Slow and Steady Wins the Race Against Overshopping and Closet Chaos

The following is a guest post from Esther, who shares how taking on two challenges over the past year has helped her to gain control of her shopping, pare down her wardrobe, improve her personal style, and feel more at peace with herself. 


Ever since I was a teenager, I have always felt “out of step” and like I never knew how to dress. I longed for a uniform so I didn’t need to stress out about what to wear. In my search for ease, I actually started buying and buying. Ironic, isn’t it? I was always attracted to minimalism but went in the opposite direction. On top of that, I picked a profession (or it picked me) where I lived in workout clothes. Remember when those “track suits” were popular? That was the closest thing to a uniform I ever found. Meanwhile, I had tons of clothes but “nothing to wear”!

Fast forward to July 2015 when I asked my daughter to help me find a style. She suggested that I use both Pinterest and Google. It was through my online searching that I found this blog. That was the first time I realized I was a shopaholic. When Debbie’s private Facebook group started, I was “home.” I became a daily contributor, even though it took me a while to do outfit of the day (OOTD) posts.

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From “Fast-Fashion” Addict to Minimalism and Sparking Joy

The following is a guest post from Chau Le of Milo Theory, who previously shared her story of recovery back in January 2015.  She has gained some new insights and tips since then that she is graciously sharing with us today. 

Chau Le of Milo Theory

Chau Le of “Milo Theory”

Chau is a globetrotter (14+ countries) and an avid Krav Maga addict. She lived abroad in Taiwan and Spain during her college years, picking up languages and a love for exotic, foreign foods. She relocated to sunny California after graduating from Portland State University and worked in the Communications and PR field. She has recently returned to school (again) to pursue nursing — perhaps the second hardest decision in her life (besides leaving Belgium after just 10 days years ago)! 

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How I Found Closet Serenity (a.k.a. My Project 333 Experiment)

The following is a guest post from Sybil, a longtime reader of this blog.   After retiring at 60, Sybil transitioned to a self-employed consulting role, no longer going into an office every day.  That change opened her up to addressing her problem of over-shopping and she embarked on a Project 333 challenge – and she learned a lot! 

If you would like to be profiled in an upcoming installment of the “Stories of Recoveryseries (you can be anonymous if desired), please connect with me to share your thoughts.


Early in 2016, I decided to challenge myself with a modified Project 333 exercise – selecting 33 items of clothing and wearing only those pieces (accessories not included in count) for three months.  Those who know me well laughed at my plan.  I’m not exactly known for setting limits on myself.  But, remarkably, not only did I succeed, I reached a turning point in managing my wardrobe.  And, most surprising, the emotional payoff was significant.

Sybil's Project 333 Capsule Wardrobe

This was Sybil’s Project 333 capsule wardrobe earlier this year. 

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How to Revive Your Wardrobe and Home for the New Season

The following is a guest post from Aimee Lyonsa twenty-something free spirit who loves crafting, painting, building, and anything else that lets her exercise her creative muscles. A born do-it-yourself kind of girl, Aimee started DIYDarlin.com to inspire others to embrace their inner creators and tackle projects with confidence. When she isn’t crafting, you might find her vintage shopping or taking her Corgi Champ out exploring in her hometown of Austin, Texas.


A few times throughout the year as the seasons shift, a big changeover occurs for our home and our wardrobe. We haul out our bins of stored seasonal clothes and home accessories, unpack them and then store away what we don’t need anymore.

Because it takes quite a bit of time (and energy), many of us complete this task in a mindless sort of way. We might also be tempted to just go out and buy new items because it can be exciting and we know our wardrobe and home could use a little “refreshing” for the season.

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How a “Rolling Capsule Wardrobe” Can Help with Both Closet Chaos and Personal Style

The following is a guest post from Dianne, who lives in Brisbane Australia.  This is the story of Dianne’s battle with clothing chaos and how she’s conquering it through the use of an unconventional capsule wardrobe that she created herself.

If you would like to be profiled in an upcoming installment of the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), please connect with me to share your thoughts.


From Strict Budgeting to Bags Full of Clothes

I love finding bargains. After years of not having money to spend on myself as a stay-at-home mum with three children, I got a part-time job and found that I finally had some extra money to spend on me. This coincided with my losing 12 kilograms of weight. I then had a new figure, a new life, and some disposable income to spend on clothes.

After years of strict budgeting, I didn’t spend that much at first. I slowly started to cultivate my “boutique,” my own shop in my home. I began to buy more and more, and suddenly I became the person who went shopping for sales and came home with bags full of clothes. At some stage, it occurred to me that I was bringing in so much clothing that I couldn’t possibly wear it all.  However, I dismissed this thought, as I was stocking my own private store.

sale shopping

I shopped at sales and came home with bags full of clothes. 

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Cutting Costs on Children’s Clothing

The following is a guest post from Carlynn Adeline.  As a mom of two girls, Carlynn is well aware of how expensive children’s clothing can be.  After the birth of her second daughter, she decided to make a change to improve family finances by making use of hand-me-downs and following her own advice as laid out in this article.  Carlynn hopes that she can help others keep family household spending down.


Recovering from a shopping addiction is an impressive feat that is easier said than done.  It takes an unquantifiable amount of strength to limit our impulsivity and strictly adhere to a monthly budget. The road to intelligent spending may be a long one with many obstacles, yet it’s definitely worth it when you manage to rack up savings and see amazing returns in the long run.

shopping for children's clothing

  Kids’ clothing can be a big expense for parents. 

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Debtors Anonymous is Not Just for Debtors

The following is a guest post from Susan B., who is sharing her journey as part of my “Stories of Recovery” series.  Susan is a financial sobriety evangelist. Her website, Getting Out from Going Under, provides guidance for people who are recovering from compulsive spending, shopping, and debting. Her recent book, “Getting Out from Going Under: Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders,” is filled with practical tips, inspiration, and a thought for each day to encourage and motivate you to stay on the path of recovery.

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), please connect with me to share your thoughts.

dealing with debt

Is bill paying a time of extreme stress for you?

My name is Susan B. and I’m a recovering shopaholic. More precisely, I’m recovering from an addiction to spending and buying that nearly killed me. I’m also a member of Debtors Anonymous (DA), a 12 step program (like Alcoholics Anonymous) for people who are out of control with money, with or without debt. And I haven’t had a shopping binge since April 25, 2009.

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