Over halfway done

Can you believe my shopping ban is almost over? I can’t.

The beginning of February marked my halfway mark, yet here I am, in March, and finally talking about it.

When I started this challenge in November, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, or if I would be able to even last this long. Well, my friends, it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. Sure, there are some really annoying bits (like not being able to buy something because I don’t have a gift card, and knowing I’d feel a little guilty if I did), but the majority has been pretty painless.

And, as you may have seen on twitter or heard me mention here briefly, I moved. Holy crap, you do not realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it all into boxes and cart it to a new place.  Because of my lack of desire to pack things I no longer wear, I went through much of my clothes, and left a giant pile of donations behind, most to be donated, with a few select pieces going to some friends I know will appreciate the pieces (Jenni, Katie, Goodwill- you’re welcome).
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(Yup, that’s my pile so far. There’s also some kitchen items and a printer buried in there. It’s like pirate’s treasure, but no gold.)

When I was sitting in the middle of my room, throwing things into the donate pile, I realized that I had fallen victim to the cycle of consumerism that [mostly] everyone else falls into as well. Thankfully, my descent didn’t push me into debt, or cause me to have a secret storage locker full of clothes. Going through this stuff, I realized that most of it was left-over from my high school and college days. As I started putting more items in my “to-donate” pile, it hit me like a ton of bricks:

Why do I have stuff that I don’t absolutely love? Why do I keep it if I’m not going to wear it? Why do I allow it to take up space in my closet? And why the hell do I own seven shirts that look THE EXACT SAME?! As style bloggers, we (yes, I’m including myself in this “we”) often talk about how my we love “this” or “that” and how we can’t get enough of it. Well, there were plenty of items in that pile of donations that used to be my go-to item, but have been replaced with something new.

I’m not even done with my shopping ban and I’ve already learned a lesson; don’t keep it if you don’t love it. My closet isn’t going to get mad at me if I get rid of shirt X,Y, or Z. In fact, I think my closet would thank me (if it  could talk!) for removing some of the wasted space.

We all have certain items that we are attached to, and feel like we can’t give up or give away. I’m not talking about those items, because I have some of those too. For example, this brocade coat I wore here:
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I snagged that at Value World for less than $5. It’s a vintage Saks robe (I think it’s a bathrobe). I feel like an art teacher when I wear it, because of the cut, but I just can’t bring myself to donate it. I feel like it needs to go to someone else who would truly understand the beauty and quality of the piece. It’s crazy gorgeous.

But, at what point do you have to stop thinking like that (let’s face it, I can equate everything I own to a good deal, or being crazy gorgeous, if I wanted to), and when do you start taking a long, hard look at your stuff and actually decide it’s OK and needed to purge?

It’s items like this that makes me feel a little crazy, because I want to make sure items like this get “adopted” into a great home. (Yes, I just equated my clothing to the likes of a living, breathing pet. I’m nothing if not a little nuts). Sounds crazy, but I bet most of you know exactly how I feel. It’s something that’s a great item, but maybe it just doesn’t fit in your closet, lifestyle, personal style, or maybe it just plain doesn’t fit anymore. I know that I will have to get over my curious nature of where an item went (did it go to a good home, etc), and just drop off the box outside Goodwill and call it a day.

Thankfully, that pile you see above fit into two oversized garbage bags and was dropped off at Goodwill earlier this week. Joe’s trunk was full of our donations, and I really hope that someone else is able to find value in those items. That’s all I can really hope for.

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9 thoughts on “Over halfway done

  1. Great post. I’ve just begun a month-long shopping ban, which I kind of hope will turn into a several month-long ban, after I realized how much clothing I actually have. I feel like I’ve gotten to the point where I’m only wearing some items once, or I’m buying stuff just because it’s a good deal. After or during this ban, I’m definitely going to be getting rid of a lot of stuff, like you did. There’s a consignment store in town I can sell some of my nice-ish stuff to, but I also realized many of my impulse buys came from there just because it was a name brand for a good price. So a lot of stuff will end up at Goodwill, too. What I’d really like is another swap. Then you know your pieces are going to a good home!

    • I think a swap would be amazing. We did one out here, in September, but it would be fantasic to get hundreds of people out. The only problem is taking stuff home after the swap! LOL!

  2. About three years ago I made some deals with myself.
    I no longer was going to buy anything I didn’t LOVE.
    I wasn’t going to buy something I couldn’t think of more than 3 ways to wear.
    I wasn’t going to bring anything in without something going out. Ideally 2 out for 1 in if not more.
    No more cheap shit fabrics.

    That left me with a much smaller wardrobe but less standing in front of the closet whining I didn’t like anything. I did a big purge but I haven’t done a BIG purge in awhile on the clothes and I need it. I did it on the household stuff and shoes and it felt fantastic.

    • I’ve tried to do that. I give myself the rules of having to know multiple outfits I can wear it with, knowing that it “fits” with the rest of my wardrobe, and knowing that it’s a fabric I can wear (I’m allergic to wool). Even following those rules, I still found myself with a LOT of clothes.
      But, like I said above, much of it was left over from college (I graduated in 2006, so it’s not like it’s been 20 years), and while I may fit into it, how often am I going to wear the 17 sweatshirts I own?
      My sister is amazing at purging. I am trying to learn from her, and she really helped me on the shoe front. (I have A LOT of shoes). I’m hoping that this move will also help me go through and rid of more. I don’t want to move this same amount of stuff again!

  3. This post is incredible! I am on month 2 of my no new shopping ban (I am allowing myself a thrifting budget each month) so far, so good but it’s not easy and I can’t imagine buying nothing at all! I did recently go through my closet and pull out the things which have been worn to the point of no return and the things I don’t wear anymore that need to get sold or donated! You are serrrriously an inspiration! Xo Lori

  4. I completed a years shopping on new years day this year and felt so good about. I realised alot of the same things you did and now have a very different way of shopping! But i sadly have yet to tackle the ever expanding wardrobe which I know contains so many things I no longer wear/like! I threw alot when we moved a while ago but have managed to accumilate so much more again! i just feel getting rid of stuff is sometimes so wastefull money wise, and I often wear a random item which I havent worn in ages, even if I only manage to wear it once in 18 months so feel I shoulg get rid of stuff in case I fancy wearing it again at some point. So I have taken to packing a big suitcase of stuff into the attic and pulling it down every few months to pull stuff out and put others in – feels like new then and i can rediscover old items and save space!!
    Great post, I am working on a what I have learnt since my ban post too, even though its been a few months! hehe
    Daisy Dayz

    • I feel the same way about items I’m getting rid of. Recently, I signed up for Swap.com, and am working on a post about my experience! Maybe it could work for you too?

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