At the Crossroads

10 Aug

One of my favorite things to do is to purge my closet of items that I haven’t worn at any time in recent memory.  I know that this might seem odd for someone who is trying to adapt to a more frugal lifestyle.  After all, there is a significant amount of truth in the adage “Waste Not, Want Not”.  But listen, I managed to transform a bag full of my unwanted items into $18 dollars of store credit at Crossroads.  Yes, they only took about 2 of my 10 items and it is always somewhat humiliating to let a fashionably dressed 21 year old rifle through my poor fashion purchases of yesteryear.  I decided not to repeat the experience at the Buffalo Exchange up the street, but it was a good reminder of just how many of today’s purchases could be tomorrow’s regrets.

There certainly are situations where one might want to hold onto something that has no immediate use or desirability.  Here are a couple of good rules to go by:

1.  If an article of clothing was cheaply made and you never feel like wearing it anymore, get rid of it.  Chances are good that if you magically start liking it again, it won’t look very good anyway.  Nicely made vintage clothes have better staying power, that stretched out T-Shirt you bought at Target is probably not worth your closet space.

2.  If you don’t feel comfortable in it (physically or emotionally), it’s time to say goodbye.  You won’t be any less prone to itchy material a year from now and if something makes you feel slutty/matronly/anything-else-you-don’t-consider-yourself-to-be you’re probably going to run into the same problem a year from now.

In order to avoid rashly getting rid of things that might later be of use, I like to first set them out of sight and out of mind for a few months.  Then, when I get the notion, I can trot back down to the basement and see if there is anything in my almost-thrown-out bag that I am sorely missing.  Usually there is not.  If I keep my closet clear of unwanted items, I’m usually less prone to feeling like I need a fashion “makeover” (a horrible use of money for those of us who are in a lower income bracket than we would like to be).  Instead, I just see things that I actually like smiling back at me.

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