[Originally posted 3/19/2018]
I’ve been taking pairing down my wardrobe very seriously for about 3 weeks. That’s not long at all, but it is long enough for me to make some observations about my behavior. I have one key habit holding me back from letting go of useless things—justification. I can come up with all kinds of rationale as to why I shouldn’t let go of a pile of junk in my closet, but ultimately there’s one question that trumps most of these, “Would I buy this again?” About 80% of the time the truthful answer is no.
Just-in-case items are the kicker. What is a just-in-case item, you ask? It’s a pair of shiny leggings or a faux fur coat—neither of which I’ve worn in the last 12 months—that I MIGHT need for next year’s costume party that may or may not happen. It doesn’t need to be as extravagant as that, but both of those things will soon be leaving my closet. Those aren’t items deserving of space in my home, and I guarantee I will not miss them.
My issue with justification also extends to items that I feel were “expensive” but never wear. I have held onto these expensive pieces because I made an investment in them, however I’ve already taken the loss by not wisely choosing items that bring value to my life. Thankfully, selling or donating these items is a great option and results in a win-win. I have less clutter in my life, and the items can bring value to someone else’s life. This also results in a lesson learned—shopping with intention pays off in more ways than one.
Additionally, I feel an intense guilt when buying quality, staple items. Typically, this happens because good quality costs more than what I’m used to paying at my go-to discount store. The true motivator behind my bargain shopping habits is to acquire more stuff. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am able to get more because I found “bargains.” Quantity has been a higher priority than quality for a long time, and my perception is completely skewed. Buying a classic, staple piece I will wear countless times brings me far more guilt than spending the same total on six trendy items. The monetary cost is the same, but it’s the value that counts. Retraining my brain to think long-term instead of craving instant gratification is not something I’ve conquered yet.
Ultimately, I’m confessing to you all that this is going to take some time. I’m not the most patient gal in the world, but I know I need to have an intentional mindset. I’m willing to put in some work, put down my pride, and stop creating silly little justifications for my bad habits. If you’re struggling with maintaining intentional habits and fall victim to consumer behavior, we’re in this together. Let’s build better habits, shop smarter, and look darn good while doing it.