Back in 2005 I quit buying new clothes and that was when Wardrobe Refashion was born which has now been transformed into Handmaker's Factory. My pledge went really well and to this day I still rarely buy a new item of clothing, instead I do with what I have, buy secondhand and alter to fit or sew my own from scratch. I've never considered myself to be a shopaholic, I can't stand wandering around shops aimlessly but I realised I was still overbuying in many areas of my life, things that I didn't need and more than I could use.
Taking the Wardrobe Refashion pledge helped me to curb not only my clothes buying habits but also helped me to take stock of everything else I bought and hoarded. I ask myself questions each time I consider buying something such as 'Do I really need this?', 'Is it going to be used regularly?', 'Can I borrow or buy it secondhand?' etc. This has made a huge difference to the way I acquire things, consider asking yourself these questions when you next find yourself about to make a purchase.
Knowing what I do you'd be forgiven for thinking that my fabric and yarn stash are huge. They are nowhere near as big as you might think they would be, in fact I'd go as far as saying they're both incredibly pitiful! Having not worked in a fabric shop for over a year I realise how much temptation I had around me when I did and how much fabric I bought at the end of my shift that I didn't need. I have spent the past year working through my stash and have given some away that I knew I wouldn't use. It's quite freeing really and I now only buy fabric and yarn with a project in mind. I'm also trying my best to only make things that I need and know I will wear regularly. I'm staying away from the loud prints that don't go with anything in my wardrobe and instead I'm choosing colours that work well together.
I've spent quite some time this year selling or donating stuff that I no longer need and it has been quite an eye opener. I have sold many of my handmade garments because I've changed size or they were no longer suitable for my everyday needs (I can't cycle in a pencil skirt!) and were taking up room in my wardrobe because I had made them myself and didn't want to part with them. Crazy! I've also culled my bookshelf, selling many of the craft books 'I may use one day' but never do and have donated many craft supplies that I was never going to find the time to use. I think about how much money I spent buying each thing and if it was worth it or not, more often than not it wasn't and I clamp down even more on what I buy. But you know, sometimes I just indulge myself and buy something just because I love it and really want it, but those indulgent buys are often something useful like a sewing pattern. Then I feel a guilty enjoyment and I appreciate it so much more. I like that feeling!
Now, I'm not going to pretend that I have a tidy minimalist home, I don't, In fact it's far from it, it's constantly messy and I'm constantly de-cluttering, stuff just seems to breed under beds and in corners! I still have far too much stuff and I live with a man who loves to collect. His collecting can often get out of hand but he has narrowed down his collection of collections to a few things, vinyl, movies, comics and band/movie t-shirts. They're all things he uses regularly although why he needs 200 t-shirts is anyone's guess! Unfortunately our daughters seem to have inherited his collecting genes too, their collections mostly consist of found objects and toys. I can see the beauty in the found objects, I'm working on the toys!
So, I have a few questions for you...
- What do you overbuy?
- How can you overcome your spending habits?
- Have you curbed your spending habits after pledging to sew your own wardrobe?
- How do you see things differently when shopping?
Check out this interesting post on The Recovering Shopaholic and make sure to read the many great comments too!