I have been inspired by others in the fashion blogging community to institute a Shopping Ban. I will purchase no new clothes or housewares for myself until the end of April 2010.
Why a Shopping Ban? I love to shop. I do actually use and wear all the things I purchase, but I have WAY TOO MANY clothes in my closet. I've been working on purging, but so many of my clothes are items that I like, that still fit, that are still in good shape, that I wear regularly. By "regularly" I mean at least once every 6 months to a year. But I have SO MANY CLOTHES that aside from a few basics and favorites, it takes me a long time to rotate through my wardrobe and actually wear all the clothes I own.
Almost all of my favorite stores are located within 4 blocks of my office and/or my apartment, which makes regular browsing easy. This is good and bad. Bad: I shop a lot and am tempted to buy things more frequently. Good: I shop a lot so I can limit myself to buying things on major sale, b/c I'm at the stores often enough to grab things up as soon as they get put on the clearance rack.
Here are the rules: Pretty simply, no new clothes or houseware items may be purchased by me for my own use until the end of April, with 3 exceptions:
Exception 1: I may take trips to my favorite thrift store on half price days, and spend no more than $20 per trip.
Exception 2: I may purchase frames for 3 photos I already own. One is a Paris photo that is matted and autographed by the photographer. I've had it for years, and have never gotten it framed although it is currently displayed on top of a bookshelf. The other two photos are fashion photos that I recently purchased, also already matted.
Exception 3: If I travel out of town (especially if I go to New York City) purchases on that trip will not count for the ban.
If I get the shopping bug, here are some substitutions I can use to satisfy my craving:
(1) Go to the thrift store for 1/2 price Monday
(2) Use my shopping energy to finally get those photos framed, a task I've been procrastinating on for quite some time
(3) Go grocery shopping. Definitely not as fun, but another task I tend to put off until I have absolutely no food left in the house.
(4) Go browsing at a store that I can't afford, so I get the "shopping experience" but I won't actually be tempted to purchase anything, given the crazy high prices.
(5) Pull out my sewing machine and work on alterations so I can add "new" (a.k.a. re-worked) pieces to my wardrobe.
(6) Work on some blog posts counting up and possibly photographing what I have, so I can remind myself yet again HOW MANY CLOTHES I ALREADY OWN.
Honestly, this is less of a shopping ban than a short-term method of keeping within a relatively low budget, but "Shopping Ban" sounds more dramatic. It will make me cut my discretionary spending for the next few months. I'm sharing this with you to keep me accountable.