I have been obsessed with clothes and shopping since I can remember. I have spent countless dollars and hours purusing stores for the latest fashions and trends, only to grow tired of them soon after and stuff them away in my maybe one day section of our walk-in closet. Don’t get me wrong, I still love all the feels and smells of my favorite department and cosmetics stores. Touching all the new leather handbags on the way in and picking up the neatly arranged glass perfume bottles to take a quick wiff of the newest Channel concoction. Retail therapy is real. At least for me. The high of buying a new pair of strappy leather wedge sandals or comfy super soft set of pajamas was too much to resist, especially after a long week of grinding away at work. All to often though, the high was fleeting and rarely lasted until the next time I could sneak in a few hours away from the office to get my next shopping fix. I never had a strategy or specific purchase in mind. I just bought what caught my eye and seemed like a good deal at the time. Clearance and markedowns are seriously my weakness. “Look at how much I saved today!” I exclaimed to my husband, laying out my purchases on the bed or sofa when I came home. I took pride in filling my closet to the hilt. I certainly never considered how I might run out of space or how much of my hard earned money was being thrown away through each blouse, ear ring, or head band purchase, I’d either never wear or tire of after only one use. I made shopping a hobby and stress release habit. We organized our attic and bought large plastic bins to keep it all safe and organized. The guilt kept me hanging on to clothes I could no longer wear because they either didn’t fit or weren’t trendy anymore. When it came time to clean and organize the attic, I saw the thousands of dollars stacked high in large purple and green bins, feeling a little sick to my stomach, I’d have to turn away and focus on getting the holiday decorations sorted instead. I was so ashamed of my negligence. How could I have let it get this far out of control? I was so busy pursuing the American dream I barely noticed the mountain of retail therapy growing in our attic and closets.
After leaving my office job and working from home, I had to take a sobering look at all the clothes I’d accumulated. I didn’t need suits, heels, and 60 pairs of trouser socks anymore. My first reaction was wishing I could just give it all away. I knew, however, that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the searing guilt of watching all the time and money spent just tossed aside. I knew I would have to find another solution.
I found a great blog called missminimalist.com and read in awe at how she’d managed to pair down her wardrobe to just a few key pieces. She explained how her capsule wardrobe made getting dressed less stressful and that decluttering her clothes had put back valuable time and space in her life. She also writes about having the same predicament as me with lots of name brand and designer labels she couldn’t just toss out due to the guilt of using so many resources to secure them. So she decided to sell what she could on Ebay. I was already learning about flipping items on Ebay to earn extra income for our family so I decided as punishment/ redemption that is what I would do to recoup some of my monetary losses. It’s tedious and time consuming task but it has helped me declutter and relieves me of the guilt of just giving it away. I have had to set some parameters around it. Like making sure I can earn at least a certain dollar amount to justify my time in listing it. I snap some photos with my phone on a cute surface or bust form I got for my more expensive pieces. I edit them and then list it from my phone using the app. It’s easy but does take about 10 minutes or more per listing so you can see how just a few would steal a couple hours from your day.
I am working through all the bins I dragged with us during our move. It’s definitely a part time job getting rid of all these un-wanted clothes and sometimes a real struggle to get motivated to do my listings but one thing is for sure, It makes me really question each of my future purchases for fear of adding to my listings pile.