Help! I Have Too Much Stuff!: A Shopping Intervention

12 Jan

Clothing By Iris

Picture it: Maryland. Right after New Year’s.

I have an extremely large suitcase, filled to the brim with both clothing I had brought from school and had purchased or received over Christmas. The hulking purple creature uncomfortably squeezed through the hallways of my house, settling in its comfortable fate weighing down the back of my mother’s car as I departed for my home-away-from-home in Pittsburgh. Let’s not even talk about the two shopping bags that came with it.

You can only imagine the fun times that were had when I realized I had to take a flight of stairs to my dorm room later that night. If you hadn’t realized by now, yes, I was clearly a passenger on the struggle bus.

I won’t even get into the fact that it took me at least three days to find the courage to open that behemoth and start putting those things away in the limited space that I had.

Why?

Simply put, I have WAY too much stuff.

Has this situation ever happened to you?

You quickly decide that you don’t want something in your wardrobe anymore, because it fits poorly or you got it in junior high, or it’s out of fashion. But at the same time, throwing it away seems like wasted money (What if you lose weight? What if one of your little cousins could use it? What if it becomes retro?) so you keep it. Just in case. Meanwhile, it piles up, creating a maelström of clothing that chokes the life out of your closet and swallows the clothing that you do intend to wear.

Inevitably there are articles of clothing that become a lost cause, as I grudgingly accept that my favorite pair of leggings has been sucked into the abyss, never to be seen again – or I forget that I had owned them in the first place. What do I do next? Buy duplicates. And the cycle continues.

And thus, the experiment was born.

It was a delightful coincidence that one of my favorite bloggers, Gala Darling, has a similar conundrum, and is trying a similar challenge. Mine?

No more shopping, for the rest of the semester.

That’s four months. From now, till May 1st.

I’m not counting essentials on this list, or replacements of unusable items that I already own. This primarily applies to clothing, but I’m going to try to limit my consumption of things like books, trinkets and the like as well.

I have been slowly but surely preparing for this day, as I pare down my wardrobe, giving articles of clothing away to charity, Goodwill and family. Difficult, but manageable.

Even harder is the itchy feeling in my fingers when my favorite online retailer beams their latest lookbook into my inbox, or when my “shopping” folder in my inbox gets filled to the brim with coupon promotions and free shipping codes!

Or the longing when I see inspirational fashion photos in my feed reader or tumblr dashboard and I want to replicate the look. It’ll be a temptation, but I’m going to try to stay strong!

But I need to make a change – so I will! Time to break the chains! Funnily enough, this happens just as I invest in a tripod to take outfit photos to improve my style sense.

I’m not sure exactly how this is going to work – if anyone has done a shopping detox before, your advice would be amazing – but I’m surely going to try. I’ll provide an update in the beginning of March, after two months have passed.

Have any of you gone on a shopping purge? Have you ever considered it? What are your thoughts?

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2 Responses to “Help! I Have Too Much Stuff!: A Shopping Intervention”

  1. Drew January 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Nice article tara…if but if u get rehab please get me the info too. Drew

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