I’ve received several questions from readers on how I manage to store/organize all of my purchases, because I’m always buying new clothes. I chuckle, because all my clothes are in a tiny closet (shared with Nick’s ginorm flannel collection). Reading through extrapetite, I see how this blog may seem like a chronic shopaholic’s diary. Despite frequent purchasing, however, I keep a small and streamlined wardrobe where most pieces are worn monthly. I can’t stand clothes overflowing my closet, or sitting around collecting dust. Thus, I wanted to share my thought process behind wardrobe maintenance…
1. Keep track of what you buy. First and foremost I keep a manual spreadsheet of clothing purchases. I use Mint for overall money management, but the manual aspect of typing up a spreadsheet forces me to recount everything I’ve bought and assess their keep-worthiness. For July, I ordered $455.19 in clothing, returned $164, and sold $36. I hate doing returns, and retailers probably hate me too, but I like bringing items home to think them over.
2. Be critical of what you keep. Blogging and reading blogs has caused me to review all purchases with a very critical eye. A few years ago, I’d be so overjoyed with something fitting small that I may not think twice about keeping it. These days, I thoroughly consider the following:
– fit (and get an alterations quote, if necessary)
– quality and value (include the cost of alterations, which can be hefty)
– compatibility with my existing wardrobe (how many things can I pair it with?)
3. Part with items that don’t (or won’t) get enough wear. If an item doesn’t meet the above tests, but I still really like it, I usually have no problem with indulging in frivolous purchases. But there must be turnover. As soon as I realize something is not getting enough wear, I’ll donate it or pass it on to a new home. Blog sales, eBay, as well as the AN Forum marketplace are all outlets for this.
Also, items initially dubbed as “keepers” are re-assessed periodically. If I am reviewing my manual spreadsheet a month later, and notice that a purchase has not yet been touched, then surely it will be returned or re-sold. Such was the case with a pair of Talbots shoes. I realized I was keeping purely for the bargain and good quality. After a month, I didn’t reach for them once, proving that I didn’t need them!