6 Months Without Shopping

I can’t believe it! It’s been 6 months since I committed to not buying any clothes for a year! What started as a quest to spend less money has turned into a lifestyle change. Though I’m only half way through the year, I have found these last few months to be very rewarding (and not just for my bank account!).

Back in January, I took a look at my closet and my budget and realized I was spending a lot of money on clothes every month; clothes which usually just sat in my closet. I had turned to online shopping as an escape from boredom and it was adding up. So I made the crazy decision to give up shopping for one year and only use the clothes in my closet. I made a few rules to make sure I had some guidelines to my quest:

  • I was not allowed to purchase new clothing unless it was needed (ex: new socks or the sandals I needed to buy when the ones I was wearing fell apart mid-step).
  • I could accept any clothes given to me from friends or family.
  • I could use gift cards for clothes but could not spend more than the gift card amount.

In the beginning, it was hard! I found that if I was bored at work, I’d go directly to the websites of clothing stores I liked. If I was bored on the weekend, I’d want to go to the mall to browse the sales racks. Anytime I didn’t have something to do, my first impulse was to spend money. I even realized that I had begun to use shopping therapy to make me feel better if I was upset or having a bad day.  But I stuck to my rules. I started to not even want to be around clothing stores because they didn’t interest me anymore.  As time went on, I started to lose interest in buying clothes. Why look at something that I can’t even buy? Having being faced with the clothes in my closet, I started to get creative, creating new outfits out of clothes I’ve had for years and breathing new life into my wardrobe. And it was fun! I realized how many options I had in my closet all along!

I also began to do clothes swaps with my mom and my roommate which was great for the times I wanted to have items to complete different outfits but that weren’t items I necessarily “needed”.

The thing I find hilarious about this whole goal of mine is that when I look at my closet now I see TOO MANY CLOTHES. I’ve cleaned out my closet twice within the last 6 months to just purge the clothes I’ll never wear and I plan on doing it again very soon. It really is amazing how much use you can get out of a small wardrobe when you have the essential pieces. I have definitely learned that less is more if you take the time to be creative and think outside the box. So with 6 months to go on my yearlong journey, what do I think? I think I like this lifestyle. So when my year is up, I may go shop every now and then but I’ve enjoyed the freedom I’ve found from using what I have.

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