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).
(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:
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.