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Clothes Spending Freeze Tips & Challenge

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I’ve decided I’m starting a clothes spending freeze challenge this year and I’m inviting you to join me. I’ll share the why and how I’ll be not buying new clothes this year. You can then determine your own guidelines and we’ll support each other through this challenge.

clothing and shoes neatly organized in closet with title text overlay reading Clothing Spending Freeze Tips & Challenge

I have several reasons why I’m choosing to freeze my spending on clothes. You probably have your own.

I also have ideas about how to make the clothes spending freeze work for me. You can use some or all of these guidelines and add your own. Are you ready? Let’s jump in!

Most people buy clothes based on emotion.

  • Retail therapy
  • A big sale
  • Boredom
  • A tempting email with discounts
  • Shopping as a hobby

Shopping from a place of emotion results in a closetful of clothes that may very likely not be the clothes that you actually need. It also results in:

  • Clutter
  • Negative impact on your budget
  • Frustration when you have a closetful of clothes but nothing to wear because you did not plan your purchases
  • Negative impact on the earth through over-buying and unplanned purchases
  • Guilt and regret

When you evaluate what you need and purchase with a purpose, you will create a closet that meets your needs, your wants and your budget.

I’ve realized that I have plenty of clothing in every category and I simply don’t need new clothes. I’ve always worked from home, but now that we’re all staying home much more than before, I really don’t need any new clothes. Additionally, over the past 10 years, I’ve become more and more concerned about the impact my clothing purchases are having on the earth.

I’m ready to simplify my life and freeze my spending on clothing.

Should I Buy New Clothes?

How often do you ask yourself if you should buy more clothes before you make a purchase? How do you know how to answer the question whether you should purchase more clothing?

To make a wise decision, you need to know how many clothes you need.

woman with hand on head looking into closet of clothes

How many clothes do I need?

Knowing what clothing and how many of each item you realistically need is the foundation of gaining control of your closet and establishing a clothing spending freeze.

Do you know how many different clothing items you really need? Not the number currently in your dresser and closet, but the number that you actually need for your lifestyle?

When you know many clothes you need, then you can answer the question, “Should I buy new clothes?” In answering the question, also consider:

  • How many of each clothing category do you need?
  • How many of each clothing category do you have?
  • How many clothing items will fit in your space?
  • Can your budget support purchases of clothing?
  • Can you borrow a clothing you may need?
    • Can you borrow ski clothes for the one time you’ll be skiing?
    • Can you borrow a formal dress for that one formal event?
  • Can you substitute another item you have?
    • Instead of buying a new outfit for a party, can you mix and match items you have in a new way?
woman reaching into closet filled with brightly colored clothes

Clothes Spending Freeze Tips & Challenge

What Clothing Do You Need?

I shared a free 4-page workbook to help you decide how many clothes you really need in your specific situation. Grab your free copy to help you walk through and determine exactly what and how much you honestly need.

What Clothing Do You Have?

pink, orange and yellow clothing neatly hanging and folded
  • Group your clothing together by category. For example,
    • Start with all pants placed together and then separate them into subcategories that make sense to you.
      • Work pants and casual pants.
      • Winter pants and summer pants.
      • A combination of the two or any other categorization that makes sense for your life.
    • Place all shirts together and then separate them into subcategories that make sense for you.
      • Long-sleeve shirts in one spot and short-sleeve in another.
      • Work shirts in one area and casual shirts in another.
      • A combination of the two or whatever categories make sense to you.
  • Arrange each category together by color
    • This allows you to clearly see if you have enough of each color or too many.
      • If your one black shirt has a whole, you know you will need to buy a replacement.
      • If you have 7 black shirts, then you don’t need to buy another no matter how good the sale.
    • Learn more about color coded organizing of clothing and why it helps you in setting up your clothing spending freeze.
  • Compare what and how many of each type of clothing you have to the list you created with the How Many Clothes Do I Need workbook.
  • Based on your comparison, create a list of clothing items that you do need.
    • For example, I need to purchase a pair of black flats for winter and a long pink cardigan.
  • These will be the only items you will purchase during your clothing spending freeze.

What does the clothing spending freeze mean for me?

When I compared the clothing I need to the clothing I have, I realized that I need one pair of shoes, one cardigan sweater and two short-sleeve light-weight t-shirts to wear under sweaters and jackets. That’s it. I don’t need anything else.

Knowing that I don’t need any more clothing, other than those 4 items, makes it easy for me to resist the impulse to emotionally shop. I’m not tempted by other items. And when I am tempted, I simply remind myself that I only need the four items on my list and I move on past the temptation.

clothes hanging in closet with hat boxes on shelf

What does the clothing spending freeze mean for you?

The simple answer is that you set the rules, so the spending freeze means whatever you want it to mean. Before you laugh crazily and run off to buy a bunch of new clothes, pause and think about your reasons for considering a clothing freeze.

  • What is important to you in your life?
  • What do you want to do with your space, your money and your time? Buy more clothes or something else?

If you’re at all interested, I encourage you to give the clothing spending freeze a try. You can choose to try it as long as you’d like and you can adjust the rules you set for yourself to make the clothing freeze work best for your unique needs and lifestyle.

woman holding blouse on hanger in neatly organized closet

Clothing Spending Freeze Tips

  • Take the time explore your motivation for doing a clothing freeze. When you understand your reasons, it helps you remain disciplined.
  • Complete the How Many Clothes Do I Need checklists so you have a clear and rational plan for what you really need.
  • Compare the clothing you already have to your plan of what you need. Create your approved shopping list.
  • Commit to only purchasing items on your approved list.
  • Organize your clothing so you can easily see everything you have and wear it.
    • Go ahead and remove clothing items you know you don’t want or won’t wear. Donate them so someone else can enjoy those clothes.
  • Unsubscribe from emails to clothing sites that send you notices of sales and coupons. You don’t need this temptation and you can always sign up again later.
  • Sign up for our How Many Clothes Do You Really Need? newsletter. We’ll be sending monthly newsletters and encouragement to help you with your clothing spending freeze challenge.

You are also invited to join the Simple Organization Tips and Ideas Facebook group. The group focuses on simple ways you can make the space and time in your lives for that is really important to you. While the group discusses all areas of organizing, we will also be talking about the clothes spending freeze challenge.

More Clothes Decluttering Resources

woman reaching into neatly organized closet with title text overlay reading Clothing Spending Freeze Tips & Challenge

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One Comment

  1. Buying clothes is such a hassle for me (few stores have clothing/shoes in my size) that I feel like I am in a perpetual clothing freeze! It is so true that we have more clothing than we need, and especially now, we tend to wear the same things over and over. Particularly popular right now seem to be sweatpants and yoga pants LOL! Great idea to start the New Year:)

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