading

Packing for Travel: Reader Tips and Useful Links

In my last post, I wrote about how closet “cheat sheets” can help us to better manage our wardrobes.  One of the applications I mentioned for this type of wardrobe aid related to packing, and a number of readers shared that they use a cheat sheet or checklist when they travel. Since I am preparing for a trip later this week, I decided to focus today’s post on the topic of packing for travel.

Although I used to travel quite frequently, my trips have been few and far between in recent years.  In fact, the last trip I took was the one I wrote about in “On Packing, Travel, and Wardrobe Gaps” back in December.  Sadly, I found myself woefully unprepared for the cold weather I encountered during my trip to the Lake Tahoe area to visit family.  Although the primary topic of my December post centered on wardrobe gaps, I received many helpful packing tips from readers, many of whom are seasoned travelers.

Packing for Travel

Do you struggle with packing for travel? I know I do!

Continue reading

Get Dressed Easier with Closet “Cheat Sheets”

Sometimes we need to get dressed quickly and get out the door.  We often don’t have much time to put together new ensembles, so we tend to stick with the same “tried and true” outfits we’ve worn countless times.  The fact that many of us are perpetually short of time goes a long way toward explaining why most women wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time.

Creative Solutions to Closet Conundrums

Wardrobe Management Tips

Do you reach for the same combinations over and over?

I have more time than a lot of people, but I still find myself reaching for the same combinations time and again.  However, since I’m working toward cultivating a smaller and more workable wardrobe, I really want to make sure all of my closet items are earning their keep.  If things aren’t getting worn, I either need to find ways to make it easier to wear them or pass the neglected pieces on for donation or consignment. Continue reading