Overwhelmed by shopping? Five things you NEED to stop doing NOW.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by shopping. There are so many stores to pick from, styles are constantly changing, and the convenience of online shopping just adds to the confusion of what to keep and what to return. In the end, you still have to decide what works best for you.

If shopping feels overwhelming, the very best thing you can do to save time and money is to shop with intention and purpose. You have to schedule time in your calendar to do this or find a stylist to help you make decisions.

Here are five things you need to stop doing when you shop on your own.

1. Aimlessly Shopping Online.

I know there’s an excitement to ordering pieces online and getting your packages in the mail all wrapped up in pretty boxes and paper. But really, how many of those pieces actually end up working out? You have to order a lot of items to get one piece you really like. Maybe.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of continuing to buy online even though you’ve been disappointed. The sale promos come right into your inbox, and the Facebook ads keep popping up on your newsfeed. If you’re going to do any online shopping, shop with specific items in mind or keep your eye on items you would purchase in the store, anyway. It’s easy to get distracted and start with one item and end up with ten items in your shopping cart by the end of the hour. Do your best to focus.

2. Sticking to sales rack purchases.

I love a good sale, but if you have little time to shop and get overwhelmed, looking at a sales rack is not for you. Most of the items on sale are items that didn’t work out for a lot of people. The stores need to get them out and make way for new products. In order to truly benefit from a sales rack, you need to have the patience to go through all the random items, try them on, and be able to make choices based on what you like—not the price tag. All those unworn sale items do add up! I’m sure you have a few unworn “sale finds” hanging in your closet.

3. Relying on style box subscriptions.

The convenience and idea of style boxes are genius, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. One, the clothing from the subscription is from one brand or from a store that carries certain brands. Stitch Fix, for example, purchases and owns all the clothing (like a boutique) and resells these pieces to you. When you work with a style box, you need to know that you’re limited to their style options and the look of that brand.

Don’t rely on a style box to shape your personal style. You really need a good base wardrobe already in place to glean the benefits of adding random items to your closets. Without a solid base, you’ll be stuck with a closet full of items that don’t match and don’t work well together.

4. Last minute shopping.

Isn’t it funny that when you really need something, you can’t seem to find it? One contributing factor is the stress and pressure you feel from trying to find something so quickly. Make sure you schedule enough time ahead to look for items, and if that’s not possible, intentionally schedule a couple hours for shopping and be sure to go into the stores with an open mind.

There’s absolutely no way you’re going to find a flowy, sleeveless purple dress in the dead of winter. You’ve got to use what’s in the store and go with it.

5. Comparing yourself to perfect Instagram photos.

Instagram influencers do an impeccable job of curating their photos, but that standard is hard to live up to. In all reality, you don’t need a new outfit every single day. Unless you’re unspeakably rich, you won’t be able to buy new things all the time. Influencers receive a lot of their clothing and jewelry for compensation. That is, they get money and/or products when they share their outfits with you on Instagram. Follow influencers who inspire you to try something new, but don’t follow people who make you feel like you aren’t good enough or can’t reach a certain “status.” That’s not healthy for anyone.

How do you feel about shopping? Are you prone to any traps? Do you have any tricks of the trade to share?

Join the conversation in the comments below! We want to know all about your experiences and the personal shopping goals you’re setting.

I’ve also created a quiz to help you understand more about your Busy Lady Style Status. There are only ten questions, and at the end you’ll receive five trends to try and two stores to check out. It’s super helpful if you want to get some direction this season. Share it with a friend or chime in on our Instagram @thecloset.edit!

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