7 Ways to Keep Your Closet (and Wallet!) Under Control | A Rose in Bloom
AKA, controlling your shopping habits thus creating more space and a savings account. Twice a year I go on a declutter frenzy and ruthlessly guy my closet with a vengeance. What haven't I worn? What doesn't look good or fit me? If an item is damaged, do I like it enough to fix it? We are all familiar with closet cleaning tasks - the tasks that take a whole Sunday afternoon and you have enough to stuff to fill the entire Goodwill and then you feel guilty for having so much stuff (wait, this does happen to you, right?). Recently, I have decided enough is enough. While I fully agree to donate something if you aren't using it, I am more interested in preventing the clutter in the first place. I look at those bags and see $$$ going out the door. Money spent on a dress I wore twice, shoes that were too tight, jeans that gapped in the fitting room and should never have come home. For the past 6-8 months, my philosophy has been about donating and not replacing the items. Obviously, I don't need that many clothes otherwise I would use them all the time. Yes, I love fashion. Half my blog has been dedicated to fashion. However, as you read here, buying new clothes all the time is not feasible for my current financial state. And it shouldn't be. It's not fiscally or environmentally (in many cases) responsible to constantly buy cheap things that get thrown away or even nice things that you only wear once before passing along to Goodwill. Furthermore, having a smaller closet doesn't make you enjoy fashion any less! If anything, I know I can always create a loved outfit with my tried and true items and feel pretty. Feel sharp. Confident.

But man, it can be tempting to buy things. As in, I had no idea how hard it would be to buy nothing when I first embarked on this journey. However, I am pleased to tell you that with each "no" I give myself, the more confident I feel! You are in control of your wallet! Without further ado, here is a list on tips I have found useful to keep myself in check.

1. The 30 days rule.

It's best to put something on a wishlist and come back in 30 days to see if you still want the item. You may have been caught in the emotional high of getting a new item only to discover that you don't like the piece as well as you thought. Naturally, you can't always use this reasoning. Something might be on clearance or you may wear a limited size. I just bought some black and white polka dot shorts at H&M because they only had one pair in my size and I actually needed shorts that fit properly. Instead of following my 30 day rule to a tee, I will keep the receipt and reevaluate my wants in 30 days. For more on that, see Rule Number 4.

2. Can I wear this 3 different ways?

This might be extreme. For most items (i.e. not jeans) if I can't create 3 outfits then kaput, goodbye, adios. No buy. Don't get me wrong, I have a statement maxi too, but it's best to keep statement pieces to a minimum. I can't really wear this dress to every summer barbecue, now can I? In fact, I've had that dress for 4 years, and have worn it maybe 5 times each year because it's so obvious I am wearing the same dress again! Even with different shoes or a sweater in the winter, it's obvious. However, you could wear this dress and even this one to every summer barbecue and people will compliment you every time.

3. If you can choose between two boxes - one with the item and one with the cash value, which would you choose?

Box #1 holds the new shoes while box #2 holds the $100 that the shoes cost. Would you rather have the hundred bucks? If so, pass, unless you actually wore out something and need the replacement.

4. Don't fear returns.

Oh ladies, I used to be the worst at this. I hate doing returns. HATE IT WITH THE RAGE OF A THOUSAND SUNS. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I feel guilty for making a bad decision. Maybe it's because my parents taught me to always make retail workers' lives easier (Mom and Dad, retail workers thank you every day). However, I work really hard for my limited funds and you do too, dear reader, you do too. If the fit is not as you remember in the fitting room, or natural daylight sheds a whole new light on its appearance (no pun intended), return, return, return.

5. Don't window shop

If you don't see it you won't want it. If you didn't know you needed it before you left that house that morning, you don't need it. Only go to your favorite stores for special occasions or when items are worn out. Besides, if I can only shop at Anthropologie to pick out a Christmas or birthday present it feels way more rewarding! If you do see something while buying groceries at Target, put it on the 30 days list.

6. Pay in cash.

Speaking of Anthropologie, one day I wanted this dress. I really, really wanted it. I saved $10 a week until I had the cash money to walk into Anthropologie and hand over the green. If you want something that badly, go for it! Having that much physical money in your hand means that you took the time to earn your reward without getting into debt. You may also find that when looking at a wad of cash, the dress is not as nice as you the shining image burned into your brain. Either way, it's a win! Your bank account will thank you even though Visa may start cursing.

7. If all else fails, use ad block.

It's embarrassing, but I had to do this y'all. No, I really don't need to know that those Free People boots I looked at 3 months ago are now on clearance. No, because if I really, really needed/wanted them, they would have been in my wishlist for at least 30 days and I would have been watching them.

Now it's your turn. Share with me! What are your tips for keeping your closet in control?

4 comments

  1. Great tip about the 30 days! Ever since I moved to Argentina, I started shopping online quite a bit. What I try to do is not order anything immediately, but rather wait it out (this doesn't always work...especially not during a sale...last weekend I gave myself about 30 minutes to decide whether I needed a black velvet jacket on Nasty Gal or not. Turns out I needed it, and a few other things...but I digress) Currently I'm lusting some items over on four different websites (for the past 2 weeks) and am trying to decide which pieces would be the most useful. Obviously, I want them all (haha) but I don't need them all. I also agree with you about window shopping...since I never go to the shopping avenue near my apartment here, I rarely ever go buy anything. Out of sight, out of mind!
    I might post my shopping wish list this week on my blog, so you guys can help me decide what's necessary and what's not. xx

    http://amateandarottweiler.blogspot.com.ar/

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    1. That's an amazing idea! Posting your wishlist for other eyes to give an unbiased opinion can really help tame your eye. I will be sure to check out your list. Maybe when my birthday rolls around I will post a list and you guys can help me. The Internet is beautiful!

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  2. I downsized my wardrobe several years ago and was so happy. I have more of a capsule wardrobe where I can pair different items together (to make different outfits). I'm loving that two box rule Lizzie! I've got to add that to what I do. Excellent post!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  3. Great post, my fave is #3! I always try to buy pieces that are versatile ❤
    munchies&musings

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