I’m a “quantity over quality” person much like my grandpa. He would much rather get 17 mediocre popcorn shrimp at a restaurant than 8 of the best shrimp he has ever tasted in his life.
I come from a family of bargain hunters; that electric, adrenaline filled reaction to finding a super good deal is actually genetic.
Specifically when it comes to clothes, I am more likely to buy 3 low quality shirts for $5.99 each, instead of investing in a nice top that I wear all the time.
Because of this, I have a LOT of clothes. So many. I don’t know where they all come from. Well, TJMaxx mostly, but you know what I mean.
In recent months, I have actually done a LOT better about shopping.
I have also filled bag after bag after bag with clothes to give away. And I’ve dropped them off at Goodwill and charity events.
Mathematically speaking, my amount of clothes should decrease, correct?
I haven’t bought clothes + I give bags of clothes away, yet this somehow still = my closet bursting at the seams.
Yet, I still want more. I need the deals.
I was browsing at Marshall’s and found a pair of stretchy black work pants. The kind that look dressy but actually feel like yoga pants.
But then I stopped.
Do I have a pair of these? I racked my brain.
Then it hit me. I had an epiphany that afternoon in the sacred aisles of that place.
I had so much stuff, specifically clothes, that I didn’t even know what I had.
I decided to go home and take inventory. Like many of my projects, I dove headfirst into them with no plan whatsoever, and before I knew it, my entire floor was covered in clothes.
At this point, I deeply regretted starting this project, but I was in too deep.
There was no turning back.
This is truly only about 2 dresser drawers worth. Not even touching my closet.
I had 7 pairs of nylons. Having even 1 pair of nylons goes against everything I believe in, but 7?
All 513 of my mismatched socks live in the same place. (It is literally a huge drawer full of singleton socks, aka my husband’s personal hell.)
Workout tops got rolled up in this cute little bin labeled “Workout Tops” and Workout pants got rolled up and placed in a bin labeled “Workout Bottoms.”
Socks went together and pants went together and pajamas went together and tee shirts went together and I could tell you were the blue leggings with the leaves on them were.
In a sense, it’s like I went shopping in my own house. It was clear to me then that before this turns into an even bigger problem, I needed to take even more drastic measures when it comes to shopping for clothes.
Here are my new rules to live by:
- Know what I already own before I buy
Though I usually am not buying the exact same version of something I already have, many times it looks similar. Keeping myself organized and aware of what I already have is hopefully going to keep my purchases minimal and only as needed.
2. Be creative with what I already own
Now that I know what is in my closet, I have been trying to put different outfits together with things I already own. I’m not a huge fan of pattern mixing, but I am trying to be a little more creative to not get bored of my outfits. Can I add a necklace or a scarf to this to give it a fresh look? Can I color on it with Sharpie? If you see me and think I look ridiculous, just know I’m trying to be financially & morally responsible.
3. Give away, give away, give away.
I labeled an old laundry hamper “Things to give away” so next time I notice something in my closet I haven’t worn in a season or two, in it goes. Isn’t it strange how right before you toss something, all of a sudden you become emotionally attached to it? I’m like this with things I haven’t worn in years. No more. Adiós.
4. Redefine the word need in my life
I lack nothing. I want a lot of things, but I need NOTHING more than what I have. In fact, I don’t even need most of the things I already own. That afternoon of sorting, organizing and purging clothes gave me a refreshed attitude of gratitude.
And for the record, when I got home, I realized that buried deep in my closet was a pair of black stretchy, perfectly fitting (that’s the real miracle because I’ve gained 10 pounds) work pants that I totally forgot I owned.