I am off to give a talk this weekend and before I saw my 401k slide down the slope I would most likely have gone out and bought some accessory or even a new outfit for the event. I stopped myself from grabbing the keys and heading to my downfall, the Eileen Fischer outlet, a few times. As the weekend wore on I was impressed that I withstood the urge to shop. It isn’t that I am much of a shopper, either, but having a lot of clothes is part of modern life, it seems, or maybe I just crept into this from being around teenage girls with my daughter: For not too much money they can have huge wardrobes.
I withstood the urge and chose a shawl to wear that garners compliments whenever I have it on. That feels perfect. It has happened to me before when my workload is high that shopping became welcomed downtime with a lure of satisfaction. It takes a weekend like the one I just had to snap me out of the misplaced priorities. I found myself so much more relaxed with extra hours at home to enjoy the abundant golden orange fall colors and walk with dogs in the last of the summer sun. I felt satisfied on such a deeper level than I would have felt with a new pair of pants. Lastly, of course, this change saved gas and untold resources, depending on what I would have bought.
Thinking about my wardrobe in this way at this time was perfect given that it is getting cold! I have to finally really swap out my summer for fall and winter clothes. A great time to clear out the clutter, I’m putting into practice the 20/80 rule, focusing on the 20 percent of the clothes that I wear 80 percent of the time, and thinking about what the clothes in both piles have to tell me. Following this barometer is helpful because it will inspire you to buy less since before each purchase you ask yourself if this new garment will be added to your 80-percent pile.
Here’s another cool way to look at clearing out clothes, tame the expense, and yet still be able to hold one’s head up in pubic: Learn about creating clothes clusters, which are five to eight clothing items that work together, that can be dressed up or down. “Group similar colored garments together, and think, ‘What could I add to this group to form a cluster?’ A stay-at-home mom might cluster her acid-wash denim jeans and white T-shirts with a pieced jean jacket, a coordinating tapestry vest, and a long red tunic/sweater,” writes Cynthia Ewer at OrganizedHome.com.
Combining the 20/80 rule with creating clusters seems a smart way forward through the morass to me. I am sure I will buy less, buy more thoughtfully, and pass more onto Good Will or Salvation Army. Seems like a win/win to me, although I can’t quite bring myself to thank the stock market crash for getting me to see the light.