6 large boxes
I have a small confession to make. I love clothes.
I'm not exactly a trendsetter, or even a trend-follower, but I do love a new outfit. This became painfully evident last August when friends helped us move and they carried six, large boxes of clothes...MY clothes...up two flights of stairs. Do you want to know what is especially embarrasing about that? Keep reading, and I'll let you know.
Why is having too many clothes a problem? Well, to me, they represent misused resources. Money spent buying them, time spent caring for them, and space used storing them. Money that could be spent investing in mutual funds, time that could be spent learning a new skill, and space that could be lived without so that you can downsize and all of this would help you achieve financial independence sooner.
5 reasons you have too many clothes
- You have to make room in your walk-in closet whenever you buy a new outfit. First of all, if you have a wallk-in closet, just think about how that compares to the majority of the rest of the world who may only have enough clothes to last a week, if that. Now if you have a walk-in closet that is about 4 x 6 feet and packed full, you probably have enough clothes to last you two months without having to recycle a look. Two months worth of clothes...
- You've never worn several items. The average American woman owns $550 worth of clothes that have never been worn. $550 worth! I have several items that I've only worn once because I just had to have a new dress for a "special" occasion.
- You know when key sales happen for your favorite stores. For me, it's post-Christmas for Anthropologie and almost monthly clearance sales at Banana Republic. I know exactly where any of these stores carries their clearance items, even if I've never been to a specific location before.
- You have more than one item that serves the same purpose. I have four pairs of black, business casual pants. There is no real reason why I need four pairs of black, business casual pants. I can only wear one pair at a time. Three must go!
- You are bored with the clothes you get rid of. And the clothes you get rid of are not worn out. My husband actually wears a lot of his clothes until they are threadbare. I can only think of a few pairs of jeans that I have done this to. When was the last time you wore anything until it had holes in it?
So what is most embarrasing about having six large boxes full of clothes? I work from a home office. I can literally wear the same outfit to work every day, as my college calculus professor did, bless his heart. (If you want to know, he wore faded black chinos, a black, mock turtleneck, BROWN braided belt, and black leather loafers. Every day. For at least four months.)
A challenge for you and me
1. Don't buy any more clothes for the rest of the year. Not. another. piece. That's not exactly a task. It's more of a non-task. But don't even set foot in a mall or your favorite online store if you think you will be tempted! See how long you can last to help you break the cycle of "I need this" shopping.
2. Get rid of a third of your closet. Get out all of your winter gear, your summer gear, your transitional season items, and identify enough items so that you have one out of three items going to a thrift store, a charity, or a friend. If you can't get rid of a third in the first go around, wait a month, and do this again, and again, until you've met this goal.
I'm still going strong for this year when it comes to not buying clothes, but I have some work cut out for me in the downsizing department.
What are your closet confessions? Share them in the comments below.
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