Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Frugal Life - Stop living by the 80/20 rule!

You've probably heard of this rule before, and in case you haven't, it will most likely feel oddly familiar to you. Basically we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. Consequently the remaining 80% rarely (or never) see the light of day. The important question would have to be, why is this the case?

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Now if you're anything like me you probably resort to wearing the first items of clothing that fall out of your wardrobe when you open it. I tend to step into this trap time and again, but have in the meantime worked out a rotary system moving stacks of garments around and doing the reverse-hangers flip (just put the hanger of items you've worn backwards on the rod). In my experience this helps a lot in finally wearing one, or preferably more, of those neglected pieces.

Word of Advice: Make an effort to wear a certain amount of garments you've never put on before (except for the fitting room that is) each week. You could, eg plan to wear at least two new pieces each week and if you end up with stuff you still haven't worn at the end of the season, it's time to let it go.

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Trust me, I've been one of those gals who could rarely pass by a good bargain and while I still consider myself a bargain hunter I am not as prone to those pesky impulse purchases like I used to be. Let's face it, it's not as though we actually needed everything we just had to have and ended up buying, because our wardrobes are full already. If yours isn't, just go away, will ya?

Word of Advice: Ask yourself if you don't already own one (or more) similar piece(s) of clothing. Chances are you already have half a dozen variations of said item lurking in your wardrobe anyway. So if it's not a basic item which you wear on a day-to-day basis (think underwear) chances are you merely want it, but not really need it. Buying something just because it's cheap and cute is the fastest way to turn the 80/20 rule into the 90/10 rule and that's not where you want to be headed!

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If you really want to face your demons, and deep in my heart I know you do, go through your whole wardrobe, one shelf at a time, and count how many pieces you own. Don't give me that look! I'm serious. When I did this it was like stepping onto the scale and realizing that it must have been more than one tiny piece of chocolate cake that led to that incredible number. Not counting underwear, socks and nightwear my magic number was somewhere at 250 which is just utterly ridiculous if you think about it. My goal was, and still is, to get down to 100 pieces and I'm currently at about 150 or so which is a huge leap in the right direction.

Word of Advice: Purge purge purge. If you haven't worn it in the past two years, wear it, and if you end up not wearing it by the end of the season, out it goes. If it doesn't fit anymore, toss it out. You'll never loose those pesky five pounds anyway, trust me. Donate it or sell it and next time, spend your money more wisely.

Are you living by the 80/20 rule? Want to break that buying-but-never-wearing circle? What do you think of my suggestions? Anything you'd like to add as additional tip?

4 comments:

  1. Just a few days ago I read an article that suggested to hang everything into the wardrobe backwards (the hanger into the other direction). When you wear it you hang it back later the other way. Everything that still hangs backwards by the end of the year - out it goes.

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    1. I think this tip is all over the interwebs right now, including Pinterest, and it's really a great idea. Of course I wouldn't go so far as to toss out everything you haven't worn by the end of the year, because certain formal wear or clothes you need for e.g. funerals are (sadly) keepers.

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  2. I have been doing the reverse hanger thing for years (before Pinterest!), because I don't want to wear the same thing all the time.

    You would be proud of me. I found patriotic t's at a store online (because they didn't have my size IN store) and was going to order them because I'm a sucker for patriotic t's and they were 50% off with an extra bonus 25% off. But I thought about it and realized I already have several, so I closed the browser window. Ok, I'm proud of me anyway. :)

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    1. I'm proud of you too, dear! And if it's any comfort, I tend to make this filling of virtual shopping baskets and then closing the browser myself - it's like eating chocolate without the calories. ;-)

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