Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A week (and a half) of no spending

This no spending thing of Joslyn's is working for me (note that the cake stands featured last week were all purchased before the start of the hiatus). I've found that the most effective strategy is immediately deleting all emails I receive about amazing sales, and resolutely not clicking over when other people post about such sales. Also, not going into stores.

I've found that not shopping frees up time. Monday, all aglow with the imminent prospect of change, I decided to take action in my closet. (It really does feel like the start of an era, doesn't it?)

Okay, I realize the pictures are too small and it doesn't look like the dramatic difference it really is. Will it help if I show you the pile of stuff I have to drop off at Goodwill?


Yep, I had to tie up my clothes in an old curtain, hobo style. Because I don't have giant boxes or bags. (The Christmas tree stand, the sifter and the board game did not come out of my closet.)

I also have a stack of clothes requiring care (hemming, replacing buttons and general alterations) that should keep me busy.

And I realized that a lot of the things I was throwing out were things I probably shouldn't have bought in the first place. Cheap fabrics, poor fit, almost okay but not quite. I am definitely going to be revamping my shopping habits once I'm allowed to spend money again.

It also pained me to admit that I will never again be as rail thin as I was in college (huge amounts of work/stress and darting all over campus do wonders for your figure), but I am finally letting go.

Me: (holding up a pair of tight black pants) I love these so much, I hate to get rid of them.
D: They're hot, but I don't think I've seen you in them for at least 5 years.
Me: That's because I haven't been able to fit into them in 5 years.
*collective silence while we contemplate this fact*
Me: I'm getting rid of them.


  1. Yay you! Purging is my favorite, and I find that too about mostly purging things that weren't a good fit in the first place. It's helped me hone down my shopping habits and save up for things I really love.

  2. nice work!
    i know the satisfaction of a closet put to rights.
    there's nothing quite like it.
    way to go on the not buying anything deal! that is such a great idea, i love it.

    p.s. is that a flour sifter in your to-goodwill pile?

  3. Oh darling! You're a pro :) I loved all the effort! It's inspiring.

  4. Ooh, the clean closet. Rarely seen. Highly coveted. Want to come over and help me clean mine? (Mine is much much worse than yours.)

    Anyway, congrats!

  5. Your closet clean out is inspiring... think I might need to tackle mine now!

    **Love the dialogue at the end... that's why you always need someone there to convince you to throw out that sweater you've had since 1992!! :)

  6. Yep, Summer, that is a sifter in the pile. I had bought a new one when I moved in, discovered how crappy it was and then found the mother of all sifters (a large Bromwell, just like I grew up with) at a thrift store for 50 cents. So now that new one needs to find a new home.

  7. oh Rach, your conversation made me laugh. i've only recently begun to realize the same about my body and how at 18, we're just not going to stay the same size forever. also, i love your idea of only buying things that fit perfectly (well, once you start purchasing things again, that is).

  8. Yes purging feel so good! After my closet, I moved on to the kids toys - threw away a ton of broken toys or toys with missing pieces and then organized the ones to sell.

    Not spending is so hard, isn't it? On days that I wouldn't spend anything anyway I am still thinking about it! But taking a step back is good... now you know when you can spend, what is most important, right?

  9. way to go! i find staying away from shops helps me the most too.

  10. I was laid off 12/31 and am in the process of moving. So, I'm doing the same thing out of neccessity but it has been a very eyeopening experience. Some things I have no clue why I bought them. Great job.

  11. just found your blog, and what a charming space here!
    the dialogue in this post made me laugh, partly because it sounds all too familiar!

  12. Looks wonderful. It always feels great to clean out my closet. Kind of like a detox diet for my wardrobe.

  13. You had me laughing out loud with this post! The closet looks great---and avoiding those pesky emails announcing 'one zillion percent of entire inventory!!' is definitely the way to go!

    I love to purge old stuff--a little too much, sometimes. I often get my hands on the huz's old things as well, and nuclear meltdown ensues when he discovers what i've done!

  14. I totally relate with the convo you had about the black pants ;) When I went on my first date with my husband, I was wearing THE hot pair of white pants from college...and they haven't seen the light of day for the last four years. I guess eating a normal breakfast instead of opting for coffee and a cigarette will do that to my figure ;)

    Kudos on the purging and cleaning! I too am in "wabi sabi" process of giving away things that I don't use or don't absolutely love.

  15. that conversation so totally sounds like one that i need to have with my closet. after spending a few weeks at my boyfriends house and then coming back home, i looked from my suitcase to my closet and back again ... realizing that i hadn't even missed the full closet that i left behind.

    i love the feeling of purging. there's been a few books and articles i remember reading (damned if i remember where they're from) that discuss the psychological benefits of not only purging, but not owning tons of stuff in the first place. i find it somewhat relieving to know that, should i need to move out with a hobo-bag-slash-curtain, i'll not only have enough to clothe myself but i'll *also* have a stylish window treatment for my new place. ;)

    great job. i'm inspired. don't know if i can commit yet, (i have a pair of shoes to buy that are seriously required.. hardcore) but after that, i think i just may see your thrifty challenge and raise you a can o'beans (for your hobo bag).

  16. my husband would like me to take your oath :) and I AM trying to do I WANT it? do I NEED it? Just did a do-over on my pantry and LOVE it (pics posted)everything is so clean and organized.

  17. Well done. We are also in a non-spending mode and a saving mode so we are eating at home, making do with what we have and stretching our dollars.
    Good for you!

  18. I love it! And I love seeing before and after pictures of closets probably more than before and after pictures of room decor.

    I have a system. Since I live in a tiny place, I have to store my out of season clothes and switch them out each Spring and Fall. I'm sure many of us have the same situation. So, come spring, as I am packing away my winter clothes, if I didn't wear a particular piece of clothing that season, it will go to the donation pile. I've done this for the past couple of years and find that I have less and less to donate each season. Slowly whiddling down to the things you love and wear all the time somehow makes your closet look fuller.


  19. WOW! Doesnt it feel great to clean stuff out! Good for you girl! :)

  20. since moving away from new york and only having the internet I spend so much less. I do a lot of "add to my cart" but I am a lot less likely to actually purchase the crap without a salesperson staring at me.

  21. Good for you! The cleansing process is so good for the soul.

  22. I would fail, but I might attempt this.

  23. Great job~ and don't you feel FREE?
    I love a good purge of things- less really is more.
    We have been cleaning out since the holidays.
    Ahhh... feels lovely!

  24. cleaning out the closet is so one of my favorite things to do.

  25. The closet clean-out looks great-I love when things are so much nicer and cleaner, not to mention you can find that red sweater that was missing for months ;)
    Keep going strong with your no-spending kick-I sure wish I could do the same!

  26. Ooohh....just found your blog and love this post. I'm going through my closet this weekend and needed inspiration to get started it. Your post provided that much-needed inspiration!

    Thanks! Have a good weekend!


Trying captchas this time - better or worse than having to log in to comment? Let me know! Sorry for all the hoops but the spam has been terrible lately!