118 Days

Monday, January 03, 2011

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While I don't particularly enjoy shopping as an activity, I LOVE getting new things. Specifically, new clothes. My biggest downfall is a sale sign or a clearance rack - I can justify purchasing practically anything if it's marked down, and I'm definitely guilty of buying clothes or shoes I don't remotely need because they're on sale. In November I participated in the 30 for 30 remix challenge hosted by Kendi. The idea was to use 30 articles of clothing you already own to create 30 completely different outfits - and to not shop for clothes for 30 days. I never got around to posting my photos for evidence (sad trombone) but I did successfully complete the challenge! Lesson learned: With a little planning and creativity you can make the contents of your closet stretch a loooong way.

Since finishing the challenge I've started to look at my bulging dresser drawers and overflowing closet as a liability rather than an asset. Too many choices makes getting ready in the mornings stressful. I can't even reach half my things, which are piled up precariously on the top shelf of the closet and smushed to the back to make room for more piles. I forget what I own and I buy multiple items that are practically identical. There are things I've worn once in the past year or two; things I haven't worn in a year. There are shoes that make me cry when I take them off because they hurt so much. Yesterday I did a purge of my underwear drawer and even after throwing out an armful of tattered unmentionables I still have enough unders to last me for a month and a half without doing laundry once!

I got some new clothes for Christmas and then picked up some more things on sale during Boxing Week. And right now, there are no new clothes I need. Everything is fully stocked up - work clothes, weekend comfy clothes, gym gear, outerwear, footwear, underwear. This is why one of my New Year's resolutions is to buy no new clothes until May. I have more than enough to see me through the winter, and I'll be doing a closet clean-out to get rid of some of the excess, too. After that, I won't buy any new clothes until May. By then, I'll need some new spring and summer things and will be chomping at the bit to go shopping to kick off a new season.

By sticking to a five-month clothes shopping ban, my goals are to save some money, get more creative with what I already own, keep my closet and drawers tidy and organized, and figure out what pieces I really want so that next time I buy new clothes, I'm choosing things I truly love and want to wear instead of just fawning over a marked-down price tag.

Here goes nothing. May is only 118 days away. I got this.

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  1. You can totally do it, and I definitely hear you - I'll buy stuff I don't need when it's on sale too, and my overflowing drawers and mound of clean laundry on the floor (because there's nowhere left to put it) should be enough to tell me to stop!! Best of luck :)

  2. Thanks! I really hope I can stick to it - the only thing I can possibly run out of is socks :)

  3. I think you'll make it. The key will be to stay out of the stores in the first place. If you're not in a place where you can shop, you can't slip up! Good luck.

  4. I love it. I did a major cleaning over the holiday too. Your closet sounded like mine. I think I should do this too...

  5. my weakness is t-shirts ... my wife calls it a sickness, but I have draws full of 'em. I did stop myself at the virtual checkout this week, however. Is that progress? But good on you Amy, I agree with the stress this causes and I admire your restraint!

  6. I had never heard of that 30 items challenge. I think that would be a good one for me, I'd say I'll give it a shot, but I'm not so sure about that ... I could def see it working though, as long as I could keep everything clean and folded nicely which is a challenge for me!

  7. You can do it! My strategy has worked wonders...no job equals no money to buy clothes! Just pretend!

  8. Good luck! I dont think I could do it! :D I'm however planning to do the 30for30 challenge really soon! Wish me luck!


  9. eleanorstrousers - good tip, and shouldn't be too hard for me. i hate the mall!

    Christina - I can't wait to clean out my closet! soon, soon :)

    deepr - t-shirts are the worst, because they're so inexpensive and so practical, it's easy to rationalize that you need a gazillion of them!

    Leah - it's true, when your things are organized and you can actually see them, suddenly it feels like you have so many more things!

    ainsley - that is a foolproof strategy!

    Mara - that's a good point - in may i'll be able to go crazy :)

    Gabby - good luck with 30 for 30. a spreadsheet helps! it's totally doable and actually pretty fun!

  10. Oh man, that would be so hard for me! I just bought 2 things from Rue La La. I love fashion! One of my new year's resolutions though, is to stop buying cheaper clothing that only lasts me a few months and instead, save my money for the leather bag, the nice pair of shoes, etc. I need more classic stuff that will actually last years, versus months, you know?

    Good luck on your goal!

  11. Gooseberried - that's a good plan! I get so excited about a sale and end up wearing the cheapie item three times before tossing it. If you figure out the cost per wear it definitely makes more sense to spend more on a fewer good quality things!