The 2014 “Full Life Project”

In my last post, I outlined my goals for the year related to shopping and my wardrobe.  Although those goals are ambitious, they weren’t difficult for me to write.  I am aware of the changes I want to make in those areas and I have a concrete plan for how to make them happen.

Today’s post focuses on my goals for the rest of my life and it wasn’t nearly as easy for me to write.  While I am aware of my discontent with various aspects of my life and I have some sense for what I’d like to see change, the route I need to take is unclear.  It feels as if I’m walking through a deep fog with little sense of the path in front of me.

2014 Life Goals

What life goals do you have for 2014?

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Shopping and Wardrobe Goals for 2014

Now that I’ve finished my many 2013 wrap-up posts, it’s time to work on creating some powerful goals for 2014.  Today’s post will focus on shopping and wardrobe goals, while another post later this week will center on more general life goals.

2014 Shopping and Wardrobe Goals

What are your shopping and wardrobe goals  for 2014?

Since the tagline for this blog is “Trade your full closet for a full life,” I want to make sure to devote adequate time and attention to the second part of that equation this year.   I hope that many of you will join me in setting goals related to your shopping, your wardrobe, and your life at large and that some of you will opt to share them in the comments section of this post. Continue reading

Confession Time: What I Bought in 2013

At long last, we’ve come to my final wrap-up post for 2013.   However, this is a not a case of “I saved the best for last.” Rather, I saved the most difficult post for me to write until the bitter end.  In fact, this is the post I’ve been dreading writing.  But there’s no avoiding it… It’s time for me to face the music and share what I bought in 2013.

Telling the Truth

It’s time to tell the truth about my 2013 shopping…

This post includes how many items I bought last year and how many I still have, as well as the number of shopping successes and failures I experienced during 2013.   As an aspiring optimist, I like to find the silver lining in all life’s situations, yet I won’t “sugar coat” things here.  I made some big mistakes last year and I won’t shirk from admitting them to you – and to myself.  But I’ll also share what I learned from those mistakes, in the hopes that my lessons will also benefit those of you who continue to struggle with overshopping, bad shopping, and various wardrobe woes. Continue reading

By the Numbers: January 2014 Closet Inventory

I started this blog in January 2013 with several clear goals.  I wanted to stop shopping too much and to stop using shopping as my default activity for dealing with difficult situations and emotions.  I also wanted to pare down what had become an overly large and extremely overwhelming wardrobe.  A year ago, looking into my closet provoked a sense of deep anxiety within me.  I set a goal of cultivating a more manageable and minimalist wardrobe filled only with items I love and wear.

One of my first posts presented the cold, hard facts of what I had in my closet. I did a full closet inventory and laid out the numbers clearly and plainly for all to see.  At that time, I had a total of 272 garments, 55 pairs of shoes, 15 purses, and 44 scarves!  My grand total of all of these items combined was 386!   My goal for the first year of my recovering shopaholic project was to bring this total down to fewer than 250 pieces. Continue reading

2013 By the Numbers – Wardrobe All-Star & Benchwarmer Update

After countless hours spent crunching spreadsheet data, I’m finally ready to reveal my 2013 wardrobe numbers!  As I worked to prepare this information, I was reminded of a quote I heard a while back. While I don’t remember the exact wording, the gist of it is that our possessions can enslave us because we spend so much time acquiring and maintaining them.  That has definitely been true for me and particularly in regards to my clothes.

While I’m a statistics junkie and enjoy crunching the numbers, it would be nice to have less data to compile at the end of the year.  This would require my having fewer clothes and fewer things coming into and out of my closet each year.  Of course, that’s a big reason why I took on my recovering shopaholic project.  I wanted my life to be less about shopping and more about other things, while also having a smaller wardrobe that works for me and my lifestyle. Continue reading

How to Tell if a Garment is Well-Made

The following is a guest post from Dottie, a daily reader of this blog, who is sharing her insights on how to spot quality in fabric and construction of women’s clothing. Dottie learned to sew as a teenager and has used her knowledge of clothing construction to look for well-made clothing, preferably on sale. She lives in a 4-season climate, so some of her tips may resonate less with people in warm climates. Dottie welcomes feedback from “Recovering Shopaholic” readers, especially those of you who have additional tips for – or tales of – finding quality clothing.


You spot it from across the store – the perfect dress in “your” color, in the style that flatters your body, at a price that won’t bankrupt you. A quick dash into the fitting room – and you decide it’s perfect!

Or is it? Before you head to the sales desk, take a few minutes to really examine the dress (blouse, pants, jacket, sweater, etc.), preferably in good light. This may require you to leave the more dimly lit dressing room for natural light or even the more brightly lit check-out area.

Determining Clothing Quality

It’s the “perfect” dress, but is it well-made?

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December Accountability Update

It’s time for my final monthly accountability update for 2013.  As long-term readers know, I’ve committed to posting regular accountability updates as a way of keeping myself honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping goals.  Included within these posts are what came into and left my closet during a given month, what I wore, and how I did with my shopping budget and rules.

Honesty and Accountability

Soon I will be posting a more comprehensive report for 2013 as a whole, but today’s post covers just the month of December.  I plan to continue these accountability updates during 2014 and for as long as I need them.  I’ve definitely found it helpful to share the good, the bad, and the ugly truth with you as I progress along my recovering shopaholic journey. I don’t always look forward to writing these posts, especially when I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, but what’s good for us isn’t always pleasant and can even be painful at times. Continue reading