I like to think that in general, I’m a rule follower. Always wear a shirt and shoes inside of Target…check! Never have nine items in the eight items or less line at Wegmans…check! Always use your signal when changing lanes or making a turn…half a check! But when it comes to shopping, I rarely follow the rules. Don’t wear white after Labor Day…I do! Never pay full prices…eh! Always go to the clearance rack first…nope! But, there is one golden rule when it comes to shopping that I adopted several years ago that I still practice to this day. In fact, I practiced it this past weekend when I purchased a few (okay, more than a few) pieces for my spring wardrobe at one of my favorite stores, J.Crew Factory.
My rule? Okay, drumroll please…whenever I buy a few new pieces for my wardrobe, I always remove the same amount (or more) of old clothes from my closet and donate them to a local non-profit organization. For example, if I buy 10 new wardrobe pieces, I make sure to remove 10 or more wardrobe pieces that were already in my closet before I went shopping.
To be perfectly honest, I started doing this recycle and replinish process because I found that whenever I brought clothes, I never had empty hangers for my new friends (yes, my clothes are my friends). So, in order to make room for the new, I had to get rid of some of the old. Doing a small purge is really helpful in making room for new clothes, but think about how your new clothes will become new clothes for someone else. It’s the circle of life!
So, how do I decide which items to remove from my closet? Simple. I ask myself one question…”did you wear this item in the last 12 to 18 months?” If the answer is no, then I remove the article of clothing and drop it in the donation pile. If you have more questions about how to painlessly purge your closet, check out my blog post Urge to Purge: Tough Love Tips to Condensing Your Closet.
There you have it. The first, last and only rule I follow when it comes to shopping.
I’d love to hear your golden rule to shopping/fashion. Comment on this post and share your rule!
P.S. I thought you might like to see the new bag of clothes I purchased this weekend and the bag of clothes I plan to donate to Martha’s Table, a local non-profit in Washington, DC.