Life

One month down, 11 to go: A year of not buying any new clothing

I set some big goals for 2019, one of which is to refrain from buying any new clothing, shoes or accessories.  Month one of the goal was completed successfully and dare I say EASILY?!  I even managed to sort through my existing apparel in order to minimize what I do have.  Looking back at the month, here’s what worked and made it ‘easy’.

Avoiding ‘Trigger’ Stores – In the past, my husband and I would frequent TJMaxx and Target as ‘something to do’ on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon if we got bored.  If you like these stores, or any store similar, you know that they are great for finding items that you want but don’t need.  It takes a whole lot of will power to resist all the ‘new, bright and shiny’ trends that stores tell you you need to have.  Especially in this blustery season, I’m a sucker for soft, cozy, warm items.  My mind gets going on justifying the purchase and before you know it, I’m in line to make a purchase of items that I absolutely do not need.  In the month of January, we completely avoided these two stores.  This not only prevented the accumulation of more stuff, but also saved money!

Unsubscribing from Online Store Emails – They can totally fill up your inbox and lure you to their site for a deal that’s too good to be true.  You place the order and the package conveniently shows up at your door with little effort on your part.  It’s happened to me many times, but this month I took action to prevent being lured into online shopping.  Each time I received an email from an online retailer, I unsubscribed from the emails so that I won’t be tempted in the future.

Think it Through – Through the people I follow on social media sites, I see a lot of products and brands that I would be interested in trying.  I’m a runner and environmental enthusiast, so items that can add to those interests are appealing.  The newest running apparel with sweat wicking technology – sounds awesome.  The 100% organic cotton graphic tee to promote environmentally friendly actions – I want it.  HOWEVER, I have been thinking through each item to decide if it is really a necessity.  I already have a solid collection of running clothes and my graphic tee game is strong for environmental causes.  This month, it was easier to think it through and decide not to purchase.  Kathryn Kellogg of Going Zero Waste gave some good advice – if you are tempted to buy something, think about it for 30 days.  If at the end of 30 days you still need it, it may be worth the purchase.  Chances are, though, that you will have forgotten about it and moved on! I find that after a couple of days, I forget about whatever it was I was considering, which tells me I didn’t really need it!

Support – My friend Sara also has this same goal.  We have been checking in on each other throughout the month to hold one another accountable.  It is awesome to have someone else to bounce ideas off of or to just check in with.  We has similar experiences this month in terms of finding it easy and ultimately rewarding to not purchase any new items.  I cannot recommend this enough – find a buddy with a similar goal so you don’t feel alone on your journey!

While this month was easy, I’m calling it the Honeymoon Phase, I know that harder months are ahead!  Changing of seasons is always a time of temptation.  My husband and I may also be taking a big camping trip here in the next month or so, which always ‘warrants’ new items.  Moving forward, I am going to try to anticipate when this goal may be more of a challenge and plan ahead to combat the desire to buy more clothing.

How are your 2019 goals holding up?  What have been the challenges for you?  Comment below to share.

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