I realize I left this blog, pretty much unannounced, roughly 3 years ago. I felt like I was treading the same ground. Buying lists, and purchase plans, and closet analysis. It felt like the same theme just tweaked over and over. So I decided one day I’d had enough of repeating myself. I also found an online group to talk clothes with, which filled my need to still have a say about shopping and fashion. So I simply stopped blogging about it. During that time away I still was trying to track and control my wardrobe. For about another year and a half anyway.
Then, I started to just – let go. It started with my very old laptop finally dying, and all my outdated spreadsheets and templates with it. First I searched for comparable replacements. Eventually I decided I no longer needed such detailed tracking (obsessing?) about just every last clothing item I bought. I settled on a stock photo of an item, with the price paid in the caption underneath, and stored in a Windows folder. I am now, this year, also using a simple budget tracking app on my phone and just enter clothing items as they’re purchased. I have an easy running total for the year. And that is enough now. I can see at a glance what I have:
And what I’m spending. Enough to stay accountable. Simple enough to not obsess.
Ends up, the more you focus on something, even if you are trying to change habits, the more you tend to engage in that very thing you may be trying to free yourself from. Late last fall, someone in the Facebook group I frequent and I decided we were going to do our own ‘no plan’ shopping plan. We’d both had enough of the rules, and self imposed guilt if we bought too soon or too much or whatever. This was only decided after the years of tweaking and refining on both our ends, to the point we finally ‘trusted’ ourselves more.
I can’t say it’s worked out perfectly. But I have spent much less, on items I’m more likely to wear, and most importantly – obsessed a LOT less. I am not just buying everything and anything that catches my fancy. I’m still mindful of what I actually need or will wear. But after a bit of deliberation, I now just order something if I think I want it, and find out if it’s a winner or loser. No waiting X number of weeks until the next ‘allowed’ buy then returning, reordering, etc, dragging it out for weeks on end. I’ve had spurts where I’ve brought in too many items, like this very month at 5, but overall I’m being sensible. And ultimately, allowing myself the freedom to buy what I want when I want has tempered my constant desire for the next thing.
I was doing this to myself, the denial and waiting and anticipating only to find I often needed to return the latest object of my desire anyway. This was keeping shopping foremost in my thoughts. Even while I was not actively buying, I was planning to buy. It was taking up a lot of mental real estate despite me not actually buying and keeping a ton of clothing. By loosening the reins and the rules, I’ve gained more freedom from shopping. It’s not as big in my life. And that’s a step forward as far as I’m concerned.
Footnote: I’m not sure how ‘back’ I am or in what capacity, but I kinda wanted to share my new direction and that I am indeed, still trying to keep a MOderate closet.