The Blog

Simplify the Complicated: Reduce the Options. Reduce the Decisions


I love weighing my options before making any decision.  But sometimes it can be downright stressful.

Even food shopping has become a chore. The over-abundant choices can make this process more timely. I know I’m not alone. From mustards to toilet paper, it’s likely to both overwhelm and frustrate the average consumer.

I have spent way too much time down the cold/remedy aisle studying the wide variety of cough medication to purchase, scrutinizing the variety of Robitussin options.  Seriously, not everyone has the time to do research.  I might add, the feminine hygiene selection is as bewildering. Try explaining the options to a family member running that errand for you, lol.

At the retail level, everyone loves choices, and smart/frugal shoppers appreciate a broad selection fit for a viable market comparison.  But if you struggle with decision-making on a day-to-day basis, abundant options can be a real battle. An apparel nightmare, in fact. Too often, you exit the store with nothing but a severe headache. Ugh.

The differences between major retail stores and specialty boutiques clearly illustrate this conundrum.  In large department stores, I’ve seen clothing (that’s already been picked through) often strewn haphazardly all over the floor.  Sizes are all mixed up and collections are no longer hanging together. The choices can be confusing, too much of the same thing dispersed in many different departments. Ditto to the shoe department. As for finding a salesperson?  Good luck with that.

In a smaller boutique, the setting is more intimate and sales help is readily available. While the inventory is easier to maintain (less stuff=less to manage), there are also fewer options to weigh in on.  Many shoppers prefer the one-on-one attention and a more select collection of apparel.

As for on-line shopping preference, we all know how that ends.  Most likely, your search will lead to a circuitous trail of more items similar to your original, and your options will multiply exponentially. Admittedly and on many occasions,  I’ve been stuck.  One time, after results of a particular search displayed over 36 pages, I clicked relentlessly until the wee hours but eventually surrendered from exhaustion.

Here’s a simple truth; Too many options can stall a decision. 

Consider this as a great model for our own personal spaces. We may not be able to control what’s out there, but we certainly can control what’s in our closets and homes.

  • Are you tired of rummaging through your closet to find something you’d love to wear?
  • How much of the same color do you own?
  • Do too many jeans and shoes complicate your readiness?
  • Finding it hard to have a “favorite?”

How to simplify this decision-making process? Resist the urge to over-acquire.  Opt out.  Reduce the options, reduce the decisions.

Keep it simple.  Real simple.  Buy less. Keep only what you love!  Then whatever you pick to wear is a win-win 🙂


Read this post on single page to comment →

Abundant and Redundant Possessions: What is Your “Enough”?

shoes_optA typical day in a life of just about every woman I know….

You went shopping and gravitated to a really pretty black top.  You did what the average fashionista would do. You bought it. Yep, yet another (but new) black addition to the already abundant and redundant collection of your other really great black tops.

Shoes are arguably a different story, because there is a variety of color, style, and heels to consider. These purchases can be more easily justified. Ditto to dresses, but how many pairs of jeans do you really need?  Skinnys, flared, and boot legged; black, blue, and colored, I get it.  But when is your ‘enough’?

Let’s be clear, this is not gender-specific. Men love to shop too. I’ve witnessed many men’s closets with abundant collections of ties, belts, dress shirts, golf shirts, belts, sport caps, and sneakers.  Seriously.

The caveat: This behavior does not suggest you are a compulsive shopper.

Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) is “characterized by an obsession with shopping and buying behavior that causes adverse consequences. According to Kellett and Bolton , compulsive buying “is experienced as an irresistible–uncontrollable urge, resulting in excessive, expensive and time-consuming retail activity [that is] typically prompted by negative affectivity” and results in “gross social, personal and/or financial difficulties”.  CBD is frequently comorbid with mood, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, OCD, and mania.

There are many people who love to shop and acquire that do not suffer from this addiction because they have the ability to set limits or they can afford the impulseIt could also be more about a realistic mindfulness of finances and/or physical space.

Whether it be small to large acquisitions or gender-specific, we all have our moments when we succumb to our individual weaknesses.  These unique indulgences are hard to defy and can span from big boy toys like cars and large electronics, to even smaller new and shiny toys for our irresistable children. Embellishing our homes with new decor are purchases that may be an ongoing process too.  Chotkes may fill our hearts with joy but they can ultimately fill and overwhelm the home, if there’s little or no regard for ‘enough.’

Yet even with the parameters in mind (affordability and space), there is still a danger in over-acquiring.  Just because you can afford to, doesn’t mean you need to have it. So when does it become too much for you? 

Could it be when…

    • You’ve realized you don’t wear 80% of your wardrobe? (You tend to wear the newest items when you want to look your best)
    • Your closets are noticeably getting more crowded?
    • Can’t find what you’re looking for anymore?
    • Too many options and too many choices have complicated decision-making (you’ve noticed you have a lot of the ‘same’) How many black tank tops are too many and how many do you actually wear?
    • You’ve noticed you have an increasing number of junk drawers?
    • Every horizontal surface in your home has too many frames or chotkes on them?
    • The kitchen gadget drawer is out of control (and you don’t even use most of them)
    • Keeping up with the ‘latest’ technology is costing you money and space (let go of old and ‘dated’ smart phones, TV’s, computers, and printers)
    • Your collection of sunglasses needs its own terminal.
    • The garage has more bicycles and cars than people living in the house.

  • These are just some of the red flags that might alert you that ‘enough’ is indeed enough.  Do any of these resonate with you? When and what are your ‘enoughs’?


Read this post on single page to comment →